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Love Child

Love Child

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A young woman’s search for her long-lost father. And the ensuing battle over the family vineyard.  Escape to the Virginia mountains for heart-stopping, jaw-dropping family drama.

** Please Note: The audiobook version of this title has been digitally narrated. 

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Synopsis

Casey has never met her father. She doesn’t know his identity or where he lives or whether he has children. She’s spent the past three years nursing her critically ill mother, watching cancer eat away her organs and their bank account. Upon her death, her mother leaves Casey a letter with clues about her mysterious father. With nothing left for her in New York, Casey packs her meager belongings in her mother’s old convertible and heads off in search of Daniel Love.

Casey finds the Virginia mountains charming and the small town of Lovely quaint. Needing time before she approaches her father, Casey accepts a job as graphic designer with Foxtail Farm. She soon learns the vineyard’s owner is at war with the Love children. When Casey meets her half siblings, she understands why.

Daniel and Casey hit it off from the start. She reminds him of her mother, the true love of his life. But Casey’s new brothers and sister want nothing to do with her. How far will they go to protect the family’s dynasty?

Read an Excerpt

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Casey sees the last of the movers to the door and turns to face the empty apartment, her home for most of her twenty-six years. Soft gray walls. Worn random-width oak floors. Windows overlooking Central Park. The furnishings are gone—the priceless antiques and extensive art collection sold to an auction house to help pay medical bills. And her mother’s wardrobe and personal effects all donated to charity. While Casey hated to give her mother’s belongings away, she has no place to keep them and no money to splurge on a storage unit.

Sliding down to the hardwood floor, she rests her head against the wall and closes her eyes. She can almost hear her mother singing loud and off key down the hall in the cramped corner kitchen—selections from classic musicals like West Side Story and Oklahoma. Her mother couldn’t hold a tune, but she sure could cook. Several times a month, Beverly invited her famous friends over for dinner. She hired waitstaff to serve and clean up, but she insisted on preparing the meal herself.

Tears stream down Casey’s cheek. She’ll never again hear her mother sing, never taste her gourmet cooking. Memories and a handwritten letter are all she has left of Beverly Hobbs, glamorous anchor of a nationally syndicated morning news show.

Casey tugs the crumpled paper free of her back pocket. Her mother had left instructions for her attorney to give the letter to Casey upon her death. For as long as she can remember, Casey had hounded her mother for information about her father. Where does he live? How does he earn his living? Do I look like him? Her mother’s answers were vague. They’d met when Beverly was in California on a business trip. They had a drunken one-night stand, and Beverly remembered little about him, including his name.

But her mother’s letter tells a different tale, the story of the summer she spent with Daniel Love in Napa. Beverly was taking a much-needed break from her demanding job at the network, and Daniel, a vintner from Virginia, was conducting research on the winemaking process. At the end of the summer, their affair ended, and Daniel returned to his wife and family—the wife and family he’d failed to mention until their last night together. Beverly was heartbroken. She would never find another love like the one they’d shared. When she discovered she was pregnant two months later, she viewed the baby as a gift from God, her love child.

Wiping away the tears, Casey gets to her feet and goes to the window, staring down at the new green foliage on the trees in Central Park. For the past three years, she’s watched the seasons change from the room down the hall while nursing her mother. Casey had been making a name for herself as a graphic designer when she quit her job to take care of Beverly. Three of the most critical career-building years of her life wasted. She has nothing to show for that time except a meager sum in her bank account, two suitcases of shabby clothes, and her mother’s 2005 baby blue Volvo convertible. Her friends have moved on with their lives. No reputable graphics firm in New York will hire her. Her future is a blank slate. And Virginia is calling her name. What if things don’t work out with her father? She’ll worry about that if it happens.

Turning her back on the window, she grabs her suitcases and leaves the apartment. She retrieves the convertible from the garage and navigates the city streets to open roads.

Casey’s mind drifts as she imagines the reunion with her father. She has the advantage. She knows who he is. He’s unaware she’s alive. She envisions herself bursting in on a Love family dinner—her father’s shock, his wife’s outrage, and their children’s confusion when she announces her identity. Casey chuckles to herself. She’s mild-mannered by nature. She could never do something so bold.

Casey had considered searching the Internet for information about the man, his family, and their vineyard. Fearing she might discover something that would dissuade her from making the trip, she decides to go in blind.

Other Books in the Series

Book Trailer . . .

About the books . . .

Dream Big, Stella!—Stella's life takes an unexpected turn when she inherits a historic inn from her sperm donor father. With only a flaky boyfriend and dead-end job keeping her in New York, she catches the next train to the Virginia mountains. She as unprepared for the inn’s dilapidated state as she is
for the hostile welcome she receives by the inn’s manager. Why does Naomi resent her? What is she hiding? And who was she to Stella’s father?

Show Me the Way—Presley Ingram has often wondered about her birth parents. Yet her 23andMe test kit remains unopened in her bedside table drawer. When she finds an address on a torn envelope in her adoption file upon her adoptive mother’s death, she makes an impulsive decision to travel to the mountains of Virginia in search of answers. In the charming town of Hope Springs, she discovers her dream job as event planner at the prestigious Inn at Hope Springs Farms and the potential for romance with a ruggedly handsome bartender.

Mistletoe and Wedding Bells—Stella is ready to marry the love of her life and
live in the home of her dreams. Yet her dreams are overshadowed by a battle for
custody of her spirited six-year-old half-sister. Meanwhile,
Presley juggles a secret of her own: orchestrating a surprise Christmas wedding
for Stella and Jack, all while wrestling with her own newfound passion. And
Cecily confronts doubt as her Christmas Eve wedding approaches, torn between a
career she's fought for and a marriage marked by her fiancé's sudden
recklessness. In a tale of love, family, and the search for stability, these
women must navigate the complexities of their hearts to secure a future filled
with hope.

Matters of the Heart— The genie is out of the bottle. After decades of secrecy, Stella has finally made her resort’s natural hot springs available to guests. Little does she know, the waters have magical healing powers. Not only do the springs cure physical ailments, but matters of the heart as well. When word gets out, she has a riot of opportunity seekers on her hands.

Road to New Beginnings—The staffers at Hope Springs Farm greet guests with smiles. But trouble brews beneath their calm demeanors. Stella faces her first crisis as an adoptive mom when a second-grade bully wreaks havoc on Jazz’s life. Ollie experiences crippling panic attacks as she struggles to cope with her parents’ death. Cecily is falling in love with Parker. But she’s worried it’s too soon after breaking off her engagement. Presley’s baby is due in a few short weeks. But she’s heard nothing from her country music star husband in months.