Her Unexpected Homecoming
Inheriting her estranged father’s property isn’t the reason Robyn Warner wanted to come back to Pine Hollow. She thought she’d make amends with her father—but his sudden death made that impossible. And when she learns the identity of the handyman fixing the run-down cabins, Robyn is ready to flee Pine Hollow again. Caleb Sloane, the cop responsible for her father’s accident, just wants to uphold his promise and then return to the force. But he can’t seem to walk away. After all, he understands about guilt and regret. And he’ll do everything he can to help Robyn find healing, happiness and—just maybe—a lifetime of love.
“Now you know the whole truth. I’m only sorry you got hurt.”
“I’m not hurt,” she said, more for her benefit than his.
The whispered words sent a shiver through her. She wanted to believe him so much that it caused a dull ache, a longing she couldn’t explain.
Caleb approached, standing between her and the door. His shoulders sloped, and for an instant he appeared as deeply affected as she. “I know you don’t want to hear it, but I promised myself I’d be totally honest when I came back this time. About everything.”
“You’re right—I don’t.” She looked everywhere but at Caleb. She didn’t dare.
“I just want to say that if circumstances were different, I believe we might have had something between us.” A pained silence followed. “At least, I felt it.”
resides in the beautiful mountains of Arizona with her super-generous husband and three talented daughters. She graduated from Northern Arizona University with a bachelor’s degree in public relations and now has the privilege of homeschooling by day and wrestling with the keyboard by night. She enjoys sharing God’s love through fiction, and is exceedingly thankful for her own happily ever after.
A Daughter’s Redemption
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted,
forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
To my husband, Troy, who works extra hard
to afford me the freedom to follow my calling. You amaze me!
A very special thanks to my agent
Tamela Hancock Murray and my editor Emily Rodmell for believing in this newbie! To crit buds Betsy St. Amant and Erica Vetsch, for the prodding, stretching and love that went into the critiques. To Gina Conroy, for cheering me all the way to the finish line.
If the rest of the property was in the same sad condition as the front porch with its missing rails and bowed floorboards, Robyn Warner would be in Pine Hollow, Arizona, far longer than she’d anticipated. She wheeled her suitcase over the flagstone walkway and paused at the foot of her father’s home to absorb the onslaught of memories.
It wasn’t too late to turn around and hand the keys back to the lawyer managing her father’s estate, though the sad huddle of cabins hardly qualified as such. What had once been a cozy mountain resort now looked pitiable and highly susceptible to a stiff wind. Her father certainly hadn’t done her any favors by willing the property to her, but after more than a dozen years of silence, she was glad to be remembered at all.
Gravel crunched near cabin two—Robyn’s favorite during her summer vacation stays as a child. A man in work pants and a paint-splattered T-shirt meandered out from between the ramshackle buildings. “Can I help you? It’s easy to get lost out here.”
“It certainly looks different than I remember, but this is the right place.” She shaded her eyes to get a better look at the man who was tall and muscular without being imposing. He was the most clean-cut maintenance man she’d ever seen—and a nice contrast to the surfers with sand in their hair she was used to back at the surf shop she managed in California. She propped up the suitcase. “I’m Robyn Warner. And you are?”
“Caleb.” He gestured toward the road. “Pine Hollow Resort is on the other side of the wash, about five miles down. Are you sure that’s not where you were headed?”
“I’m here to check out...” She caught herself before referring to Lakeside Cabins as hers. “I’m staying here. Dan Dawson was my dad.” She fished the keys from her pocket and held them up. “I’ll just let myself in.”
The handyman scrutinized her as though assessing her legitimacy,