Ryan's Return

Ryan's Return

4.1 637
by Barbara Freethy

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Famous photojournalist Ryan Hunter has come back to a family torn apart by mistrust and resentment'to the father who disowned him, to the brother who betrayed him, to the little bou who shares his features. Ryan, the charismatic "bad boy" son, has returned'stirring up past conflicts like a whirlwind . . . and throwing Kara Delaney's fragile, passionate heart


Famous photojournalist Ryan Hunter has come back to a family torn apart by mistrust and resentment'to the father who disowned him, to the brother who betrayed him, to the little bou who shares his features. Ryan, the charismatic "bad boy" son, has returned'stirring up past conflicts like a whirlwind . . . and throwing Kara Delaney's fragile, passionate heart into turmoil.

. . . and love is Waiting

Kara has struggled back from a disastrous marriage to build a new life for herself and her little girl—a peaceful existence now jeopardized by vicious, smalltown politics, by her daughter's fanciful ghost stories... and by Ryan's return. Now nature's impending fury threatens to expose long-buried secrets. And Kara must join with the enigmatic, misunderstood Ryan-to discover the truth that will save their families ... and to explore a dangerous, irresistible love as mighty and enduring as the onrushing river.

Author Biography:

Since turning her attention to fiction writing in 1988, Barbara Freethy has sold fifteen novels. For a former public relations professional and freelance business writer, fifteen novels is a dream come true.

Barbara most enjoys writing books about love and family with a little bit of magic. Her first novel for Avon Books, Daniel's Gift, a poignant tale about a little boy and his estranged parents, won the RITA award and has been optioned for a television movie. Barbara is currently working on her seventh novel for Avon.

Barbara resides in Northern California with her husband and two children.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Hoping to draw tourists to Serenity Springs' Centennial Celebration and boost the town's economy, chamber of commerce president Kara Delaney invites a famous former resident, photo-journalist Ryan Hunter, to be the guest of honor. But Ryan was something of a black sheep, and Kara's grand plan sours when Ryan's father threatens to boycott the festivities and torrential rains pelt the town. As Kara's Aunt Josephine says: "When the river rises, the secrets of years past are washed ashore and brought to life." The town's secrets are the fiber that holds this tale together: What happened to Ryan's mother when she deserted her two young sons? Is Ryan the real father of his brother's child? Whose ghost is trying to communicate with Kara's 11-year-old daughter? Freethy (Daniel's Gift) delivers strong, compelling narrative but her characters are more suited to soaps. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
"A superlative novel that proves everyone can indeed go home again." —Debbie Macomber, New York Times bestselling author

Product Details

CreateSpace Publishing
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Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)

Read an Excerpt

His bed was on the sidewalk!

Ryan Hunter slammed the door of the cab, tossed a twenty-dollar bill at the driver, and ran across the busy Los Angeles intersection, dodging cars and honking horns. As he reached the sidewalk, two men emerged from his three-story apartment building with a bookcase.

"What the hell is going on here?" Ryan dropped his overnight bag on the ground, taking more care with his saxophone case and camera bag.

The moving men set the bookcase down on the sidewalk. The younger man, who wore white coveralls with the name Craig embroidered on the pocket, grinned. "Oh, hi, Mr. Hunter. Your lady's moving out. Third one in a row, isn't that right?"

"Yeah? Who's counting?" Ryan grumbled.

The older man, Wait, reached into his pocket and pulled out a bill. "I do believe you're our best account, Mr. Hunter. Shall we put this on your tab?"

Walt and Craig laughed in unison as they picked up the bookcase and set it in the truck.

Ryan surveyed the furniture strewn around the sidewalk and the steps leading up to his apartment building with a weary sigh. He had spent the past thirty-six hours on three different planes, traveling through three different time zones. All he wanted to do was sleepin his own bed. Only his own bed was now in a moving van.

The men loaded the easy chair next, the one perfect for stretching out with a beer. Behind the chair was the big-screen television.

"Not the TV." Ryan groaned. He gave it a loving pat as the men walked by him.

