GENRE: Contemporary romance
Thirty-year-old musician Leilani Mahuiki is in Tennessee to find Joe Barstow, the birth father whose bone marrow might save her daughter’s life. She finds Bradley, too, Joe’s adopted son. Against all odds, she and Bradley make wonderful music together, she on the ukulele, he on the banjo. And Bradley is everything else she’s ever wanted in a man.
Bradley wants her, too. But is that enough? He needs a family of his own. Having grown up an outsider, he’s always dreamt of something simple and old-fashioned. No entanglements. No complications. Just mom, dad, and the kids. Not something Leilani can ever offer. She already has the very complications and entanglements that he so desperately wants to avoid, and that are not going away any time soon. And yet, as he and Leilani pull out all the stops to save her daughter’s life, he knows Leilani is the only woman for him. The most beautiful music in the world can sometimes happen when disharmony resolves—and a lonely Tennessee winter can become a tropical paradise.
“I see.” Bradley thought a minute. “It’s a good deal for them and a good deal for Nalani. But is it really all that good a deal for you? What’s this done to your life, Leilani?”
“My child has three parents raising her and I have an incredible support system in George and Kekoa. And they have an incredible support system in me.”
“But what about the possibility of your ever finding love again? What has this cockamamie arrangement done to that?”
Leilani felt herself bristle. “It’s not cockamamie. It’s working well, thank you very much.”
“If it’s working out so damned well, why are you still single? Is it because your boyfriends are put off by the total and complete weirdness of whole thing?”
Leilani looked at Bradley with disdain. “Actually, this is the first time I’ve given a damn what my boyfriend thought of my totally, completely weird life. This is the first time since Bruce died that I’ve really cared about a man.”
“I didn’t realize.”
“You did, too. I told you a while back that I haven’t been serious about anyone since Bruce died. Congratulations. You’re the first one in ten years. The first damn man I’ve cared about since I put Bruce in the ground. You want to know why I didn’t tell you about Kekoa and George? Because even though I tried to warn you that I couldn’t give you the fifties sitcom family of your dreams, I thought way down deep that maybe you could get past that unrealistic dream a little and look at my admittedly unconventional family and visualize yourself a part of it. I thought that maybe, just maybe, you might come to love me enough to loosen the tight parameters you’ve set up in your mind and think outside that box. But that was damned stupid of me, wasn’t it?”
“Yes, it was,” Bradley said with a snap. “You’ve known from the beginning how I feel and what I want in a family. Unrealistic or no, that’s what I’m looking for. As much as I care about you, I’ll never be able to have that with you. You will always have other loyalties, other allegiances. It will never be just me and mine. I understand that now. I just wish you’d told me earlier. Maybe I wouldn’t have fallen for you the way I did. Maybe I wouldn’t hurt so much tonight.”
“Or maybe you wouldn’t hurt so much if your mind was a little broader,” Leilani snapped.
Author of thirty romance novels, Emily Mims combined her writing career with a career in public education until leaving the classroom to write full time. The mother of two sons and grandmother of six, she and her husband Charles live in central Texas but frequently visit grandchildren in eastern Tennessee and Georgia. She plays the piano, organ, dulcimer, and ukulele and belongs to two performing bands. She says, “I love to write romances because I believe in them. Romance happened to me and it can happen to any woman-if she’ll just let it.”
Emily Mims will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.