A Home of Her Own

A Home of Her Own

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A Home of Her Own by Brenda Novak, Rachel Fulginiti

When Lucky Caldwell was ten, her mother, Red—the best-known hooker in Dundee, Idaho—married Morris Caldwell, a wealthy and much older man. It didn’t last, of course, but Morris’ kindness was the highlight of Lucky’s life.

Mike Hill, Morris’ grandson, doesn’t feel too well-disposed toward Red or her kids. He believes they alienated Morris from his family. Even Morris’ Victorian mansion, on the property next to the Hill ranch, wasn’t inherited by one of his grandchildren. Instead the house went to Lucky, who left it sitting empty for years.

Now that Red and Morris are both dead, Lucky has finally come back to Dundee. She plans to restore the derelict place—and to look for her real father, who has to be one of three men named in her mother’s diary.

That means Mike has a new neighbor.

One he doesn’t want to like …

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781504651523
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Publication date: 08/25/2015
Series: The Dundee, Idaho Series , #4
Edition description: Unabridged
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 5.80(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Rachel Fulginiti is a voice-over artist who has worked with companies such as Chrysler, Target, McDonalds, and eHarmony. A graduate of the Meisner Program at the School for Film and Television in New York City, she currently lives in Los Angeles.

Read an Excerpt

A Home Of Her Own

By Brenda Novak

Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.

Copyright © 2004 Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-373-71242-1

Chapter One

THE VACANT HOUSE LOOKED haunted. Large and imposing, with a full moon hanging directly behind, the old Victorian cast a grotesque shadow across the snow, and the windows shone like so many eyes.

Ignoring the gooseflesh that prickled her arms, Lucky Caldwell stood on the ornate porch, braced against a chill wind as she pushed the heavy front door a little wider. She didn't really want to venture inside now that it had grown so late. The house had sat empty long enough that rats, possums, raccoons or other crawling things could easily have taken over. Or maybe she'd find some mass murderer hiding in one of the rooms....

If she was anywhere else, she'd head into town and get a motel for the night. But as soon as even one person in Dundee spotted the distinctive strawberry-blond hair she'd inherited from her mother, word would spread all over town that she was back. And she didn't want to alert anyone to her return just yet. She needed to get her bearings. Coming here was a risk, a huge risk, and she'd never been as lucky as her name.

The floor creaked as she stepped across the threshold. Instinctively she reached for the light switch, but then paused. Somehow, waltzing inside and lighting up the place seemed too brazen. She didn't belong here; she'dnever belonged here.

But she didn't belong anywhere else, either.

Marshalling her nerve, she flipped the light switch anyway.

Nothing happened. The pace of life in Dundee was maddeningly slow but, evidently, not so slow that Mike Hill, executor of the Caldwell Family Trust, hadn't gotten around to having the utility company shut off the electricity. Which, after six years, didn't come as any big surprise. She'd inherited this rambling Victorian when Morris died and hadn't been back since. During that time, she'd received a couple of calls from Fred Winston, the town's only real estate agent and a man she remembered as wearing a cheap brown toupee. He'd told her the paint was peeling and the porch was sagging and asked if she wanted to sell. But she knew who wanted to buy and the answer had been and still was - no. At least not yet. She had unfinished business here in Idaho.

She set her backpack on the dusty floor and searched for her flashlight. Unfortunately, it was already on when she found it and, judging by the weak beam, had been on for several hours.

Lucky considered returning to her car for the extra set of batteries. She'd had to park out front because the roof on the garage had collapsed. But she was afraid she'd lose her nerve if she turned back now. Better to forge ahead....

She hefted her backpack to her shoulder, trained the dim light in front of her and left the door open in case she encountered something or someone she'd rather not meet.

Entering the formal living room, she quickly swept the light around the perimeter. Nothing moved - but the familiarity of the place evoked bittersweet memories. As bad as her childhood had been, she'd been truly happy for a few short months while living in this house. Especially that first Christmas after her mother had married Morris.

