BLACK HILLS STRANGER
“Black Hills Rendezvous, Book 9”
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Birdie Galloway was good at hiding. None of the other kids were half as good as her. That meant when it was her turn to hide, the others would search and search and search but not find her. Then they’d give up and go play some other game without letting her know the game was over. She hated that. She told them they were lazy, but they were little kids. They didn’t listen.
Birdie was seven and a half. Six months older than David, the kid closest to her in age. His mother was Brother Thom’s most special friend. Birdie’s mother wanted to be that special, but she wasn’t. She was only a friend. Like all the other GoodFriends who traveled with Brother Thom.
Mommy called them gypsies because the Friends all drove motor homes or pulled campers behind their trucks. When she and her mother first joined the group, there were a lot of trailers. Now, there were only two.
“Hard times,” Mommy said. “Fewer donations. Less money for gas. Less of Thom to go around.”
Birdie wasn’t sure what that meant but she knew they were eating more cereal and beans now than when she and Mommy first ran away from home.
That’s not what Mommy called what they were doing. Mommy said they left their apartment in Memphis to answer God’s call. Birdie didn’t like thinking about God. He was big and scary. Birdie didn’t want God to call. The only person she wanted to talk to was her daddy, but the more they drove around, the more afraid Birdie was that Daddy might never be able to find her.
Mommy said they didn’t need Daddy anymore because they had Brother Thom and the Good Lord. But Birdie didn’t like Brother Thom. He never looked her in the eye the way her daddy did. He never picked her up or carried her piggyback. And he was the reason they were driving around so much. So he could spread the good word. But sometimes he said bad words. She’d heard him.
He was also the reason she wasn’t able to go to school. She missed school almost as much as she missed her daddy. Some days she was so sad it hurt to breathe. She’d play hide-and-seek alone so she could cry without anybody telling her to grow up or shut up or pray for forgiveness.
The GoodFriends spent a lot of time praying for forgiveness. Her mommy, too.
She turned her head to the side to listen for the other children. She should have known they’d never look under the motor home. Their mothers didn’t let them play near the vehicles, because some kid supposedly got run over before Birdie and her mother joined the Friends.
Birdie’s mother didn’t tell her where not to play. Mommy was sick again. Not throw-up sick; sad-in-her-head sick. She didn’t pay much attention to Birdie when she was sad-in-the-head sick, so Birdie could play any place she wanted.
But being under the motor home was getting boring. She yawned and was about to crawl out of her hidey-hole when suddenly the floor above her moved with a loud thud, thud, thud. A man’s footsteps.
Her heart started to beat faster. This was Brother Thom’s motor home. The one he shared with David’s mom, and sometimes one or two of the other ladies. Her mommy visited him here every once in a while, but not lately. A fact that made her mother sad. Mommy had been crying a lot lately, and nobody told her to shut up and pray for forgiveness.
Birdie knew she’d be in big trouble if someone heard her—especially Brother Thom. And she was certain he could hear her, since she could hear the musical jingle of his phone followed by his voice—a voice that reached to the very back of the big Sunday meetings tent without him needing a microphone. Mommy said that would have made him seem too common.
“What is it with you people? What part of I don’t have the money don’t you get?”
Birdie closed her eyes to listen better. She knew it was wrong to listen to private conversations, but Birdie did it anyway. Her daddy once told her, “You have to listen to what people mean, Birdie. Not just what they say.”
“Listen, asshole. I’ve sold everything we own. What am I supposed to do? Sell the children?”
Birdie swallowed hard. Her hands trembled and she nearly lost her grip on the dirty metal thing she was holding to keep from falling.
“Yeah,” Brother Thom said with a laugh. Not a happy-sounding laugh. “Well, if I thought I could get enough to be worth the bother, I might consider it. Even God wouldn’t fault me for dumping Cheryl. She barely lifts a finger around here. All she does is read the Bible and cry. She stopped taking her meds because she’s convinced God will heal her…through me, of course.”
Cheryl was Birdie’s mommy’s name. She believed Brother Thom was the Second Coming. Whatever that meant.
“And that kid of hers,” he added with a tone that made tears well up in Birdie’s eyes. “Don’t get me started. She’s like a ghost, always hanging in the background, watching and listening. A redheaded ghost.”
Birdie couldn’t hold on to the metal bar anymore. She slipped to the ground but didn’t move until she heard Brother Thom leave. She watched him walk to the cooking tent, where the mothers spent their afternoons.
