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Bring Me Home (Ebook)

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Searching for Love Book Four

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A MODERN CINDERELLA STORY

Convinced it would be best for Brody if she left him, Reese uses the excuse of checking on her sick mother to put some distance between them. Turning her focus to her mother, who is less than enthusiastic to her sudden appearance, she tries to move on with her life.

Unaware of Reese’s motives for leaving, Brody misses her terribly. But when some new information comes to light, he begins to doubt everything he knows about her.

Will Brody and Reese overcome this last obstacle before finding their happily ever after, or will they come to realize they were never meant to be together?

Scroll down to read the first chapter.

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Chapter 1

Reese angled her RV down the familiar street and saw the entrance to the mobile home park where she had spent her childhood. Heart pounding, she pressed the gas pedal instead of the brake and drove right past the turn that led to her mother.

“I’m not ready,” she whispered as her gaze sought out the trailer where her mother lived. Not able to see it, she continued driving, then pulled into the parking lot of a nearby grocery store where she let her RV idle so she could run the air conditioner.

She thought about the email her brother, Seth, had sent a few days before, telling her that their mother’s liver was failing, and asking her to go see her. For the sake of her brother, who was serving in the military in the Middle East, she had agreed to come. But now that she was here, she wasn’t sure she would be able to follow through. 

She hadn’t seen her mother in well over a year, and during that time she hadn’t kept in touch with her. As much as Reese had wanted to be close to her mother in her growing-up years, her mother’s alcoholism and prickly personality had made that difficult. In addition, her mother had always favored Seth over Reese, leaving a large gap in the relationship between mother and daughter.

And now, with all that had happened with Brody—falling in love, his mother convincing her that she wasn’t right for him, leaving Malibu with the determination to end things with him—life had become so complicated.

Sighing audibly, Reese rested her head against the back of the driver’s seat and stared at the ceiling, then let her eyes drift closed. An image of Brody filled her mind—his blue-green eyes, strong masculine jaw, and the way his face lit up when he smiled. 

Tears flooded her eyes, and she wondered how long it would take to repair the shattered pieces of her heart. She hadn’t even told Brody that it was over. How was she going to manage that without having a complete breakdown?

Rolling her head from side to side against the headrest, she held down a sob, then sat up straight and opened her eyes. Using the heels of her hands, she wiped away the tears that had slipped down her face, then she picked up her camera from the passenger seat and scrolled through her photos until she found one of Brody.

Gently touching the screen with the tip of one finger, she struggled to recall the moments with him that she had stored in her memory bank. Moments she had known she would need to store for the future when things with Brody inevitably came to an end.

Yes, Reese. You knew from the start that it couldn’t last. The only surprise was that it was Brody’s mother who had finally put an end to your dreams.

Reese thought about her last meeting with Grace Ford, the day of the family barbecue several days earlier. Grace had pointed out that Reese’s background—her father in prison, her mother an alcoholic—would be a liability to Brody’s future. Deep down, Reese had always known that, but her love for Brody had become so all-encompassing that she had denied the truth.

Grace, on the other hand, had had no problem with telling Reese what she had needed to hear. She had gone so far as to offer Reese twenty thousand dollars to help her on her way. Though it was more money than Reese had ever seen before, she had refused the offer. And when the email from Seth had arrived asking her to visit their mother, Reese had grabbed onto the excuse to leave Malibu with both hands.

Brody had wanted to come with her, but she had insisted it was something she needed to do alone. Leaving him with the belief that she would be coming back, Reese had driven away, distraught at the knowledge that she would never see him again.

Now, as she listened to the gentle rumble of her engine and stared at the people coming and going from the grocery store, she knew it was time to stop thinking about Brody and to face her mother. She had promised her brother that she would let him know how their mother was doing, and she would follow through. She owed him that much.

Reese climbed out of the driver’s seat and walked to her fridge, then took out a bottle of cold water and sat on the couch. Allowing herself a few minutes to drink the entire bottle, she gathered her courage, bracing herself for how her mother would respond to seeing her, as well as bracing herself to see how sick her mother really was.

After tossing the empty bottle in the trash, Reese climbed behind the wheel, then drove back to the trailer park. Knowing there wouldn’t be enough room to park her RV inside the trailer park, she left it on the street. Drawing a deep breath, she got out of her RV, locked the doors, then walked towards her mother’s place.

Frowning, she couldn’t help but contrast her mother’s humble circumstances with Jim and Grace Ford’s gorgeous home in Los Angeles. And when her mother’s mobile home came into view, memories of her childhood assaulted her—her mother locking herself in her bedroom while Reese and Seth were forced to get themselves off to school after scrounging around for a few bites of food, then coming home to a mother passed out on the couch, as well as a father in prison.

Imagining Brody’s idyllic childhood in comparison, Reese was doused with anger towards her mother.

Why couldn’t I have had a carefree childhood? What did I ever do to deserve the circumstances I was given?

She paused at the base of the steps that led to her mother’s front door and closed her eyes for a moment, reminding herself that she no longer lived there, that she was making a life for herself. At least she had been making a life for herself. Falling in love with Brody had changed things, and now she would have to start all over again.

“Reese? Is that you?”

Reese’s eyes snapped open, then went to the face of the woman standing in the doorway. “Mom?”

* * *

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