The fateful day Mimi Marcus has dreaded begins with a phone call...
The wife of a U.S. Marine, Mimi spent countless nights worried that her husband Joel would fall in the line of duty. He had fought valiantly and served his country with honor. That’s exactly what they tell her when they deliver the news—Joel was taken by the enemy in Afghanistan. Her husband is dead.
In desperate need of closure, Mimi travels to the one place Joel still has ties—The Marcus Ranch in Texas, inherited by his handsome younger brother Austin.
New beginnings are only an illusion...
The closer Mimi grows to the Marcus family, the more she considers it home. But when suspicions of Joel’s past surface, Austin refuses to disclose family secrets—even to his brother’s widow. It’s only by accident she uncovers evidence of Joel’s tainted past. Devastated by his lies and betrayal, she slowly opens up to Austin, and together they unfold layers of pain and grief.
Mimi is sure she’ll never love again, but is Austin the man to prove her wrong? Then the unthinkable happens…
Just as Mimi finds new hope in a future with Austin, Joel returns home from war. Enraged, traumatized, and teetering on the edge of insanity, Joel confesses to a history of deception, revealing yet another secret—this one too terrible to forgive.
In an awful twist of fate, Joel proves marriage vows are made to be honored.
No matter what.
Mimi had been dreaming of a storm. Heavy rain, violent claps of thunder, and lightning flashing simultaneously.
She saw Joel, reaching out for her, his body bloody and wet. She awoke in the darkened room. It was 2:17 a.m.—the exact time she had woken up for three nights in a row. She slipped out of bed, her pyjama bottoms loose around her ever-shrinking waist. The air was freezing. She dashed across the room to wrap herself in the fleecy dressing gown her mother had just bought her for Christmas.
6:47 a.m. in Afghanistan.
Her stomach growled, begging for food. She couldn’t eat. She clicked onto her Twitter feed to check for more updates since the suicide bombing in Kabul, which had claimed at least six—two were American Marines.
Mimi had contacted the Embassy several times, but nobody could tell her anything. The pain of not knowing was taking away her ability to breathe normally. The silence was too loud. She had tried to remember their last conversation. Did she tell him that she loved him? Words so quick to fall off the tongue to end a phone call. Love you—bye. Often she had felt like she was holding a grenade—being the wife of a Marine, always waiting for a letter, hearing his voice, waiting for news that he was alive or dead.