Now, six weeks later, she’s pregnant, alone, and broke. Once again, Tate must take responsibility for his actions, and makes plans to marry his child’s mother. There’s only one problem…he has to tell his fiancée.
Abby Grayson hasn’t had an easy life. As the daughter of the town whore, people either avoid her or think she’s like her mother. For Abby, it’s a struggle just to fill her belly and keep a roof over her head.
Loneliness and a secret yearning for this man she thought she’d never have led her to spend the night with Tate. But the last thing she needs is a baby when she can barely take care of herself. Desperate, but too proud to ask for help, she finally agrees to accept a job from Tate – the job of being his wife. Now she has almost everything she’s ever dreamed of.
Unfortunately, only one thing will gain her Tate’s love – his realization that the night he spent with her was no drunken accident. It was a last-ditch attempt to win the woman he really wanted.
If you have never picked up a Katherine Allred book, you’ve been missing out. Her stories are like a warm cup of soup on a cold winter’s day – they soothe you, wrap you up in their goodness and leave you smiling.
This is the story of two people brought together by unexpected events but kept together by destiny. Tate is a man solely driven by his responsibilities – responsibilities to a troubled and loveless relationship with a woman who is everything but devoted or faithful to him, to a younger brother who dotes on him and sees him as a father figure, to a large ranch that has belonged to his family for generations. Tate is dependable, stable, never loses his temper or does anything just for himself … until Abby.
Abby is alone in the world with no one to look after her or care for her. People attach her late mother’s reputation to her but in reality Abby is a good girl, she has never been with a man before and she has only ever fantasised of being with one – Tate. She has been watching him from afar, envying the woman on his arm, convinced that he doesn’t even know she exists. But Tate has noticed Abby, so much that she haunts his dreams. He has felt just as lonely in his life as she has and one drunken night he no longer fights the pull.
“Let me come in, please. I’m tired of being alone.”
They share a passionate one-night-stand and soon after Abby finds herself pregnant. She never intends to tell him, but when Tate discovers that she is expecting his child, he makes his current break-up with his fiancée a permanent one and convinces Abby to move in with him and marry him. They keep separate bedrooms and initially her role is more of a house-keeper rather than a wife, but their constant proximity to each other and the knowledge that the fruit of their one night of passion is growing in Abby’s womb eventually awaken suppressed feelings for each other and, as they say, the rest is history.
“Tate stood there gazing down into Abby’s smiling face and knowledge slammed into him, staggering in its intensity. He wanted her. Wanted her more than he’d ever wanted another woman in his life. His body had been trying to tell him that for weeks now, but he hadn’t listened. Couldn’t afford to listen.”
But as passion comes easy to them, love proves to be the real challenge. Abby’s feelings for Tate have always been evident to her but he struggles to grasp his.
“She knew that she belonged to Tate McCullom heart and soul. If she lived to be a hundred, never would she love another man the way she did him.”
A story of heartache, unspoken feelings, letting go of one’s past and embracing the future – this is truly a delightful read. Abby is a heroine you can’t help but want to protect from harm. She brings the best out in people, she is loving, caring and this is her journey of independence and self-affirmation. Tate, on the other hand, has much more deeply-entrenched obstacles to overcome – he needs to learn to listen to his heart before he loses the one person he has loved all along.
If you loved The Sweet Gum Tree, you will like this story as well. It is a little bit less epic and the agonizing moments are less heartbreaking, but it is a heart-wrencher all the same.