On Tour with Prism Book Tours.
Must they always be continents apart?
Nobody expects Paris fashion designer Grace Railton to settle down in her Indiana town, least of all Mica Barzonni. Fifteen months ago, he turned to her for comfort and compassion following a farming accident that left him permanently injured. Then she returned to France and went silent on him.
Until, suddenly, Grace shows up on his doorstep with life-altering news. Mica, a father? He’s barely learned to navigate his postaccident life. But this could be his chance to become the man he’s always wanted to be—the husband and father Grace and their baby son need. Now Mica just has to convince her to stay.
MICA WAS SPEECHLESS as Grace rose from her chair, clearly bent on escorting him from her apartment. He couldn’t possibly have heard her right. She was turning him down? Was she out of her mind? What kind of game was she playing?
He bolted to his feet and grabbed her arm. “Wait a minute.”
“No, you wait a minute. I came to Indian Lake to get your help with our son. Granted, I didn’t go about any of this the right way. I should have told you about him when I discovered I was pregnant. I didn’t want to burden you because you were going through all kinds of—of…personal things. I thought I was sparing you from more trauma. I screwed up. I made a mistake. I see that now. But I’m not going to marry you. I only need your help for a while.”
“No way, Grace. He’s my son. Period. I won’t walk away from him the way you walked away from me.”
“What are you talking about?”
“You left here last October and I haven’t heard from you since. You’ll be here a week and then take off again. For some vague amount of time. And then when your work settles down, or you change your mind about leaving Jules with me—I’m guessing you’ll want him back. Then you’ll leave me a third time, and who knows if I’ll ever hear from you again. No way. He’s mine. Ours. Forever. That’s what I believe in. Forever.”
“This is ridiculous. You don’t love me, Mica.”
His words caught in his throat. He’d been ready for another argument. He hadn’t figured on introspection. “What? Who said anything about love?”
“Why?” He stepped closer to her, feeling a magnetic force drawing him in. When he was near Grace, he felt bewitched. But love? He’d never been in love. Though her rejection last year had hurt him deeply, and he wanted to hold her now and kiss away her concerns, he didn’t believe he loved her. If they loved each other, none of this would be happening, would it? Loving someone meant trusting them, and he wasn’t sure he could trust her after she’d kept Jules a secret for so long.
“Mica, when I marry a man—if I ever do—it will be because I love him and he loves me in return. I won’t settle for less.”
Her eyes blazed righteousness and resolution. Mica thought of simply trying to appease her, for Jules’s sake, but she’d see right through him. He would be honest with her, even if she hadn’t always been with him.
“Then I won’t help you,” he said. “Pack him up and go back to Paris.”
“You can’t mean that.”
“I do,” he replied firmly, wondering if she could sense his anxiety. If she left now, he might never see Jules again. He could fight international courts and spend a fortune he didn’t have to gain custody…and he’d make a lifelong enemy of the woman who’d intrigued him ever since that summer day in the pool. Despite her betrayal, there was good in her. He believed that she’d come to Indian Lake because she wanted to do the right thing—by him and by Jules. Mica hope he’d make the right decision now.
“Mica, do you have any idea what’s at stake for me right now? This week?”
“You can’t because you still don’t understand the world I live in. Fashion Week starts in mid-January. Two of my designs were on the runway in October and they sold. My name is just a whisper right now, but with my fall designs, the big houses are looking at me. I didn’t want to put it off any longer, but this trip is horrible timing. My team is going nuts even though I’m trying to stay in touch as much as possible. I need to work all day and night until the show. I’m taking a stab at some ready-to-wear designs as well. They don’t show until February, but they’re just as important. Jules deserves my full attention and I can’t give it to him. I want him to know you. I want you to know him and love him as well. I know it may not look that way to you, but I want the best for our son. I need help, Mica, not ultimatums.”
Well, didn’t he feel like a heel. And envious. Grace was driven by passion for her work. He could only imagine the stimulation and excitement that would create. She had what he wanted desperately for himself. He’d been wrong to think she was self-centered. He was the selfish one. At the same time, it was deeply important to him that Jules know all that it meant to be a Barzonni. Perhaps it was pride, but it was more than that. Mica revered his father for all he had sacrificed for his family. He was only beginning to understand what his mother had forfeited when she chose to keep her promise to Angelo and marry him.
