Just the Way You Are

Just the Way You Are

4.3 468
by Barbara Freethy

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A baby brought them together — and even though Alli has always loved her strong, sexy husband Sam and the life they've made together, she's now decided to set him free to follow his youthful dreams. For although she worships Sam, it's no longer enough for her to be wife and lover when she knows she holds so little of his heart.

Sam has always dreamed of


A baby brought them together — and even though Alli has always loved her strong, sexy husband Sam and the life they've made together, she's now decided to set him free to follow his youthful dreams. For although she worships Sam, it's no longer enough for her to be wife and lover when she knows she holds so little of his heart.

Sam has always dreamed of a life away from the close-knit world of Tucker's Landing, but marriage and fatherhood ended all that. Now Sam is torn between what was and what was meant to be. He must decide if it's time to rekindle the dreams of the past...or accept Alli, and her love, just the way she is.

Editorial Reviews

Susan Elizabeth Phillips
A fresh and exciting new voice.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Alli MacGuire, always the tagalong sister, seduced Sam Tucker, the boyfriend of her older and more beautiful sister Tessa, and became pregnant. After watching her husband pine for years for Tessa, the strong-willed and perpetually jealous Alli makes the painful decision to divorce Sam, determined that she and her daughter will have it all--or nothing. When Alli's beloved grandmother, Phoebe, suffers a stroke, Tessa, now a famous supermodel, returns to Tucker's Landing for the first time in 10 years, resurrecting old loves and forcing reexaminations of new relationships. A pearl necklace Phoebe and her long deceased husband started many years ago that has always represented their love for each other becomes the catalyst for repairing the damaged relationship between Tessa and Alli. Even if she must force them, Phoebe wants her granddaughters--together--to find the last pearl that will complete the necklace and bring closure, finally, to the hurt of the past. Admittedly Alli's not entirely likable, but even Tessa comes to recognize her sister's good qualities, and the reader winds up rooting for Alli, Sam and their marriage. Fans will be eager to dive into this moving tale of two sisters from the RITA Award-winning Freethy (Almost Home). (Nov.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
When their beloved grandmother's stroke brings estranged sisters Allie and Tessa together once more, they are forced to deal with the fierce anger and resentment that has kept them apart for the past eight years. In this fresh look at the reunion theme, Freethy (Almost Home) takes a hero and a heroine who don't realize what they have until it is almost too late, a woman who can't see the present for the past, and a determined grandmother and pens an insightful, heartwarming story that effectively deals with the issues of betrayal and sibling rivalry. This emotionally involving novel should appeal to Freethy's growing audience. The RITA Award-winning author lives in the San Francisco area. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Romantic Times
"If there is one author who knows how to deliver vivid stories that tug on your emotions, it's Barbara Freethy. JUST THE WAY YOU ARE deftly explores the drama of first loves and second chances."

Product Details

Center Point Large Print
Publication date:
Edition description:
Large Print
Product dimensions:
5.84(w) x 9.76(h) x 0.95(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

“Daddy, did you ever love Mommy?”

Allison Tucker caught her breath at the simple, heartfelt question that had come from her eight-year-old daughter's lips. She took a step back from the doorway and leaned against the wall, her heart racing in anticipation of the answer. She'd thought she'd explained the separation to her daughter, but Megan still had questions, and this time it was up to Sam to answer.

Sam cleared his throat, obviously stalling for time. For the life of her, Alli couldn't move away. She hadn't intended to eavesdrop, but when she'd arrived to pick up Megan after her weekend with her father, she had been caught by the cozy scene in the family room.

Sam sat in the brown leather reclining chair looking endearingly handsome in his faded blue jeans and navy-blue rugby shirt. Megan was on his lap, her blond hair a mess in mismatched braids, her clothes almost exactly the same as Sam's, faded blue jeans and a navy-blue T-shirt. Megan adored dressing like her father.

“Did I show you the picture of Mommy when she dressed up like a giant pumpkin for the Halloween dance?” Sam asked, obviously trying to change the subject.

They were looking at a yearbook, Alli realized with dismay. There weren't just pictures of Sam and Alli in the yearbook, there were other people in there, too.

“Did you, Daddy? Did you ever love Mommy?” Megan persisted.

Answer the question, Sam. Tell her you never really loved me, that you only married me because I was pregnant, that your heart still belongs to'my sister.

Alli held her breath, waiting for Sam's answer, knowing the bitter truth but wondering, hopelessly,impossibly wondering . . .

“I love your mother very much'for giving me you,” Sam replied.Alli closed her eyes against a rush of emotion. It wasn't an answer, but an evasion. She didn't know why she felt even the tiniest bit of surprise. Sam would never admit to loving her. She couldn't remember ever hearing those three simple words cross his lips, not even after Megan's birth. Or after, in the days and weeks and years that followed, not even when they made love, when they shared a passion that was perhaps the only honest part of their relationship. Sam always held a part of himself back, a portion of his heart and his soul that he would never give to her.

Alli clenched her fists, wanting to feel anger, not pain. She'd spent more than half of her twenty-seven years in love with Sam Tucker, but he didn't love her, and he never would.She'd lived in a dream, ignoring all the signs of disinterest, Sam's long hours running his family's charter boat business, and his desire to limit their family to the one child who bound them together.

Alli had told herself lie after lie'that Sam would change, that he would suddenly see her for who she was, that he would want another baby. Even now, a deep ache echoed through her soul at the thought of never having another child with the man she loved, but she could no longer live in a fantasy world.

The last straw came three months ago when it had become startlingly clear that Sam still held hopes of being with her sister. The realization that, despite years of trying to be the best wife, the best mother, the best woman she could be, Sam still loved Tessa had driven Alli to do the unthinkable'to ask for a separation.

