She's swallowed her pride and moved back to her hometown with her daughter after her divorce and the loss of her catering company. Now she's trying to navigate the strained relationships she'd left behindincluding her first love, Jack Davison.
Jack never forgot Bridget, or the day she left townand him. When Bridget caters a lunch at Jack's tourist ranch, old flames reignite. They have more in common than everJack's also a single parent. Though they both try to keep things casual, Bridget, Jack and their girls are starting to look a lot like a family.
But Bridget's only planning to stay in Paradise until she's saved enough to relaunch her business. Jack's invested too much in his ranch to leave. And with their daughters involved, both have a lot more at stake than heartbreak. How can they risk falling in love?
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About the Author
Jana lives in Western Canada with her husband Warren and a Pug/Terrier cross named Lou. She can be reached through her website, www.janarichards.com.
Read an Excerpt
It was official. She'd hit rock bottom.
Bridget Grant sighed as she wiped the sticky remains of spilled beer and nacho cheese sauce from one of the tables. Was this what her life had come down to? Serving wench in her mother's bar?
As she lifted her head, she caught several patrons staring at her. When she stared back with all the haughty pride she could muster, they quickly looked away. Less than a day in Paradise and she'd been stripped bare, as if she were swimming naked in the small-town fishbowl that was her hometown. Turning away from the gawkers, she gave the dirty table an angry swipe with her cloth.
Suck it up, Bridget.
She took a calming breath. It didn't matter what she did for a living or what anyone thought of her. As long as her daughter stayed out of trouble, she'd gladly sling beer and wipe sticky tables.
The front door opened and a group of people trooped in, their exuberance drowning out the scratchy music pumping out of the old jukebox. In the middle of the pack stood her sister Celia, looking relaxed and happy and full of life. Celia let out a squeal and left her group of friends when she saw Bridget, throwing her arms around her in a bear hug.
"It's so good to see you," Celia said, kissing her cheek. "What has it been, five years since we've seen each other in the flesh?"
"Something like that." She examined her sister's face, amazed at how much Celia now resembled their mother. She had inherited Mavis's straight blond hair and blue eyes along with the petite stature that had always made Bridget, with her tall, lanky frame and wildly curling auburn hair, feel like the odd man out in her family. Celia's face and bare arms were tanned from time spent working in the sun, and little laugh lines fanned out around her eyes. Bridget got the impression that Celia laughed a lot. Must be nice. Divorce and financial ruin had left her without much of a sense of humor.
"Maybe if you hadn't been so stubborn about visiting the city we'd have seen each other more often," she said.
Celia took a step away, her eyebrows rising. "Well, little sister. It's awfully early in the evening to have your claws out, isn't it?"
Just because her life had gone to hell didn't mean she had to take it out on Celia. "You're right. I'm sorry. I'm glad to see you too."
"I know you are." Celia smiled and took her hand. "I didn't think you'd be working in the bar tonight. You just got here."
Bridget shrugged. "The girl who usually works Friday nights is sick and Mom asked if I would fill in." Even though she was tired from days of driving, she was glad to have something to do. "I figured, what the hell. Might as well get started."
"Good for you. How's Rebecca?"
She sighed. Her fifteen-year-old daughter had remained sullen and silent the entire trip to Paradise. "Unhappy. But I can't really blame her. I've uprooted her and plunked her down here."
"In the middle of nowhere," Celia added.
"I didn't say that."
"You didn't have to. It was there between the lines. It always has been."
"I've never fit in here."
"You've never let yourself fit in here." Celia shook her head and took a step back. "Let's not rehash old arguments. It's your first night home. I don't want to fight."
"Neither do I." She was too exhausted to get into it with Celia.