It hit Mica that his parents had entered into a marriage that was less than romantic and idyllic for the sake of the life they intended to build in America. His father had escaped poverty in the streets of Sicily and his mother had chosen to devote her life to her sons and the farm. Family and all its heraldry, lineage and expectations rattled through Mica’s bones like anchor chains. He could no more allow Grace to raise their child alone than fly to the moon. He was Jules’s father. He would do all he could for his boy for the rest of his life. Jules was a Barzonni and that meant a lot of things to Mica.
Like his parents, Mica believed in family and that a family should stay together at all costs. Though their life together might have been less than ideal, Angelo and Gina gave everything so that their sons would inherit the farm, and know what it was to earn the pride in the land they tilled and sowed. Mica wanted to give Jules the best he could and that meant he needed to marry Grace.
It was his honor and his duty to his son.
All he had to do was convince Grace that marriage was the right thing to do.
Other Books in the Series
About the Author
Catherine Lanigan is the international bestselling and award-winning author of forty published titles in both fiction and non-fiction, including the novelizations of Romancing the Stone and The Jewel of the Nile, as well as over half a dozen anthologies, including “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living your Dream”, “Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul”, and more. Ms. Lanigan’s novels have been translated into dozens of languages including German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Chinese, and Japanese. Ms. Lanigan’s novels are also available in E-books on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com, Apple Store, Mobi and Kobo. Several of her titles have been chosen for The Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Clubs. Her Vietnam war-based novel, The Christmas Star, won the Gold Medal Award Top Pick from Romantic Times Magazine and has also won Book of the Year Romance Gold Award from ForeWord Magazine as well as Book of the Year Romance from Reader’s Preference.
Lanigan is the author of a trilogy of non- fiction books regarding angelic intervention in human life: Angel Watch, Divine Nudges and Angel Tales published by HCI and Cedar Fort. Skyhorse published Lanigan’s “how-to” book on writing: Writing the Great American Romance Novel. Lanigan was tasked by the NotMYkid Foundation to write a non-fiction book addressing teen addictions. Ms. Lanigan’s first Young Adult adventure novel, The Adventures of Lillie and Zane: The Golden Flute, was published by Cedar Fort.
Currently, she has published eight novels in the Shores of Indian Lake series for Harlequin Heartwarming: Love Shadows, Heart’s Desire, A Fine Year for Love, Katia’s Promise, Fear of Falling, Sophie’s Path and Protecting the Single Mom. Family of His Own pubs July, 2016. She has recently contracted for one more in the series: His Baby Dilemma.
As a cancer survivor, Ms. Lanigan is a frequent speaker at literary functions and book conventions as well as inspiring audiences with her real stories of angelic intervention from her Angel Tales series of books. She is an outspoken advocate for domestic violence and abuse and was honored by The National Domestic Violence Hotline in Washington, D.C. (THE EVOLVING WOMAN). She has been a guest on numerous radio programs including “Coast to Coast” and on television interview and talk show programs as well as blogs, podcasts and online radio interview programs.
Busy Bumble Bee Book Reviews
underneath the covers
Thoughts of a Blonde
Mello & June, It’s a Book Thang!
Hearts & Scribbles
Reading Is My SuperPower
It’s all About the Romance
Janices Book Reviews
Deal Sharing Aunt
Inside the Mind of an Avid Reader
I Am A Reader
Jorie Loves A Story
Book Lover in Florida
Rockin’ Book Reviews
Nicole’s Book Musings
December 9th: Grand Finale
– 1 winner will receive a $50 Amazon eGift Card and a Prize Pack that includes: autographed copies of Family of His Own and Katia’s Promise, a gold edged Paris latte mug, and hand soap in a pretty pump bottle (prize pack to US only, if international winner then gift card only)
– 1 winner will receive an ebook of Family of His Own (open internationally)
– Ends December 13th