In the dark, cobwebby corner to her left, she could easily imagine the splendid tree that had once stood there, proudly bearing a thousand twinkling lights and an abundance of shiny gold balls. That was the first time her family had possessed enough money to buy a tree any taller than a token three or four feet. And to have it flocked with fake snow and decorated so elegantly was really an extravagance. Every year since she'd become an adult, Lucky bought as big a tree as her current abode would allow and always flocked it, on principle. But she'd been living off the money she'd inherited from Morris, which was barely enough to get by on, since she gave most of it away. In order to keep traveling, she'd had to cut down on expenses. The places she'd been renting, for a few months here and six weeks there, had low ceilings and generally weren't the nicest. Which meant she'd never been able to duplicate the opulence of that damn tree.

She wrinkled her nose at the musty smell and glanced back at the open door before moving deeper into the house. The moonlight filtered through the bare, thick-paned windows, painting silver squares on the hardwood floor and, together with the faint beam of her flashlight, made it possible for her to see.

The Georgian-style staircase rose up in front of her. A large office with double doors jutted off to the right, along with what used to be an impressive library. Lucky waved a cobweb out of her way and poked her head into the library, then the office, relieved to find them both vacant of scurrying animals and - thank God - anything larger.

She continued her search, pausing to listen carefully here and there, until she reached the kitchen and family room. Situated at the back of the house, they were more like one big room with floor-to-ceiling windows that curved into a semi-circle and looked out over the pond at the bottom of the hill.

Unfortunately, most of the windows at the back were broken now. Bending to retrieve a small rock lying among the glittering shards of glass on the old stone floor, Lucky tossed it up and caught it again. So much had changed. Morris was dead. Her mother, too. Her brothers, Sean and Kyle, who were both older than she was, had sold the land they'd inherited and moved elsewhere. But the feeling of being unwelcome here, the resentment of this small community, seemed to linger.

Lucky threw the rock away and watched it skitter across the floor. So much for the hope that coming back would be easier than she'd anticipated. Owning a house didn't make it a home.

Considering the state of the Victorian, she wondered whether she should sleep in her car. A metallic blue '64 Mustang, it was fully restored and beautiful. But sitting out in her car would be as cramped as it was cold. She'd be better off inside. Despite the creepy feel of the place, she hadn't seen anything more threatening than a few spiderwebs. Discarded trash here and there indicated that others had been inside the house since it had been closed up, but nothing showed recent activity.

Her tension easing, Lucky delved into her backpack and retrieved her supplies. Ten tall fragrant candles. Three fire-starter logs. Matches. A jug of water. Trail mix. And barbecue-flavored sunflower seeds. Her suitcase, cleaning supplies and bedding were still out in the car.

With its stone floor and broken windows, the kitchen was colder than the front of the house. But the family room portion had a wood-burning stove and provided the most natural light. Come morning, Lucky planned to make the place livable. For now - she blew on her hands to warm them - she just needed to get through the next six or seven hours.

She lit the candles, then arranged them on the marble countertop. They created a dim, ethereal glow and gave off a comforting scent that helped dispel the dank odor of neglect. Building a fire didn't take long, either, thanks to the starter logs. When Lucky was a senior in high school and Morris had divorced her mother and moved back in with his first wife, across town, where he'd lived the final few months of his life, Red had stripped the place bare. She took everything of value down to the drapes, the stained-glass window on the second-floor landing, even the expensive knobs on the cupboards. But, thankfully, she hadn't bothered carting off the wood by the stove. Lucky used the last of the split logs to build up her fire, welcoming the infusion of heat and hoping it would last for a few hours. Then she moved gingerly back, her feet crunching over the broken glass from the windows, which was thickest by the stove, to watch the smoldering orange flames catch and grow.