Craig laughed. "You don't have much left up there, Mr. Hunter, just that old sofa with the springs sticking out, a couple of crates, and a fan. Maybe instead of gettinga new woman, you should buy yourself some furniture."

"Thanks for the tip, Mack."

"The name is Craig, and you're welcome."

Ryan stalked up the steps. He met Melanie on the landing just inside the front door. She wore her usual aerobics gear, a pair of hot pink Lycra shorts, a midriff tank top, and tennis shoes. Her blond hair bounced around her head in a ponytail. She was the perfect southern California woman, tan and fit-great body, great in bed, and great furniture. Sometimes life sucked.

Melanie stopped abruptly, her bright pink lips curving downward in dismay.

"Oh, dear," she said. "I thought I'd be gone before you got home."

"Where are you going?" he demanded.

"I'm moving out, Ryan."

"That's obvious. Without saying good-bye, without offering a word of explanation?"

"Ryan, honey, you've been gone seven weeks."

"I was working."

"You're always working."

"Did you see my photographs from Israel?"

"Yes, they were on the cover of Time. Very impressive. Excuse me, but I have to go."

"Melanie, wait."

She shook her head. "Ryan, we've been living together for three months, and you've only spent ten nights in that apartment with me."

"It has to be more than that," Ryan said; truly surprised by the number.

"It's not. I should know. I had plenty of time to count." Melanie sighed wistfully. "You're a great guy when you're around, but you don't love me."

"I don't?"

"Seven weeks, Ryan." She poked her fingertip into his chest. "No phone calls, no letter, not even a postcard."

Melanie was right. She was a nice woman and fun to be with, but he didn't love her. He didn't love anyone. It was not an emotion that he wanted in -his life. Love was too complicated, too messy.

Ryan touched Melanie's cheek, feeling genuinely sad at her departure. "I'm sorry. I hope I didn't hurt you."

"I'll live," she said with a regretful smile. "I just wish I knew what you were running from or running toward." She stood on tiptoe and kissed him on the lips. "Whatever it is, I hope someday you find it."

Ryan watched her walk down the steps. The movers closed up the van, and within minutes a big part of his life disappeared—again.

He retrieved his bags and saxophone case from the sidewalk and walked slowly up the stairs to his apartment.

The door stood halfway open. He walked inside and stared at the emptiness. His old sofa bed stood against one wall next to the lamp with the tilted, yellowed shade. The wooden crate with his antiquated record collection featuring jazz musicians Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong, as well as an eclectic mix of rock and roll artists like Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger, and the Grateful Dead, spilled out onto the beige carpet.

A card table had been opened up in one comer of the living room. On top of the table lay his mail, piles and piles of it. Ryan walked over to the table and spread the envelopes out so he could see what he had—electric bills, telephone bills, sales letters, and a couple of checks from his latest photo assignments.

Dismissing most of the mail as junk, Ryan's gaze came to rest on an ivory-colored oversize envelope with his name engraved on the top. The return address caught his attention. For twelve years he had hoped for a letter with that postmark. To get one now was unsettling.

His hand shook as he reached for the card. He told himself not to be a fool, to throw it away. But he ,couldn't. Sliding open the seal with his finger, he pulled out the card.

Serenity Springs invites you to attend its Centennial Celebration, February 20-23, a three-day festival of parties, games, and arts and crafts to celebrate 100 years of history. In tune with this theme, a special dinner will be held Thursday evening in honor of Serenity Springs' own Ryan Hunter, award-winning photojournalist.

What the hell!

