Sent to live with a group of nuns after her mother’s accusations of immoral behavior toward her brother and stepfather, Candice Britt finally felt as though she belonged to a family. Putting the past behind her, she blooms and begins to set goals for her new life.
Thomas Lividini, the local landscape storeowner meets and falls head over heels for Candice even though she’s made a different choice for her life. He knows he must stay away from her, but sometimes it’s unavoidable. Thomas attempts to move on with his life, although he’s unhappy.
When Thomas arrives to watch Candice unveil her birthday gift, things heat up and it’s obvious to the sisters who sense something more than friendship between Candice and Thomas. The sisters make a plan to test Candice’s devotion. After her birthday dinner, Thomas leaves abruptly. He can’t stand being so close to the woman he loves. Her warmth and scent drive him insane and he doesn’t think he has the right to ask her to make a choice when she’d just met him.
After many months of fighting lustful desires she shouldn’t have in the first place Candice makes her move.
Will she chose to move on with Thomas or without him?
Silvermage, Night Owl Reviews, 4/5 STARS
"I enjoyed this plot and relationship-rich story. It’s one to pull on the heart-strings."
Candice and Thomas had spent the entire day in the greenhouse talking, planting and talking some more. They would have worked until darkness loomed, but the dinner bell interrupted their intentions.
“Oh no! It’s that time already?” Candice brushed the dirt off her hands and turned to walk out of the greenhouse with Thomas right behind her. Like a stray puppy who’d found a new home, he followed her into the house and to the large sink in the kitchen where they washed their hands, together.
“Come my children, sit and enjoy your meal!” Sister Margaret smiled then motioned to where Thomas was to sit.
She placed him beside Candice, testing her will power, trying to see where her feelings would guide her. Would she stay pure? Would she begin to flirt with Thomas? Would she appear uncertain? Sister Margaret watched Candice throughout the entire dinner, but she still wasn’t sure how Candice felt. I will have a talk with her before lights out this evening. She stood from the table and walked back to the kitchen with Samantha
Susan and some of the other girls at the table rushed to clear the dirty dishes away and then the lights went out! Darkness swallowed the room except for a dim flicker of light glowing through the sliver of space where the kitchen door met the frame of wood surrounding it. As Sister Louise and Samantha neared, the dim light became brighter. Once into the dining room, Candice realized the flicker from the candles on her birthday cake caused the glow.
“Happy birthday to you,” filled the room as everyone began to sing. Tears welled and even though Candice tried to blink them back, they fell freely while childhood memories flooded her mind. No one has ever done this for me, not even my parents. She felt Thomas’ arm against hers. His heat sent a shiver down her spine despite the fact she shouldn’t be having those feelings.
A slight chill raised the hairs on Thomas’ arm when Candice quickly moved her arm away from his and placed her hands back on the table while the girls served the cake and ice cream.
He ate quickly and excused himself. “I should be getting back to the store before it gets much darker. There are things outside I need to bring in for the night.” Thomas was never very good at making excuses and tonight was no exception. Yes, there were things outside his store, but he hadn’t brought them in once since the beginning of the season.
Being honest and clear-cut had been his motto since he was a kid, but there wasn’t any way he could stand up in front of the sisters, the girls, Candice and God, and tell them his cock was as hard as a steel rod and the stain on the zipper wasn’t from spilt milk. That was just too much information.
Today he’d take the easy way out—the lesser of two evils. Scooting his chair back slightly, he stood and then returned his chair to the table before thanking the sisters. He turned toward Candice to wish her well with the greenhouse and then headed for the front door. Actually, it wasn’t the easy way out. Leaving her in such a manner killed him.
Candice felt horrible and assumed it was her coldness toward him during dinner which made him leave so abruptly. She excused herself and ran after him.
“Thomas! Wait!” she called out, running through the house to the front door. She hadn’t even paused when the lamp crashed to the floor after she’d bumped the end table with her knee. She had to stop Thomas from leaving so upset.