She rolled out from under the trailer and raced into the bushes at the edge of the clearing. She didn’t go far. Mommy said the woods were full of alligators and poisonous snakes. Birdie crawled under a bush and curled into a tight ball, trying her best to keep her sobs as quiet as possible. But one word wouldn’t stay silent.
Remy Bouchard stretched with the sweet pleasure of awakening in her own bed. A cool Louisiana breeze drifted through her window, carrying the scent of magnolias and the sputtering hum of a neighbor’s mower. She smiled even before she opened her eyes to the rich magenta hue of her ceiling.
“Home,” she murmured, with a contented sigh.
Not that the past few weeks hadn’t been an adventure she’d always remember. The Black Hills of South Dakota had left a mark on her heart, and with her twin sister, Jessie, relocating there, Remy knew she’d return to the area soon. She could picture her building a new life there. A fresh start.
A stranger in a strange land.
The very concept sent a shiver of anticipation through her.
But first she had loose ends to tie up.
A million and twelve, as her mother—who felt exaggeration was the birthright of every southerner–liked to say. And second, Remy planned to figure out exactly what she wanted to do with the rest of her life.
She’d left Louisiana intending to use the time and distance to get some perspective on her life. And the view wasn’t pretty.
Un…everything her mama considered important.
But worst of all Remy had no idea what she wanted to accomplish.
She’d had dreams once. A long time ago. She’d planned to marry the love of her life, settle right here in Baylorville to be near her mother and sisters, raise a family and become a teacher. A normal life. That’s all she’d ever craved.
Normal. Like that was even possible, given my family.
She sat up, rubbed the sleep from her eyes and hopped out of bed. Her toes curled from contact with the chilly wood surface. She’d let her sisters take whatever possessions of their mother’s they wanted after Mama passed. Someone must have wanted the throw rug that had always been beside the bed.
“Are you finally awake, sleepyhead?” a voice called from somewhere on the first floor. Jessie. Her sister. Her twin.
“I’m awake, but I’m not coming down until I smell the coffee percolating. Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten how to brew real Louisiana coffee.”
Jessie’d never dodged a challenge in her life.
But given the lateness of the hour—good heavens, it was after eight—there was a chance the coffee was already made and transferred to the thermal carafe Mama had kept filled most every day of her life. A life that had ended some ten months earlier.
Tiptoeing to the closet, Remy threw open the double doors and stepped inside. This was the only closet of decent size in the house. Mama had speculated that the space was originally planned as a nursery, but since the lone window was a tiny, nonfunctioning oval with leaded glass, Remy had her doubts.
The house had two smaller bedrooms and one bath on this floor. The 1940s–era home wasn’t a true New Orleans’s shotgun because it had a second floor, but Baylorville wasn’t Nawlins, either. The quiet hamlet could barely claim half a dozen surviving businesses downtown, including Marlene’s House of Beauty and the recently renamed Dollar Shoppe, which had replaced the old Five and Ten. Besides the school, a gas station, the old folks home and post office, only Catfish Haven, located on the edge of town, remained of the Baylorville Remy and Jessie grew up in.
Nothing fancy—that’s what New Orleans, some forty-odd miles to the southeast, was for. And it had suited Remy just fine for most of her life. But no more. She had a new plan.
She pulled her Donna Karan nightgown over her head and folded it neatly before putting it away in the chest of drawers.
“Is this fast enough for you?”
The smell of chicory beat Jessie through the door.
Remy popped her head out of the closet. “Wow. Your ankle must be a whole lot better if you can climb the stairs, carrying two cups.”
“It’s amazing what really good painkillers can do. Plus I already had coffee with Cade and Shiloh before they took off to rent a truck, so I only had to carry one cup. Where do you want this?”
Remy quickly pulled on a pair of panties. “Set it on the dresser while I get presentable.”
Although Remy couldn’t see her sister, she heard Jessie’s raspberry. “Presentable. That’s so Mama. As long as we all looked presentable, people wouldn’t know we were eating grits and greens instead of steak.”
“You like grits.”
She put on her bra then grabbed the first thing she spotted in her closet. A simple, scoop-neck dress. The gauzy material was a muted floral print that was both feminine and pretty. She’d loved it once.
After slipping it over her head, she stepped into the room and walked to the full-length mirror as she buttoned the small, pearl-like buttons of the bodice. “Does this make me look fey?”
“Fey? As in Tina?” Jessie grinned at her own wit. She was dressed in black yoga pants and an oversize Girlz On Fire T-shirt.
