A Love Stolen
Book One in the Steeple Town Series
A Love Stolen is book one in the Steeple Town Series. This is a three book series that introduces the reader to a trio of best friends (Lila, Cali and Jensen) who all find love. Each book will focus on one of the women and the other two will play prominent roles throughout the story. The novellas can stand alone and can be read in any order the reader chooses.
A Love Stolen features estranged lovers Lila and Trevor.
Lila Crofton flees the town of Steeple when she learns of her boyfriend Trevor Matheson's betrayal. Trevor's one night stand proves to be too much for the young lovers. Lila won't stick around and watch the only man she's ever loved move on with another. She heads to the city and starts over.
Six years later, recently divorced Sheriff Trevor Matheson is picking up the pieces of his life. When his high school sweetheart Lila returns to Steeple to bury her father, Trevor sees it as a sign. He's getting over a failed marriage and she's grieving the loss of her dad. They need one another. The timing couldn't be more perfect.
Can the two overcome the ghosts of their past and rekindle a love lost. Is there a second chance in their future or is their stolen love gone forever?
"Have you decided if you're going to stay in Steeple for a bit?" Jenson asked. "We don't want you to leave."
"I don't know." Lila sipped her soda. Her stomach had been unsettled since coming back. She wanted to believe it was the funeral, but she knew better.
"You shouldn't be alone," Cali said. "We can help you clean out the house."
When Lila moved her father in with her, she'd hoped he'd one day be able to return to Steeple, so they'd left most of his belongings in the family home.
"What are you going to do with the house?" Jenson asked.
"I haven't made any plans yet." Lila sighed. "I grew up in that house. All of my memories of my parents are in there." Lila's mom had passed away when Lila was ten, but she remembered everything about her.
"That's why you should stay and take your time." Cali placed a bottle of water in front of Jenson. "We'll be here for you."
Lila nodded. It wasn't as if she had anything to go back to the city for. She'd been laid off from her teaching job, because she hadn't earned tenure, and the new teachers were always the first to go. She'd kicked around the idea of going back to school to get her doctorate. Her father had left her more than enough money to live comfortably for quite some time.
"I don't know." Lila played with the straw in her drink. "There are so many memories here."
"Screw the sheriff." Cali was always so protective of Lila, especially when it came to Trevor. "Don't let Trevor run you out of this town again."
"He didn't run me out the first time," Lila said. "I wanted to go."
There was no way she could stay and watch him marry another and raise a child.
"Bullshit." Cali wiped down the bar. "You switched schools and never looked back. You never came back to us."
"What was I supposed to do?" Lila asked. "Stay and watch him marry her? Congratulate them when the baby came?"
"You could have fought harder for him, if you really wanted to. Not that I think the pig was ever worth you." Cali had never forgiven Trevor for getting Mary Grace pregnant.
"Cali," Jenson said, "none of that matters anymore. Lila is over it."
"Sure she is." Cali knew Lila well. As much as Lila tried to forget Trevor, she'd never gotten over the love she'd lost. First love really did die hard.
"Okay, guys," Lila said. "It's been a long week and I have a headache." She couldn't deal with any more today.
"I'm sorry." Cali grabbed her hand. "You know I love you. I don't want you to run back to Boston because you're afraid to face him. I miss you, and I want you to stay. This is your home."
"Me too," Jenson said. "Stay with us."
"I'll think about it, but right now I want to head home and take a hot bath." Lila picked her bag off the bar and slipped off the stool. "Thanks for being there for me this week. I couldn't have planned everything and made it through the funeral without either of you."
"We'll always be here for you." Jenson hugged her. "I'll call you later and see if you want me to bring you dinner."
"Thanks, but I'm going to crawl into bed and sleep all night. I'm beat. I'll stop by the book store tomorrow." Lila leaned across the bar and kissed Cali's cheek. "I'll be fine."
"I know what you're capable of." Cali smiled. "You'll bounce back. You always do."
"Talk to you tomorrow."
As Lila walked toward the door, she dug into her bag for her car keys. She wasn't watching where she was going as she stepped into the entryway of the restaurant. She slammed into a hard, muscular body, dropping the keys to the floor.
"I'm so sorry."
She kneeled down to pick them up, feeling like an idiot for bumping into someone. When she stood up, she was met by a warm smile and those beautiful green eyes. He could still take her breath away.
A full chapter one excerpt is available here...