Meet the Author

Barbara Freethy is a #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of 45 novels ranging from contemporary romance to romantic suspense and women's fiction. Traditionally published for many years, Barbara opened her own publishing company in 2011 and has since sold over 5.3 million copies of her books. Twenty of her titles have appeared on the New York Times and USA Today Bestseller Lists. In July of 2014, Barbara was named the Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) Bestselling Author of ALL TIME! She was also the first Indie Author to sell over 1.5 million copies at both Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

An author known for writing emotional stories about ordinary people caught up in extraordinary situations, Barbara has received starred reviews from Publishers' Weekly and Library Journal and has also received six nominations for the RITA for Best Single Title Contemporary Romance from Romance Writers of America. She has won the honor twice for her novels Daniel's Gift and The Way Back Home. Barbara is currently writing a new contemporary series, The Callaways, featuring a family born to "serve and protect". She is also launching a new romantic suspense trilogy with BEAUTIFUL STORM, the first book in her Lightning Strikes Trilogy. For more information, visit Barbara's website at www.barbarafreethy.com

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Ryan's Return 4.1 out of 5 based on 2 ratings. 637 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was quite a short fast read, but I enjoyed it. it has likeable characters, a heartwarming story and good romance.
TeacherKelly More than 1 year ago
I have to admit I always tend to stick to certain authors but this book was recommended by a friend and I have to say I am so excited to add another author to my list of favorites! This book was a great read and I can't wait to check out more of Barbara Freethy's books!
NewsJunkie More than 1 year ago
One of the best books I've read this year. It was not at all predictable. The characters were real, and the plot took some unusual spins.
Sandy55 More than 1 year ago
Another touching, charming, emotional novel from a talented author. Well-written. And lots of story!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was really great. It was "real to life" and not too mushy! Although I really liked it, it had alot of grammar and spelling errors. I know that sounds picky but my eyes are just drawn to that type of thing.
Jessica Hensley More than 1 year ago
This is a great book. The first book that Ive read by Barbara. I plan in reading her other books now. I read this entire book in one sit down. I didnt finish until 4:30 in the morning. I just could not put it down! This book should be on everyones must read list
SallyB1020 More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It was well written and fast paced. I felt involved in the story right from the first page. Loved the small town by the river and the family conflicts as well as a wonderful romance! Fun read. Don't miss this one.
Janeth44444 More than 1 year ago
Excellent book by one of my favorite new authors. I love her characters and the emotion that is brought to each story. Romantic and intelligently written. Recommended!
Bkeeter55 More than 1 year ago
Really good book, easy to read, fun storyline, interesting characters. Emotional, poignant moments and strong romance. I really enjoyed it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Would like to read more of her books, from tlp columbus ohio
cmorgan More than 1 year ago
This author was new to me. I enjoyed the plot of the book and the writing is good. Was a little disappointed in some of the language used (really not necessary) and the intimate scenes were too detailed for my taste. Overall, a good story line and I enjoyed the book.
ReadByLakeside More than 1 year ago
Ryan's Return is an amazing book about starting over, family, love and finding out how to forgive & forget. I highly recommend this book.
don472 More than 1 year ago
Highly entertaining romantic story. Liked the way the characters felt real and the way they acted made sense. Enjoyed that there were a couple of story lines along with the main romance.
Book_LoverFR More than 1 year ago
Fun story. Read it when I called in sick for work, and it made me feel a lot better! It kept me hooked from page one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent Book. I would recommend this book!
unabashedbookworm More than 1 year ago
I have enjoyed every book of hers that I have read, and this is no exception. She writes very well and keeps you turning the pages. She is driving me crazy with the recurrent plot line about mothers disappearing from their children's (mostly sons) lives. I read her bio and nothing indicated an issue, so what gives? THis story is no exception but if you love a steamy romance she does not disappoint.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very sweet.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read, very good book!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I took a chance and tried this author. I loved Ryan's Return. It was very hard to put down. I'm now looking a another book by this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The best book i've read so far
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When i first saw this book i wasnt so sure aboutt it. But as soon as i started rrleading it i fell in love with it, I very much reccomened
Mary E. Webb More than 1 year ago
First time I have ever read a book from this author. She's a great writer and I loved it. I recommend this book to others. Looking forward to reading more of her books.
wmonroe More than 1 year ago
This was a great book. Just wanted to read until I got to the end. It is well worth you time. I love this author and this was one of the best she has written.
obnurse_connie More than 1 year ago
Good, good, good!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed it very much. I could'nt put it down.