Scroll down to read an excerpt!

I’m learning how to live as a young widow, and by my side is my late husband’s best friend, and single dad, Liam. It’s not long before my gaze lingers on his broad chest and defined muscles and my thoughts veer somewhere they’ve never been. And then one night I have to decide what moving on really means.


“You made this?” I wandered closer. There were three metal chairs. The hunk of metal on the workbench was starting to resemble the three pieces that made up the back.

Liam crossed his arms. Had his chest always been that wide? “It’s just a hobby.”

I kept my eyes on his work. It was easier than seeing his sweaty, cut body. “I knew you did a few things here and there, like our wedding gift, but these chairs aren’t quick projects.”

“I’ve been playing around for a while, when I need a break from home repairs, or when I don’t have time to start another project before I leave again. Then the buddy I rent the room from in Williston was tossing these out last year. I told him he should do some shabby chic weld-over bullshit. So he loaded them in the box of my pickup without telling me.”

The corner of my mouth kicked up. A makeover, but with welding. “And you thought, ‘What the heck? I can do a shabby chic weld-over.’”

He grinned, and it brightened the entire shed. He’d been looking at me with eyes full of concern for so long, it was nice to see it absent from his smile. “I’ve done a few projects. Want to see?”

“Can I show her, Dad?” Owen sprinted to the other corner of the shop and tugged on a heavy canvas drape. Liam stopped beside him and helped take the cover off.

Watching him with his kids never failed to cheer me up. There was the ever-present tug at my heart. Derek and I had wanted kids. Someday.

I tensed, waiting for the tsunami of emotions to double me over. But it didn’t. Being with Liam and the boys made me feel like I hadn’t missed as much as I feared. That maybe, someday, I could have something like this again.

The cache was revealed, and I put my hopes aside. Intricately welded lamp bases. Custom coatracks to hang on the wall. A sign that said Live, Laugh, Love.

“You did all this?” They weren’t rudimentary, nor were they simple designs like the sign. They were intricate work that had required a skilled hand.

“Yeah.” He shoved a hand through his hair until sections were sticking straight up. Unlike when I went without a shower for too long and my hair hung limp and lifeless, he got sexier the more rumpled his hair was.

Did I just describe Liam as sexy?

Heat tickled through my body, moving to forgotten places. It was a mere observation, nothing more. And it was hot in the shed.

“I’m just playing around,” he said sheepishly.

I squatted by the lamp. Metal curved like it was as malleable as taffy and wove together into a solid base. The metal had been brushed to give it an antique look. “William Robert Barron, this is not playing around. This is art.”

“It’s a lamp, Kenny.”

“Are you going to sell these?”

“Nah. Might just give ’em away as wedding gifts or something.” His brows drew together a moment before they smoothed out. Had he thought of selling them? Was he lacking confidence about his work? Worried that he could do work like this and hold down the same demanding job in Williston through having twins and moving home and commuting, but that people would still scoff that a guy like him was worth anything more than their gossip?

“The farmers market would be a perfect place to try,” I prompted.

“The Coal Haven one is just a few booths.”

I shook my head. “It’s been really growing.” I obviously hadn’t gone last year. “I don’t think the first market is until the beginning of June.”

His brow furrowed and he shook his head. “That’s less than a couple of months away.”

“You have enough to do a one-day market.” Ideas whirled in my head, but I had to be careful. This would be his thing, not something for me to do to pass the time.

“No one’s gonna buy this crap.”

“You’ve made it into something beautiful.” I rose out of my squat, tempted to run my hand over the back of the chair. How’d he get metal to look so fluid? He wasn’t a rookie welder, but these were his first pieces, meant to be as visually appealing as they were functional. “This is really good.”

“Nah, I know. I mean, thanks. It’s just… It’s Coal Haven.” He shrugged, but his concentration was on his collection of pieces. “I could use the extra cash for some of the repairs I need to do before we list the house.”

“Just something to think about. These are too good not to share.”

He was guarded about the town and how he was received, but not everyone in Coal Haven was a Barron, nor did everyone view him as the touch-on-the-wild-side high schooler. I had to believe that my friends and neighbors would not only see how high quality these pieces were but also how amazing the man behind them was. Like I did.


Leave a Reply