For the first time in print, New York Times and USA Today bestseller Samantha Chase’s debut novel is a heartwarming story of second chances
WILL ONE SUMMER TOGETHER
All Jordan Manning wants is a quiet summer on the Virginia coast with her sons to recover from a near-fatal accident and an abusive relationship. Her plans to find a new direction for her future are turned upside down when she runs into the first man who ever broke her heart…and he’s determined to win it back.
BE ENOUGH TO HEAL OLD WOUNDS?
Rob Tyler thought he’d moved on, but when fate drops a second chance with his first love right in his path, his feelings rush back stronger than ever. Rob is determined to give Jordan the future they should have had years ago, but making up for past mistakes isn’t easy…
"Jordan's Return" by Samantha Chase. Ms. Chase is rapidly becoming one of my favorite authors. Her stories are heartfelt and elicit emotions from sadness and longing to happiness and belonging. This story tells the tale of Jordan, a woman recovering from some tragedy in her life. She meets up with her old flame, Rob. These two were perfect together. I adored both of them. They both have issues that they need to deal with before either of them can move forward - either alone or together. Ms. Chase superbly writes the path towards healing and love for this pair. They need to work hard to get to that happy place and, as the reader, we follow along feeling all the emotions that go along with that journey. This is a contemporary story that, while a feel good tale, also shows the hard emotions that come with broken and hurting hearts. (received copy for honest review)
About Samantha Chase:
Samantha Chase, a creative writing teacher, released her debut novel, Jordan’s Return, in November 2011. Since then, she has published seventeen more titles and has become a New York Times and USA Todaybestselling author. She lives with her husband of twenty-four years and their .
Without looking up, she heard Rob murmur something to the boys and then heard the sound of footsteps heading down the hallway to their bedroom and the door closing. He came and sat next to Jordan and took both of her hands in his.
“I’m sorry, Jordan. I’m afraid that was my fault,” he confessed as he ran his thumbs over her knuckles. “We were talking while out on the boat today and they mentioned wanting to go to the park. I told them how great it was and I got them all wound up about it. I really had no idea this was a topic you and the boys had already discussed. I wasn’t thinking. I’m sorry.”
“It’s not your fault, Rob. You’d think living close to the park that we’d go, but there never seemed to be the time.” She smiled weakly at him, reveling in the feel of his strong hands wrapped around hers. She wanted to draw on that strength, have it fill her and take all her pain away.
That thought nearly stopped her breath; if just having him touch her hands gave her such a strong reaction, how was she ever going to come to grips with just being friends? Who was she kidding—now that she knew Kelly wasn’t a threat, the thought of being just friends with Rob was completely unappealing.
She looked at his face and saw he was waiting for her to continue. “The thing is, I get tired so easily still and I just can’t do all the things they want me to. Believe it or not, up until about six weeks ago, I was still using a cane to get around.”
Rob dropped her hands and kicked the chair out from under him. He paced the length of the kitchen with a scowl on his face. Jordan eyed him hesitantly. She had never in all her life seen Rob when he was angry. She remembered Eric’s anger well. He had directed it at her often enough during their marriage and even well into their divorce. She silently prayed what she was about to witness wouldn’t be anything like what she’d experienced in the past.
“Jordan,” he snapped but then caught himself. He took a moment to breathe and calm himself down before beginning again. “Jordan, I am just sick inside when I think about what you and the boys have gone through. I know I can’t erase any of it, but dammit, it breaks my heart to see them look at you that way!”
Jordan finally let the tears she was fighting back fall. She knew exactly what he meant. “It’s not easy for me either, Rob,” she sobbed. “I have to live with the bad decisions I’ve made every day, and unfortunately, my children have to pay the price for them. A normal woman would have taken her children someplace fun for a vacation, but because of what I am now, we have to take quiet vacations where they have to look after me!” As her tears freely flowed, Rob stopped his pacing and came to kneel down beside her.
“Look,” he said as he reached up and wiped the tears from her face with his thumbs. “Let me do this for them. Please.”
“Do what?” She sniffled.
