Stand Alone Novels from Linda L. Picl
Next Time Love Comes
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Sometimes marriage isn't all it's cracked up to be. Sometimes you have to take your own life in your
hands and change it for the better. Elizabeth Peters knows this and when she meets Aiden Roberts and his handicapped child she realizes she'll have a fight ahead of her if she wants this man in her life.
As Aiden watched, he could see she enjoyed this immensely. How could someone deny her this
pleasure and not want to share it with her.
He couldn’t help but grin, she was so sweet with her sun kissed cheeks and bright smile. She sat there
without a care in the world. At least that was how it appeared.
Not able to resist another minute, he put his hand across the table and nodded toward the dance floor.
He had to dance with her now, to feel her in his arms if only for this one dance on this one incredible
She shook her head yelling, “No I can’t dance like that.”
The crowd was doing a country line dance. They knew every move and turn, dancing perfectly in sync with the music as if they were a professional dance troupe. He squeezed her hand, insisting she get up.
She was still protesting as he led her to the one place on the shiny hardwood dance floor where there
was room to move. Giggling, she took his hand and held on for dear life. Just as they started to do the
line dance, the band switched to a ballad.
She whispered in his ear, “Do you think they did that just for us?”
He pulled her close to him. “I hope so. It’s as perfect as you are.”
While he had her in his powerful arms, she could feel his muscles through his neat and proper dress
shirt, knowing there was nothing neat or proper about the way he made her feel. He was warm and safe and danced beautifully. Knowing all the moves, he managed to get her to master them also. As he guided her around the dance floor, all her pain disappeared. It was just the two of them and at that
moment, nothing else mattered.
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Everyone felt sorry for Carrie Lawson. She was a sweet woman who had nothing but a deadbeat
husband and a dream of a writing career. Happiness was something she had to fight for but when she
met Logan Franks, a local firefighter, her love life became a whole lot warmer until her very existence was almost snuffed out by a person she thought she’d never see again.
Logan Franks is hot, and not just in looks. Being a volunteer firefighter doesn’t just mean being on a
calendar or turning girls on…its dangerous work. Sometimes you have to go in and save everyone,
sometimes even your worst enemy. But Logan is above all that, he will save everyone he can. He and
Carrie will fight for a life together, no matter what, even if the chances are high it will all blow up in their faces.
“Let me introduce you to Flash...as in Flash Gordon, you know, the super hero.” She crinkled her
nose and couldn’t control her burst of laughter. She hadn’t laughed that hard in ages...it felt good. After regaining some composure, she had to ask, “No way, really, that’s his name? You could be more original, you know?”
Her reaction amused the good-natured man and he couldn’t help but chuckle. “Your name is? Just so
you and my friend here are properly introduced.”
Carrie put her hand to her mouth trying to suppress more giggles, “Oh! I’m sorry, Flash. My name is
His eyes sparkled with delight when he replied, “Well now, don’t be sorry, it’s a lovely name.” Carrie
caught his bad joke and showed him the most amazing smile he’d ever seen. Her eyes and smile lit up
the dreary room, making his entire week a whole lot happier.
“Carrie Lawson, meet Flash, the Basset hound.
This is as active as he gets. If you ask him politely, he might give you his paw. However, don’t ask him to do anything else, because that’s as much as you’ll get in one day. He exhausts easily.”
Carrie knelt down in front of the pooch and held out her hand revealing a cheap wedding band that cut straight to Logan’s heart. Damn, somebody got to her first. Logan shut his eyes briefly. Why did he automatically assume she was single and why were all the beautiful ones taken?
“Hello, Flash, it’s an honor to meet you. May I please have your paw? “Amazingly, the old canine sat
down rather graciously and held up his paw for her. Delighted by the feat, Carrie smiled, “Wow that’s a good dog. You were right he’s great and very smart.”
She ruffled his big old ears, appreciating the trick and making the hound more than happy to roll over
for her to pet his substantial belly.
Logan was too surprised to do anything but nod, “I was so...kidding. He’s never done that before! I’ve begged him for years. What gives, Flash? You have an eye for the pretty girls, don’t you? You’re a miracle worker, Carrie.”
Stepping away from the table, he held out his hand, “Oh, now I’m sorry. My name is Logan Franks. It’s a genuine pleasure to meet you, Carrie.”
“Oh, don’t be sorry. That’s a lovely name too.” She kidded back with Logan as she stood to take his
hand, almost slamming right into her mother as the woman raced over with the food and an attitude.
Carrie knew it was trouble when Sandy dropped the bag into Carrie’s hand and grabbed Logan’s
extended hand, putting it to her own evil heart. Good
Lord, Carrie thought, as she blushed. She stood frozen, watching Logan try in vain to retrieve his hand.
Having no luck, Logan realized that her mom was stronger than she looked.
Carrie’s face reddened and she felt her blood pressure rise. This was a ridiculous exhibition. Her mom was performing for him and it had to stop. Filling fast with all sorts of humiliation for the second time that day, Carried didn’t control herself any longer. “Mom, stop! What are you doing to this poor man?”
