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To Heal A Heart -- Jana Richards

 

 

To Heal a Heart

Garrett Saunders' world changed two years ago on a road in Afghanistan. Back home, he feels like a stranger. As he struggles to find his place in the world, he meets a horse destined for the slaughterhouse and a woman bent on rescuing the strays of the world, including him.

Blair Greyson moves to Masonville to look after her ailing grandfather and give her rescue horses a home. Right away she butts heads with a surly former Marine. Despite a rocky start, they come to an agreement: Blair will board Garrett's rescue horse and he'll help with repairs around her farm.

Garrett finds purpose working with Blair—and falls in love with her. But she's hiding a secret. Can she forgive herself and accept Garrett's love, or will she let guilt and regret continue to rule her life?

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excerpt

He pushed himself to his feet, disconcerted by his unsteadiness. He made a few halting steps toward the gate as Blair ran into the yard.

“I forgot my sweater,” she said, grabbing the garment from the back of a chair and slipping it on. “It’s cooler than I thought. Are you sure you don’t want to watch the fireworks with us?”

“No, I—”

His words were cut off by a loud explosion, and his only thought was that he had to protect Blair. He grabbed her and threw her to the ground, covering her body with his. He was under attack. Why was Blair in Afghanistan? How could he keep her safe?

Through the chaos and noise he heard her muffled voice beneath him. “Garrett, you’re crushing me.”

He shifted his weight slightly. “Shh. I’m sorry. You have to stay down and quiet. I can’t let them hurt you.”

She stopped struggling. “Who’s going to hurt me?”

“Can’t you hear the mortar fire? I have to protect you.”

Her hand rubbed his back in gentle circles. “It’s all right, Garrett. It’s only fireworks. It can’t hurt us. We’re safe here.”

He lifted his head and looked around. He was in Cole and Lauren’s back yard in Masonville. There were no bombs, no shelling, no Taliban. He looked down into Blair’s face, into the pity in her eyes. He rolled off her, disgusted with himself.

Disgusted and scared. He was losing his mind.