“As in odd. Different. A bit off.”
Jessie hobbled to the bed with a pronounced limp. She plumped up a couple of pillows against the headboard, then sat and swung her leg around to rest her Ace-bandaged ankle on the cushioned softness of the white, eyelet comforter.
“The dress is fine. It’s not something I’d wear, but it looks like you.” She pointed at the cup she’d left on the nightstand. “Better drink that while it’s hot. I added cocoa and steamed milk, the way you like it.”
“No problem. It’s the least I could do for the hospitality. Now, tell me what’s going on. What’s this fey thing about?”
Remy took a sip before answering. “Perfect.” She took a healthy swig before sitting opposite her sister at the foot of the bed. She wasn’t sure how to express her current sense of self-doubt without sounding like a complainer, or—worse—making Jessie feel somehow responsible for this sudden onset of ennui because Jessie’s life, by comparison, was so full of promise.
“So…here’s the deal. You know I’m happy for you and Cade, right?”
“Of course. You’ve told me about a million times since you got here and you keep trying to palm off furniture on me—a sure sign of love in our family.”
“You’re going to be glad I did. Someday. When you have more kids to pass these antiques down to, but that’s not my point. The fact that you’ve found your significant other and are setting forth on the road to happily-ever-after—”
“In our rented van, towing Yota.”
Remy chuckled. She’d tried talking her sister into leaving the old Toyota Landcruiser Jessie had owned since high school behind, but that idea had gone over like a lead balloon, as Mama would have said.
“You’re headed off on a great adventure with your wonderful rancher, beautiful future stepdaughter and new dog. Sounds pretty perfect to me, which makes my life look pretty pathetic by comparison.”
Jessie’s eyes went wide, as if the idea had never struck her. “Wow. I was so wrapped up in everything going on in my life, I never even considered…damn. I’m sorry for being so self-absorbed, Rem. What can I do?”
“Nothing. This is why I haven’t said anything. You should be self-absorbed. You’re in love and you’re moving forward in your life and I couldn’t be happier. I don’t want you to worry about me or fixate on how to fix things here when you’re in South Dakota.”
Jessie’s furrowed brow said Jessie wasn’t jumping at the chance to distance herself from this announcement, so she added, “Change is coming. I just haven’t haven’t figured out the details.”
“I thought you loved working with the elderly.”
“I do, but nursing homes aren’t exactly the most happening place.” Jessie snickered softly in agreement. “What would you say if I told you I plan to move back to the Black Hills?”
“I’d say you’re just trying to make leave here with a clear conscience. You love Baylorville.”
Remy shrugged. “It was home. I felt accepted here. Mama made sure of that. I was Marlene Bouchard’s odd daughter, but that was okay. This is the South. Families are expected to have one or two slightly off members, right?”
Before Jessie could protest that Remy wasn’t odd, Remy rushed to add, “I’m not feeling sorry for myself. I simply don’t want to be known as that dream girl anymore. I want to be normal and have a normal life. And I don’t think I can do that here, so I’m thinking about heading back your up your way in the very near future.”
“Remy, I’d love nothing better than have you living nearby, but you can’t change who you are. Nobody wants you to change. You’re a wonderful person. I’ve always wished I was more like you. Hell, everyone wished I was more like you. You’re even-tempered and kind and sweet. You’re the family peacemaker.”
Remy stared at the bottom of her empty mug. Exactly how she’d felt lately—empty. Useless. Unfulfilled. “Do you know what my psychology teacher used to say about peacemakers? They use other people’s drama to avoid facing their own problems. Did I or did I not travel two days by bus to South Dakota to involve myself in the middle of your extremely dramatic business?”
“Because you had a dream that I was in trouble. And you were right. How can that be a bad thing?”
Remy got up, set her cup on the bedside table, then walked to the French doors that led to a tiny, ridiculously impractical balcony that one of Mama’s suitors built for her. She opened the doors with a flourish but didn’t step outside. Instead, she looked over her shoulder.
“I lied. About the dream. I’ve always lied. I don’t dream any more or any less than anyone else. I may remember my dreams a wee bit more clearly than most people, but that comes from practice. It certainly doesn’t make me clairvoyant or psychic or gifted.”
Jessie’s expression turned stormy. And belligerent. Jess was always Remy’s most fervent defender. More than one little boy went home from school with a fat lip after calling Remy “crazy” or “weird.” “That’s not true. You have a gift. You inherited your gift from—”
“Our great-great-aunt, the witch.” Remy made a no-no motion with her hands. “Jess, there was never a witchy great-aunt. Mama made that up. She told me so before she died.”
