A Family for Christmas

BOOK: A Family for Christmas
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A Family For Christmas

By

Mary Eason

 

PUBLISHED BY:

Mary Eason

Copyright © 2012 by Mary Eason

 

This e-book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This e-book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with. If you're reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then you should return to the author and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the author's work. This book was previously published.

 

 

A Note from the Author

Dear Reader,

I hope you
will
enjoy
Rachel and Jack’s Inspirational love
story as much as I’ve enjoyed
creating
it. Theirs is a
story of young love reunited with a special challenge
.
Can Rachel and Jack put their anger and resentments aside to rebuild their love? Find out!
I hope their romance
will touch your heart.

At the end of their story, I’ve included
two bonus
sample chapters
. One is for an upcoming sweet romance entitled The Rebel
Rancher -
The Heart Of Texas Series, and the second is from the first book in this series, The Treasures Of The Rockies, entitled Standing On The Edge Of Goodbye. I hope you enjoy them.
Also, look for a special thank you from me at the very end of the book. 

The Rebel Rancher – Book One of The Heart Of Texas Series
is
about
Grace Richmond,
who
unexpectedly
finds herself alone in the world. She reaches out to an old friend of her father’s
,
and soon finds herself at the heart of one of the oldest struggles known to man.
Choosing between
a
man who by all outward appearances is perfect for her, and the rebel rancher
, Alec Standing,
who proves to be just what she needs.
And a
s Grace soon discovers, things aren’t always as they appear.

In
Standing On The Edge Of Goodbye – Book One of Treasures Of The Rockies
Series
,
Matt Stevens is finished with life. Grieving the death of his son, Matt withdraws from humanity, sequestering himself in a mountain cabin far from the reaches of anything human, anything that may remind him of the life he can no longer have. That is, until Kate Alexander arrives on his doorstep and begins to strip away the bit
terness he carries in his heart.

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Prologue

 

Jack
’s
gaze
jerked
to the caller ID and locked as the phone continued to ring.
He recognized the number
, yet he still didn’t answer it immediately
.
It was A
nn
Peters
. The woman who’d once been his mother-in-law
had become far more in recent years
.
She’d been the one to bring him to God when he’d been close to losing
everything
.
Ann
taught him the meaning of faith
and forgiveness
.

He’d
been
expect
ing
her call since he arrived.
Dread
ing
it.
She
was the only one who would be calling at a quarter of midnight. The only one who knew he’d returned to
Austin
.
Jack
hadn’t even told his best friend. He’d come back home for personal reasons.

For
Rachel
.

Five years wasn’t so long. Yet it felt like a lifetime since he’d
lost
her
.
Would forcing
her
to face him again be yet another sin added to his growing list of them?

Please
God, no.

He wanted
things to turn out differently between them
this time
.
He
was
different. He wasn’t the selfish man he’d once been when he’d married her in secret and then left her crying and begging him not to
go
a few weeks later.

Even now, with his bags still sitting next to the door, jet lag weighing heavily on his
body
, he continued to struggle with his conscience.

Don’t answer it. Let it go. Let the past stay there.

He
wanted
to do
the right thing
. He
couldn’t. He still loved
Rachel
. He’d probably spend the rest of his life loving her, but he’d made so many mistakes.

When their
childhood
friendship turned to love
,
it seemed only natural that they should
marry
. He’d
rushed
her into marriage, but he loved her and she loved him. Yet now he wondered if some part of him
hadn’t
know
n --
even back then
--
what his father’s reaction would be.

His old man had insisted they have their w
eeklong marriage
annulled and Jack had felt powerless to stand up to him
.

Jack
grabbed the receiver before it could ring again. “Hello.”


Jack
?”

“Yes,
Ann
, I’m here.”

“I’m sorry to call so late, but I’ve just heard from
Rachel
. She’s back in Texas. She’ll be home soon.”

He closed his eyes for a second.
Dear
God
, don’t let me screw things up again.
“She doesn’t know
?

