An avid reader and huge fan of movies with happy endings, Stacey lives in Wisconsin with her husband and children, a couple horses and some barn cats. In her limited free time she enjoys gardening and canning, and visiting her parents up north at the cabin on the lake with the whole family.
The Heart of the Matterby Stacey Joy Netzel
All Allie Daniels ever wanted was a family of her own--until her doctor informs her she'll never be able to have children. She hides her desolation, refusing to let any man close enough to see her broken heart. Most certainly not the town veterinarian, who's cute three-year-old son reminds her
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Book 6 of the USA Today bestselling WELCOME TO REDEMPTION series:
All Allie Daniels ever wanted was a family of her own--until her doctor informs her she'll never be able to have children. She hides her desolation, refusing to let any man close enough to see her broken heart. Most certainly not the town veterinarian, who's cute three-year-old son reminds her of what she'll never have.
Rick Wilde had a serious crush on Allie back in high school, but life took them in different directions. Now a single parent, he returns to Redemption several years later to raise his son, Lukas. His interest in Allie is renewed, but her shoulder is colder than the bitter winter wind.
Brought together by an orphaned kitten, Allie finds herself helpless to resist Lukas's impish innocence--not to mention Rick's warm charm and sexy good looks. Does she dare take a chance on an impossible dream, or will Rick's desire for more kids devastate their future?
"What's your problem with me?"
You've turned into a nice, responsible guy, you're too good-looking, and you have what I want most and can never have.
Allie scoffed and raised her chin despite the sting of tears that threatened with the last thought. "As if you don't know."
He lifted his hands. "I really don't. Since I came home two years ago you've barely said two words to me."
"That's because back in high school you were a jerk."
His frown deepened. "I was?"
"You teased me every chance you got," she accused. "Got all your party-animal jock buddies in on the act, too. In fact, you did such a good job that after you graduated, I still had three more years of that crap with the rest of the football team."
"That was high school."
"It was mean." Allie bit her lip. Rick had never been as bad as the other guys...but maybe that was because he was the only one she pretended to laugh off?
"Seriously?" he asked after a long moment, his brows arched. "That's why you avoid me--why you walk the other direction when you see me at the grocery store or on the sidewalk? Because you think I was mean to you back when we were in high school, over fifteen years ago?"
She glanced away. Sounded petty and absurd to her too, but it wasn't like she could tell him the real reason why, so she kept her mouth shut.
"You want to know why I acted like that back then?"
The low question made her stomach lurch and brought her gaze back to his. Her heart started racing again, especially when he crowded her in the corner, darkening it with his shadow.
"Even as a freshman, you were the smartest person I knew. You were in all the college classes with me and got better grades than I did. Every time I opened my mouth around you, nothing came out right, and you'd give me this...look, and I felt stupid. Not the most mature way to handle it, but there you have it."
Allie fought to keep her mouth from hanging open in surprise. She'd had no clue. In fact she'd always felt stupid around him.
He leaned closer. Palms and back flattened against the wall, she stared at his chest, unable to say a single word. Besides, if she looked up, she'd see his mouth so close to hers and want to rise on her tiptoes. He'd been drinking beer earlier, but now he smelled winter fresh.
He braced one hand against the wall beside her head. The other he tunneled through her hair to cup the back of her head while his thumb tipped her chin up. Her heart banged into her ribs. Gum. He'd been chewing gum in the truck. She swallowed as if a piece were stuck in her own throat when his gaze locked with hers.
"And then there's this. I've wanted to do this since the day you corrected Mr. Counsell's equation in advanced chem the second week of class."
She'd guessed he was going to kiss her, but, Oh, my, God, Rick Wilde was kissing her!
WELCOME TO REDEMPTION
A hometown series full of sexy romance, humor, and heart...where everyone gets a second chance at love.
A Fair of the Heart, book 1
A Fair to Remember, book 2
The Perfect Blend, book 3
Grounds For Change, book 4
Home Is Where the Heart Is, book 5
The Heart of the Matter, book 6
Never Let Me Go, book 7
Hold On To Me, book 8
Say You Love Me, book 9
Say You'll Marry Me, book 10
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