One True Love

One True Love

by Barbara Freethy
One True Love

One True Love

by Barbara Freethy


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"A pair of wary, emotionally fragile protagonists, a cast of exceptional secondary characters ... and a multilayered plot that deftly interweaves humor, passion, and a tragedy result in a poignant, heartwrenching, yet heartwarming story that is laced with love." Library Journal

The last place Lisa Alvarez expected to find herself was babysitting for her ex-sister-in-law's three rambunctious kids. But when Maggie called her up and begged for time alone, something in Lisa made her say yes. Lisa never expected her handsome ex-husband Nick to show up on the doorstep, walking back into her life, and taking over more than the weekend....

Nick can't believe how Lisa has changed over the years - and how she's stayed the same. His heart still races when her eyes catch his, his pulse pounds when she's near. After tragedy pushed them apart, Nick spent eight years rebuilding his life and his soul. Can he risk losing his heart again, for a second chance at true love?

ONE TRUE LOVE is a heartwarming, page-turning contemporary novel about the power of love from #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Barbara Freethy.


"This couple's journey is one of heartbreak, maturity and healing. One True Love is about finding your voice while listening to your heart. Those skills will eventually lead to the place you belong. Home." Isha Coleman - I Love Romance blog

"This uplifting book made me want to hug my loved ones and reaffirmed for me to not take life for granted. I highly recommend readers to experience this poignant and heartfelt second chance romance." - Beth - Goodreads

"Have tissues ready and a lot of them! This was a great book and an emotional roller coaster. At times you're laughing then crying then smiling. So much happens in the story and it goes between 4 main characters, that you can't put the book down because you just have to know." Brandi - Goodreads

"ONE TRUE LOVE is guaranteed to give readers a few tears and a big smile at the end. A carefully structured, polished novel, where the romance shines. ONE TRUE LOVE is a winner!" Contra Costa Times

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781944417161
Publisher: Fog City Publishing, LLC
Publication date: 02/17/2023
Pages: 322
Sales rank: 602,739
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.72(d)

About the Author

About The Author
Barbara Freethy is a #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of more than sixty-five books ranging from contemporary romance to romantic suspense and women's fiction. Barbara delights in writing about ordinary characters caught up in extraordinary stories. Suspense fans will love her Off the Grid: FBI Series that begins with Perilous Trust. Contemporary romance readers will want to jump into The Callaways with On A Night Like This. Her bestselling standalone novels include Summer Secrets and Don't Say A Word, both of which spent multiple weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List. In the past seven years, Barbara has sold over 7.2 million books. Join the fun!

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Wind chimes blew in the warm breezel a robin sang out for its mate to finish the nest before the babies came, and Nick's guitar played a soothing melody of sleep and love. The porch swing creaked as Lisa stroked her baby's head, letting the fine strands of black silk curl around her fingers. She pressed the baby closer to her heart. She'd never felt so happy, so complete. Then Nick hit a false chord, a shrieking note that clashed with the springtime harmony. The robins squawked and fluttered and flew away, leaving their nest dark and empty . . .

Lisa Alvarez jolted awake, her heart racing, her breathing ragged. "It was a dream," she told herself. "Just a dream." The pounding on her office door brought her back to reality.

"Elisabeth?" her secretary called.

"Come in," Lisa said somewhat weakly, still disoriented by the vivid dream.

Her secretary, Marian Griggs, walked into the office with a brightly wrapped box in her hand. "I know you told me not to disturb you, but this just came for you. I thought it might be a wedding present, and well, you know how I am about presents." Marian set the box down on the desk in front of Lisa and sent her a curious look. "Are you all right,

Lisa pushed a sweaty strand of hair behind her ear. "I'm fine. I just put my head down for a minute. I was so tired after working all night, I guess I fell asleep."

"Open the gift," Marian encouraged.

"There's no card." Lisa's hand shook slightly as she slipped the ribbon off the box and removed the lid. She carefully pulled away the white tissue paper to reveal a charm bracelet that held only one small charm, a pair of gold baby shoes. "Oh, no," she whisperedas she touched the shoes with her fingertip. "Oh, no." The metal burned her fingers, and she slammed the lid down on the box and took a deep breath.

"What's wrong?" Marian asked with concern.

"Please, go. Just go."

Marian looked like she wanted to argue, but then she nodded. "Okay. I'm going." She walked out of the room, shutting the door quietly behind her.

Lisa took several calming breaths. Why was it all coming back now, when she finally had her life together? After a long moment of indecision, she opened the box once again. This time, she reached for the small envelope lying beneath the bracelet. She slipped it out and opened it.

