With: Heather Lin
Rosa's Story is the first of two long-awaited sequels to Westridge, which was first published a little over three years ago. I never completed the planned trilogy because the publisher went under. I couldn't figure out the best way to get Westridge back out to readers (many publishers won't touch previously-published work), so I moved on to other projects for a while.
However, I couldn't stay away from the fictional town or its residents for long. A few months ago, I republished Westridge, and this month I'm publishing Rosa's Story for the very first time.
If you haven't read Westridge yet, it's a contemporary romance novella that is free on Kindle this week only. It's a sweet and sensual story that focuses on the reunion of childhood sweethearts Gabby Jones and Jason Dawson. Rosa's Story focuses on Jason's ex-wife as she comes to terms with letting another woman into her daughter's life and finds love of her own.
Rosa is a very different character from Gabby. She's a strong, confident, and passionate woman who knows exactly what she wants. As a single mother, she doesn't have time to play games. She finds everything she's looking for in a state construction worker named Dylan. He's kind and supportive, and their chemistry in the bedroom (and kitchen, etc.) is explosive. He's even great with her daughter, Penny.
But there is plenty Rosa doesn't know about him and his past, and that may very well affect their future.
At the same time that Rosa is trying to cultivate a new relationship with Dylan, she is also struggling to become friends with Gabby for Penny's sake. It isn't an easy task for either woman, seeing as their rivalry dates back to high school. But when a near-tragedy strikes Rosa's family, they manage to find common ground. Rosa just needs to find common ground with Dylan, too.
Fans of Westridge will also be happy to see how Jason and Gabby's relationship develops in this brand new small-town love story.
Rosa has a beautiful daughter and a great relationship with her ex-husband, Jason. But when his childhood sweetheart returns to the small town of Westridge, she begins feeling left out and insecure. She just can't get used to the idea of sharing her daughter with another woman, and their picture perfect love story makes her lack of a love life feel like a glaring failure.
In the midst of her emotional upheaval, she meets Dylan, a burly, tattooed construction worker who soothes her wounded pride and aching heart. They enter into a fast-paced, passionate affair, and Rosa finds herself falling for him in just a matter of weeks.
Against his better judgement, Dylan falls for Rosa, too. But he's in no position to be in a relationship. He doesn't have a car, he doesn't have a place of his own, and he has the kind of past that matches his rough appearance. He's made mistakes Rosa couldn't possibly forgive, and he may never get up the courage to admit to them.
The result? A ticking time bomb of a romance that's sure to rock both their worlds and leave neither unscathed.
[Gabby] glanced toward the living room, and Rosa followed her gaze. Penny was setting up a tea party with four dolls and a pink plastic tea set. Rosa looked back at Gabby. The other woman’s eyes were a little dark, a little resentful, filled with longing.
“You know, Gabby,” Rosa began, understanding warring with protective, maternal instincts. She’d seen that look before from the redhead, and she had to stop blaming her daughter for what happened. “If we’re going to make this work, you have to stop looking at Penny like that.”
Gabby’s gaze shot back to the blond, and her cheeks reddened again.
“I know,” she murmured, taking a sip of coffee. “It’s just…difficult.”
“This isn’t exactly a cake walk for me, either.”
“I know that.” Gabby set her coffee down and met Rosa’s gaze. “And I love Penny. How can I not? She’s a part of Jason.”
“She's also a part of me. And you’ve always hated me.” Rosa tried to keep her voice gentle and took another sip of coffee.
“I never hated you.” Gabby’s tone lost its defensive edge. “I just didn’t have a lot of self-confidence in high school.”
“Well, you should have. I never matched up to you.”
“I guess you’re right.”
Rosa continued sipping coffee and watching her daughter. Maybe this was a mistake. Everything had seemed so simple a few months ago. Gabby was back in town, Rosa was happy, Jason could be happy…She wanted him to be. But they still had to make this jumbled family work. And she wasn’t sure Gabby could let their old rivalry go.
“That’s not the difficult part, anyway. We’re both adults. The past is the past.”
Rosa glanced at Gabby. “What is it then?”
“I’m actually surprised you haven’t heard. Once Mrs. Dawson found out, I expected everyone to know.” Gabby paused and toyed with her mug, avoiding Rosa’s gaze. “I left Westridge because I was pregnant.”
Shock and something else coursed through Rosa’s veins. She was stunned. “Jason’s?” she whispered.