Love of a Lifetime (Noah's Crossing Book 3)

By: Carol Voss

 Inspirational Romance



Love of a Lifetime


A childhood love…

Maggie McGuire can’t remember when she didn’t love Tony Stefano. Growing up together in the rolling hills and forests outside Noah’s Crossing, Wisconsin, the two had been inseparable, spending sunny summer days swimming in Rainbow Lake and rainy ones huddled in her treehouse sharing the best secrets. Tony was Maggie’s closest friend, and as teenagers, one day their friendship blossomed into more.

Torn apart by time…

Run out of town by a vengeful sheriff, Tony disappeared to parts unknown, leaving Maggie devastated and with a secret she couldn’t share. Ten years later, after Tony’s grandmother falls ill, he rides back into Maggie’s life on his Harley, as if nothing has changed. Something Maggie only wishes were true because although it’s too late, she knows she must tell him he’s a father, and there’s no way to do that without breaking his heart… and risking her own.

Love of a Lifetime is the second book in the Noah’s Crossing series by Carol Voss. Emotional, inspirational, and poignantly romantic, this novel is approximately 57,000 words long.

“This book really touched my heart. You can't help but be drawn to both the hero and heroine. They each have their good points and you can see how they draw the best out of each other. …I loved how the author wove the relationships, the plot, scenery, and spiritual themes together. It flowed well, kept you feeling the angst, the emotional intimacy and tension, and smiling through tears--with a very rewarding ending. A keeper!”

–Amazon reader





Chapter One


For if you forgive men when they sin against you,

 your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

—Matthew 6:14

He’d prayed all the way from Brazil to northwestern Wisconsin for God to spare his nonna, even when God and he both knew his prayer was a selfish one.

Warm wind buffeting him, Tony Stefano leaned the Harley into the big curve and braced for his first glimpse of Nonna’s Victorian in ten years. He roared round the corner, and there it stood. Tall. Proud. Unbending.

Like his nonna.

A lump caught in his throat. He felt just like he had when he’d left at seventeen… trapped in circumstances he had no clue how to handle. Nonna’s demands. His overwhelming feelings for Maggie McGuire. And the final straw… Sheriff Bunker’s accusations.

He gave his head a shake as if he could shake off the past and focused on the crisis at hand. According to Maggie’s brief email, Nonna had fallen down the stairs and injured her leg and who knew what else. A shock. Somehow he’d thought his grandmother would live forever.

He had to see her one last time. He needed to ask her forgiveness before she went to meet her maker.

Gut churning, he took the turn into the driveway. Tires popped gravel. He braked to a stop beside the polished gray-and-white Suburban Maggie’s dad had let him drive a few times. He couldn’t believe she still had it. It must be a classic by now.

Hitting the kill switch on the Harley, he lifted off his helmet and squinted up at the sagging roof of the old house. Chipped paint and rotting windowsills. Keeping up a big, old house was like pouring money down a hole. But Nonna had always kept the place looking good with little cash, plenty of hard work and sheer determination. By the looks of it now, she was running low on all three.

Why hadn’t she cashed those checks he’d sent?

At least her flowers were going stronger than ever. The place was draped in them, the air sweet with a fragrance that reminded him of Maggie. She’d loved Nonna’s flowers, especially the roses. He peered through hundreds of pink ones climbing the arched arbor over the brick walk and caught a glimpse of copper hair.

Maggie.

His jaw clenched down on feelings he’d buried long ago. But he couldn’t deny seeing her again filled him with anticipation mixed with… sheer terror. Pretty much the way she’d affected him ever since he’d hit town when he was six, and she’d been four. He climbed off the bike and ducked through the roses.

She stood near the back steps, hammer in hand, boards helter-skelter around her bare feet, a yellow T-shirt and worn, torn jeans skimming her curves.

He should have guessed she’d grow into a striking woman with those new-penny curls and big, brown eyes. Eyes filled with trust and belief in him those years growing up when they were the only kids for miles. Innocent eyes that had reminded him of his protective side.

Except for the day he’d betrayed her trust and taken her innocence. Sure, he’d been a head-over-heels-in-love kid of seventeen, but she’d been barely fifteen. He’d asked God’s forgiveness, but he doubted he’d ever forgive himself.

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