"Eight years, Lisa. You can push the rest of us away. You can marry this safe, older man, but 1 will not let you forget her -- Robin Nicole Maddux. This bracelet was blessed If you hold on to it, you will feel the magic. Believe in it now and come home, before it's too late. "

Eight years, and her mother, Silvia Alvarez, still hoped for a miracle. When would Silvia learn that there was no magic in the world -- only foolish dreams?

Lisa looked at the bracelet once again. It had been blessed by her great-aunt Carmela, who drank tequila for "medicinal purposes" and fashioned jewelry out of gold nuggets she believed were from an ancient Aztec city.

Her mother might believe Carmela was a descendant from the mystical Aztecs and therefore had special powers, but as far as Lisa was concerned, Carmela was nothing more than an old con artist. That's why Lisa had left the bracelet behind all those years ago -- as she had left everything else behind.

Lisa set the box on the edge of the desk and walked over to the window, resting her palms on the windowsill. Below, the streets of downtown Los Angeles bustled with activity, but here in her third-floor office, she was protected from the heat and the smog, the mix of languages, the car horns, the curses, the smells of burritos and quesadillas being sold in tiny taquerias tucked in between the glass and chrome skyscrapers.

She had left Solana Beach, a suburb of San Diego, to come to the sprawling city of Los Angeles, to lose herself in the crowds. It was easy to do that here. Her Mexican/Irish heritage raised few eyebrows in this city of immigrants. She heard three or four languages every time she stepped on the elevator. No one questioned why her hair was so black, her eyes so blue. No one asked, because no one cared. That was the trade-off.

For almost eight years she'd lived in L.A., working her way up from a receptionist in a public relations firm to a senior account executive at one of the most prestigious advertising agencies in Los Angeles. She had changed jobs every few years and apartments almost as frequently, never letting herself get too close or too settled -- until now.

In less than a month, she would marry her boss, fifty-two-year-old Raymond Curtis, a man twenty-one years her senior. The age gap didn't bother her. Raymond was the first man she'd felt comfortable with in a long time. She couldn't keep running for the rest of her life. It was time to settle down.

Her mother thought she had chosen Raymond because she wanted a father figure, but Lisa had stopped looking for a father years before. Patrick O'Donegan had taken off two days after Lisa's birth, knowing his family couldn't accept a child who wasn't pure Irish.

In truth, Lisa didn't feel Irish or Mexican. She felt alone. Her mother said she'd been born with an insecure chip on her shoulder. Maybe so. After all, her father had taken one look at her and run screaming for the hills. Was it any wonder she always anticipated rejection?

As Lisa turned, her gaze was caught by the sudden fluttering of a bird outside the window. The bird had a bright orange chest and a gray coat. An American robin. Lisa swallowed hard as the bird settled on top of the streetlight just few feet from her office window. She couldn't imagine how the bird had come to be here, amidst the concrete, the buildings and the smog. She closed her eyes against a wave of memories. But in her mind she could see another robin, a tall tree, a budding nest and Nick holding their baby . . . no she wouldn't remember. She couldn't.

A knock came at her door, and Lisa opened her eyes. The robin had disappeared. Perhaps she had simply imagined its appearance. With a sense of relief, she turned away from the window as her fiancé entered the office.

"I'm back," Raymond Curtis said, offering her a broad smile.

Raymond was an attractive man with thin brown hair graying sideburns, and a narrow face. Of average height, he had a lean, wiry look that came from hours of exercising. A noted clotheshorse, he had a closet full of suits and ties for every occasion. Today, he wore his trademark charcoal gray Armani suit, which he fondly referred to as his "pitch" suit. Judging by the smile on his face, his latest pitch had gone well.

"How did it go?" Lisa asked.

"Exceptionally well." He kissed her on the cheek, they set a box of cereal down on her desk. "I hope you like graham cracker cereal with marshmallows."

"Can't say I've tried it."

"It's new, and the Nature Brand people want to launch the cereal with print, radio and television ads. This is going to be great, Elisabeth." His eyes lit up at the prospect of landing a big new client. "I need an initial proposal, campaign strategy complete with various slogans and artwork four weeks from today. We're competing with one other firm, and we're talking million-dollar account."

Lisa stared at him in amazement as he rattled off a hectic schedule of meetings and appointments with the Nature Brand people. "Raymond, have you forgotten? We're getting married in four weeks."

One True Love . Copyright © by Barbara Freethy. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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