Title: Still Savannah (Blue Ridge Valley, #3)
Author: Sandra Owens
Publication Date: October 23rd 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
He was her first love, the boy who broke her heart. When her life falls apart she turns to the man he is today. She is a wounded soul, and he is just the man who can help her heal, but only if he dares to risk his heart again.
Known simply as Savannah, a beautiful face on the covers of glamour magazines, Savannah Graham has the perfect life… or so it seems to the world. Behind closed doors her reality is far from perfect. When a person she should be able to trust threatens her, she returns home to Blue Ridge Valley, the only place she feels safe. The valley is also where he lives, her first and only love.
Adam Hunter stepped out of Savannah Graham’s life nine years ago so she could follow her dream. She was his first love, and there is still an ache in his heart for what he lost every time he sees her face on the cover of a magazine. Now she’s home, needing protection, and he can’t refuse. When the danger is over, she will return to her glamorous life. So she’s not the only thing he has to protect, he also needs to safeguard his heart.
“The truth game.”
As much as I wanted to pretend I didn’t hear her, that was our thing, one I couldn’t ignore. I faced her. “Okay.”
“Why did you break up with me? One day you said you loved me, and the next you said you didn’t.”
That was a question I’d hoped she would never ask. “Does it matter anymore?”
“It’s never stopped mattering.” Her eyes filled with tears, and her lips trembled. “Never mind. You’re right. It’s no longer important.”
She headed down the hall, leaving me torn. Go after her and give her the truth, or keep my mouth shut, knowing if I did it would truly be the end of us. But wasn’t that what I wanted, what would be the best for both of us? How many times when thinking of her had I told myself that our time had come and gone? Thousands? Yet…
“Damn it.” Despite my brain screaming to let it go, my feet followed her down the hall. I found her in the godawful master bedroom. She had a drawer open and was throwing white T-shirts in a pile on the bed.
“Savannah.” She ignored me as she slammed the empty drawer shut before opening another one. Socks went flying, some landing on the bed, some on the floor. “I lied. About not loving you.”
She stilled, bent over the drawer. Her chin dropped to her chest, and a visible shudder passed through her. “Why?” she said so softly that I barely made out the word.
I rammed my fingers into my pockets. What the hell was I doing? I’d never told her about her mother’s visit, hadn’t tried to explain anything to her back then, only telling her that I was too young to be tied down.
“I was just a mountain boy with no idea how to act around the kind of people who would come into your life. You know, the beautiful people, the rich and famous, and all that. I didn’t want to be a hindrance or an embarrassment to you. I let you go because I loved you, not because I didn’t.”
Wasn’t doing that for the person you loved a grand gesture, a sacrifice of your own happiness for the other person’s? Honestly I thought my confession would, I don’t know, soften her heart, make her appreciate what I’d given up for her. The understanding smile I was waiting for didn’t happen. Her eyes narrowed, and she yanked out the drawer and threw it at me. I was too far away for it to come near me, but her intention was clear. She wanted to take my head off.
“Hey,” I said, throwing up my hands. “You’re the one who wanted to play this particular truth game. I did it for you, Savannah.”
“You bastard.” She scooped up balls of socks and hurled them at me.
I batted them away as they came at me. “You shouldn’t have asked if you can’t handle the truth.” Christ, that sounded like something right out of a movie. “Savannah—”
“No, you shut up right now. Every word you just said was right out of my mother’s mouth, the exact same things she told me. She got to you, didn’t she?”
There was no use denying it at this point, so I nodded.
“Do you know what I told her when she tried to convince me that you were too much of a”—she made air quotes—“hillbilly to fit in in a big city? That you’d be miserable?”
Deciding it was best I kept my mouth shut, I just shook my head.
“I told her that you were the smartest man I knew and that you’d figure out how to make a life there that you’d be happy with. What I didn’t tell her was our agreement that we’d give it two years and if either one of us was unhappy, we’d come home.”
She picked up more socks, started to throw one, then stared at her hand before letting them drop to the floor. “I can’t believe you’ve reduced me to throwing stupid socks. I’m not finished,” she said when I opened my mouth.
I snapped it closed.
“You would have never allowed yourself to become a hindrance to me. I knew that down to my toes, and I told her so. And as for being an embarrassment to me… Have you ever looked into a mirror, Adam? I would have been the envy of every woman who saw me on your arm. I told her that, too. As for the dream of me becoming a famous model, that was always my mother’s dream, not mine. You damn well knew that. Not that the idea didn’t have its appeal, but if we’d decided to stay in the valley, get married, and have a houseful of kids like we talked about, I would have been happy. In hindsight I can honestly say I would have been happier considering the way my life turned out. I would have never, not in a million years, resented you for anything.”
I felt like all the air had been sucked out of my lungs. I’d been a stupid, stupid boy.
“Savannah…” My throat closed, the lump in it bigger than a damn boulder. She’d believed in us, had trusted me to do the same, and I’d crumbled the minute the Wicked Witch had spewed her poison.
“Don’t Savannah me.” She waved her hand, shooing me away.
“What about how fast you replaced me?” Yes, all the things she’d accused me of were true, but I’d gone almost a year before dating after she’d left. She sure as hell couldn’t say the same, and I realized now that I’d never quite forgiven her for that.
She scrunched her eyebrows together. “What are you talking about?”
“That baseball player, Declan Bauman. I saw the pictures of you with him. There were even engagement rumors. You sure weren’t missing me.”
“For God’s sake, Adam, that was nothing but a publicity stunt, arranged by my mother and Jackson right after I signed with him. If you thought I could replace you that easily, that fast, then you didn’t know me at all. I don’t want to talk to you anymore.” She marched to me and pushed me out the door.
“I’m sorry,” I said but not to her face.
Those words I owed her came after the door slammed behind me. I stood on the other side of that closed door, my chin lowered to my chest, my hands fisted at my sides, my eyes closed, and my lungs sucking in air as any hope that we might have a second chance died as fast as it had birthed
If I lived the rest of my life miserable without her, it was what I deserved.
About the Author:
A best selling, award winning author, Sandra Owens lives in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Her family and friends often question her sanity, but have ceased being surprised by what she might get up to next. She's jumped out of a plane, flown in an aerobatic plane while the pilot performed death-defying stunts, has flown Air Combat (two fighter planes dogfighting, pretending to shoot at each other with laser guns), and rode a Harley motorcycle for years. She regrets nothing.
A member of Romance Writers of America's Honor Roll, Sandra is a 2013 Golden Heart® Finalist for her contemporary romance, CRAZY FOR HER. In addition to her contemporary romantic suspense novels, she writes Regency stories.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway