Returning Home (A Novella)
Riann C. Miller
At fifteen, I fell in love with Luke Runyan.
With just one look, one touch, he became my world until he shattered my heart into a million pieces. No one meets their soulmate when they’re only a kid, yet convincing my heart to move on is a task I never mastered.
My heart has only ever belonged to one woman, Samantha Harris.
Sam had dreams; dreams I couldn’t deliver, which left me with only one choice… I walked away.
Whoever said time heals all wounds never lost the love of their life. And they don’t force you back to the same small town you’ve spent your entire adult life avoiding, especially when she’s everywhere you turn.
Juggling the bags in my hands, I manage to get the back door open. My stomach grumbles from the sweet smell of warm cookies. I place the bags on the counter, ready to swipe a cookie from a cooling rack when Margie walks into the kitchen.
“Oh, you came. I wasn’t sure if you’d bring my order this week.”
“I don’t bail on people; you should know that by now.”
I wince when her mouth turns down with a frown.
“I don’t know what I would do without you, Sam. I guess I was just worried things would change now.”
I force a smile, hoping it doesn’t look nearly as fake as it feels. “Nothing is going to change unless of course, you want it to.”
She limps in my direction and pulls me in for a hug. I lost my mother when I was five and over the years, Margie has filled the void I’ve felt. Losing her isn’t an option, at least not one I can live with.
“I would understand if you didn’t want to come by.”
I open my mouth, ready to reply when he walks into the kitchen. The second Luke spots me he freezes, both of our bodies going stiff.
Margie’s eyes follow mine until they stop on her son. “Oh, I thought you were taking a nap.” Her voice shakes, probably expecting all hell to break loose, but I’m not about to act like a crazy ex-girlfriend.
“I couldn’t sleep.” Luke’s deep voice rumbles through me. He looks the same, just bigger, harder, tougher compared to the eighteen-year-old I remember.
I clear my throat and my wandering thoughts. “I didn’t check your order before bringing it to you. If you’re missing anything, let me know.”
I lean forward, giving Margie a quick kiss on the cheek. “Have a great day.” Without looking at either of them, I swiftly walk out the back door.
My entire life has been one messy situation after another. I shouldn’t be surprised that Luke of all people would return home and somehow magically become my patient, but damn if I don’t hate my new reality.
“…when your heart finds its soulmate, life will always find a way of bringing you back together.”
Returning Home is an enjoyable and emotional second chance romance. Twelve years ago, Luke left the girl, Sam, who he thought was his forever behind, shattering both his and Sam’s hearts. He has returned home to his small town with an injury while in combat. As fate would have it, Sam is the home health nurse assigned to help rehabilitate him. As Sam notes, fate has never been kind to her, so why should she be surprised that Luke is now her patient. The resentment and pain hasn’t eased over those years, and that is evident in their first meeting. Both soon realize maybe their love story has ended quite yet, and maybe Luke’s reason for leaving wasn’t for selfish reasons.
This is a novella, so it is short, but Miller didn’t not shortchange her readers. It’s packed full of emotion. I fell in love with the storyline and the characters, especially sweet Katie. She could melt anyone’s heart. There was some drama and angst, but nothing was drawn out or overdone. It was a heartwarming second chance romance and a great way to spend my afternoon!
Hi, I’m Riann. I’ve been obsessed with reading romance novels for close to five years. I love getting to know new people in the book community and I’ve met several people along the way that I consider true friends. I’m happily married with two children. When I’m not reading or writing, I’m usually spending time with my family, friends or watching baseball.