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Authors: Robin Lee Hatcher

Another Chance to Love You

BOOK: Another Chance to Love You
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Praise for Robin Lee Hatcher and her novels

“…this novel embraces complexity rather than eschewing it, A well-paced and genuinely suspenseful plot plus Hatcher’s pleasingly smooth prose make this novel a delight.”

Publishers Weekly
The Victory Club

“Robin Lee Hatcher has again proven why she is a fiction mainstay! A fabulous read that takes you through a roller coaster of emotions! I highly recommend
The Victory Club.

—Kristin Billerbeck, author of
With This Ring, I’m Confused

“Emotionally wrenching characters and situations drench the pages of this story of bittersweet victory and hope in spite of human failure. Hatcher proves herself among the leading ladies of women’s fiction.”

Romantic Times BOOKclub
The Victory Club

“For those of us who’ve been mired in the pit, or looked down at a loved one who seems beyond redemption,
Beyond the Shadows
offers the gift of hope.”

—Liz Curtis Higgs, bestselling author of
Whence Came a Prince

“Nobody addresses modern women’s issues better than Robin Lee Hatcher. Thank you, Robin Lee, for writing about pain and struggle and, therefore, the unfathomable grace of a living, caring, Holy God. Thank you for offering hope and redemption on every page.”

—Lisa Samson, bestselling author of
Club Sandwich


Refreshed version of HOMETOWN GIRL, newly revised by author

[God] saved us, not because of the good things we did, but because of His mercy. He washed away our sins and gave us a new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us because of what Jesus Christ our Savior did. He declared us not guilty because of His great kindness. And now we know that we will inherit eternal life.


Dear Friends,

I hope you enjoyed reading
Another Chance To Love You.
Personally, I’m a big fan of second (and third and fourth and tenth and fiftieth) chances, since I’ve done my fair share of messing up first chances.

This story is an example of God’s graciousness in giving us second chances, and this edition of the novel is another example. It was first written for another publishing line and was titled
Hometown Girl.
That version was missing the spiritual element that truly brings the love story of Daniel and Monica to life. I’m grateful to Steeple Hill for allowing me the opportunity to make their story all it could be.

I hope you’ll take a moment to drop by my Web site at to read more about my books and the grace the Lord has shown in my life.

In the grip of His grace,

Robin Lee Hatcher

From her heart…to yours!

Chapter One

onica stood on the sidewalk outside of the Reading Nook Bookstore and Coffee Shop, trying to muster the courage she needed to walk inside. It would take plenty of determination, for through those doors she would find Daniel Rourke. A man she’d thought she would never see again.

Maybe she shouldn’t do it. Maybe she should forget it.

But she couldn’t. She had to do this. Because the tearful confrontation with her parents four weeks ago had changed everything.

Monica pressed the palm of her hand against her stomach. She wondered if she had the fortitude to face him, to tell him what she knew he had to be told. It would have been so much easier to send him a letter. Why did he have to return to Boise at this time, while she was grappling with her confusion and hurt, not to mention her guilt?

She glanced longingly toward her car at the far end of the
jam-packed parking lot. She could
send him a letter, she told herself. She didn’t have to tell him in person.

But, of course, she did. He might have walked out on her eleven years ago, breaking their engagement and her heart, but that hadn’t given her the right to keep such a secret from him.

She knew that now.

Maybe she’d always known it.

But only recently had she been forced to acknowledge that wrong. Her whole world had been shaken by the revelation of her adoption. In an instant, old truths were no longer true. As a result, she’d found herself questioning everything else in her life. She had trusted her mom and dad implicitly. No matter what else happened, she’d known she could turn to them, that she could trust and believe in them. But it turned out they had lied to her. So now who or what could she trust?

God. She could trust God. And He wasn’t pleased with her deception, no matter how many good excuses she came up with for keeping the truth to herself. She’d known, from the moment she became a believer four years ago, that Christians were called to speak the truth. In this case, staying silent was the same as a lie.

She’d lied to Daniel Rourke by never telling him he had a daughter. She’d lied by never telling him about Heather.

It was time for an end to the lie.

Drawing a quick breath, she stepped forward and pushed open the bookstore door, moving inside before she chickened out. She saw the table set up in the center of the huge store, but she couldn’t see Daniel. He was hidden behind a crowd of fans waiting to buy his blockbuster book.

She wandered through the aisles, glancing frequently toward the table, wondering how long she would have to wait
for the crowd to clear. Suddenly she found herself with an unobstructed view of him, and her heart nearly stopped.


She’d seen him on TV during the past years, of course, and she’d seen his photos in the magazines. But seeing him in person was different.