Excerpted from A Home Of Her Own by Brenda Novak Copyright © 2004 by Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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A Home of Her Own (Dundee, Idaho Series) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you're looking for a heroine and tons of angst, look no further! I could immediately relate to Lucky even without any similar situations in my own life. I really enjoyed this book. This is the first I've read by Ms. Novak and I'm looking forward to checking out her other work.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the book,happy endings are so good home is where you find your true happiness.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read and characters but didnt like ending could of did them more justice its like she had to have the book in the morning and rushed it in a couple hrs. Very discouraging considering the writing quality in rest of book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been waiting months for this installment from Dundee, Idaho (since I read ¿Family of Her Own), and I was not disappointed. I bought it the night that my bookstore put it on the shelf and I read it twice in 3 days ¿ the first time because I was anxious to see what happened next, and the second time to make sure I got all the details! I have several favorite books/series that I keep and reread throughout the years, and this book just got added to my permanent collection. I am now playing the waiting game for Gabe¿s story in June. Ms. Novak ¿ Thank you and keep them coming!
harstan More than 1 year ago
When Lucky Caldwell was ten, her mother Red a hooker married wealthy Morris Caldwell though his family went ballistic. Red walked out of his life not long after the 'I do' was exchanged. Still Morris liked Lucky and bequeathed to her a fixer upper Victorian house that has left his kin outraged.--- Like his family, Morris¿ grandson Mike Hill detests the fact that Lucky owns the house next door to him due to his grandfather¿s will. He thinks she is just like her mother, an avaricious whore. Now six years after inheriting the house, Lucky has moved in to renovate it and find out who is her biological father, one of three men listed by her late mother in her diary. As Lucky goes about town, Mike finds to his chagrin that he is attracted to her and worse as he gets to know her he likes her. Still there is no hope for anything beyond a short fling as his mother loathes Lucky due to her gene pool.--- A HOUSE OF HER OWN is a terrific contemporary relationship drama that stars a solid cast of individuals who feel authentic especially when old grudges continue to fester. Lucky is a wonderful protagonist who gains reader empathy as she constantly has to prove that she is not a chip off the old block. Mike is quickly pulled in two directions; wanting to remain loyal to his family especially his mother, but desperately wants to sleep with the enemy who he loves. Lucky¿s family tree search adds a reason for her to return to town but that still remains a diversion from a fabulous family feuding spectacle.--- Harriet Klausner
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deeeee More than 1 year ago
Your heart aches for Lucky and all she has been through. Mike struggles with loyalty for his family and his growing attraction for Lucky. The only problem I had with the story was it seemed to come to an end too quickly. I felt there were some situations that needed to be better explained. I do enjoy Brenda's books and would recommend this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I dont know how brenda novak keeps coming up with such interesting, unique, relatable characters and plots. This one almost brought me to tears. I am not a big romance fan but i love this series! I highly recommend it.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Ms. Novak is a wonderful writer. She lets you get to know the characters, not just the main characters, but all the characters. She lets you see both sides of the story. It starts out as Lucky Caldwell, daughter of 'Red'(who was the town prostitute), comes back to Dundee, to find her father after finding Red's Journal. She inherited a house that most of the town doesn't feel she should have inherited, including Mike Hill, who he believes that he should have inherited it. The story keeps you wanting to read to see which way it's going to take the characters. So don't think that once you start this book that it will be easy to put down, because you won't be able to.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This story of a daughter badly damaged psychologically, but yet so strong of heart that she travels all over the country trying to make up for the bad things her mother did, is outstanding. It has taken Lucky years to get to the point that she can come back to the Victorian house she inherited from her wealthy stepfather, a stepfather who had loved her. Now , for him, she wants to restore the house and sell it, perhaps to his grandson who had thought he would inherit it. This story is hard on all of us, particularly at the time of year we all want to do good for our fellow man, because we can see some of the cruel things that are heaped upon this young woman simply because of her mother's actions. At some time in our lives I'm sure we have misjudged someone because of his or her family, but we forget to stop and ask ourselves whether we should have taken time to get to know that person for himself or herself. This is a really good story, and, of course, has a smaller story within, which I look forward to reading when Brenda releases the story of Gabe.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a wonderful contemporary story about Lucky Caldwell; a girl who grew up in a small town; feeling like she never belonged, never felt wanted, or liked because of who and what her mother was. She inherited a house from her stepfather and six years after his death she returns to renovate the house and find out who her biological father is. The first person she sees is Mike Hill; a man that she has loved since she was sixteen. It is such a touching story. She is very much alone and she has to prove that she is not like her mother. The relationship that grows between Lucky and Mike is wonderful I can't wait for the next book in the series. I highly recommend this book and any other Brenda Novak book. You will not regret it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sure enjoyed this book
JamieCA More than 1 year ago
I love all of Brenda Novak's books, especially her Dundee series. I came across her by accedent while in K-mart one day. I loved the book, A Family of Her Own so much that I started to search for others like it and was pleased to find that it was part of a series. I have been hunting down the rest of the series ever since (they are no longer in print). My favorite thus far has been A Home of Her Own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sighs and reads a magazine