Tender Hearts

What was the song the kids sang in school? First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in the baby carriage. Not quite. First comes three hot days in Maui, then comes the surprise baby, then comes... love? Yeah. The kind of love that sneaks up on you, like a sudden rainstorm, that you don't know is coming until you're soaked to the skin.

What will it take for Billy and Erin to take the chance and admit their love? When tragedy strikes, they have to find strength in each other... for the love of their child. 

Available for purchase at: Desert Breeze PublishingAmazonBarnes & NobleAll Romance eBooksKoboSony, Apple's iBookstore, and other online ebook outlets
""Ms Delaney breathes raw emotion into both Billy and Erin and takes them to edge of emotional endurance before they find their HEA, and because of this, it becomes a book that’s hard to put aside before you turn the final page."
Long and Short Review -- 4 Books

"I'm sorry I lied to you," she said, stepping away from the door.

"Well, at least you admit that. Is your name really Erin Griffin?"

She looked away for a moment, her eyes darting down to the mess on his desk, but when she looked up again, the strength of her stare snatched his breath.

"Yes," was her simple answer.

Billy drew in a hard breath through his nose, setting his hands at his waist. "So, how did you find me?"

"You told me you lived near Portland, and that you built houses. I didn't realize it was your own business, but it made you easier to find."

"I guess I shared more than you during those three days in Maui, huh?"

That hurt. He knew it hurt. Billy saw it in her eyes. She crossed her arms over her body, effectively pressing her breasts upward and revealing even more of her bare stomach. The tiny gold ring in her navel seemed to wink at him.

"Are you going to let me speak at some point? Or should I just come back when you're done so I can say something?" she asked with a tilt of her head.

Billy matched her stance by crossing his arms over his chest and spreading his feet apart. "By all means. You obviously have something to say. Maybe you can start by telling me why you left that morning without a word?"

She glared back at him and shifted, cocking one beautiful hip. Billy bowed his head and flipped a hand at her, silently asking her to proceed.

"I don't suppose it means anything to you that I came looking for you all the way from --"

"From where? Not Illinois."

"North Carolina."

"Oh, well, that is a hike from North Carolina to Maine," he ground out.

"Will you just shut up and listen to me," she snapped.

Billy clenched his jaw together, pain shooting down his neck, to keep himself from speaking. Or worse yet, from flattening her back against the wall and kissing her until they both were senseless.

They stared at each other across the tiny space and Billy waited to breathe. He caught the glisten of welled-up moisture in her eyes, and something inside him seized. For a moment, he forgot everything and desperately wanted to know why she had tears.

Before he could decide against it, Billy moved around the desk and stepped to her, putting his hands on her arms. Heat and electricity shot through him when his palms touched her cool skin. She looked up at him and he caught the slight quiver in her lower lip.

"Why are you here?" he asked, trying to keep the edge from his voice this time.

She blinked, and one single tear escaped from the corner of her eye to slide down her cheek. Erin cleared her throat and one hand came up to just barely touch his tee shirt. Billy's abdomen clenched and tightened at the near-caress.

God, she'd better talk fast!

"I'm sorry I took off like that. I just -- I just wanted to be the first to leave."

"What do you mean?"

"It was a fling, Billy. A vacation affair. I knew it didn't mean anything to you."

"Oh, you knew that even if I never said a word to that effect?" Despite his promise not to yell, Billy felt his anger spew up again.

"It was incredible, but I knew it had to end."

He dropped his hands from her arms and leaned back into the edge of his desk, crossing his ankles. "I'm amazed at just how much you knew about all this, because apparently I knew nothing at all."