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Promise of Spring

Promise of Spring

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She's in town to remodel the house she inherited. He's the real estate agent who'd like something more between them. Can they put their differences aside?

The last thing Abby wants to do is clean out her great-aunt’s house that she just inherited, but she needs to get it ready to sell. It doesn’t help that the arrogant man she met in town happens to be her new neighbor. Luke can’t believe the little girl who’d followed him around when she’d stayed with his mother’s old neighbor has grown up to be such a beautiful and feisty woman. As Luke helps Abby remodel the old home to get it ready to sell, he comes to realize she might just be what he was missing from his life. Can the two of them give up their dreams to build something better together?

Intro into Chapter One

Lainey Morison stared at the computer screen in front of her. She was almost finished with her last job application and could send it off. Taking a drink from her now lukewarm cocoa gave her a much needed jolt of sugar, but not nearly enough warmth. Upstate New York was just too cold and Lainey wanted somewhere warmer. Besides, now that she had finished her internship, she could happily leave here and all the bad memories it held. Lainey stretched her shoulders and neck then prepared to finish.
Before she got to the bottom of the page, her phone rang and she stared at it. No one called her. Most times it was just a text or even an email. Mom always texted to see if it was a good time to call, unless there was a problem.
The fear that it might be her mom or brother with some kind of emergency made her reach for her phone and swipe the screen to answer it. From the corner of her eye she saw a name she thought she’d never hear from again and immediately regretted answering.
“Why are you calling me?” Lainey asked, struggling to keep the anger from taking control of her voice.
“I guess I deserve that,” the unmistakable voice on the other end said. “But please don’t hang up. I really need to talk to you.”
“Why?” Lainey asked. “What could you possibly want from me now?”
“Is there some place we could meet? I think it might make more sense in person.”
“No,” Lainey said. “I don’t think I want to see you again. And from your lack of contact this past year and a half, I was pretty sure the feeling was mutual.”
“I deserve that, I know,” Noah said. “And I’m sorry. But it’s my niece. She’s sick.”
Lainey paused. She’d only seen his niece a couple times, but the little girl had been an adorable toddler. She couldn’t hang up on a little girl, no matter how horrible her uncle was. Lainey just gripped the phone tight and waited for what else he might add.
“Lainey?” he said. “Are you still there?”
“Yes. What’s wrong with your niece?”
“The doctors aren’t completely sure. Sarah’s taken her to all kinds of specialists and they’ve done all kinds of tests that are inconclusive. They all say she’s just a picky eater and that her rashes and stomach pains and things will go away. But Sarah was reading online about some things and there are so many suggestions about changing the diet to rule out allergies, but she wanted to have someone who knew what they were doing.”
Lainey closed her eyes and breathed slowly, praying for patience. “I could give her some recommendations of some colleagues.”
“Sarah was kind of hoping you might be willing to meet with her. She really liked you.”
Lainey turned at her desk and looked out the window into the darkness that early evening in January provided. “I guess I can meet with Sarah.”
“Thank you,” Noah said. “When and where? I’ll set it up.”
Lainey struggled for a moment, trying to keep her voice calm once more. “I do have an office. Why don’t you just give Sarah my number and she can set it up herself for when it is most convenient for us.”
A few background noises came through the phone and Lainey was almost curious to know how he took that rejection. But what did he expect? That she’d be happy to hear from him? That they might be able to pick up where they left off?
Fat chance. Last time she’d seen him was when he left her in Vegas wearing a white dress and holding a single white lily after giving her an envelope with some cash and a plane ticket with some lame note on why he wasn’t ready to get married.
Lainey hung up the phone, not trusting herself to say anything else to him. If Sarah wanted to talk to her about some options for her daughter’s diet, she’d take that call. But for now, Lainey just needed to block Noah out of her thoughts. Hearing his deep voice that had always melted her before only left her with bitterness and hurt now. Doing what she’d done so many times before, Lainey began her slow breaths and her mantra to move past it and let it all go, just like he did.


