Bringing Bella Back
Second Chances, Book 2
They had the perfect marriage…until he lost his way. Then he lost Bella herself.
The blueblood and the bohemian married despite all the odds against them. They raised two children in a home that blossomed like the gardens Bella nurtured.
But somewhere along the way, they lost each other. At a crisis point, Bella sought time and space to think. Devastated by his role in her heartbreak, James had no choice but to let her leave.
Only she never came home. Never answered even calls from their children.
A frantic search. A woman with amnesia. A doctor half in love with his patient.
When James finally locates the woman who owns his heart, learning that she remembers nothing of their life together is both a curse and a blessing.
Can James remind her of all the joy they shared and make her fall in love with him again?
Before her memory of his mistakes returns…and Bella stays away forever?
Click here to read an excerpt
THE FIRST DAY
A tickle, a whisper. A murmuring voice eluding my grasp. My foot stirs to give chase. Soft sheets brush my skin.
I open my eyes to a room I’ve never seen.
In a house I do not recognize.
In dawn’s fragile light, I spot mountains. Shiver as crisp, delicious air wafts through the window screen.
Then I fully awaken, and I remember.
That I am Jane Doe.
And I am lost.
The woman sank to the creaking wooden porch step and soaked in the serenity, rare since she’d first regained consciousness in the small town she’d been told was Lucky Draw, Colorado.
Luck was certainly something she could use.
Still, for the moment, she would be asked no questions, could allow her mind respite from her own. Stop flailing against Who am I? and Where did I come from? Is anyone looking for me? and simply…rest. Only…be.
The green soothed her, though the tangle of it was a little unsettling. If she weeded over there and planted daisies beneath—
She halted. Was this a piece of the puzzle of Jane Doe? A gardener? Heartened, she followed the thread. Bent forward, rested her chin on folded arms atop her knees.
So what would she do with this jumble? She let her eyes go a bit out of focus and imagined the Johnson grass rooted out—though heaven knows it was as nasty as kudzu to control, with its roots that stubbornly cling to the soil like a toddler to her mama—
She sat up, breathless. Where did kudzu grow?
The faintest of shadows. A wisp of memory, a garden, teased at the edge of her inner vision. Something blue, leggy, a fluff of blossoms at the end of a long stalk.
She frowned, bore down, desperate not to let the image slip away.
But the fragment had already vanished. Frustration soured the brief, earlier bliss, and the bitter edge of fear threatened to drag her back into despair.
A faint buzz snatched her attention. A hummingbird hovered in front of her perhaps five feet away, pretty ruby throat and incessant search for energy, as if he wondered whether she was a flower from which he might drink.
The sight of him calmed. Staved off fear once more.
She needed to act, to seize control. Perhaps she would plant flowers for her busy little friend. “Thank you,” she murmured, to the bird, to the green, to the morning she was, after all, alive to experience, a grace note in this dark hole that was the past she could not recall.
One step, minuscule but desperately appreciated, into the new life she must create.
Strengthened a bit against the constant drain of worry, Jane Doe rose and walked into the chaos that could become a garden, trailing her fingers over the feathery tops of doomed Johnson grass as she formulated plans for how she would spend this first day in the garage apartment Dr. Lincoln—Sam, she corrected—had insisted she make her home, since she had no money and nowhere to go. This tiny village of three hundred fifty-six souls was nearly five hundred miles from the nearest city, with no social services available except the old-fashioned concept of community. After being released from the hospital in Denver, where an MRI had revealed no brain damage beyond this amnesia, she’d accepted Sam’s offer because he was a kind man and because she’d had no choice, but only, she reminded him, until her memory returned.
Until she figured out where home really was.
…Excerpt from BRINGING BELLA BACK by Jean Brashear © 2019