There...she’d done it. For the first time in her life, she yelled at her own mother. It was almost cathartic.
However, it was short lived as the old Carrie came racing back, making her wanting to hide in the broom closet because she knew the woman wouldn’t take this easily.
Angelea’s Dreams of Yesterday
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Nothing short of a miracle will convince Angelea she’s the person everyone claims she is. She
thought she was just waking up from a nightmare, but her nightmare is just beginning. Her doctor tells her she’s someone named Angel Bennett, someone she’s never heard of and the bruises on her body tell her something horrendous has happened to her, but what? That’s something no one can figure out.
Nate Matthews knows who Angelea really is. She’s his lover and he’d hoped his future wife. But when she awakens in the hospital after a routine surgery and she claims she’s married to a man named Alexander from a time long ago, he knows they will both be up against something no one has ever had to face before. Maybe something evil. How will he convince the love of his life she is not married to a pirate?
His eyes searched her face for the woman he loved, but Angel didn’t meet his gaze, there was
someone else there now looking back at him. Someone he didn’t recognize, so he had to turn away. He couldn’t look at her anymore. His heart was ripped apart in his chest as if someone tore it out, stomped on it, then gave the mess back to him in a lunch bag.
“Yes, it was, it is for you.” He waited for what he knew had to come next.
“Nate, what can I say? You know we can’t possibly think about getting married now, maybe never. I’m so screwed up I can’t tell you what the future holds. Hell, I’m still stuck somewhere in the past. You seem like a great guy...but—”
“Oh no, not the Dear John speech,” he shouted. He couldn’t help it. This was so ridiculous.
“But I don’t know you. I’m sorry.” She touched his arm, trying to reassure him, but all it did was convince him something had to be done to change what was fast becoming his past too. His heart raced in his chest as he tried one more time to convince her they belonged together.
“I want you to remember us, what we shared, and the life we’ve lived for almost a decade.” He slammed his hands on the steering wheel. She turned to face him, but now he refused to look at her beautiful face. It would just make him ache more.
“I want to know you too. I really do. I want to remember something about our lives together, but it’s just not happening. All I get are these weird images of something in the past, of a different man, not the two of us. I don’t belong in this age or this place. Can you understand? I woke up the other day in the hospital and everything was different. I’m not supposed to be here, and it scares the hell out of me, Nate.”
That statement sounded strange even to her.
“Yeah, I’m starting to get it now. I was with a gorgeous, generous, lovely woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life with and woke up the next day and she doesn’t know me. Hell, she doesn’t know herself. Yeah, I’d say that’s a little scary. I’m petrified.”
Angelea saw the frustration in his eyes, she tried to catch his eye to communicate her feelings, but he
stared straight ahead at the Key West traffic in front of him.
Still trying to resign himself to her loss, he glanced at her. “Let’s head back to the apartment, maybe
after a good night’s rest things will get better tomorrow.”
She tried to see his face, but he wouldn’t even turn in her direction now.
“Sounds good, it can’t get much worse, right?” she asked, hoping he’d tell her things would get better, but he didn’t utter another word all the way back to the loft.
Later at the apartment she made up the couch, being sure she stretched the sheets as far as they’d go,
tucking them all in neatly, almost like hospital corners.
Then watching him pour himself a drink, it looked like a good idea for herself too. Maybe it would calm her nerves a little.
“What is that?”
He held the half-filled glass in the air. “My relief...want some? It’s Jack on the rocks,” he replied
“Did I drink it before?” she asked, crinkling her nose at him.
“Nope, you don’t touch it. But who knows what you like now.” He grinned, trying to change the mood in air. She returned the smile. “Well, yeah, maybe I will try some.”
Pouring a second glass, he walked slowly across the room like a lover coming to take what was his.
Damn, he was a striking man. She couldn’t deny that as she watched him come to her. His dark hair was cut a tad long, just enough to be sexy. His eyes staring right through her were enough to take her breath away.
He, on the other hand, seemed afraid to get too close to her, his need for her started to become
apparent. She knew he wanted to grab her and drag her probably kicking and screaming to the bedroom and make her remember him. Force her to know how they were together, but what he wished and what was going to happen were two different things. Smiling up at him, she took the glass from his hand and melted into those deep blue eyes of his. She felt his gaze look deep into her soul. She understood now what she must have felt for him before. Could it happen again?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Linda L. Picl was born in 1955 and got her love of reading from spending time in a tiny library under
a police station in a small town in Illinois. From there she went on to work at many of the libraries in
suburbs all around the Chicago area which only fired up her love of romance novels.
Following her favorite authors Robyn Carr and Nora Roberts she went on to write sweet romance books and produced her first book Next Time Love Comes and then Solitary Dreamer, both second chance at love romances. Not everyone gets lucky on their first try. Those are the types of books Linda loves to write and she has more books on the way. Right now she's working on getting ready to publish a paranormal romance...no vampires or raunchy sex but a few ghosts and pirates.
Linda lives in a suburb of Milwaukee, with her husband and mini-poodle.
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