Impossible though it seemed, he’d grown more handsome through the years. He wore his black hair shorter now. His jaw was clean shaven. He was trim, tanned, fit. And he wore his success with an easy confidence that was tangible, even from across the bookstore. He was no longer the student who had been her steady boyfriend throughout her college years, the young man who had been her first and only lover, the person she’d lived with for more than a year and planned to marry. That Daniel had still been a boy in many ways. This Daniel appeared mature, virile, perhaps even a little dangerous.

The ladies must love him, she thought—and felt an uncomfortable sting in her chest.

Monica was well aware of Daniel Rourke’s success. It would have been impossible
to know, since his photo and byline had popped up so often in newspapers and magazines in the last few years. Daniel had been on the fast track as a hotshot newspaper reporter in Chicago for a decade now. But his star had really taken off as he’d followed and reported on the sensational Henderson murder trial. He’d even won some awards for his coverage.

When the trial and its immediate aftermath were over, he’d written his book about it.
And The Rich Kill,
by Daniel Rourke, was now number eight on the bestseller list, and he’d become a household name. His face had appeared in
every major magazine. He’d been interviewed on all the top morning news programs.

Monica hated to admit it, but she’d read all the articles about him, caught all the talk shows. She told herself it was only because she was interested in the trial and its results, not because of Daniel.

Surely that was true.

He’s never married, she thought as she watched him hand another book to a fawning young woman with bright red hair and a come-hither smile.

She wondered why he’d never married. But then, she knew why, didn’t she?

She knew why all too well.


Daniel Rourke hated sitting in a bookstore, autographing copies of his book. He hated it more than having a root canal. But thank goodness, this one was the last he would have to endure. His tour ended here in Boise, and none too soon. He was exhausted after four weeks and twenty-two cities.

Of course, his publisher hadn’t originally scheduled Boise, Idaho, into the tour. That had been done at Daniel’s request. He’d decided months ago he needed a breather. He was extending his sabbatical from the newspaper for another three months. He was going to stay in his dad’s old house, maybe do some fishing and camping. He was going to try to relax—if he could remember how. It had been a long time since he’d tried.

He scribbled his name on the title page and handed it to the grinning middle-aged woman across the table from him.

“It’s so exciting to have you here, Mr. Rourke,” she
gushed. “I had no idea you were a Boise native until I read the article in the paper this morning. Your parents must be very proud.”

“My parents are deceased.” Not that it was any of the woman’s business, but Daniel was learning there was little privacy in his life these days.

“Oh, I’m so sorry.” She flushed with embarrassment. “I… I…”

“It’s all right. It’s been a long time.”

The woman clutched her copy of his book close to her ample bosom and hurried away.

Cathy Monroe, the bookstore manager, stepped unobtrusively to his right side, whispering, “Is there anything you need, Mr. Rourke? I could get you coffee or a cola or—”

“No, I’m fine, Cathy.” He smiled at her, saw her overeager smile in return. “Thanks anyway.” He hoped she didn’t read more into his politeness than was intended. He’d discovered how willing some women were to do that. It was amazing what a difference a high six-figure book deal could make in a man’s social life, once the facts were published in every newspaper and scandal sheet in the country.

On his left side, Allison True, his publicist, slid another book in front of him, already open to the title page. He glanced up at the person across the table.

“And who should I sign this—” he began. The words died abruptly in his throat.

“Hello, Daniel.”

For a moment, his voice wouldn’t work. Finally, her name came out. “Monica?”

He shouldn’t have been surprised to see her, but he was. Or maybe it was the way seeing her again made him feel. Un
steady. Off balance. As if he’d been awakened from a sound sleep and wasn’t sure where or even who he was.

She offered a tentative smile. “It’s been a long time.”

time? It had been a
“Eleven years,” he managed to say.

“Yes.” She gestured toward the stacks of books. “You’ve done well for yourself.”

“I’ve done all right.” But what he wanted to say was, How about you, Monica? What have you done with yourself? Are you married? Do you have that little house and white picket fence like you always wanted? Are you happy?

She looked incredible. She must be happy.

If anything, Monica Fletcher was more beautiful than he’d remembered. She still wore her golden blond hair long and curly. Her brown eyes were still the color of chocolate truffles—her favorite candy in college. She wasn’t as skinny as she’d been when she was twenty, but she wore the few extra pounds well. They’d added some lovely curves.

He cleared his throat. “Should I sign this to you?”


He tried to think of something clever to write. But what did one say to an ex-lover, to a former fiancée, to a woman who had been his sunshine until he’d driven her away? Finally he just scribbled his name.

As he closed the book, she said, “Daniel, I was wondering if we might talk when you’re finished here. You don’t have a flight to catch, do you?”

“No.” He held out the book to her. “As a matter of fact, I’m staying in Boise for a few months.”

