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Once and Again: When first love ends in heartbreak, who in their right mind would try again?

By 8—count them—8 of your favorite authors: Linda Barrett, Kathryn
, Rogenna Brewer, Debra Salonen, Lisa Mondello, Karen
, Barbara McMahon, and the writing team of Day/Dre Leclaire.

After heartbreak, how do you put your heart on the line again? Having love in your life is everything. Walking away from a do-over might save pain, but isn’t a second chance at love worth the risk? Dive into these eight full-length second chance romances and be swept away.

Houseful of Strangers by Linda Barrett

When an injury forces veterinarian Eric Mitchell to seek help with his rural practice, he never expected a city vet to apply. Dr. Alison Truesdale is well qualified but rarely smiles and seems reserved around Eric’s young son. Then an abused runaway turns up in desperate need. As Eric and Alison work together to give her a safe haven, can they all build a new loving family?

Ties that Bind by Kathryn Shay

He’s a hotshot lawyer who seems to have an idyllic life with a younger woman on his arm. She’s a Family Court Judge who’s forgotten her ex and captures a younger man’s attention. So why can’t this former couple be in the same room without sparks flying?

The Marine’s Baby, Maybe by Rogenna Brewer

She's having his baby...and they're about to meet for the first time. Thanks to an unfortunate mix-up, her baby’s father is her late husband’s half-brother. He won’t turn his back on his baby or his baby’s mother. Falling in love is the last thing they're expecting.

Black Hills Stranger by Debra Salonen

After Jonas Galloway broke Remy Bouchard’s heart in high school, he has a lot of nerve asking for her help. But his daughter has disappeared and Jonas wants Remy to use her “gift” to find Birdie. Remy made a vow to start fresh in the Black Hills. But how can she ignore the recurring nightmare of a child in trouble? Or the plea for help from her first—her only—love?

Her Heart For The Asking by Lisa Mondello

Eight years ago, Mandy Morgan swore she’d never step foot in Texas again after Beau Gentry left her for the rodeo circuit. Now a family illness has brought her back. She never dreamed the first person she’d see in town was the one man she’d never stopped loving. But now they’re both in Texas, and Beau is going to do all he can to win back her love.

Loving Her Again by Karen Sandler

When Tomás Herrera’s ex-wife, Becca, applies for a job with the program he’s running for foster kids, he wants to show her the door. But there’s more at stake than his pride—there’s what’s best for his students, not to mention his daughter’s needs after her mother’s death. Becca leaving him may have broken his heart, but he soon realizes his love for her never faded.

The Cowboy Comes Home by Barbara McMahon

Ten years ago, Sara and her high school sweetheart, Ethan had a tragic falling out. Those past wounds haven’t healed, but with Ethan inheriting the ranch adjacent to hers, they must learn to coexist peacefully. Or is there something greater in their future?

A Tylerville Soldier by Day Leclaire and Dre Leclaire

When a private investigator shows up on Dan Walters’ doorstep with a pair of baby booties and a mysterious letter, everything unravels. Drawn back to the hometown he abandoned for a career in the army and the only woman who ever truly had his heart, Dan discovers the life that could have been his. Deception and a concealed pregnancy change everything for this soldier and the woman he left behind.

Buy this 8-book box set for just 99¢ at AMAZON,
or Read for FREE with your Kindle Unlimited subscription.

Amazon | BookBub | Goodreads

As promised, here are a couple of snippets from this very diverse box set.


“Can I help you?” His voice took on the deep, intimidating timbre he used with the newer recruits in his unit. It was a voice that spoke of authority, a slight edge of warning present. A tiny, past middle-aged man with a thinning crop of hair on top of an otherwise very shiny scalp climbed out of his little smart car and approached with a look that Dan could only imagine the man reserved for scumbags and hypocrites. 

“I’m looking for Sergeant Major Daniel Walters. By chance, are you he?” He held a thick, legal sized sealed manilla envelope clasped to his chest like a football.

“Formerly Sergeant Major, now retired. Who are you, and what can I do for you?” He didn’t want to admit it, but the look the man gave him made him uneasy. 

“My name’s Linus Haroldson, private investigator. I was hired to track you down and deliver this.” He tried to shove the envelope into Dan’s hands, but he stepped back, careful to keep his hands at his sides. 

“What is it?” No way would he get stuck with a subpoena or anything else that might have illegally found its way to his doorstep. He didn’t dare compromise his security level at work by accepting something inappropriate. 

“Documents.” Linus couldn’t be any vaguer if he tried. 

“Look, I’m not taking anything unless you tell me what’s in the envelope.” Dan took another step back. “Who’s it from?” 

“My client wishes to remain anonymous at this time, but their identity will become evident once you look inside the envelope. I was also instructed that if you refused to accept this envelope, I could give you this.” He went back to his car and reached through the open window, grasping something small before returning to Dan. “These are for you.” He placed a pair of small, older looking baby shoes in his hands. 

“And just what’s the meaning of this?” Not what, you idiot. Who? And why are these shoes so old? 

“These shoes belong to your daughter. If you’ll take the envelope, it will explain everything.” Linus took advantage of the stunned look on Dan’s face and thrust the envelope in his hands before jogging back to his car. “Congratulations!” 

Dan studied the shoes, tinged with age and wear, and looked at the envelope before quickly climbing into his truck once more. How could this be happening? He hadn’t dated that many women over the last few years, and certainly never left any of them pregnant. He peeled back the seal on the envelopment, the shaking of his hands more reminiscent of defusing a bomb than opening a bit of probable junk mail. Inside the envelope, he found a single sheet of paper pinned to a stack of sealed letters, bundled in a red ribbon. There were several other bundles of envelopes packed alongside it. 

The moisture in his mouth disappeared, fear of the unknown shaking him as he pulled the note out to read. The handwriting appeared familiar, perhaps a bit more wobble to it than he recalled, but something about the way the writer wrote her W’s triggered him. 

Dan Walters, you’re needed back home in Tylerville. My daughter, Laurel, needs you. Your daughter needs you more. These letters should have gotten to you fifteen years ago, and I pray they aren’t too late. Read them. I will explain the rest when you get here. Hurry, please! ~Michelle Samuels 

He'd been right about the package being a bomb. Dear God! Laurel? They had a daughter?


AND, here’s one from my contribution: BLACK HILLS STRANGER

“I don’t know why you’re here, but let’s get one thing straight. I don’t read tarot cards. I don’t predict the future. And I don’t see dead people.”

A shiver passed down his spine. Please God.

“If you want to know where someone is buried, call a cadaver dog.”

He fought the wave of nausea that threatened to unman him. “But you do find people. You found me.”

Her green eyes narrowed with anger or frustration, he couldn’t tell which. “So, everybody says. But the only person who really knows for sure what happened that day at the beauty parlor is dead.”

Her mother. Marlene Bouchard, the woman he considered the Machiavelli of Baylorville. He’d read the obit online.

“Trust me, I don’t have a direct line to the great beyond.” She paused and gave him a serious look, her lips pressed together. “Is that why you’re here? To talk to someone who has crossed over? Oh, my God, your mother—”

“No. Mom’s still with us…more or less.”

She put a hand to her breast. “Praise the Lord.”

This was the Remy he remembered. Kind. Concerned. Generous of spirit.

“So, why are you here, Jonas?”

A reasonable question.

“My daughter is missing. I need your help to find her.”

There. Simple. A small favor for an old friend.

He saw the concern in her face, but that wasn’t good enough. Concern wasn’t going to bring Birdie back whole, healthy and unscarred.

“I’m sorry to hear that, Jonas. Really, I am. But I can’t help you. I wish I could, but I can’t.”

No. Wrong answer. She could help but chose not to. “Is this payback for me leaving when your mother sabotaged our plans? She’s only seven, Remy. She’s in trouble. I can feel it. Please don’t punish Birdie because you hate me.”


She turned away, as if to run or call for help. He didn’t blame her. He probably sounded crazy. Desperate. He was both. He stepped in her path to block her escape and grabbed her by the upper arms. Partly to steady himself. Partly to beg for her help.

“Jonas, let go.”

He pulled her to him, hard. As though she was the last person standing in a fight to the death. To let go would mean giving up. He put his mouth close to her ear and whispered, “My little girl is missing. Something bad is going to happen. I know it. You’re the one person in the world I didn’t think I’d have to explain that to. Please, Rem, please. Help me.”

“Holy moly,” a voice exclaimed. “Jonas, let her go. Did you forget something? Like the fact you two are related?”

Remy heard her sister’s voice, but she couldn’t quite make out the words. Lack of oxygen or panic? Even after Jonas let go of her, the memory of his touch—a reminder of how close they’d come to consummating their feelings for each other when they were seventeen—made breathing a challenge.

“Rem? Are you okay? You’re white as a ghost. What did he do to you? One minute you’re yelling at the neighbors and the next you’re making out with him.”

Remy froze. “We weren’t making out. For goodness sake, Jessie. Stop being a drama queen.”

I hope you enjoy reading these reunion stories as much as we enjoyed writing about them.

Happy reading,


Coming Next:

8/10: early bday wishes for my hubby, the final part of our Glacier trip, and TBR update.



Copyright © 2023 Debra Salonen