“I want to take us all away for the weekend.” He stopped and waited for her refusal. When she stared at him with wide eyes and a wet grin, he went on. “We’ll leave on Friday night and drive up. We’ll get a hotel room or a suite someplace, and we’ll spend all day Saturday at Kings Dominion and then spend part of the day Sunday relaxing around the hotel before coming home.”
Home. Oh, how he would love to have a home with Jordan and the boys that they all could come back to and live together.
Calm down there, Romeo. You’re going all soft and emotional and way ahead of yourself. Get a grip!
“Rob,” she began, “I can’t. I—”
“Shh. You can go at your own pace. I’ll do all the running around. You can take as many breaks as you like—sit down in the shade and enjoy the view, have a snack, whatever you want. The boys will get to enjoy the rides and you can sit back knowing they are having a good time.”
Rob let that scenario play through Jordan’s mind for a moment before asking, “What do you think?”
“That’s far too much, Rob,” she said and reached up to touch his face. The fact that this man wanted to do something nice for her and the boys touched her more than anything else in the world could have. It had been so long since she’d known this type of kindness, no, tenderness from someone, and she wasn’t sure how to respond.
“It’s not too much, Jordan. I want to do this for you and the boys. Trust me. It’ll be fun. Come on. What do you say?” His eyes were sweet and pleading, and Jordan would have given him anything in that moment. Staring deeply into his eyes, she knew she was lost.
“I say you are the sweetest man I’ve ever known.” She leaned in and kissed him briefly on the lips, only meaning to express gratitude, but at the initial contact, she realized it wasn’t enough.
Rob still held her face in his hands and Jordan reached up to do the same to his as they tasted and teased each other’s lips with shy remembrance. They nipped at each other, both painfully holding back.
Jordan sighed and leaned in to him, and all Rob’s restraint left.
He slanted his mouth over hers again and again, and when he gently probed at her soft lips with his tongue, she willingly opened for him and let out a soft cry of pleasure.
And then found herself alone. Rob stood and released her while he caught his breath. She feared she had disappointed him in some way. Maybe she had misread the signals but she thought he wanted her as much as she wanted him. Placing her face in her hands, she cringed with embarrassment. And then he was back at her side.
“Jordan? I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to get so carried away. I…I promise I won’t let that happen again. I’m not expecting anything from you in return for this weekend, that’s not why I asked, so please relax. I promise to keep my hands to myself.” There was a trace of desperation in his voice that caused Jordan’s head to snap up. Her eyes were full of questions.
“I don’t think I understand.”
Looking down at the ground because he couldn’t bring himself to look her in the eye, he spoke. “I know you’ve just been through a hellish few months and you’re here to recover, and I go and practically attack you. I’m so sorry. I don’t want you to worry about me pouncing. I promise to control myself and…” He stopped speaking at the sound of her soft laughter. “What’s so funny?”
“Pouncing?” she laughed. “I think we’d have to admit that we both pounced. You have nothing to be sorry for. I just thought you were regretting kissing me because…well…”
“Because you didn’t enjoy it,” she admitted in a quiet voice.
She couldn’t bring herself to look at him either, but he left her no choice. Using his index finger, Rob lifted her chin so she was forced to meet his gaze.
“Oh, I enjoyed it,” he said softly as he inched closer to her. “I enjoyed it very much.” His lips touched hers briefly. “In fact, I’ll probably dream about it for a very long time.”
Unfortunately, they couldn’t let it go any further than that. Noises were drifting down the hallway from the boys’ room and they both knew this would lead them nowhere for right now.
Resting her forehead on his, she asked, “Are you sure you really want to do this? An entire weekend with my children has been known to take down many brave adults.”
Rob stood and took her in his arms and held her close. She felt so good, and he just absorbed the sensations before speaking. “I’ll make all the arrangements,” he stated. “Besides,” he added playfully, “it isn’t fair for them to get stuck going to a theme park with a girl who doesn’t fully appreciate all the scary rides.” He winked at her and stepped away.
“Oh, I see. So this isn’t really about helping me out, this is to spare Joseph and Jake the embarrassment of having a chicken for a mom, is that it? The fact that you are just a big kid who enjoys thrill rides is just a bonus, right?”
“Absolutely,” he said as he headed down the hall to talk to the boys, leaving Jordan standing in the kitchen, smiling at his retreating form.
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