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Love Like Mine : A Steamy Over 40 Love Story (Love Stories From a Small Town)

Love Like Mine : A Steamy Over 40 Love Story (Love Stories From a Small Town)

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Main Tropes

  • Mid-life Romance
  • Instalove
  • Second Chance Romance

Synopsis

A woman who gave up on ever being happy, a work obsessed man ready to settle down, and a second chance at the love of a lifetime.

Swearing off love forever after her husband’s betrayal, Sadie Walsh pours herself into her work. But when her new boss comes into her life, Halvor shows her there are still some good men left in her world.

Unfortunately, Halvor’s own heartbreak makes him insecure about competing for Sadie’s affection. So he makes a mistake that sends her right into another man’s arms and away from their small town.

But when fate reunites them, will they give love a second chance?

Intro into Chapter One

He once heard someone say if you wanted to witness revenge at its coldest, find yourself a Scorpio to serve it for you. Still, when Landon tugged at the black ribbon his November-born wife wrapped around the silver box, he didn’t realize he was the one about to be served.

Still oblivious to what awaited him, he flicked open the notecard, and a huff of air spread out over her beautifully written cursive. ‘I think I might have finally found the perfect gift for you. Happy Birthday.’

The tissue paper crinkled under his fingers as he pulled it aside to reveal the printed-out text messages and photo his side chick sent to the woman he spent the last twenty years with. Like she pushed him from that arrogant high tower he ruled from their entire life together, a sensation of falling came to his belly and palms. “Oh, shit.”

Not once had he ever considered what would happen if Sadie found out about his one-night stands. However, when he lifted the wedding photo torn in half and found the divorce petition, the answer became obvious. The worn picture pieced back together in his fingers to reveal the message she left him. ‘You’re a free man now.’

The hands, still dirty from his day at work, shook so much, he hardly got one through the blonde hair that hung over his eye.

More than once, he thought that was what he wanted-freedom. Yet, when he tried to lift himself from the bed, his wobbly knees gave way at the thought of being alone, and he understood what a mistake he had made.

The world around him was a fuzzy mound of colors and distorted sounds and a tightness wrapped around his chest. No matter how fast his breaths came, not enough air existed to fill his lungs or to drive away the pulse in his ears.

This three-bedroom brick rancher he built her with his own two hands was like a cage now, and the primal man in him clawed his way free as he rushed through the hallway.

Every family photo stared back at him, and their disapproving eyes chipped away at his pride until he shoved his shoulder into the front door.

The evening sun warmed his tan skin, and the fresh air brought him back from the panic attack he spiraled into.

In the last two decades, one person stood by him through every up and down, and when he needed to talk to someone, she was the only friend he could think of calling. A twitchy thumb hung above her picture until he closed his eyes and touched the screen.

The last bit of dirt from the floor of the little cottage swept into the dustpan, and Sadie peeked up at the phone that vibrated the counter. A breathy chuckle puffed from her throat as she pressed the speaker and grabbed the wipes from the table. “Well, if it isn’t the birthday boy. How d’you like the present I made you?”

With barely enough spit in his mouth to swallow, he used the last bit to wet his lips as he scratched at the back of his head. “Where are you?”

Next to the front door, she squatted and scrubbed at the scuff marks on the oak floorboards. “Since you and your girlfriends liked the cottage so much, I decided you’d be forfeiting it to me, but you can keep the house because it sits on your family’s farm. That seems fair, don’t you think?”

The gravel on the driveway crunched under his feet as he dug his keys from his pocket. “I’ll be there in twenty minutes.”

After she balled the wipes, she threw them into the trash bag that hung from the doorknob. “Don’t bother. We got nothing left to say to each other, and I don’t want to look at your face anymore.”

The diesel engine growled as he backed down the drive. “Well, too goddamn bad because I’m on my way.”

By the time she dragged the mattress to the lawn, the fireflies lit up the trees, and she heard the angry purr of the truck as Landon came up the dirt road beside the lake.

A steady stream of lighter fluid squirted from the white bottle between her hands to the bed they spent so many summers on. After she tossed it into the pile, a cigarette came to her lips, and she ripped a match from the little book she found in the drawer as his booming voice came from behind her. “What the hell are you doing?”

Smoke blew out the side of her mouth as the orange glow rose from the mattress and highlighted the stray white hairs in her curly brown mane. “Frankly, I’d rather sleep on the floor than put my ass on whatever diseases might be soaked into that thing.”

Black boots caked in dust stomped through the dried grass as he went to the faucet and grabbed the hose. “It’s the middle of a dry spell in August, Sadie.”

A rusted chain that held the porch swing squealed as she sank into it and kicked off her flip-flops. The last few drops of wine swished around her glass before she brought it to her lips. “Let that shit burn. I got new furniture coming tomorrow morning.”

After he set the sprayer on the mattress, he plopped down at the edge of the porch, and his head hung down between his knees. “I’m sorry.” Both hands ran through his hair as he tried to think of something to say that might get her sympathy. “I can give you a million excuses why I did what I did, but I know you don’t want to hear it.”

Green eyes bore into the back of his head as she took another draw of her cigarette. “That’s right. I don’t.”

Hands calloused from a lifetime of work slapped to his thighs, and he pushed himself up to face her. “Is this really what you want? Because I don’t.”

The swing creaked under the weight of him as he slid in beside her. “We can do counseling or something.” The pad of his thumb rubbed the spot where her ring once sat. “We can pull through this and be stronger than ever.”

A long rush of air pulled through her nose as she leaned into him and rested her chin on his shoulder. “Can you unfuck all those women? Hmm?” While she followed his eyes as they rolled out into the darkness, and his head shook side to side, she could almost see reality start to dawn on him. “Well, I guess we got nothing else to talk about. Do we?”

The Marlboro crushed between her thumb and forefinger as she worked out the cherry, and it fell into the wineglass. “Don’t come back here anymore. This little farce of a marriage is over.”

The scent of lemon covered Sadie as she pushed the door open, and after her hours of scrubbing, the essence of the other women was gone from the air at last. But the man she let have his way for far too long reminded her she’d never be free of him. “No, it really isn’t. I’ll fight this thing forever if I have to.”

From the doorway, she brushed her shoulder with her chin as she peeked back at him and shrugged. “There’s nothing left for you here on my end, but do what you got to, I guess.”

The door frame echoed under her fingers as she tapped it and pointed at him. “Be careful on your way home.”

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