Can their bright new love survive?
It's a new year and Sunny Williamson and Ben Stillman have just fallen in love. The future holds so much shining promise for them and their two kids. Then, after a wonderful family day together, tragedy strikes. They are all involved in a serious car crash, and both Sunny and her little girl, Jasmine, are injured. While Sunny's injuries are fairly minor, Jasmine hovers in a coma from which she may never fully recover.
Can Sunny—a grade-school teacher—accept the unthinkable idea that her daughter may have permanent brain damage? Can she fend off her slimy ex-husband, who is only out to profit from their misfortune? And will Ben always be tormented by a terrible sense of guilt, wondering if there was something he could have done to prevent the collision?
As Sunny and Ben struggle to come to terms with the calamity, their relationship is put to the ultimate test. Will their bright new love survive or shatter like delicate ice?
Content Warning: contains scenes of sensual sex and adult language
"I enjoyed Sunny's Hope a lot." - Sizzling Hot Books
"Nola Cross does a great job" - Literary Nymphs Reviews
"Don't move, Ms. Williamson." Someone placed a firm hand on her chest.
Sunny couldn't seem to pry her eyes open. Couldn't lift her head.
"Don't move, please," the voice said again, this time more adamantly.
Sunny floated in nothingness, in a bright wash of light that somehow pierced her closed eyelids. Odd smells filtered into her nose. Was she at the dentist's office? What was that strange, rhythmic whacking noise far in the background?
"Can you hear me?" A different voice this time. A woman. Someone was holding her hand. She struggled to open her eyes, to focus. There was a sudden pinch on the back of her hand.
"Ouch," she mumbled, trying to pull her hand back. Her mouth tasted funny.
"I need you to lie quietly, Ms. Williamson. I'm just placing your IV."
IV? Why would she need an IV? There was another pinch on her hand.
And then she remembered.
"Jasmine?" The ragged sound tore from her throat. She struggled to sit up, but something seemed to be holding her down. Something kept her head from turning. Sheer panic set in.
"Don't move, please. It's important that you lie still."
"Where am I? Where's my little girl?"
Sunny forced her eyes open, tried to focus on the woman's face. Gradually her vision cleared. The woman wore a helmet of some kind and spoke through a mouthpiece. She was dressed in a blue nylon jumpsuit.
"You're in a Life Flight helicopter, Ms. Williamson. We're heading for Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland. Jasmine is right here beside you."
Thank God! "She is?" Again she tried to sit up, to get to Jasmine, but her body seemed to be encased in some kind of shallow box.
"Just lie still, please. We need to keep your neck and spine immobilized."
"But I'm fine. I'm fine. Really. How's my baby?"
The medic smiled and patted her hand. "Her vitals are good. We'll be at the hospital in about eight minutes. The ER trauma team has been alerted and are standing by. You and your daughter are getting the best possible emergency care."
The medic spoke into the mic of her headset. "Adult female is now E4, V4, M5."
What do all those numbers mean? Why doesn't she mention Jasmine? Unable to turn her head at all, she watched the male EMT from the corner of her eye as he bent over her daughter. He kept his face completely blank.
"Trauma…" Sunny balanced the word on her lips, even as she realized her head and neck were throbbing on the right side. "Why don't I hear my baby? Jasmine? Jasmine? Can you hear me?"
"Shh. She's temporarily lost consciousness."
"Lie still please. Don't try to sit up."
"What about my friend Ben and his little boy?"
"They were transported by ground ambulance to Mount Hood Medical Center."
"Are they okay?" Please be okay!
"I don't have that information, but rest assured everything possible is being done."
Sunny's mind whirled, flitting from one fragment of memory to the next. The inner tube with Ben and Jasmine flying past. So much laughter. Mugs of hot chocolate. That searing kiss Ben had given her. And then the thunderous impact that had come out of nowhere…and waking up here two minutes ago. How long had she been out? What was wrong with Jasmine?
Still unconscious! Sunny knew enough to realize it wasn't a good sign that her daughter lay so silent on the gurney beside her. She closed her eyes again, letting the foreign smells and sounds of the medical rescue chopper wash over her.
Then she began to pray.