“Don’t look so surprised. Everyone knew Mama bent the truth when it suited her needs.”
“But she told people you could see things in your dreams. And you did, Rem,” Jessie argued. “What about Jonas Galloway? You saved his life when he fell down that well. You can’t deny that.”
Remy had known this conversation wasn’t going to be easy—changing a lifetime’s belief never was with someone as stubborn as Jessie—but now that she’d finally brought up the subject, her knees felt wobbly and her palms were starting to sweat. She stepped outside to grasp the wrought iron railing.
“I can’t say for sure what happened with Jonas,” she said, raising her voice so Jessie didn’t have to get up. “I was only eight at the time. Maybe I dreamed something or maybe Mama elaborated on my lucky guess. Maybe she made the whole thing up. I don’t know.”
“Well, I do. I was in the beauty parlor when you woke up from that nap, sobbing and wailing. All the ladies gathered around Mama to comfort you and find out what was wrong. When you finally quit crying so much, you told them you saw the little boy at the bottom of a well.”
Remy had no memory of that whatsoever, but she’d heard the story repeated often enough that she could picture it quite clearly. She also knew from her college courses on psychology and aging that memory changed over the years. Nothing was ever quite as clear as you thought it was.
“The human brain is an amazing thing. There are a number of explanations for what happened, if, in fact, you’re recalling a true scene and not something your mind thinks happened.”
Jessie crossed her arms. “Are you calling me a liar?”
“No. I’m saying there’s a lot we don’t understand about the mind and our subconscious. As an impressionable little kid, my brain might have filed away all the details I overheard the ladies in the beauty parlor talking about and suddenly put those facts together in a dream.”
Jessie didn’t say anything, but Remy could tell she remained unconvinced.
“Lucid dreaming has been around a long time, Jess. People can train themselves to remember their dreams. There are books to explain what the imagery means. It’s like breaking a code. Maybe I’ve developed my inherent ability a bit more than most people over the years because Mama and her friends made such a big deal about what I supposedly saw. Then Mama added the witchy great-aunt element to turn me into a sort of minor celebrity. I don’t know. But you have to admit I’ve never claimed to have any psychic abilities.”
Jessie was silent for long enough that Remy thought she would have to drag out more evidence to persuade her twin she had no special talents. Then Jessie asked, “Why are you bringing this up now? Is it because Mama’s gone and you don’t have to pretend for her sake? Now, that I do understand.”
“Maybe. Or maybe I’m tired of living up to other people’s expectations. Sweet, demure, dreamy…fey. I’m not any of those things, Jess.”
“Well, who are you then?”
Remy threw out her hands. “I don’t know. But I’m going to find out. Starting today. My first order of business is finding a job. A new, exciting, interesting job that could be anywhere in the world.”
“Travel? You? The girl who took a bus to South Dakota because planes cost too much and sometimes fall out of the sky?”
She stuck out her tongue. “I never said that last part. I’m not a hick, you know. I’d just lost my job. I was being thrifty. And responsible.”
“Okay. You’re not afraid to fly, but my point is you’re a homebody. You’ve always loved this town. You couldn’t wait to get back here when we left Nashville. I, on the other hand, immediately split for the West Coast. Are we doing some kind of role reversal here? I’m the one who’s supposed to be footloose and fancy free and you’re the hearth-and-home kind of girl. What happened?”
Time for honesty. “I learned from watching you fall in love with Cade.”
“I decided a real relationship—the kind that’s going to last—has to be built on trust. When you cut that rope on the climbing tower and fell into Cade’s arms, you trusted him to catch you.”
Jessie made a face. “Sorta. I mean, it’s not like I had a lot of choices at the time. But, you’re right, he did catch me and I do trust him.”
“What I’m saying is I will never be able to find that around here because nobody in this town knows who I really am.” Including me.
Remy could tell by the widening of Jessie’s eyes that she understood. “Wow. That’s insightful, Rem. So, that’s why you’re moving to the Black Hills?”
“Maybe. Probably. All I know for sure is I’m done pretending. My whole life has been one big pretense.”
“I don’t agree.”
“It has. I pretended not to be angry with Mama for what she did to me and Jonas. I was the good girl in the family, for heaven’s sake. The freakin’ peacemaker.” It was hard to even think the word peacemaker without contempt. “A good girl wouldn’t hate her mother for doing what she thought was best for her daughter, right?”