Sam had been shocked, and no wonder. She'd chased after him forever. But no more. She couldn't keep loving someone who didn't love her back. Could she?

The niggling doubt ran through Alli's mind, her heart still battling her brain. She'd always acted on her emotions, forgetting about logic. Even her seduction of Sam all those years ago hadn't come from a master plan. It had been more like a crime of opportunity. And she'd paid for it a thousand times over.

Alli let out a sigh. She'd done so many things wrong, taking forever to grow up, as her grandmother was fond of telling her. Her biggest guilt came from putting Megan in the middle of her battle with Sam, but there was no way to avoid it. Megan had always been in the middle. And she always would be.

“Damn,” Alli muttered as tears filled her eyes. She ruthlessly rubbed them away. She had to let go of the past and focus on the future. Making sure her daughter had a wonderful loving relationship with her father was her main concern. In the long run, Alli could only hope that it would be better for Megan to grow up in two peaceful homes than in one unhappy one.

Taking a deep breath, Alli smoothed down the sides of her short-sleeve emerald-green dress, the first new outfit she'd bought in years. It was tighter than she would have liked, but married life and childbirth had only encouraged her naturally curvy tendencies. She took solace in the fact that she still looked better than she had in ages, and there was a small part of her, make that a big part of her, that couldn't help hoping Sam would be floored by her new look.

Clearing her throat with purpose and determination, she entered the family room and said, “Hello.”

Sam looked at her, his light blue eyes filled with annoyance. “You're early,” he said. “You said seven-thirty, and it's only six. Megan and I were planning to have a pizza.”

“I'm sorry.” She knew his frustration covered pain. Sam might not miss her at all, but he did miss his daughter.

“This is our time together,” Sam reminded her.

“I know.” Alli tried not to feel anything for the man, but his physical presence had always overwhelmed her. A rugged, outdoor man, Sam had sun-streaked brown hair that was always windswept, never styled. His face was perpetually sunburned. His body was lean and fit, his fingers and palms callused from working his boats. She could still remember the way his fingers felt drifting down the side of her cheeks, her breasts . . .

Meet the Author

Barbara Freethy is a #1 NY Times Bestselling Author, a distinction she received for her novel, SUMMER SECRETS. Her 35 novels range from contemporary romance to romantic suspense and women's fiction and several other titles have appeared at #1 on the Barnes and Noble Top 100 bestsellers, including DON'T SAY A WORD and ALL SHE EVER WANTED, and other titles have made appearances on the NYT and USA Today Bestseller Lists. Her books have won numerous awards - she is a six-time finalist for the RITA for best contemporary romance from Romance Writers of America and her books DANIEL'S GIFT and THE WAY BACK HOME have won RITA's.

Known for her emotional and compelling stories of love, family, mystery and romance, Barbara enjoys writing about ordinary people caught up in extraordinary adventures.

Barbara has lived all over the state of California and currently resides in Northern California where she draws much of her inspiration from the beautiful bay area. Barbara loves to hear from readers so please feel free to write her.

For a complete listing of books, as well as excerpts and contests, and to connect with Barbara:
Visit Barbara's Website at www.barbarafreethy.com
Join Barbara on Facebook at www.facebook.com/barbarafreethybooks
Follow Barbara on Twitter at www.twitter.com/barbarafreethy

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Just the Way You Are 4.3 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 468 reviews.
Mobilegater More than 1 year ago
This was a book my sister passed to me on my nook. I loved it as did she. It catches your attention from the first page and keeps you on your toes till the end. I thought I knew the ending a couple times then ""boom" it changes. I will recommend this to all my friends. It is one of my favorite books of all time and I have read many. Read this if you are looking for a good book that is easy to read and will keep you interested. No dull points in the entire book. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
thecollector0 More than 1 year ago
this is a good book with likeable characters that you want to follow to find out more of the story. I thoroughly enjoyed this book as well as the others by Barbara Freethy, and again cannot wait to read the next one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutly love this book! It was an easy read and kept me very entertained for a couple of days. I very highly recommend it.
Morgan Mullins More than 1 year ago
Such a great book!! I couldnt put it down
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books so far by this author. I could not put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Barbara freethy can not be beat at telling a story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a beautiful love story but I wouldn't expect anything less from Barbara Freethy. Enjoyed this so much and it was hard to put down. JudyE
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed this story by a master storyteller. The ups and downs, confusion and clarity are all part of 'real' life. It is good to see in a story that reflects 'real' life so closely that love does overcome doubts and trouble in the end. Gives me hope
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author Barbara Freely has written a wonderful book . This book is about family, love and forgiveness. Yes, this is a long book . As soon as I started reading the book I felt that I could not put the book down. Just the way you are is a captavating story.
obnurse_connie More than 1 year ago
Good story - love her books!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story loved the characters
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Like this book
jp-tala More than 1 year ago
I LOVED IT!!! words cannot even begin to describe...for anyone who has been married for a while this book can hit home (not necessarily the sister aspect but none the less). its been a while since a book has brought me to tears but as a wife and mother whose husband has the time consuming job, i completely understand where Alli is coming from. Made my husband read an excerpt and he ended up reading the whole chapter just to see what happened next. TOO TOO GOOD!!
Sheilag2367 More than 1 year ago
This was such a wonderful and poignant story! It is an intense story of "what if's" and "what may be" and every character and their dialogue so developed that you smiled, held your breath, cried and finally cheered like they were intimate friends by the end of the book! It takes exceptional talent to write a story that captures your attention and your heart strings and this author certainly did!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this one!!!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I truly loved this story. It pulled me in from the very first page. It is pretty predictable, but in a good way.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago