Single mom Peyton Brooks’s first Friday night out—with adults—in forever isn’t exactly going the way she’d expected. She can line dance at the local dive bar with the best of ‘em, but she can’t shake the feeling she’s completely out of her depth. Then the first man she ever loved walks in the door, bringing chaos, especially since the handsome cowboy’s the father of her daughter. This definitely calls for whiskey…
Ryder Marks’s homecoming isn’t going how he’d planned. After years of working hard and finding success in Alaska, he’d thought returning to Fly Creek, Wyoming would feel different, more triumphant. Instead, he finds a daughter he knew nothing about, a father who still harbors anger and resentment toward him, and a former love he never forgot and who still warms his heart. Now he just has to convince Peyton he intends to stay and be the man she deserves, even if that means letting her go.
Each book in the Fly Creek series is STANDALONE:
* Her Cowboy's Promise
* The Cowboy's Homecoming Surprise
* The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
"Em, I'm not sure this was a good idea."
Peyton Brooks glanced around the bar, tugging her T-shirt down with a frown. It was sex on a stick masquerading as Friday night dancing. Women in tight jeans or daisy dukes, tank tops curving around their ample bosoms. Men in jeans molding to their asses while shirts caressed defined biceps. Good lord, was everyone in Fly Creek in rutting season?
"Nonsense, Peyton. This was a fantastic idea. When's the last time you were out on a Friday night?"
"I'm out every Friday night." Just not exactly how Emily meant ...
Emily looked at her and sighed. "Okay, when's the last time you were out on a Friday night that didn't involve your daughter and the ice cream parlor or a campfire at Sky Lake?"
Peyton pursed her lips, and Emily smiled in triumph. She wasn't going to answer her best friend, because the truth was, she hadn't been out on a Friday night alone in years. Not since —
She cut the thought off quickly. Thinking of him only brought heartache.
Taking a swig of beer, Peyton let her eyes sweep the room again. She knew some of the furtive glances and conversations were about her. Everyone in Fly Creek knew her. They also knew her story. She was fine with that. And she was fine with them talking about her appearance tonight. Emily had talked her into it, and although uneasy about being in the middle of a meat market, she was grateful, too. If she hadn't come out, she would be home alone for the first time in forever, having dropped Mel off at camp that morning. And that seemed like the harder of the two things to conquer.
"Do you want to dance?"
Peyton looked at the dance floor. Several familiar faces were lining up for a group dance. Dan Rigby, the head ranch hand at Sky Lake and her good friend, slid in beside Becky Jane, the local vet, and waved a hand. Glancing back at Emily, Peyton took a deep breath, then smiled and hopped off the stool. Her friend followed and together they stepped onto the wood floor.
Two dances in, and Peyton's body was loose, and a smile was permanently attached to her face. She was surrounded by her town, her people. Other than by her daughter's side, there was no place she would rather be.
"I'm thinking I was right. This was a great idea," Emily shouted.
They were hiding in the back, giggling their way through the steps when suddenly a ripple of silence filtered across the room. The music stopped and like a wave, the rows of heads in front of Peyton and Emily all turned toward the entrance.
She followed their gazes to the tall, imposing man standing with his hands in his pockets. It can't be ... She let out a string of curses and her knees started to buckle.
"Who's that?" Emily asked, looking back just in time to catch Peyton as she made her slow descent to the floor. She knew what Emily saw. All six foot three of sinfully handsome swagger. But the truth was he was Lucifer on the outside and the inside. A devil who cared about nobody but himself. Who would use and discard every woman who crossed his path.
"Peyton? What's wrong? Should I get help?"
Peyton managed to straighten with Emily's support and she tugged her friend to the far wall and the pub tables lined against it. Dropping onto a stool, she steadfastly avoided looking at the front door. The silence was still pervasive, but she caught the hushed tones. "Ryder Marks is back."
She scratched a fingernail on the pitted table and a sliver of wood pierced her skin. Good. Pain was good. She knew how to handle and focus on pain. What she didn't know how to do or handle was the man standing in the door. Making his grand entrance. One infinitely more loud and showcasey than the exit he made ten years ago.
"Why is everyone looking at you?"
Peyton peeked through lowered lashes and, yes, blatant gazes were bouncing between her and him. The curse of living in the same town your whole life was your history was written in the town manual. The one stored in everyone's memories that could be recalled at a moment's notice.
She swallowed and whispered, "Is he looking at me?"
Emily glanced over and back, shaking her head. "No, he's at the bar being slapped on the back and offered drinks. A circle of women are hovering just around the perimeter." She snorted. "God, it's like a hero's welcome."
"Ryder Marks is no hero," Peyton said, unable to contain the contempt and fury she'd held bottled up over the years.
Emily's eyes widened. Her friend tilted her head, scanning Peyton's face over and over until the eureka moment hit. "Oh my God. That's Mel's father?"
Peyton could only nod. She needed to get out of there. Out before Ryder saw her. Before he could corner her and before the town told him her biggest secret. One they all knew, although no one had ever come right out and asked. Thank God she'd dropped Mel off at camp this morning. Maybe Ryder would be in and out of town before her daughter — their daughter — got home on Friday.
Her daughter's father.
Peyton shook her head. He wasn't a father. Hell, he was barely a damn sperm donor. And she was fine with that. Really. She ignored the small wave of guilt that seemed to surface every time she thought of him. The one that reminded her that he didn't even know he was a father.
Not for lack of her trying, though ...
She'd wanted to tell him, but Ryder hadn't wanted to be found. He'd left and done a mighty good job of staying hidden.
By the time he'd reached out to his family in the form of one quick, and severely lacking in details, letter, Mel was four months old. Even then, if she or his mother had wanted to, they couldn't have told him. There was no return address. All they knew was that he was in Alaska and he was fine.
A loud cheer erupted, and Peyton looked through lowered lashes to see everyone around the bar taking a shot.
Emily snorted. "My gosh, they're practically worshiping him."
Peyton clenched her fists. She didn't need Ryder to come in and explode her and Mel's safe nest only to ride away once again and avoid all the repercussions. And he would leave. There was no doubt about that. In ten years, he'd never been home. A man like that would never take responsibility and put down roots.
But that didn't mean she could keep Mel a secret. The part of her that had raised Mel on her own argued he had lost the right to know when he disappeared. But the sensible part? The part that morally knew right from wrong knew she would have to come clean.
But she didn't have to wipe that slate tonight.
"I need to get out of here. I don't ... I can't talk to him. Not yet, at least." How exactly to escape without him seeing her, she wasn't sure. Half the town was ping-ponging glances between them and it wouldn't take long for him to notice. She ducked down, hiding behind people as best she could to make her way toward the exit. Her back screamed in protest, and she made a vow to attend more of the yoga classes Em taught on the side. Only if she managed to cross the dance floor unnoticed.
Almost there ...
Then she'd be able to breathe. And think. She just needed some more time before she faced Ryder. Time to get everything in order and come up with a plan. Plans were her strength. Keeping her eyes on the door, she quickened her step, practically feeling the cold air she'd find on the other side.
Just a bit farther ...
* * *
Ryder Marks let the "welcome homes" and "how ya beens" wash over him. He'd spent the last ten years in Alaska, working in logging and then building his own company, and yet nothing seemed to have changed while he was away. Fly Creek was still one big bowl of love. Love that felt like a smothering blanket growing up but now warmed him like it was intended to. He shook hands, clapped backs, and answered the barrage of questions all while steadily keeping an eye on the blonde who was attempting to sneak across the dance floor. His body had recognized Peyton was in the vicinity the minute the door to the Wooden Nickel shut behind him. She hadn't changed much, but even if she had, that visceral pull that held them like glue at nineteen still arced between them.
The way she was trying to hide as she moved through the crowd seemed to imply she would prefer to blend in with the wood paneling than acknowledge his presence. And he didn't blame her. He'd left her with no explanation. No letter or phone call. All he'd known was after a blowup fight with his father, he'd had to go and make something of himself; something separate from being Mitchum Marks's worthless son. He didn't think he could explain that need to her.
He should have contacted her, but he couldn't bring himself to do it. He hadn't counted on the pain of being away from her, and he'd been afraid that one plea from her, one catch in her voice, and he would hightail it right back to Fly Creek. And once he set his mind to leaving, he needed to see it through.
"How long you staying for?"
