A Different Kind of Love (The Friessens: A New Beginning #3) by Lorhainne Eckhart
Age Group: Adult
Release Date: September 23, 2014
Amazon ♥ B & N
A Different Kind of Love b> brings back the couple that started it all. Brad & Emily. You fell in love with them in The Forgotten Child.
Now years later they face an entire new set of challenges with their pre-teen autistic boy.
And when his mother returns now wanting a relationship with the boy she abandoned, it brings an added new set of complications they hadn’t counted on.
She says she’s changed, but can Brad and Emily believe her?
“Mister Neil, when are you expecting your guest?” Ana asked. The short, plump Mayan woman was their housekeeper and cook, and she moved a plate of cookies onto the sofa table.
“Any minute now,” Neil replied as he glanced at his watch before noticing Candy where she lingered beside the bookshelf. “Candy, I didn’t hear you come in,” he said. His gaze lingered on her as he took in what she was wearing. His expression was questioning. This was the first time she had chosen something different than what he’d set out for her. Before, it had been helpful for him to pick out her clothes when she didn’t know what to wear, but now it seemed as if he was dressing her up to meet a mistress. She said nothing.
“Your parents, will they be meeting this woman, as well?” Ana asked.
Neil turned to Ana, distracted, and said, “No, not yet.” He stepped around the sofa, closer to Candy, and Ana took that moment to slip out of the room. “Why aren’t you wearing the dress that I set out for you?” he asked.
“I didn’t want to wear a dress. What’s wrong with what I’m wearing?”
“You’re not wearing makeup, so what have you been doing for the past hour?” He sounded annoyed.
“I was thinking,” she said as she moved around the sofa toward one of the large windows. She leaned in and stared at the small black car pulling up out front.
“What were you thinking about?” he asked. She could feel his heat as he stepped up behind her.
She shrugged. “Just some things. Besides, what should it matter what I wear? Is there something more going on, here?”
This time she met his gaze, and humor filled his expression. She wasn’t amused, though. She was ready for a fight, though their fights usually led her to a place she loved to be—making up with him in bed. He put his hands on his hips, and she knew he was about to start in on her and maybe push a little harder. He never let things go, not after everything they’d been through, fighting their way back to each other from hell. Her connection with Neil was everything she’d every wanted, but at times his worry about her could be smothering.
Fortunately, he was stopped from pushing his agenda, as far as dressing her went, when the doorbell rang. Candy glanced out the window and noticed two women as Neil yelled out, “I’ll get it, Ana.”
She didn’t move from her spot by the window as he went down the hall. Charm oozed from her husband as he spoke, and then, as expected, she heard a woman laughing. Neil had that effect. She rolled her eyes, knowing no one could see her, and listened to their voices and footsteps as they approached.
“Candy, this is Maria and her mother, Carmen,” Neil said as they entered. The two women stood beside Neil and followed him after he gestured to the sofas. “Come in, sit down, please. Could I offer you a glass of lemonade?”
“Si, senor. That is very kind,” the older woman said. She was slim and attractive, with jet-black hair woven with silver threads, pinned back at the sides with two barrettes. She was pretty and looked so neat and tidy in her red skirt and white blouse. Her daughter, Maria, was a young woman, and she smiled brightly up at Neil. When her gaze slid over to Candy, she blushed. Her hair was long, dark, straight—not wild and out of control, like Candy’s. She was slim, with long legs, and curvy in a way men must have loved.
Neil poured two glasses of lemonade, and Maria smiled in a coy, shy way that stirred all Candy’s insecurities. Her stomach was starting to hurt, maybe from how tightly she’d been holding on to everything, bottling up her feelings. Having a woman here who would carry her husband’s child…it was almost more than she could bear.
“Candy?” Neil gestured to another glass as he poured.
“No,” she said, shaking her head and crossing her arms in front of her. She took only one step from her spot by the window before deciding to stay where she was.
Neil set the glass down and strode around to the fireplace, facing the women. “I’m glad you agreed to come. My wife isn’t able to have children, and we want a family—a child of our own.”
Maria, sitting right beside her mother, cast Candy a sympathetic look, and Carmen patted her daughter’s hand. “My Maria is strong and young. She can carry your child, Mister Friessen,” she said boldly.
Candy had never considered that Neil would talk openly about her condition this way, in front of strangers, and it stung—never mind the fact that this was why the women were here in the first place. “How old are you, Maria?” she asked.
USA Today bestselling author Lorhainne Eckhart’s books have been described as Longmire meets old school Dallas and she recently received the 2013 Readers’ Favorite Award for Romantic Suspense for her title Lost and Found.
With over 30 titles under her belt, she is frequently a top 100 bestselling author in multiple genres such as Romance, Westerns and Mystery/Suspense, including such series as The Outsider, Walk the Right Road, The Wilde Brothers, The Saved and her most recent addition The Friessens: A New Beginning.
Lorhainne lives on sunny Salt Spring Island with her family where she is working on her next novel.