FOREVER LOVE by Melissa Keir
The Wilder Sisters Series
Fifteen years ago, Syndie Wilder left her small hometown- Amherst, Ohio- to escape the pain of losing her best friend and boyfriend. Deciding that Chicago offered more for an up and coming jewelry designer, she enjoyed the big city life until she chooses to return and care for her father. Taking care of her father and relocating her internet business, Syndie has no time or desire for romance but fate has a way of playing with best-laid plans.
Thom Johnson broke Syndie’s heart all those years ago and regrets it every day. As a firefighter, Thom sets out to protect Amherst and redeem himself for his bad choices. However, he never has forgotten Syndie and the hurt he caused her.
When a chance meeting happens, can the two former friends allow themselves the chance to become friends again, or will the sparks turn a childhood friendship into a forever love?
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Driving my Jeep down the Ohio Turnpike, gave me a lot of time to think. Unless you count the many big rigs, there wasn’t much to look at while driving. The flat boring landscape was occasionally dotted with farmhouses or cows. Having left behind the small town life, I was nervous about coming home. Isn’t that funny? Chicago has been my home for the last fifteen years, yet that small town, Amherst, was still considered my HOME. I don’t know what scared me more…coming back to a small town after having escaped it or facing the demons that caused me to leave.
When Dad called me on the phone last week, he sounded so exhausted. It scared me. My memories of my Dad were of a robust man with a wicked sense of humor. When we were children, he would chase us around the house just trying to catch us to tickle us. He was the person who taught each of us girls how to shoot, ice fish, and ride our bikes. We stood on his feet as he twirled us around the room to old Dean Martin songs teaching us to dance. When I was older, Dad was the formidable bear that boyfriends had to get passed in order to date us. I had only seen him cry once…at my mother’s funeral. In other words, he was our first hero that sadly no other man could measure up to.
This man, who had worked in the steel mills and had scared away many a boyfriend, was older now and needed me. There was no question I would go home. That is what family is for. As the oldest, it was my job to come home and help out. But I also had the career that would allow me to move back to Ohio and be there for Dad. My four sisters were wrapped up in various enterprises, trying to establish themselves in their careers and getting situated in new homes. After all, I could run my jewelry website and store from Amherst as easily as I could from Chicago.
Deciding to take a drive through town before heading to Dad’s, I exited the turnpike and headed left towards Lake Erie. Driving past so many memories unleashed the ghosts of my past: good times and bad.
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