“You hated Mama, too?” Jessie’s voice was so quiet Remy almost didn’t hear the question.
“Why do you think I went to Nashville with you? I was so mad I couldn’t stand to be in the same room with her, let alone live in her house. But I couldn’t admit that out loud.”
Jessie let out a low whistle. “I knew you were upset, but I thought you were pissed off at Jonas. The way he went to Europe instead of sticking around to make sure you were okay.”
A double whammy of hurt. First, her mother broke up Remy and Jonas; then, Jonas broke Remy’s heart by running away as if she were contemptible—toxic—because she was her mother’s daughter. Reinforcing, she realized later, the deep inner self-doubt she’d always harbored.
“What Mama told us that night confirmed something I’d always suspected.”
“What?” Despite her obvious reluctance, Jessie rose and approached the balcony—a clear sign she wouldn’t abandon this discussion.
“That our family isn’t normal. Mama was a slut. And we’re bastards. Not only that, but she admitted to depriving of us of a chance to know our father. All those years she pretended he was dead, he wasn’t. We could have had a relationship with him. But by the time she told us, he was gone. That’s pretty damn low, wouldn’t you say?”
“But you came home again, after Nashville.”
“I wanted to go to college, and Mama offered to let me live here free of charge while I went to school. And she apologized for everything, tried to explain and justify her choices.” She shrugged. “You know how persuasive she could be. And you were in California by then, so there went my backbone.”
“The brains and the brawn.” Jessie sighed. “Isn’t that what it said under our yearbook pictures?”
Remy was still thinking about her mother, the choices Mama made and how they’d affected her daughters. “Don’t you ever wonder what our lives would have been like if we’d had a real father—not a string of Mama’s boyfriends, who often happened to be someone else’s dad?”
“Not really. Did you talk to Mom about this when you sat with her at the hospital?”
Remy shook her head. “It was too late by then. I didn’t want her to feel bad.”
Jessie took a step closer and touched Remy’s shoulder in a supportive way. “See? You can’t help yourself, Rem. You’re nice. You care about people. That’s why you tried to help Mama’s clients by telling them about your dreams.”
“Maybe. I don’t know. But no more. I’m done with all of that. I’ve decided to be more like you.”
Jessie made a skeptical sound. “Me?”
“Yes. You do what you want and to hell with what people think. When we were little, everybody cut you slack because of your burns, but you know as well as I do that you had a chip on your shoulder before you were injured. I probably tried a little too hard to be easygoing to make up for your attitude.”
Jessie looked aghast. “You were sweet because I wasn’t? Really? That’s wild. Because I actually used to resent you for being so nice. I should have known you weren’t as perfect as you pretended to be. After all—” she winked “—you’re my twin.”
Remy smiled. She felt better after getting some of her pent-up feelings off her chest. She still didn’t have a plan, per se, but telling Jessie about her intentions was a big first step. She’d have to explain her position to their three older sisters at some point.
Or, not. Maybe she’d take a page from the Jessie Bouchard playbook and act first, explain later.
Jessie hobbled into the room and resumed her seated position to rest her ankle. “So, what does this epiphany mean exactly? Are you going to sell Mama’s house and move? I’d love to have you closer to me.”
Remy followed her inside but left the doors open. “I was thinking I might give that vacation rental thing a try, but first I have to finish fixing it up.” She nodded toward her walls, which she’d painted a brilliant shade of ruby. In a way, choosing such a bold color—something her mother would not have chosen—had been Remy’s first act of rebellion.
“But, don’t worry. Whatever I decide, I’ll keep you informed. We do own this place together.”
Mama had been so proud to be able to give her daughters a tangible legacy. As she rightly should. She’d started her own hair salon, expanded to include two other locations, paid off this house and raised five daughters almost entirely on her own. Whatever her faults—and they were many—Marlene had provided financially for her children.
Remy and Jessie talked about some much lighter topics for a few minutes longer until a loud, insistent barking interrupted.
“Is that my dog?” Jessie asked, returning to the balcony.
Beau, Jessie’s foundling, was ordinarily calm and quiet. The mature Catahoula hound rarely made a sound. She leaned past Remy to check out the side yard where the dog was able to run free.
“Hey, boy, what are you upset about?”
The leggy tricolor mutt paced along the hedge.
Jessie frowned. “I thought it might be Cade and Shiloh returning, but no big orange truck in the drive. Only Yota.”
Remy’s gaze was drawn to the nose of a shiny black car parked across the street. She couldn’t identify the make or model because the hedge blocked her view, but the pristine paint job sparkled in the morning light.
