We are about to take a look at the hero of this book. Who is he? How does he react to everyday situations? And in this series there is always a antagonist who needs to be defeated.
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Super-mom Tallie O'Shea took on eight adopted children and built a legacy of compassionate justice with her policeman husband. When he is gunned down, she doesn't think it's an accident. Then a former lover shows up and the lies from her past start unraveling. As dangers explode around her, can Tallie set things right before everything she loves is destroyed?
EXCERPT: CHALLENGING THE LEGACY
The pressure of Pierce's fingers on hers surprised Tallie. She knew speculation about the two of them had been raging through town since Pierce showed up the night Halo exploded. Fitting, it seemed, since his arrival and the news he was Marly's biological father had rocked the foundation of her world.
Events continued to unfold at a rapid pace, including the whirlwind courtship and marriage of her oldest son, Collin, and local café owner, Beth Boulanger. Tallie already loved Beth like a daughter, though she had questioned Collin about the haste of their wedding.
However, Beth glowed with innocent love as she walked down the aisle toward Collin. And Tallie had never seen her oldest son as happy as when he took Beth's hand and tucked it under his arm, then turned to face his brother, Patrick, who was performing the ceremony.
What a difference the packed church was to the intimate setting when Tallie had married Bernie. Just the minister, his wife, and Bernie's uncle, along with Collin and Patrick, who were still wary little boys not believing they might actually have a loving home of their own.
Collin is so handsome. Just like Bernie was.
Tallie dabbed at her tears with a tissue. Bernie had worn a navy blue suit and starched white shirt. Tallie wore the new dress he insisted on buying for her and carried a bouquet of flowers--real ones--from the florist fifty miles away. The two boys were self-consciously silent in their borrowed suits and slicked-down hair.
"This will be a real marriage." Bernie had told her when he proposed a union so the boys would have both an adoptive father and mother. "You decide when you're ready to be physically intimate. But I'll always be faithful to you."
Tallie touched the wedding ring still circling the third finger of her left hand. A ring that had belonged to Bernie's grandmother.
When they married, Bernie spoke his vows clearly and looked directly at her. In all their years of marriage, Tallie knew without a doubt Bernie had indeed been true to her. He never gave her reason to think anything else.
You would be so proud of your children, Bernie.
As she dabbed at her tears again, Pierce took Tallie's hand and smiled at her. What would her life have been if she had married Pierce? She would have missed out on all her children, as well as the courage that came with being part of Bernie's legacy. She might have become as bitter as Portia Stratford.
She had loved Pierce with a deep physical passion--in a different way than she loved Bernie. She and Bernie were partners, with a love that grew from shared respect and purpose. No matter the past and whatever the future might hold, Tallie was grateful she had her marriage with Bernie and the blessings of all her children.
Only time would tell if her relationship with Pierce would become more than being parents to Marly. Today, Tallie simply cherished this beautiful time of her oldest son marrying the woman he now gazed at with total devotion and love.
EXCERPT #2 (PIERCE'S POV) from CHALLENGING THE LEGACY
Seeing his friend at the brink of death convinced Pierce pursuing Tallie was worth the risk. Not just for the challenge, but for the reward of being part of her life.
So he returned to Halo for the marriage of her oldest son. In spite of his determination, Pierce's confidence slipped like the stock market tumbling when the tuxedoed O'Shea brothers turned to look at him. Tall, solid, imposingly handsome and not a smile among them as they lined up on the steps to escort guests inside.
He forced his gait to remain steady as he accompanied Tallie toward the little chapel where Collin and Beth were to be married. The modest white clapboard building boasted a single steeple that stretched toward a blue sky painted with wisps of clouds. Situated across Celestial Creek from the old downtown, this was one of the few buildings spared when most of Halo was demolished by dynamite.
Tallie kissed each son on the cheek, including her almost-son-in-law, Dawson Browning. When she reached Thomas, who had been wandering many weeks, she hugged him fiercely, then tucked her hand through his arm. Her escort had been chosen. Under the watchful eye of the other sons, Pierce followed Tallie and Thomas inside the church.
He settled with some discomfort beside Tallie as Thomas gave her another hug before returning to the outside steps among his brothers.
Then began the examination by the citizens of Halo. Many of them knew of him through his visits to Marly, and Tallie took cordial care to introduce him to those who had not formally met him. As had been the case since he arrived, Pierce got the distinct impression he was being sized up to the late and legendary Bernie O'Shea.
As the Halo citizens examined him for any small flaw, being raised under Portia's overly critical eye paid off. His cufflinks aligned perfectly with the seam of his shirt sleeves. His aftershave was applied in just the right amount. His expression was neither too aloof nor overly friendly.
Under the scrutiny of the townspeople, Pierce's determination returned. He would become a respected member of the Halo community and surpass any legacy Bernie O'Shea had built. Most importantly, he would claim the ultimate prize of Tallie's love.
As the symphony ended the musical prelude and played the first notes of the wedding march, Pierce stood with the rest of the guests and squeezed Tallie's hand.
BIO for GENIE GABRIEL, romance author
For years I've been fascinated by the puzzle of why some people collapse under life's traumas and others emerge triumphantly stronger. These triumphs of the human spirit over the ugliest of adversities became the basis for my stories. Yet my dramatic stories have always contained touches of humor, and sometimes I have great fun writing romantic comedy novellas. However, in all my stories, my passion for writing romance is an outlet for the powerful messages that people can overcome great difficulties, and true love can turn life’s heartaches into happily ever after.
My Web site: www.GenieGabriel.com
My LEGACY blog: http://oshealegacyseries.blogspot.com/