Noah stared at the phone, knowing he had been lucky she had heard him out enough before she hung up. At least Sarah could finally get a little peace about her daughter. He’d never told his sister everything about the break up with Lainey. And after Sarah’s husband passed away, shortly after he’d walked away from Lainey, he’d been too busy helping his sister cope that he’d missed his chance to make things right with the woman he’d almost married.
He’d need to apologize again so they could both move on, but he was sure it would take some time before she’d be willing to meet with him. Maybe after she had seen Sarah and Crissy.
Noah texted his sister Lainey’s number.
Lainey said she can meet you. Call her and set up the time that works best for you. Hope it helps and Crissy gets feeling better soon.
Noah tried to immerse himself in his work, but nothing in his client’s case could keep his attention long.
He needed to get up and move around. He knew he would never finally feel settled unless he could face Lainey in person and apologize, but he had to give her time to adjust to the fact he had made contact. Noah closed the legal file he’d been reading, no longer able to stay focused on the case, and buzzed his assistant.
“Mrs. Tamsen, when’s my next appointment?”
“You have the Marshall case at two.”
“Perfect,” Noah said. “Keep it clear till then.”
Noah looked at his file for the Marshall’s, making sure everything was ready before he took off for a bit. He grabbed his suit jacket and overcoat. He could have just gone to the office gym and burned off his stress and frustration, but he needed to clear his head and didn’t want any in office contact for now. As he stepped out of his office, his secretary stood to meet him and he paused, knowing she had something else to say.
“I just overheard that O’Ryan is retiring. Looks like there might be an opening for a new partner.” Mrs. Tamsen waggled her eyebrows and smiled her cheeky smile. The woman still treated him like her son and he appreciated everything she did for him, but sometimes he wasn’t sure what to do with her spunk.
Noah returned the smile, knowing it was better to play along. “Interesting.”
“Isn’t it though.” Mrs. Tamsen looked around the office as if making sure no one was close enough to overhear. “And from what I understand, they look at committed and stable lawyers to promote to partner.”
Noah tried not to roll his eyes. He’d gotten enough hints from her over the last few years they’d worked together that she thought he needed to marry and settle down. It was a good thing she didn’t know how close things had been with Lainey. She would have never let him hear the end of it.
“Think about it,” Mrs. Tamsen said as he took a few steps away from her desk. “I know a couple very nice girls that would be just perfect for you. Let me know if you want me to introduce you.”
“Noted,” he said. But not very likely, he thought. He still hadn’t gotten over Lainey completely and even she hadn’t been enough to overcome his fear of failure when it came to something as important as marriage.
If his own father’s horrid example wasn’t enough, working with divorces and seeing all the ways marriages failed made him hesitant to try it for himself.


Lainey opened the door to her office the next morning to see Sarah there with her little girl, Crissy. Noah’s sister had called within twenty minutes of Lainey hanging up on Noah yesterday and scheduled an appointment for the earliest time possible. Lainey hadn’t planned to rearrange her schedule, but hearing the tears and concern in Sarah’s voice had pulled on Lainey’s heart strings.
Now, looking at Crissy and seeing how much she’d grown in the year since she’d seen her last made her angry at how things had ended with Noah. Lainey forced those thoughts out of her head. She couldn’t allow her dislike for the man taint the way she treated and cared for the little girl.
“Good morning, Sarah,” Lainey said.
“Thanks so much for meeting me,” Sarah said. “I’ve been at my wit’s end trying to figure out what to do for Crissy. She isn’t responding to anything the doctors have had us try so far, and I don’t want to overwhelm her little body with medicine if it can be avoided. I really hoped we could try some natural things and make some adjustments in her diet to figure it out. And the allergist and the pediatrician told me the same thing. Find a good dietitian to start making some changes and see if that helps.”
Lainey smiled. “I’m happy to help. And while I do believe medicine can do a lot, I know the body was made to figure things out.”
Sarah returned the smile and the three sat down to go over the girl’s history and symptoms. By the end of the consultation, Sarah seemed hopeful and Lainey was pleased with the progress they made.
“Thanks again. It was really good seeing you. I was sad when I found out you and Noah weren’t dating anymore.”
Lainey made a non-committal noise and just shook Sarah’s hand again as she ushered them out of her office. She didn’t want to reminisce about the man who had broken her heart. And if Noah hadn’t told Sarah any more about the break up than they weren’t seeing each other anymore, she wasn’t going to get into detail.
“Let me know how things go after this first week. Call me if you have any questions but be sure to take her to your doctor if you have any serious concerns.”
“I will.” Sarah took Chrissy’s little hand and the small girl looked up at Lainey and waved a cute goodbye.
If Lainey was lucky, she wouldn’t have to see Noah at all, and they could figure out what was up with little Crissy and get her on the mend enough she would be able to stop seeing Sarah and Crissy as well. The more distance she could put between herself and anyone connected with Noah would be best.
Too bad none of the job applications had resulted in any interviews yet. But she wouldn’t give up hope.

She’s the girl he left at the altar. He’s the guy she never stopped loving. When he seeks her out a few years later, is there any hope for him to win her back?

Main Tropes

  • Second Chance at Love
  • Working together
  • Small Town Romance
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