🔥Pre-Order Special—.99 through Dec. 5 Release Date🔥
Publisher L. Burdett
🔥Pre-Order Special—.99 through Dec. 5 Release Date🔥
She no longer believes that love conquers all. He questions his convictions. Alone, each faces an uncertain future.
However, Fate has other ideas. Just as Fate placed their lives on a collision course five years ago, Andrew and Caryn Chadwick’s paths cross again in Toronto
Caryn is wary, not certain she can trust him, and struggles with doubts and questions.
Fate intervenes with a gift at the worst possible moment. Caryn can hide this secret for only a short time, but is Andrew capable of pushing his needs aside when he discovers the truth?
From the author of This Piece of My Heart and This Piece of My Soul, the conclusion to Andrew and Caryn’s journey, and to the Clearing the Ice trilogy...
Pulling the two positive pregnancy tests from her purse, Caryn Chadwick sank to the bed and focused on the bright bands that crossed each stpip. Pink. My favorite color…at least when I was seven. Her entire world seemed defined by shades of pink…bedroom walls painted like cotton candy…bright pink flowers on curtains and bedding. Her dad called her a pink snowball when she wore her favorite hot pink puffy ski jacket, scarves, gloves, and boots. Caryn only tolerated pink hair ribbons. “My signature color,” she’d tell anyone who’d listen. What seven-year-old even knows that term? Signature color? Much later, she realized that her parents already had begun molding her for the future they’d planned for her life.
“Signature color”—her mother’s influence, of course—from her dreams of pursuing fashion design and taking her portfolio to Paris. But, as she always said, love had other ideas. Dad’s career needed her more than she needed Paris. So they sometimes looked at her designs and discussed possible color combinations and fabrics. Some of Caryn’s color combinations did cause her mother’s eyebrows to rise, but she never laughed. Lime green and lavender. Hot pink and turquoise. Sometimes the softer “Easter egg colors.”
Her mother knew she had creative instincts, but never encouraged her to pursue anything beyond impromptu design sessions. Caryn had a vague idea that she’d go to work with her father.Her mother said she’d be in charge of the company someday and that goal would always determine just how much energy she could devote to “other” activities.But, at seven, she envisioned her future working in her father’s huge office, redecorated in shades of pink
The doorbell rang downstairs and she heard Andrew greet his brother, Tom. We’ll need to leave soon. She carefully placed the tests back into her bag, next to the ultrasound photo that confirmed the baby’s due date—news she had yet to share with her husband. And wouldn’t until she was convinced they had reconciled. There are too many things we need to resolve first. Andrew can’t just walk back into my life and pick up where we left things in April.
The last time she’d seen him at the Rehab Center still haunted her. Love wasn’t enough to keep us together. He didn’t…doesn’t trust me.
His words continued to haunt her months later. “I just don’t have the energy right now to figure out what’s going on. I need to concentrate everything I have on regaining my life, helping my brain heal. I can’t start wondering who doesn’t believe I’ll ever recover. I don’t want to start doubting myself.”
But, of course he trusts Kristen—his physical therapist—over me. How do we even start discussing that topic? He said he needed space from Caryn so he could “concentrate” all his energy on his recovery. He came to Toronto to visit his parents, not look for her. He didn’t even know I was here until he saw my things in the townhouse.
Caryn looked around the bedroom one last time with a sigh. Ready to head back to Tampa. But, at least she would return with a glimmer of hope flickering in her heart. The unexpected encounter with Andrew that morning still unnerved her. After months of no communication in Tampa, we meet by chance in Toronto—the city where we fell in love?
Fate placed their lives on an unlikely collision course that summer day on campus almost five years ago.
Just as it had this morning.
Was it fate that Andrew received the offer to sign with the Tampa Suns the previous year? If he hadn’t signed the contract, if they hadn’t moved to Tampa, would he be rehabbing from a head injury right now? Would he have blocked that slapshot if they’d stayed in St. Louis?
One thing’s for sure—fate had absolutely nothing to do with Drew telling me last April that love is not enough.
Caryn sighed, wanting to cling to the confidence Andrew had projected that afternoon when he promised they could work through the turbulence of the past months, move past the accusations and betrayal, and allow their love to lead them forward…together. Maybe fate will look kindly on our future.
She took a deep breath and then walked down the stairs.
Tom stood to greet her with a warm hug. “You doing okay, little sister?”
Caryn nodded with a smile. “I thought I’d see you tonight in Tampa.”
“I thought you were with Lauren in St. Louis,” he retorted with a smile.
“Sorry, I had an unexpected meeting…and I just wanted, needed some time alone.” She peeked at Andrew with a small smile. “But, I’m ready to go home to Tampa.”
“Your flight’s at seven, right?” Andrew confirmed.
“Yeah, I guess we should leave for the airport. Never know about traffic.” She swatted Andrew’s arm as he made a show of looking at his watch. She knew he’d tease her about her obsession about getting to the airport early. She reached for her suitcase.
“No, let me get that,” Andrew said, grasping the bag’s handle.
Caryn started toward the rear car door, but Andrew opened the front door. “I’ve got the back seat.”
She started to protest, but he held the door open until she slid into the seat. Stubborn as always. She was glad Tom was driving. She needed a buffer right then. She never expected to see Andrew in Toronto, and her mind raced in one hundred directions. She sensed his presence behind her, could detect the light scent of his cologne. Part of her longed to sit beside him, craving the comfort of his arms. But, at the same time she couldn’t forget what he’d said, that he’d trusted Kristen, not her.
Suddenly she panicked, realizing just how quickly she could forfeit the independence she’d discovered the past four months. Words are easy…but actually following through? She took a deep calming breath and shut her eyes.
“You okay?” She heard Tom’s soft question.
“Just the usual pre-flight jitters.”
“I told you I’d fly down with you, then head back to Toronto,” Andrew put his hand Caryn’s shoulder as he leaned forward from the back seat.
Caryn’s heart raced at the unexpected touch, and she shivered involuntarily. She pulled away, and then turned her head slightly to speak. “Save the money, Drew. I’m fine.” So glad I’m flying out today. I can’t handle this closeness, not when he knows just how to weaken my defenses. I need to protect my heart.
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By the time she was an eight-year-old tomboy growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, Robyn M. Ryan definitely knew what she wanted to do when she grew up—play major league baseball or write. She wrote throughout elementary and high school, first composing novels featuring favorite TV and music personalities, and then venturing into sports writing.