Prelude to the Pike's Run Series
The story of Michael and Sarah gets us started with the Pike's Run series, but it actually takes place in North Carolina. The majority of the books in the series are set in Texas. The Lonnigan family moves after their parents pass away. There are four siblings: Sean, Michael, Daniel and Bonnie.
Irish Catholics who follow a path many Irish did by settling first in the Carolinas, and then moving to Texas for cheaper land.
But before the Lonnigan family leaves, Michael falls in love with Sarah Kerry, and just as their budding courtship deepens to love, Sarah breaks it off. Michael is hurt and confused, and his gut tells him something isn't right. He doesn't believe Sarah when she tells him that she doesn't love him.
While Sarah says the words necessary to dissolve her relationship with Michael, it takes all her strength to do so. She's been backed into a corner by a family secret she had no idea existed. The only way to save her father is to follow the demands of Liam Devlin. Even if it kills her to do so.
I enjoyed writing this book, because we experience the beginning of the Lonnigan family saga. The plot is also very simple, but causes great havoc and upheaval in Michael and Sarah's lives. A family secret that can tear people apart...
But luckily Michael refuses to give up, and Sarah finds the courage she needs to fight back.
I have two. I know, I know. I should've been discerning enough to pick only one, but I can't. Y'all have pity on me...
My most favorite part is when Sarah makes a pivotal decision and confronts her fears. (And I can't tell you more than that because it'll give away some stuff.)
The second is when Michael is walking with Liam Devlin to his cabin. That's pretty awesome. I can't even tell you how much fun I had writing that.
“You always look at me like that, Michael,” she whispered. She could feel his eyes on her. They seared her with intent and heat. It was as if he branded her with his determination.
“In what way?” he asked, his voice pitched low.
Her pulse raced. “Like you’re gazing deep inside me.”
He took a moment before replying, and when he did, his voice was hard and firm. “I can see your heart, Sarah Kerry. And it’s mine.”
Her breath caught in her chest. She whipped around as her skin tingled from the possessiveness and rightness of his words. Her heart did belong to him, but it didn’t matter. It could never be.
The river rushed before her, strong and free. What she wouldn’t give for the ability to run unchained, to grab the happiness she wanted and never look back. She exhaled deeply and closed her eyes.
Michael Lonnigan stepped closer, the warmth of his solid frame seeping into her. “Tell me,” he urged. “Who is the man who stalks your every step?”
As she looked up, an image of her predator flashed before her. “He is…no one.”
“No one?” His voice grated on the phrase. “He had his arm around your waist in church today.”
She clenched her teeth, keeping the bile down as the memory of his touch plagued her.
“If I didn’t know your true feelings,” Michael continued, “if I hadn’t seen you step away from him, I’d think you didn’t love me.”
Perhaps she should deny her feelings for Michael. But as quickly as she conjured the thought, she discarded it. He would know she lied to him.
His hands came up to rest on her shoulders. “Tell me who stands between us. Why have you turned away from me and gone to him?” he begged, his tone rough and seared with pain.
She ached to tell him, to lay her burdens at his feet, but no one could know her family’s shame and peril. To confess her hell would be to betray her father, and she couldn’t do that. “Please,” she urged, her voice wavering, “you must let it alone. We can’t be together anymore.”
He gripped her tighter, pulling her back against his chest. She allowed the intimate embrace, needing his touch, for it was her life’s blood. He ran his hands down her arms and circled her waist. As he buried his face in the crook of her neck, he breathed in deeply.
Yearning centered inside her, making her heart pound. One month of precious courtship, thirty days of happiness, thirty nights of sweet longing, gone now. Obliterated by her dead mother’s hand.
Michael Lonnigan, the man of her heart, could never be hers. Tall, broad shouldered, dark haired, brown eyed and with a smile true and honest, he would not belong to her. She had to leave him, to set him free. It would kill her to do so.
His arms tightened so firmly, she feared he might carry her off. Pushing at his forearms, she yanked herself from his solid hold. “I have to go.” Her knees shook as she took the necessary steps away from him.
“I can’t accept this,” he called after her as she walked swiftly down the path through the swaying pine trees. “I can’t let you go.”
Tears formed in her eyes.
“I love you, Sarah,” he cried.
Sobs clutched her chest as she picked up the pace, branches snagging at her skirt. Her life had been ruined, her dream crushed, and her sweet love could do nothing about it.
I dedicated this book to my parents because this story is about Kyle's parents. Kyle is the hero of the first full-length novel in the Pike's Run Series, and I feel a special connection to his book. While Saving Sarah is the prequel, I actually wrote it after I finished my fourth romance. Michael and Sarah's love story kept bouncing around in my head, and I had to get it on to paper. So, I see Saving Sarah as a "parent" book. As the start. As the people who gave life to everything else. Therefore, I gave the novella to my mother and father....because they light up my life.
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