(Reclaiming Life, #3)
Publication date: September 24th, 2020
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
Bracken Point is full of secrets, but none top the ones Tobias Sawyer is ordered to keep.
Sent undercover, Tobias arrives at the small town of Bracken Point determined to solve the case and leave. But he never counted on meeting Madeline Grant.
Ten years ago, Madeline was injured in a house fire, leaving severe burns over her body. Now at twenty, she prefers life behind the scenes, not wanting people to see her scars. When Tobias begins to notice her, will Madeline let down her guard or run away?
“Were you ever in love?”
Kathy smiled. “Once. It was short-lived, but real.”
“What happened? Please tell me it was before you met Dad.”
“Actually, I met Matthew and your father about the same time.”
“Matthew, huh? If you loved him why did you marry Dad instead?”
Kathy fiddled with the napkin, averting Madeline’s eyes. “The usual—money, power, you know.”
“Just kidding. It’s a long story. There’s more to a relationship than love. If that’s all you’re looking for, you’ll end up disappointed.”
Madeline did want to fall in love. She wanted to fall in love with Preston if that was even possible. Her mom’s words echoed in her mind. There’s more to a relationship than love. If that was the case, was there any hope? “So, I shouldn’t choose love?”
“I didn’t say that. I couldn’t choose love, but if you find the right person, maybe you could. I wish that for you, Madeline, but I also warn you. Love, on its own, isn’t enough. Be careful. Make wise choices. And don’t say anything to your father.”
“In other words, when I find the right person, elope?”
Kathy laughed. “Maybe not that drastic.” She stroked Madeline’s cheek and gazed into her eyes. “I want what’s best for you. Choosing your father was best for me. You could have a different path. Just be careful.”
Madeline gazed into her glass as she rotated it, swirling the milk. “How does it feel to be in love?”
Kathy’s eyes brightened. “Glorious. When I fell in love with Matthew, the flowers were brighter, the smells sharper and everything tasted fantastic.”
“Did you want that feeling to last?”
“I did. But, when you fall in love, you have the possibility of falling out of love. That hurts more than anything. I would spare you that feeling if I could.”
Madeline wasn’t sure if it was the same, but unrequited love didn’t feel good either. If Preston fell in love with her then broke her heart how would she ever recover? “Maybe I should forget him. It’s bad enough he doesn’t see me in a romantic way. If he asked me out and then broke my heart …”
“You will have lived. Madeline, you’ve led a sheltered life. I didn’t fight your dad on it but maybe I should have. Don’t limit yourself because of my experience. But don’t go into it blind either. A solid friendship, honesty and communication matter more than attraction and that in-love butterfly feeling.”
“Which one was missing with Matthew?”
Kathy’s eyes clouded. “Honesty. It’s perhaps the most important. That’s why I worry about you dressing like your friend. Are you being honest with yourself, and with this guy? I mean, if he wanted a girl like Bex, wouldn’t he already have her? And don’t you want him to love you for you?”
She had a point. It was time to retire WWBD and replace it with WWMD. She ran her fingers through her hair. What would Madeline do? She wasn’t sure but her mom made sense. She was going about Preston all wrong. Before worrying about dating and a relationship, she should focus on developing a friendship. That would help him get to know her in a different way and change his mind. Madeline squeezed Kathy’s hand. “Thank you, Mom. That helps. Maybe one day you’ll tell me more about what happened with Matthew?”
“Perhaps. Now off to bed. We have a long day tomorrow. Lunch with your father is always a production.”
Alaine Greyson lives outside of Baltimore, Maryland with her husband, son, and cocker spaniel puppy. She loves to push the envelope with her stories and strives to make her readers sympathize with characters from all backgrounds. Alaine is an avid reader and considers Jane Austen and Diana Gabaldon to be her literary heroes. She loves Mexican food, 80s music, and is a Robert Downey Jr. super-fan. You will find mentions of things she loves throughout her books.