Mandy Richardson has always wanted a husband and lots of kids. She knows Ben Hartley isn’t a forever kind of guy, so she struggles to keep her feelings for him friends only. But she can’t help her growing attraction. Then one night their relationship blossoms into more, and soon Mandy discovers she’s pregnant.
Ben still bears the scars of a painful past—a past that has him avoiding love and commitment. When Mandy tells him he’s going to be a dad, he worries he won’t measure up. After all, his own father was far from a role model. But he’s fallen hard for Mandy, and now it’s up to him to prove he’s a better man—a stronger man—than he thought.

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Forget out of the frying pan and into the fire. Stepping out of the arctic air-conditioning of the Primrose Café into the suffocating heat of a Texas afternoon in August was like drilling a hole in the north pole deep enough to fall straight into hell.
Mandy Richardson hurried toward the edge of the parking lot, where she’d nabbed the last spot in front of Blue Falls’s oldest eating establishment and the hub of town gossip. In the time it took for her to pick up dinner for her mom and herself, she’d heard that Franny Stokes had gone on a blind date with a guy she met online through some dating site for senior citizens, Bernie Shumaker had launched his newest in a string of business attempts—wind chimes made from everything from silverware to driftwood this time—and Loren Whitman’s grandson had caught a fish so big that he fell out of their boat into the middle of the lake. To add insult to embarrassment, the fish got away.
Honestly, a dunk in the middle of Blue Falls Lake would feel really good right about now. In addition to it being hot as blazes outside, her feet ached from being on them since early that morning. It’d been another busy day at A Good Yarn, the yarn and sewing shop her best friend, Devon, owned and where Mandy worked. The combination of the tail end of summer vacationing combined with it being the weekend of the local monthly rodeo had filled the downtown shops from the time they’d opened their doors at 8:00 a.m. Good for business but tiring. All she wanted was to eat her fried chicken, drink about a gallon of her mom’s homemade lemonade and prop up her poor feet. A foot massage would be fantastic, preferably one given by an incredibly hunky guy, but she figured that, sadly, wasn’t in her immediate future.
The sound of squealing tires, followed immediately by a bang and the screeching sound of metal on metal caused her to startle so much she fumbled the food containers she held.
“No, no, no,” she said as she tried to maintain her hold, but all she managed to do was flick the bottom container open as it fell. The top one followed its twin to the newly paved parking lot. She’d swear she heard the chicken sizzle as it sat there amid a sea of splattered mashed potatoes and green beans.
As she lamented the loss of her dinner, she glanced up to figure out what had precipitated it. That’s when she noticed half of that metal-on-metal sound had come from her car. The other half belonged to the pickup truck all up in her car’s grill.

After the loss of her husband, Amanda Perry knew the only way she had any hope of getting over her grief was to start a new life somewhere else. So, she left Georgia, her career and all the places that held too many memories. Now, two years later, she’s living in a farmhouse in North Dakota and running a successful home-based crafting business. She has some casual friendships, but she hasn’t allowed herself to get too close to anyone. That changes when she befriends two teens who bring out her protective instincts and unexpectedly starts falling for Cameron Blue, local boy turned elite pilot who has come back to Cedar Bend. But can she allow herself to love a man who takes to the skies when she’s already lost one love to a plane crash?
When Cameron Blue left Cedar Bend, he’d been a young man full of a desire to see the world. Now, all he wants is to come back to his hometown, buy his grandparents’ farm, and build an industrial park and airstrip that will bring much-needed jobs to the area. But a pretty redhead with a southern accent is living in the farmhouse and she’s not too hot on the idea of having planes flying over her house and lets him know it. Despite that, he feels himself drawn to her and believes there’s more to her story than she’s telling. Does he dare believe that love might be in the cards for him despite his doubts after being a witness to his parents’ divorce?

“It’s only a part-time position,” Amanda said. Working with someone even a few hours a week was going to take some getting used to after two years of living and working alone.
         Janet Thompson, Cedar Bend School’s guidance counselor, responded with a wide smile. “Honey, around here even part-time is enough to make people believe in miracles. So, what exactly is involved?”
         “Well, mainly helping me keep track of the online orders and packaging shipments,” Amanda said, still amazed that her business crafting gift items from cast-off cloth had blossomed to the point where she needed help.
         Janet leaned back in her chair and held up her right index finger. “I have the perfect student for you. Tilly Reed. She’s a hardworking, intelligent girl, and like virtually everyone else around here she needs the money. When do you want to set up the interview?”
         Amanda hadn’t planned a formal interview, choosing instead to depend on the guidance counselor’s knowledge of the students and her good judgment.
         “Whatever’s convenient for Tilly. She can stop by my place after school one day this week,” she said.
         With her mission accomplished, Amanda was eager to return home and get back to work. She had a mound of orders to fill, not to mention that since her move to rural North Dakota she’d wrapped herself in the state’s quiet, beautiful solitude. No noise, no traffic, no airplanes.
         Amanda rose and pulled her purse onto her shoulder. She reached across the desk and shook Janet’s hand. “Thanks for your help.”
         “You’re welcome. And thank you for thinking of hiring one of the students. So many of them want to work and can’t find a job.”
         Amanda tried to focus on the hours of sewing ahead of her as she left Janet’s office. She kept her gaze down, not wanting to experience again the sharp pang of longing she had when she’d entered the school barely half an hour earlier. She ached at the thought of the children she and David would never have, would never send to a school like this one. As she stepped into the hallway, she ran straight into what felt like a brick wall. She stumbled backward, causing her athletic shoes to squeak on the tile floor, but quickly regained her balance.
         “Sorry about that, ma’am. I didn’t see you coming.”
         The deep, caressing voice sent shivers across her shoulders. Startled, Amanda looked up. That wasn’t any brick wall she’d bounced off. She’d careened into more than six feet of disturbingly attractive man. Close-cropped hair the color of hazelnut coffee. Eyes that reminded her of pools of honey. A chiseled, tan face that made her lungs spasm.

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