Everything they say about Tom Henderson is true. Born in a barn, the bastard son of a drunken whore, he’s got nothing to offer, and any dreams he might have are as far away as the distant snow-capped Rockies — and probably as unattainable. He’s long had his eye on pretty Lucille McIntyre, but that’s just one more impossible dream.
Lucille has always been considered the prettiest and most popular girl in Sunset, but her father’s sudden death has left her shaken and sad. Now, life seems to be passing her by.
When a prim and proper spinster arrives to deliver a squalling 3-month-old infant to Tom, his life and Lucille’s both change. His decision to keep the baby girl sets off a firestorm among the good ladies in town who don’t consider him fit to raise a child.
Together, Tom and Lucille will do anything in their struggle for keeping Faith.
Keeping Faith – Book 2 of “The Sunset Series”
#1 Best-selling Historical Romance from Secret Cravings Publishing
Enjoy this excerpt!
“He had no family that we could find.” The woman sniffed again, then held out her arms. “I’ll take her now, Mr. Henderson.”
Tom took a step back, clutching the baby more tightly. “She’s got an uncle.” He looked up and smiled. “She’s got a grandmother, too.” Ordinarily he wouldn’t go around calling any attention to his mother’s existence, but this was far from an ordinary event. After all the hardships, all the horrors, all the sufferings and shames of Charlotte Henderson’s life, this one singular moment could change everything. What was that crazy story Ma used to tell him, about some bird rising up out of the fire? As a boy, he never understood it, but suddenly its meaning came clear in his mind. Bad things happened, but good things could still come of it. Instead of wallowing in ashes, you could look up, see the sky and choose to fly.
“Please, Mr. Henderson. It’s plain to see that you’ve got no way to provide for your niece. I suppose I should have taken time to make the trip on my own to assess the conditions, but I was hopeful you’d be in a position to take her. Optimism is one of my weaknesses, I daresay.”
She didn’t look too optimistic in Tom’s eyes. He couldn’t imagine her ever having a positive outlook about anything.
But this child! She needed hope. She deserved bright blue skies and sunny days. She deserved butterflies and flowers, and the sweet promise of spring. Not some strait-laced, tightly-corseted old biddy who thought of her as nothing more than baby girl.
Tom looked down at the tiny bundle he held in his arms. So tiny, yet so perfect. He marveled over the little fingers, touching each one by one. When the baby’s hand closed around his big thumb, he felt a tugging at his heart so real, so undeniable, he suddenly couldn’t find his breath.
“Excuse me, Mr. Henderson.” Edith Christensen’s nasally voice grated on Tom’s nerves. “I have to leave now. It’s a long trip back to Denver. You need to give me the child.”
“Not yet, ma’am. She’s my niece. I want a little time with her.” He stroked one soft, pink cheek and was rewarded with a gurgling, cooing smile. “She likes me,” he said, glancing toward Lucille.
And he liked her. No, he loved her. This precious life wrapped in a thick gray blanket was kin. Not his own child, but a child who shared his blood, all the same. She was Sally’s daughter, and Sally was gone now. This sweet, nameless angel was all that was left to him of his sister’s kindness, her goodness, her own innocence.
He wished he could have taken better care of Sally, could have helped her and given her all she needed, but he’d failed her. Too young, too mixed-up, and too bitter about his own life, Tom hadn’t been able to save Sally from the wretched evils of their childhood.
But he’d damned sure save this baby.
“I’m not giving her back,” he said in a quiet voice. “I’m going to keep her.”
Christina Cole will always be grateful to her grandfather who patiently held her on his lap and taught her to read. He also told her stories of his own childhood and stirred her imagination with scenes from days gone by. From him, she developed not only a love of words and story-telling, but a deep appreciation for history and a longing to learn more about the past.
Today, she still loves reading, and loves sharing her own stories about men and women and the romance of an earlier time.
Her romantic stories have been published online and in print, and she’s also published inspirational pieces, poetry, and essays.
She is happily married to the love of her life, and lives a simple, uncomplicated life in a small mid-western town.