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A Wife For Ben

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Язык: Английский
Год издания: 2018 год
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      A Wife For Ben
Cheryl Wolverton

THE GOOD NEIGHBOR–ACTUALLY, THE BESTA woman couldn' t ask for a better neighbor than Ben Mayeaux. He' d saved Stephanie Webber and her daughter from their burning house, and this single mom couldn' t thank him enough. Kind, strong and handsome, Ben had opened his home to them and helped in more ways than she could count, and soon Stephanie' s feelings were taking on a more-than-neighborly slant.When days of healing and house repair turned into tender evenings, Stephanie wondered if this tried-and-true bachelor' s home–and heart– would open permanently to a wife and rambunctious five-year-old.And if they did, could she heal her own past wounds, and love again?

“This is so much to take in,” Stephanie said.

Ben crossed the room, his forehead creasing into a small frown. His strides were long and quick as he closed the distance between them. Before she knew it, he’d reached up and clasped her shoulders. Squeezing them gently, he held her.

The warmth of the long, curved hands providing support and understanding was her undoing. She shuddered, and a sob escaped.

Mortified, she tried to pull away, not knowing why the floodgates of Hoover Dam had suddenly opened. Ben wouldn’t let her. Pulling her in to his chest, he wrapped his large arms around her. “This has been coming for a long time,” he said. “Let it out.”

She didn’t know what he meant, but his words had the desired effect. Her arms going around him, gripping to keep her from sliding into a puddle at his feet, she cried.

CHERYL WOLVERTON

RITA

Award finalist Cheryl Wolverton has well over a dozen books to her name. Her very popular HILL CREEK, TEXAS, series has been a finalist in many contests. Having grown up in Oklahoma, lived in Kentucky, Texas and now Louisiana, Cheryl and her husband of twenty years and their two children, Jeremiah and Christina, consider themselves Oklahomans who have been transplanted to grow and flourish in the South. Readers are always welcome to contact her via: P.O. Box 207, Slaughter, LA 70777 or e-mail at Cheryl@cherylwolverton.com. You can also visit her Web site at www.cherylwolverton.com.

A Wife for Ben

Cheryl Wolverton

www.millsandboon.co.uk (http://www.millsandboon.co.uk)

He will not forget your work and the love

you have shown Him as you helped His people and continue to help them.

—Hebrews 6:10

Writing a book is always a fun process. And the acknowledgments are always something I like to do. I want to thank the librarians—all three of them—from Pride Branch in Pride, Louisiana. They were so helpful in finding the information I needed.

I would like to acknowledge Christina Wolverton.

Also Jeremiah Wolverton and my husband, Steve—a wonderful man. Without him, I wouldn’t be able to find my computer on some days!

Dear Reader,

Not too far from here there is a town called Pride, Louisiana. I thought it would make a wonderful setting for a story. Pride represents any small town, perhaps even the one that you live in. Its residents are everyday folk, people that you know.

In Pride and other communities all over the world, people become heroes by their simple actions. Giving a cup of water to someone who is thirsty or calling someone who is in the hospital or visiting someone who lives by himself or herself can be in itself a heroic act. You don’t have to save someone from a burning building or from something horrific to be a hero. Sometimes the simplest act of kindness is heroic to the person who receives it.

I’m sure we all can come up with someone who is an everyday hero to us. Take time to let those people in your life know how much you appreciate them. Let them know how much they mean to you. And remember that by helping someone, you might just become an everyday hero, too!

Blessings,

Contents

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter One

When you think life is going along just fine, life pulls an April fool.

—Ben’s Laws of Life

I still can’t believe it. Here I am, Ben Mayeaux, standing at the altar, about to commit myself to the best person I could have ever met.

Instant family.

I’ll have a five-year-old stepdaughter.

Who would have thought?

A staid and sure bachelor at thirty-eight years old. Not husband material. Not father material. And certainly not hero material.

At least, not until that day that turned my world on its axis like a top out of control…

Let me tell you about it.

Push it, Ben. Almost halfway there.

Sneakered feet pounded the asphalt as Ben Mayeaux worked to make the four miles. Ahead he saw the tree that marked the two miles where he would turn and head back to his house.

It was still dark in the predawn hours in Pride, Louisiana, dark and already humid. A thick early-morning fog was starting to build and cover the road where he ran, filling the wooded pine forests around him, making his feet echo hollowly as he pounded onward.

Come on, Ben. You can do it, just like when you were twenty. So, what if you’re thirty-eight, nearly thirty-nine. You’re at your best right now, at your prime. You have everything in life you want.

In and out, in and out, his breathing continued, if a bit labored.

He might feel like he was still twenty, but his body was telling him he should have called it quits at the mile marker.

He reached the turnaround point and headed down the road, inhaling the scent of crisp budding pines and exhaling in cadence with his running.
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