Monday, April 1, 2024

#BookTour #MustRead #NewRelease #SingleParent #SmallTownRomance - Scars on my Heart (Willow Valley) by S.L. Sterling

Title: Scars on my Heart
Series: Willow Valley
Author: S.L. Sterling
Tropes: Single Dad, Single Mom, Friends to Lovers, small town romance, second chance at love, only one bed scene
Cover Design: Thunderstruck Cover Design
Release Date: March 28, 2024

Willow Valley had become like home to me and my two boys, Dylan and Noah. Everyone knew everyone in this small town, and they helped us heal from our devastating loss.

Once I knew my kids would be okay, I started looking for work. Bluebird Books hired me almost right away. I was to run the new kids program that Trinity was starting. That was where I met Zach and his daughter, Grace.

Zach was the new owner of the Willow Valley Inn. He’d come in to return a book his daughter had borrowed from the program. We exchanged pleasantries and that was when the computer had gone down. Zach lost his patience, and that was when our pleasant conversation turned sour. I wasn’t worried about it because I figured I’d never see him again.

I was wrong. It turns out in a small town, everyone sees everyone almost daily, if not twice a day. At the grocery store, the gas station, the elementary school and as luck would have it, the bookstore. Soon, our conversations turn pleasant again, and without even trying, I find myself drawn to him. Then he asks me out on a date.

Despite my reservations, I decided to take a chance on love again. But just when things start to look up, Zach’s ex-wife suddenly reappears, causing chaos in his life once more. Which somehow causes chaos in mine when my children begin acting out.

Leaning on one another for support, we navigate obstacles that life throws at us. As time passes I begin to wonder if another chance at love will bring us closer together or make each one of us run the other way?

“Oh my god!” I screamed, grabbing for a towel that hung on the towel rack and quickly covering myself. It was too late, though. I knew he’d seen me, just like I saw him, as he quickly grabbed for the shower curtain that I’d ripped away from covering him.

We both stood there, looking at one another, our faces red, each one of us mortified in the moment. It was then I turned around, ripping my eyes from him.

“I thought you were downstairs. God, Zach, I’m so embarrassed. I’m so…” I took off from the bathroom, feeling like I could die. Panicking, I raced around the room, grabbing clothes from my suitcase as my heart raced until I felt faint.

I dropped my clothes to the floor and sat down on the bed, breathing hard, trying to erase what I’d just seen. I heard the bathroom door open and then felt the end of the bed dip down and a warm hand on my bare shoulder.

“Zach, please, this is just all too much,” I said, my vision blurring as I looked out the window.

“Hey. It’s alright. Look, I’m going to take a step back here, and I’d like you to do the same. Look at me.”

I could barely turn my head, but I did, and when I met his eyes, I didn’t see someone who was embarrassed. Instead, he looked at me with the same look he’d given me ever since we met.

“We are two adults. We are sharing a room. I know you didn’t think I was in there. Hell, I didn’t think you were back up here or were coming up anytime soon. So how about we both just forget what happened and try to have a good evening.”

I swallowed hard. I still felt like I wanted to die, and here he was trying hard to ignore the fact that we’d seen one another in our birthday suits.

“Zach, I can’t.”

“You can. I know you can. Now I’m going to get dressed and leave you so you can get ready for dinner. I’ll meet you in the lobby.”

He didn’t say another word. Instead, he did as he said he was going to.

Once he was gone, I reached for my cell phone. I needed help, and the only one I could think of was my sister.

S.L. Sterling was born and raised in southern Ontario. She now lives in Northern Ontario Canada and is married to her best friend and soul mate and their two dogs. 
An avid reader all her life, S.L. Sterling dreamt of becoming an author. She decided to give writing a try after one of her favorite authors launched a course on how to write your novel. This course gave her the push she needed to put pen to paper and her debut novel "It Was Always You" was born. 

When S.L. Sterling isn't writing or plotting her next novel she can be found curled up with a cup of coffee, blanket and the newest romance novel from one of her favorite authors on her e-reader. Her favorite authors include Kendall Ryan, Vi Keeland, Penelope Ward, Lauren Blakely, Alessandra Torre and Willow Winters. 

In her spare time, she enjoys camping, hiking, sunny destinations, spending quality time with family and friends and of course reading.


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