“Oh, I didn’t know.” She seemed flustered. “Could we…” she began, then glanced at Allison, obviously wondering
who the woman was. “Could we go for coffee or something to eat when you’re done?”

He had to admit he was surprised Monica wanted to spend any time with him. After all, they hadn’t parted on the best of terms. Before he’d moved out of their apartment, their fights had turned bitter and caustic. They’d said a lot of things to wound each other. They’d both been good at it, but he’d been the champion. He’d known her most vulnerable points, and he’d used them against her.

He’d hurt her. Intentionally.

It wasn’t something of which he was proud.

“I won’t keep you long,” Monica continued, her gaze flicking to the publicist again.

It was time for an introduction. “Allison, meet my—” What was he supposed to call her? He settled for, “Old college friend, Monica Fletcher.” He paused, glancing toward her left hand, but his book was in the way. “
it still Fletcher?”


He wasn’t about to analyze the way her answer made him feel. “Monica, this is Allison True. She works for my publisher. It’s her job to get me all the places I have to be, on time, looking good and feeling organized. She’s been a real trouper on this tour.”

“It hasn’t been all bad,” Allison said as she offered her hand to Monica. “I’ve worked with many more temperamental and demanding authors than Daniel.” She glanced at him and chuckled. “Although you
had your moments.” She returned her gaze to Monica. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Miss Fletcher. Boise is a lovely city. I’m not surprised Daniel wanted to come back here for a well-deserved rest.”

Monica offered a tight smile in response, then glanced behind her. “I’d better get out of the way and let Daniel sign the rest of these books.” She was no longer speaking to him, but to Allison. “I’ll just browse until he’s finished.”

Daniel watched her walk away and wondered what had caused her to seek him out. Monica Fletcher was no groupie, no fortune hunter, he was certain of that. He had a vague suspicion she would have preferred that same root canal he’d been thinking about earlier rather than coming here to see him.

So why had she come?

“Mr. Rourke, I’m so excited to meet you. I’ve already read your book…”

Reluctantly he returned his attention to the reader across the table, smiling. “And you want this autographed to…”


Java Joe’s, a popular espresso bar down the street from the bookstore, was busy for a sunny Saturday afternoon. Monica ordered a skinny vanilla latte. Daniel ordered a black coffee. Then they sat at a table near the window. Monica did her best to appear relaxed and casual.

“Do you like living in Chicago?”

“It’s got its good and bad points.” Daniel shrugged. “A lot different than here, that’s for certain.”

“Boise’s changed since you went away.”

“Yeah, it has. I couldn’t believe the traffic, getting from the airport to the bookstore.”

Monica hooked a loose strand of hair behind her ear. “You’ve never been back in all these years?”

She knew the answer. In the beginning, she’d watched for him. She’d longed for the phone call that would announce
his return to her. For years after he moved away, the pain of Daniel’s going had been with her, weighing her down like a stone in her heart. Every time she’d looked at Heather and seen Daniel’s likeness in her daughter, the pain had returned. Only after Monica gave her wounded, broken heart to Jesus had she been set free—from the pain and from Daniel.

Or so she had thought.

“No,” he said in answer to her question.

Hardly above a whisper, she asked, “Why now?”

His steel-gray eyes darkened as he met her gaze. “Wish I hadn’t come?”

Yes. “No.”

Leaning back in his chair, he raked the fingers of his right hand through his hair. “To tell you the truth, Monica, I’m tired. I needed a change, a rest. So I’m extending my sabbatical from the paper until September. I’m going to stay in Dad’s old house. Fix it up a little. Maybe I’ll sell it before I go back to Chicago. But while I’m here, I’m going fishing, camping, hiking. You know, all the outdoor stuff Idaho is famous for. Who knows what else? Maybe I’ll go bungee jumping.”

Earlier, she’d thought he sounded wistful. Now he sounded weary and maybe a bit flippant. It was on the tip of her tongue to ask him if he was happy, but the waitress arrived with their coffees.

Monica breathed a silent sigh of relief. She was glad for the interruption, glad she hadn’t asked him about his personal happiness. It wasn’t why she’d come to see him today.

As if he’d read her thoughts, Daniel said, “Why did you ask me here, Monica?”

Her mouth went dry. The moment had come.

“I don’t think it was for old time’s sake,” he added with a wry smile.

She took a sip of her latte, then drew a deep breath as she set the cup on the table. “I have something to tell you, but I’m not sure how to do it.”

He raised one eyebrow. Curious. Nothing more.

“It’s about Heather. My daughter.”


She nodded. Her gaze dropped to the table where she was slowly shredding a napkin with her fingertips.

“I guess I assumed, since your name is still Fletcher…” He let the sentence die unfinished.

“I’m not divorced. I never married.”


This was much harder than she’d anticipated.

BOOK: Another Chance to Love You
7.96Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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