by Linda LaRoque
A mother, confronted with her husband’s infidelity, must decide whether to help raise his child or end her marriage.
Annie and Stuart Rayburn have loved each other since high school. Their life is idyllic until their baby dies of SIDS, and Annie falls into a deep depression. Months of therapy help her recover, and they look forward to another child sometime in their future.
Despite his own grief Stuart tries to comfort Annie, yet when he reaches for her in the night, his advances are rebuffed. In a moment of weakness, he turns to another woman. Stu learns his night of infidelity produced a baby girl. The mother died in a car crash, and her will gives Stu custody.
Stu can’t deny the child is his, and he’s determined to raise her. He begs Annie’s forgiveness. Hurt and angry, Annie must face her demons, decide if she can forgive Stu, and love the innocent child, or divorce him and move on without the only man she’s likely to love.
"Annie . . ." He reached out to touch her, but she shrank from him. Eyes bleak, he stood and walked to the large picture window indicative of the 1950s style home she loved. Hands in his pockets, his shoulders rose and fell as if he struggled for breath.
"I hated myself for touching another woman." She had to strain to hear him. "My conscience ate away at me. When I came home, I skulked around like a criminal. Every time I thought about it my stomach knotted, and I wanted to puke."
"Why are you telling me now? You've had . . . what . . . a year? What made you feel the need to come clean now?"
He turned, and for the thousandth time she noted his handsome masculinity. Tall, muscled and without an ounce of fat. The blue eyes she loved glistened, she supposed with unshed tears. As he stared at her, they darkened, whether from pain or dread she didn't know. This was her man, her husband, and jealousy and suspicion reared its ugly head. "There's more?" Nausea churned in her stomach, and she covered her mouth with a hand.
Hands in his pockets, shoulders slumped, Stu nodded. A tear rolled down his face, and he wiped it away. His mouth twisted in anguish as his eyes meet hers.
"There is a baby—a baby girl."
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Linda LaRoque is a Texas girl, but the first time she got on a horse, it tossed her in the road dislocating her right shoulder. Forty years passed before she got on another, but it was older, slower, and she was wiser. Plus, her students looked on and it was important to save face.
A retired teacher who loves West Texas, its flora and fauna, and its people, Linda’s stories paint pictures of life, love, and learning set against the raw landscape of ranches and rural communities in Texas and the Midwest. She is a member of RWA, her local chapter of HOTRWA, NTRWA and Texas Mountain Trail Writers.
Linda writes contemporary western romances, time travel romances and futuristic romances. Shattered Vows is her first Inspiration Women's fiction.
Visit Linda at these locations:
Linda will be awarding three individual prizes to randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour:
1st prize—sterling charm bracelet with baby theme and a handmade wooden jewelry box
2nd prize—a handmade wooden shawl pin and an ecopy of Shattered Vows
3rd prize—an ecopy of Shattered Vows
a Rafflecopter giveaway