Dr. Alex Campbell has an agenda—finish his contract to provide medical services in Maine, pay off his medical school debt, and head back to his real life in San Diego. But when he meets Julia, all his carefully laid plans are put in jeopardy.
Julia Stewart, Lobster Cove’s high school principal, swears she’ll never let another man drag her away from the home she loves. Her aging parents need her, and the Cove is where she wants to raise her daughter. When her mother’s illness brings her and the big city doctor closer together, panic sets in. Her marriage taught her men don’t stay.
Can she put aside the heartaches of the past and trust Alex enough to accept the love he’s offering? Or will her fear of abandonment mean she’ll send him away forever?
Alex checked his watch and rose to his feet. “I’ve got to get back to the clinic. My patients are probably wondering what happened to me.”
“Thanks for coming. I know it meant a lot to Chloe to have you here. It meant a lot to me, too.”
He stopped with his hand on the doorknob, his expression intense. “I’d do anything for you. I hope you know that. You mean everything to me, Julia.”
Her chest grew tight, and she could hardly breathe. “Don’t say that, Alex. Please.”
He stepped toward her. “Why don’t you want me to tell you how much you mean to me?”
“Because you’ll be leaving soon.”
A part of her wished she could simply run away and follow Alex wherever he wanted to go. But she couldn’t. Her life was here, and so were her responsibilities. He took her hands and squeezed tight.
“Then I’ll stay. I love you, Julia. I don’t want to lose you.”
She shook her head, trying not to cry. “I know you mean that, at least for now. But if you stay just to make me happy, you’ll soon grow to resent me. You’ll want to pursue better opportunities, and I’ll just hold you back.”
“No, that’s not going to happen. I love you.”
She couldn’t hold back the tears any longer. “I wish things could be different, but I can’t go through that again.”
“I’m not your ex-husband, Julia,” he said fiercely. “I’m not going to abandon you and Ava.”
“Is Lobster Cove really the place you want to live and work for the rest of your life? Do you honestly want to live in a town this small forever?”
He hesitated, uncertainty evident on his face, and Julia pulled her hands away from his, her heart breaking. “That’s what I thought. It’s not your fault. We just need different things.” She took a deep breath and looked away. “Thank you for helping Chloe.”
“Julia, don’t do this. Don’t push me away. I need you.”
She couldn’t breathe. What could she possibly say to that? “Alex—”
“I’m not going to give up on you, on us.”
He pulled her in for a brief hug, and Julia closed her eyes and inhaled, trying to memorize his scent and the way she fit perfectly against his body. Then he pushed away and slipped out of the room, the door closing softly behind him.
A flood of longing washed over her. If only…
She shook her head. Wishing and hoping only brought disappointment and heartache. She’d wished for Russ to be happy with her in Lobster Cove, but it hadn’t made any difference. In the end he’d left her.
She couldn’t let herself forget that.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
When Jana Richards read her first romance novel, she immediately knew two things: she had to commit the stories running through her head to paper, and they had to end with a happily ever after. She also knew she’d found what she was meant to do. Since then she’s never met a romance genre she didn’t like. She writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and historical romance set in World War Two, in lengths ranging from short story to full length novel. Just for fun, she throws in generous helpings of humor, and the occasional dash of the paranormal. Her paranormal romantic suspense “Seeing Things” was a 2008 EPPIE finalist.
In her life away from writing, Jana is an accountant/admin assistant, a mother to two grown daughters, and a wife to her husband Warren. She enjoys golf, yoga, movies, concerts, travel and reading, not necessarily in that order. She and her husband live in Winnipeg, Canada with their Pug/Terrier cross Lou and several unnamed goldfish. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.janarichards.com
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