Ryder looked at the waitress, Candy, as she placed a cold Corona in front of him. It was a valid question. "For a while. I'm expanding my business here." He kept the details about his company and his now part ownership of Sky Lake to himself. There would be a time and place for that announcement.
His statement released several more questions, but as they washed over him, he noted that Peyton was almost at the door, another woman walking beside her, doing her best to block his view of his ex. His mind raced. Peyton Brooks was the last woman on earth who needed protection from anything. She was a ballbuster of the best kind. Or she had been. It wasn't like her to run away, especially not from him. If she were angry at him, she would let him know. Or she would have before he left. Had something happened to change the spine of steel he'd loved so much about her? That he'd envied, in a way.
Ryder answered vaguely about his business, but his eyes refused to leave the two women now across from him.
He muttered an "excuse me" as his feet carried him toward her. He fell in behind them and just as Peyton's hand reached for the handle, he touched her shoulder.
She froze, the tension in her shoulder practically pushing his fingers away. His hand dropped and the brunette next to her turned around and placed herself between him and Peyton. Ryder looked at her and smiled, but the frosty glare she responded with had him taking a step back.
Every eye in the bar was on the scene they presented, and he rolled his shoulders to throw off the weight of their stares. He had no idea what the good people of Fly Creek were throwing his way. Yes, he'd left, but, God, it had been years. Peyton had a life now. She'd moved on, he was sure, and she certainly didn't need some willowy brunette fighting her battles. Right?
Peyton turned, her gaze meeting his. A flash of hurt swam across the green depths, quickly drowned by a hard, unflinching stare.
His name sounded like a horse nugget stuck on the bottom of her boot. Suddenly he wanted to be anywhere but standing knee deep in something he didn't understand. He swallowed hard. "You look good."
The brunette took a step closer. "Of course she looks good. Why wouldn't she?"
Ryder caught the swift grin that spilled over Peyton's face before she resumed her you're-dirt-on-the-bottom-of-my-shoe demeanor.
"You look well. The years away from Fly Creek haven't seemed to affect you much."
He ducked his head and ran his hand along the back of his neck. She was still angry — even after all this time. Why?
He wanted to tell her that the last ten years had affected him more than anyone could know. That he was now the man he knew he could be when he left. The man she deserved back then. Would she care?
He laughed. Of course she wouldn't. Just look at her, all beautiful and blonde and pissed as hell.
"I'm sorry. I didn't think I was being funny."
Both women looked at him, arms crossed, stances combative.
Time to escape. "I was laughing at myself. I'm sorry I stopped you. I just wanted to say hi. I thought ..."
Candy slid by them and Peyton plucked a tumbler of whiskey off her tray. Ryder didn't have time to react before the cool liquid hit his face. His eyes stung, even as the drops slid down his throat and soaked into his T-shirt. He lifted the edge and wiped his eyes as best he could. Blinking a few times, he met Peyton's smug look. She stepped closer and leaned around him, placing the tumbler on the bar behind them. Yep, still angry as hell.
As she moved back, she brushed her lips against his ear. "You and your thoughts can go to hell." CHAPTER 2
The headlights of Peyton's car swept across the forest of trees lining the road. Emily drove because Peyton's emotions simmered so close to the surface that focusing on anything, let alone the twists and turns of Wyoming back roads, would have been a Herculean effort. And as much as she lauded herself on her strength, tonight, Hercules she was not.
Emily remained quiet throughout the drive, and Peyton was never more thankful for her intuitive friend than she was at this moment. There was a time not so long ago when their roles were reversed, and Peyton hadn't been nearly as forgiving. Or silent.
They broke free of the forest and several houses came into view, spread out on either side of the narrow road. Emily turned right into Peyton's driveway and cut the engine. They sat in silence until Emily shifted in her seat.
"I can stay or I can go. You tell me what you need. I'm not as good at this stuff as you are, but I want to be there for you."
Peyton turned and smiled. It was dark out, with just the smallest sliver of porch light making its way through the windshield. "You're being there for me in every way I need right now, but I think ... I think I want to be alone tonight. How about tomorrow? Could we meet at the diner?"
"First painting class is eleven, so I'll need to be at the ranch by ten to set up. Is eight too early?"
Both women got out and met up at the trunk of Peyton's car. Emily hugged her tight and whispered, "I'm just across the street. Call, text, flash the porch lights and I'll be here."
Peyton swallowed back the lump in her throat and managed to nod. Emily crossed the street and headed for the log cabin diagonal from Peyton's house. Her friend would find her husband inside and sleep in his arms tonight. Whereas Peyton? Well, she was going to wrap her arms around a bottle of something and try to drown all the emotions and feelings that had surfaced thanks to Ryder Marks's grand homecoming.
Peyton let herself into her house and shut the door, leaning back against it. No lights were on and only a sliver from the porch filtered into the living room. It was still. Eerily so. It hadn't been this quiet since she and Mel moved in five years ago.
Thinking of Mel brought about a smile. She wondered what her vivacious daughter was up to tonight at camp. This was the longest they'd been apart, and Peyton already couldn't wait for her to be back home. Of course, Ryder's return had changed everything Mel would be coming home to. Her smile quickly dissolved as dizziness threatened to make her already weak legs give out.
She would have to tell him. But how? She doubted Google had a list of instructions on how to break the news to someone that they're a father.
Maybe his mother, Shelby, already had?
Peyton shook her head. No, if she had, Ryder would have said something to her tonight. Something much less flattering than "you look good."
Instead, he'd acted like a long-lost friend who'd popped in, and she should be happy about it. That in the time he'd been gone, she should have gotten over him walking out on her. On them.
Another woman might have been able to, but Ryder had left something behind with Peyton.
Sure, they'd been young, and who knew what the future would have held. But she'd loved him, and she'd thought he'd loved her. You didn't walk away from someone you loved. Not without explanation. Without warning. And you certainly didn't stay away for ten years.
She snorted, thinking of how naive she'd been back then. She'd thought he was "the one" and had dreamed of marrying Ryder. She'd believed he was the kind of man one could depend on, but clearly her foolish nineteen-year-old self had been wrong. Still, her first love — and heartbreak — came with a bonus surprise she wouldn't give up for the world.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "The Cowboy's Homecoming Surprise"
Copyright © 2018 Jennifer Hoopes.
Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
What a great story of second chances! I loved how even though Ryder was away for such a long time, that he jumped into being a father to Melanie right away. Without hesitation. I enjoyed watching Peyton go momma bear a couple of times, mainly because I can totally relate. I am not sure I could be as forgiving as quickly as Peyton was, but she had a huge heart that included Ryder. Ryder was a bit to take at first. And more than once or twice, I was like, "Who does this guy think he is?!?!" But as their story continued, he softened and had great self-reflection, making his character grow on me. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher through Netgalley.
This book had second chances in more ways then one. It's definitely a book that makes your heart happy sigh when you finish. Ryder has returned after ten years and he is in the surprise of his life to see what he unintentionally left behind. You can tell how much Peyton and Ryder still have feelings for one another, but Ryder has a lot of work in front of him to prove to Peyton and Mel he has staying power. The characters had me flipping the pages because I got sucked right into their story. I wanted them to get their HEA so bad. The epilogue was the cherry on top of a great book.
Peyton's life evolves around Mel, her daughter. She's a single mother living in the small Fly Creek, where everyone knows her. Ryder, Mel's father, left town ten years ago, just before Peyton found out she was pregnant and Peyton never managed to track him down. She's finally happy and ready to embrace life again, when during her first night out with a friend Ryder walks back into her life. Peyton is angry with him for leaving, but she also still has feelings for the man who broke her heart and left her pregnant and alone. Where did Ryder go and why did he stay away all this time? Ryder is ready to move back to Fly Creek. He's a successful business owner and can show his family that he's made something of himself. There's no time to feel proud though, because Peyton has a surprise for him, Ryder has a daughter. Ryder is devastated because he missed so much time with his little girl and the woman he still loves. He never stopped thinking about Peyton and regrets hurting her. He had his reasons, but leaving everything behind wasn't without consequences. Will he be able to make amends and will Peyton and Mel give him a second chance? The Cowboy's Homecoming Surprise is a beautiful story about true love, family, hope and regrets. Peyton is a strong woman. Taking care of Mel is her main priority and she's doing a good job. She works, but always has time for Mel and she makes sure her daughter is well loved. Peyton is glad Mel can finally get to know her father. Ryder instantly loves his daughter, but that doesn't bring immediate happiness, because he has plenty of issues to deal with. His father's constant harsh words have left deep wounds that aren't easily healed. He's finally back in his hometown, but being there doesn't feel glorious like he expected. Ryder had no idea he had a child and would have loved to be part of Mel's life from the start. He has to learn to live with the results of his choices. He might have left with a reason, but has hurt others in the process. While processing this information Ryder grows as a person and that was interesting to witness. It's clear from the start that he and Peyton belong together and I kept hoping he'd be able to make things right between them. Jennifer Hoopes has written a wonderful story about love in many forms. I liked the open way she writes about her characters' feelings. There's plenty of room for forgiveness and she shows that making mistakes isn't the end of the world. I really loved that message. She combines an emotional reunion with plenty of sparks and a beautiful deep connection that can overcome all obstacles. The Cowboy's Homecoming Surprise is a fantastic romantic story.
Rating: 4.5/5 This is a very different second chance, contemporary romance. Peyton Brooks was left alone and pregnant when Ryder Mark disappeared from her life ten years ago. Now she’s a single Mum with a delightful, stubborn, feisty and bright daughter that Ryder knows nothing about…..so imagine his shock when he returns home and discovers that he’s a father! This is a very moving story about reconnecting with family and friends, discovering about family secrets, proving your worth to yourself and others and working with others to gain a future to look forward to. Just why he left and what he has been doing for the last ten years Peyton, his family and friends don't know. The story is full of angst, turmoil and love and is an emotive read. Reconnecting, endeavouring to catch up on the missing decade and discovering what went wrong in the past make this a page turner that I thoroughly enjoyed. I’ll certainly be looking out for more by this author in future! I requested and was lucky enough to be given a copy of this novel, via NetGalley, with no obligation. This is my honest review of the book after choosing to read it.
Jennifer Hoopes definitely has a talent for taking a reader on a roller coaster of emotions. This book was very good. It grabbed my attention. I enjoyed the central plot, but also the sub plots. The characters were well developed. The story kept me enthralled until the very end! I will be reading more books by Jennifer. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I loved this book. I don't know how she does it, but from the very first page Jennifer sucks me right into the story and doesn't let go. I read it in one sitting, I couldn't put it down. Ryder leaves the ranch 10 years ago, leaving behind his one love Peyton. 19 years old and after that one last row with his father, he can't take anymore so without a word to anyone, not even Peyton he disappears. It's a year before anyone hears from him and he writes his mom a letter letting her know he's alive and living in Alaska. No address, no anything. Just the basics. What Ryder didn't know was that when he left Peyton, he left her with a part of himself. Those ten years have passed, and Ryder has returned to town. The last thing Peyton expects and a good thing her daughter is off at wilderness camp that week. Peyton has been taken in by Ryders family, she works at the Ranch, they love having Mel her daughter around and it's good for Ryders parents to have them both close by. Despite Ryder. When Ryder finds out he's a father, he's a ball of emotion. He's runs the whole gamut. The anger, the sadness, the bull about no one contacting him (really Ryder??) After his parents hired private investigators to try and find him... wrong. Ryder is a great study in character and Jennifer did a fantastic job with insight, his own self talk and how he dealt with both Peyton, Mel and ultimately his father. Ryder's come home not because he missed anyone, he's come home to show his father he's a success. His company he formed with his best friend has purchased the land around the lake at the ranch to build cabins to attract more visitors and insuring the success of the ranch. Now he's got a real purpose, to secure Mel's future. Ryder makes mistakes, Peyton makes a few but she's got game that girl. Mel is perfect and I really liked Ryders Mom Shelby. Powerful woman, few words but when she says them she speaks her mind. This is another fantastic story from Jennifer, I loved the first one and this one even more. This book has the perfect balance of tension between the story and characters. Add it to your list. It's a great read. **advanced copy from NetGalley and Entangled for an honest review. All thought and opinions are my own.**
This is an awesome story. Part second chance/part redemption it's a story of characters with real problems getting things worked out. Loved this story.
4.5 Stars Jennifer Hoopes takes readers back to Fly Creek, Wyoming with The Cowboy’s Homecoming Surprise. While this is the 2nd book in the series, it is a standalone read. Peyton Brooks is a force of nature. Her drive and determination has served her well. Those traits helped her tremendously when her boyfriend unexpectedly up and left town and she found herself single and pregnant at 19. With the help of her grandmother and her ex’s parents, she worked, went to college, and took care of her daughter. For the first time in 10 years she finds herself alone, as her daughter Melanie is spending the week at a stay away camp. With nothing better to do on a Friday night, Peyton & her best friend Emily plan a night out at the Wooden Nickel. The two are actually enjoying themselves until a quiet, seismic ripple descends over the crowd and Peyton’s idea of Lucifer walks in. It’s been 10 years since Ryder Marks has been back home to Fly Creek. A lot of things have remained the same, like his feelings & attraction to Peyton, and the animosity between him and his father. But some things have definitely changed, namely a new addition to the Marks family that he knew nothing about. After having a blow up with his father, 19-year-old Ryder left his girlfriend, his parents, and the only home he ever knew. In his mind, he wasn’t good enough. He set off for parts unknown, with the goal of returning only once he had proven himself. While he became a success well before returning, the years simply got away from him. With a new business acquisition, he feels now is the time to return. During his time away, he sent letters letting his mother know that he was okay, but never did he reveal where he was or what he was doing. Ryder is about to find out the homecoming he dreamed of was simply that, just a dream. Usually, I tend to crush on heroes in books. But Ryder made it very hard to do so at times. Ryder is a complicated man with a huge chip on his shoulder. I would have definitely liked to have seen a flashback scene, showing what truly drove Ryder to sneak out of town in the middle of the night. But at the same time, I think there is something to be said for the way Jennifer had readers as well as the other characters put the puzzle pieces of Ryder together. While there were times I yelled at Ryder for what I viewed to be his pouty behavior, my heart also broke for him in regards to him finding out about his daughter and trying to navigate a relationship with her. I loved Peyton in this story. Never once did she stand in the way of Ryder being a father. In fact, she welcomed it. Oh, there were definitely times where her protectiveness kicked in & arguments ensued, but I found that to be only natural. Where she could have came off bitter & bad mouth the man who didn’t stick around, she never did. Peyton and Ryder are definitely two people deserving of a second chance & Jennifer did a really good job of giving it to them. You immediately see how much these two still care about each other, even though they haven’t seen or had any communication in 10 years. You see that they regret the time apart. I loved that Jennifer didn’t make this an easy reunion. At times, things got messy, but that made the story real. I’m a sucker for the grand gesture in romances & this one was really sweet. But the ending of the story was worth all the ups and down my heart had to endure.
Awesome read! Great characters and a storyline that will make you cry, laugh, fume, and cheer. One thing for sure though, this book will definitely leave you smiling. After years of working hard in Alaska, Ryder Marks returns home to prove to everyone, especially his father, that he has what it takes to succeed. Problem is when he left not only did he leave his parents behind but he also left Peyton Brooks and broke her heart in the process. He's also surprised to learn that when he left Peyton was pregnant and he now has a daughter he knew nothing about. Now he has to face the biggest challenge of his life. Win Peyton back and convince her he's home to stay. I think everyone will enjoy this one as much as I did. I highly recommend it.
This is a second chance romance that I enjoyed reading. Peyton was only 19 when her boyfriend, disappeared during the night, just two days before she learned she was pregnant. Ten years later, he returns, having no idea he was a father. Ryder's father was the reason he left, until he could return successful and prove that he had a valuable contribution to make. This novel is filled with pain and angst, yet still leads to a HEA ending. I enjoyed the characters and felt invested in their story. I found myself rooting for them and wanting them to succeed. The author has a wonderful way of telling a story that fans of the genre will love. Put this one at the top of your TBR list.
This is a touching story about second chances, family dynamics or lack thereof, life changing surprises, hope and above all love. Ryder and Peyton were young and in love until he disappeared overnight without explanation to parts unknown. Almost a year goes by before he wrote to tell his Mom he was in Alaska and fine. Afterwards, he wrote to her on occasion, never knowing that he had left behind more than his family and Peyton. Upon his return, he is shocked when he discovers what he left. The struggles of the main characters was palpable. You understood their emotional turmoil, their lack of trust and hurt, as well as their hope for a future. A heartbreaking but also heartwarming story that will make you fall in love with Peyton and Ryder. I was gifted a copy of this book by Netgalley. The opinions expressed are solely my own. 1 like