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Leaving her beloved, adopted home to begin life anew, Sally Murphy-George searches for refuge from depression, rejection, and her husband’s murderer. A proficient bakery owner and mother of two, Sally vows to find stability in her life, protect her family, and shield her heart at all costs.
Self-exiled, Nate Horner finds peace in his new life as Sheriff of Barnhill, defending those who overlook his shadowed past and accept him as the reliable, honest man he’s become. Promising never to allow another woman to hurt his soul, Nate resigns himself to a life of celibacy, until he reunites with someone from his hometown, the Widow George. As a man, he struggles with his desires for her. As a professional, he must protect her.
Circumstance pushes Sally and Nate’s paths together and they must decide to risk their hearts and their security to take another chance at love.
She remembered the cold. Frigid, bitter cold! Cold fingers, cold toes, cold streets as the loose marbles of gravel pushed between the cracks in the soles of her worn shoes and wedged uncomfortably against the callused balls of her cold feet.
The malicious winds whipped and blew torrents of icy pellets as the buttons of her ragged, moth-eaten coat fought unsuccessfully to protect her.
Exposed to the harshness of the New York winter, her cheeks, numb from the frostiness, froze as she looked to the street sign. “Only ten more blocks,” she voiced aloud to the empty, arctic night.
Ten more blocks wasn’t bad at all! She’d already come so far! Ten blocks was nothing.
Her tired feet stumbled against the rough sidewalk as she balanced opposite the wintry blast of the terrible blizzard.
Only ten more blocks. Ten more blocks until warmth. Ten more blocks until solace of the homeless shelter. Ten more blocks until a bed with a blanket. Only ten more blocks.
Her tiny feet pounded out the rhythm on the pavement, “Ten more! Ten more!”
A shadow from the alley loomed before and she inhaled as a large figure darted ahead. Her scream echoed down the deserted street. “Rats! Damn gutter rats!” she said with relief as she regained her senses and resumed her journey. “Nine blocks. Nine blocks.” Her stride pounded.
Experienced rationalization told her the last few blocks were always the worst in a storm. She focused on her steps and the sidewalk in front of her. Her feet were as frozen as her face and she felt they hardly moved at all. As if in a nightmare, the blocks seemed to elongate the farther and faster she walked. She came to one crosswalk, and another it seemed, radiated to a thousand more.
“Six more. Six more. Only six more,” her heart cried out. Surly she could make six after traveling thirty. “Six more.” She disregarded the queasy ache of hunger under her ribs. Lack of food was all. Once she got to the shelter, she would eat. They always had something for children to eat there. Always! A bowl of warm potato soup and a crusty piece of day-old bread to sop it up with. Her stomach growled under her coat as she passed over an open sewer grate.
Steamy, smelly warmth rushed up to meet her as she walked over the rickety, rusted metal bars that split the footway. Heat! Heat for a few minutes would thaw her feet enough to make the last few blocks of her trip bearable. She sat on the grate and consumed its radiation. The smell of the sewer below made her stomach perform wretched twists, but the warmth was so comforting. Heat! Heat after so many blocks of deplorable freeze.
Mother Nature’s accursed hand seemed to spare the area of the sewer grate. Outside on the sidewalk around her the wretched weather continued, but over the iron bars, above the glow of the sewer, she felt safe and secure, finally. Perhaps she would not have to tread those last few blocks. Perhaps life would continue here until the storm passed. Perhaps her entire life, all the suffered beatings, all the starved nights alone, searching all the lonely streets for acceptance, led her to this one moment above the comforting sewer. Warmth! Friendly warmth circled her in a thick, misty cloud.
“Child! Child! Come here!” a deep voice shouted from the umbra of fog that surrounded her.
She tried to turn her head to its direction but the warmth paralyzed her, surrounded her, took her to a grave, balmy place encompassed by amicable soft lights and everlasting rest.
“Girl?” the voice said again, “Are you all right, child?”
Sally’s body became listless as the stranger grabbed her, shook her, and turned her toward him. Her brain said to run. Run from the stranger! Run! Run! Her body said, Stay! Stay on the heat. Stay. Sleep.
Sally Murphy grabs and nabs your attention from the first.
…this book makes you realize how well the characters are written as they unfold throughout the story.
This is a perfect book for the young and old to enjoy!
"Annette Snyder has my approval as this book makes you realize how well the characters are written as they unfold throughout the story. While not an erotic read, there are moments in there that make you quiver and shiver as love is awakened for Nate and Sally. It is the little touches, the things that Nate does, as well as how Sally is portrayed to be a strong and resilient woman that send this book straight into your heart. One of my favorite scenes happened at the fishing hole as Nate assisted Sally. I enjoyed this book so much that I am getting it for my twelve-year-old niece who is just beginning to discover romance. This is a perfect book for the young and old to enjoy!"
Reviewed by: Wendi 5 Angels, Fallen Angel Review
Book Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
No. of Pages: 184
Paper Weight (lb): 8.0
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