“There’s someone in the car across the street.”
Jessie tensed visibly. A predictable reaction given the fact she’d recently faced down a hit man who had been causing her grief. “Who?”
“I don’t know. The hedge is in the way. But I’m guessing your dog can sense that someone’s there.”
“Do you want me to go check this out? Maybe you have a stalker of your own.”
Remy put a hand on her sister’s arm. “Chill, Kung Fu Panda. I’ll finish dressing and put on some makeup, then meet you downstairs. Once I’m presentable, we can take a stroll and check out the car—together.”
Jessie rolled her eyes. “Get presentable and take a stroll. My God, you sound like Mama.”
Remy waited for Jessie to go inside before she closed and locked the French doors. “You know, Jess, despite comments like that, I’m going to miss you. I’ve really enjoyed these past few weeks together.”
“Me, too. It was almost like the old days in Nashville.”
They’d worked crappy jobs to fund their living expenses while they played heartfelt songs about love and loss—and fire—in out-of-the-way joints. Everyone
said that was what you had to do to get big. But apparently their out-of-the-way joints were never frequented by scouts for the legitimate record labels. They lasted three years and had some wonderful memories between them, but no recording contract.
“Except for the waiting-tables part,” Remy returned with a smile. “You really, really hated that.”
“True. I was easily the worst waitress on the planet. Thank God you made enough in tips for both of us.” Jessie laughed but turned serious almost immediately. “Remy, I wish you didn’t think you had to change to make your life better. I love you just the way you are.”
Remy could tell her sister was speaking from the heart. She gave her a hug then picked up her cosmetic bag and started toward the door. “Don’t worry. My psychology professor liked to say that personality was formed in the womb. Knowing me, I probably ushered the way for you to exit first. ‘Please, Jessie, be my guest. Yell extra loud and make a big fuss, then I’ll come out nice and quiet so everyone likes me best.’”
They looked at each a moment in silence. Remy hadn’t planned for quite that much frankness, but she didn’t retract the comment, either.
Jessie threw back her head and laughed. “You know, you’re probably right. That is too funny. And a little sad, but I’m not going to think about what I can’t change.” She grabbed Remy’s empty cup on her way to the door. “Hey, I meant to ask. I found Mama’s glass cake plate in the cupboard. You know I can’t bake for squat, but I thought I might take it if you don’t care. It reminds me of her. In a good way.”
“It’s yours. Take it.”
Jessie looked at her a moment, then grinned. “Thanks. You’re a nice person, Remy. Whatever big changes you decide to make, try not to lose that part of your personality.”
Remy didn’t reply. Instead, she walked into the bathroom and closed the door. She felt like a traveler at a giant crossroads. Seeing her sister in love—really, truly, head-over-heels in love with Cade—had been the tipping point for Remy. The couple’s completeness made her realize she wanted a full life, not the half-life she’d allowed herself. Not the kind their mother had lived, always holding back a part of her heart because the one love of her life left, never to return.
Remy knew how difficult it was to change old patterns. Her psychology professor had called this an addiction to the familiar. If Remy didn’t initiate a change, she might very easily become her mother—filling up the hours of her day with other people’s worries and drama and filling her nights with unavailable men who conveniently made themselves available to take the place of the only man she ever loved.
Customer Reviewson January 26, 2017Format: Kindle EditionVerified PurchaseJonas met Remy when he was eight. He ran away from home. When he was playing with friends he threw his necklace, his Dad had given him, into a well and fell in. His friends ran away. No one knew where he was but Remy saw him in the well in a dream and told her mother. They went and told Jonah’s mother and went to the well and there he was. This is a romance suspense. I loved it. It earned the five stars rating.
Jonas Galloway is desperate to find his missing young daughter, whose mother joined a cult while he was in Afghanistan. He turns to his ex-girlfriend and possible half-sister, Remy Bouchard, for help. Remy has psychic revelations when she dreams — she actually found Jonas when he was missing as a child — and he hopes she’ll be able to pinpoint his daughter’s location. But Remy has decided she doesn’t believe in her visions and wants to change her life. The last person she wants to see is the man she once loved — until her mother told them they were probably related and Jonas ran away without finding the truth. Salonen’s characters are real people with real, although somewhat exaggerated, problems. Birdie, once found, is a charming secondary character, and Remy’s gift serves as a catalyst for Remy and Jonas’ rekindled relationship, adding a nice bit of mysticism to the story. ~ Romantic Times