Strong Enough – Book 4 Masonville series by Jana Richards will release Wednesday in the small town, contemporary romance genre.
She looked away. “I’m sorry. I hate women who use tears to get what they want. It’s just that yesterday the shelter had to put down some dogs. There was this one old dog, Shep….” She shook her head, unable to finish.
He squeezed her elbow before letting her go. “I’m sorry, Charlotte.”
She nodded and again Damon sensed her vulnerability. Charlotte tried to give off an aura of strength. She was the caregiving nurse, the person others looked to for help. But who helped Charlotte?
After a few breaths, she straightened her shoulders and faced him, her composure once more back in place. “How long do you think it will be?”
“You mean until the retreat is up and running?” When she nodded, he blew out a breath. “I don’t know. My building’s in worse shape than I first thought.”
“If there’s anything I can do to speed up the process, let me know.”
“You know anything about unplugging sewer lines?”
She made a face. “You’re on your own, Greyson.”
Don’t I know it. “Hey, you asked. From now on I’ll only request your help when it comes to dogs.”
She chuckled. “Good plan.”
This time Charlotte’s smile was genuine, and for a moment Damon couldn’t breathe. He found himself wondering what it would be like to have the full force of her smile directed at him on a regular basis, and to know there was real affection for him behind the smile. The longing he experienced at that thought shocked him.
Better not to allow such thoughts to take root. Despite all the work he’d done over the years to overcome the harm done to him in the past, he still had questions. Would it ever be possible for him to have a normal, loving, long-term relationship with a woman? So far, the longest relationship he’d had lasted only six months.
Maybe he’d always be damaged goods.
When Jana Richards read her first romance novel, she immediately knew two things: she had to commit the stories running through her head to paper, and they had to end with a happily ever after. She also knew she’d found what she was meant to do. Since then she’s never met a romance genre she didn’t like. She writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and historical romance set in World War Two, in lengths ranging from short story to full length novel. Just for fun, she throws in generous helpings of humor, and the occasional dash of the paranormal. Her paranormal romantic suspense “Seeing Things” was a 2008 EPPIE finalist.
In her life away from writing, Jana is an accountant/admin assistant, a mother to two grown daughters, and a wife to her husband Warren. She enjoys golf, yoga, movies, concerts, travel and reading, not necessarily in that order. She and her husband live in Winnipeg, Canada. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.janarichards.com
Favorite Scene – Strong Enough, book 4, Masonville series
One of my favorite scenes in STRONG ENOUGH takes place at Blair and Garrett’s wedding. Charlotte and Damon, the main characters of the story, are paired together in the wedding party. Charlotte is Garrett’s sister and Damon is Blair’s brother.
Charlotte and Damon have known each other since they were kids, though until recently, they hadn’t seen each other for about twelve years. Damon, his brother Ben and his sister Blair, visited their grandparents on their farm near Masonville North Dakota as kids. Charlotte and her brother and sister lived a short distance away on their parents’ farm, and they got together with the Greyson kids every summer.
Damon had a huge crush on Charlotte as a teenager, but he was too shy and awkward back then to tell her how he felt. She was kind and funny and vivacious and happy, the sort of person who drew others to her because she was such a bright light. But since returning to live in Masonville, Damon has noticed that Charlotte’s bright light has dimmed. He believes something happened to her in the intervening years. As a counsellor dealing with trauma, and as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, he thinks he knows what happened. In this scene, Damon shares what happened to him to let her know she’s not alone:
She watched other joyful couples dance by. Chris and Alison. Ben and Jamie. Even her parents, Grace and Robert. And now she could add Blair and Garrett to the list of happy couples.
At one time she’d believed she’d be part of a happy couple someday, too. But those dreams had died a long time ago.
“Mind if I join you?”
Charlotte startled at the sound of the deep male voice. She looked up to see Damon standing next to her, a glass in his hand.
“No, of course not. I was just resting my feet. These new shoes are killing me.”
“Yeah. I needed to get away from the crowd for a few minutes, too.”
“Speak for yourself, Greyson. I wasn’t being antisocial.”
He always managed to make her laugh, even when she was annoyed with him. “Yes. Anti-shoes. I may start a new support group.”
For a few moments they silently sipped their drinks and watched the dancers. All the happy couples. The group to which she’d never belong.
“Okay, that’s enough. Put your shoes back on.”
“Enough brooding. Let’s get back out there.”
“I wasn’t brooding.” Where did he get off telling her what to feel? What did he know about her?
“All right. Wallowing then. Call it whatever you like, but we’re putting a stop to it right now.”
He stood and held out his hand. Charlotte looked away, anger and petulance welling in her chest. And fear. Why was she afraid?
“Go annoy someone else, Greyson.”
Damon sat beside her once more. “When I get in one of these moods, I’ve learned it’s best for me to get out of my own head. I need to be with people, to change my thoughts before I’m that little boy once more, the one whose parents have repeatedly left him with a family friend who’s touched him in places no adult should ever touch a child. I need to change the channel, Charlotte. Will you come with me?”
Dear God. Emotions swirled in her head—shock, compassion, despair, anger. She wanted to say something to take away the pain he must have gone through. But what could she say?
I hope you enjoy STRONG ENOUGH, the fourth and last book in the Masonville series. Though some of the themes of the book are difficult, I believe it’s a celebration of love triumphing over pain.
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