“No, of course not.”
Ann
’s answer didn’t surprise him, even though he’d wished for a different one. 

“Do you think I’m doing the right thing?”
h
e couldn’t stop himself from asking. “Because I’m not so sure anymore. I know you’re convinced this is the only way I’ll get her to talk to me
again
, but Mike’s always been adamant about giving
Rachel
the time she needs to....” To what? Hate him more?

The frustration in
Ann
’s sigh assured him she possessed her own doubts. “I know my son feels he’s helping
Rachel
, but the truth is, my daughter can be very stubborn at times. So can
Michael
.
Rachel
has been hurt. She will never come to you on her own. You’ll need to be the one to reach out to her.”

“What if she refuses to hear me out?
What if she doesn’t believe I’ve changed?
It has been five years. Perhaps
Rachel
has moved on, found someone else.”

Ann
’s
silence was more frightening than anything he could imagine.


W
hat aren’t you telling me?” The uneasy feeling inside his gut threatened to crush what was left of his courage.
Ann
was never good at keeping things from him. Something was up.
He could feel it.

He
’d always suspected
there were things
Ann
hadn’t told him about the night
Rachel
left. It had stood between them for years, and yet no matter how many times he’d asked,
Ann
kept her secrets.


Rachel
will tell you what she wants you to know in time. You have to be patient,
Jack
.
Trust God. Ask for
H
is strength. He won’t let you down.
He never does.
I’m praying for you.

Jack
closed his eyes
.
“I’m trying to be patient.
I am praying, but i
t’s not easy. I was such a fool for listening to my father. I should never have let her leave.
Never annulled our marriage. At least then
,
I would have some tie to her.
I should have gone after her
,
Ann
. Should have told her what a mistake I’d made by letting her go.”

“She wouldn’t have listened to you back then.
Rachel
has so much hurt inside of her.
She’s lost her faith in
a lot of things, including
God.
She’ll need your help in getting it back.”

His help? How could he possibly hope to help anyone? He felt inadequate. 


She loved you so much,
Jack
. I believe she still loves you, although she would never admit it to me. That’s why it wouldn’t have done you any good to go after her
back then
.”


W
hat makes you think she’ll listen to me now? If she’s as hurt and angry toward me as you say, what’s to keep her from refusing outright?”

He waited through the silence as
Ann
chose her next words carefully.

“It’s different this time.
Rachel
needs you, even though she doesn’t know it yet. My daughter needs your love
now
more than ever. Don’t let her
p
ush you away.
Rachel
needs your strength.”

“Strength? That’s a funny way of putting it. I haven’t been strong where
Rachel
i
s concerned. Just the opposite
,
I’d say. She’s my greatest weakness.”

“And
I’d
say you don’t know your own strength,
Jack
Bryant.”
Ann
reassured him as she had some many times in the past.

A handful of seconds ticked by as he swallowed back the resurfacing emotions he’d tried to bury deep inside. He remembered every single moment of that final night.
Every look. Every tear.
Every word. Right down to the last one. Goodbye.

“Just promise me you’ll listen
to what she has to say and
be patient.” All the obvious questions ran through his head at
Ann
’s loaded request. He’d give anything to ask her what she was keeping from him. But if
Rachel
was stubborn,
Ann
was even more so.

“Come to dinner tomorrow night,”
Ann
urged when he couldn’t voice his doubts. Not that he needed to. She knew. He and
Ann
had grown close through the years. Maybe even closer than he and Mike
were anymore, si
mply because Mike was fiercely protective of his baby sister and
Jack
had hurt her deeply. Leaving
Rachel
had almost cost him Mike’s friendship. Even today, they still weren’t quite
back,
to where they’d been before that fateful night in June.

“I don’t know....”

“I do. It won’t be easy any way you do this. She’ll fight you in the beginning. Come to dinner,” she implored. “You’ll need your family around you when you two talk.” 

BOOK: A Family for Christmas
6.5Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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