Their Forever Home

By: Syndi Powell

A house isn’t a home

...without someone to love

Construction expert Cassie Lowman has been paired with the last designer she wanted for Detroit’s new home reno contest. John Robison finds Cassie intriguing yet intimidating. When tough family issues arise, John and Cassie are forced to see each other’s strengths and work together on all fronts, and yes, maybe fall for each other along the way...

Cassie turned to him, worried. “What if we don’t win? This contest means everything to me.”

John nodded. “I get that. It means a lot to me, too. But I can’t think that way about losing and neither should you. I have to focus on being the best at what I do and proving to them all that I’m just as good as they are.”

She rested her hand on his. “You are good. Better than good. You blow me away with some of your ideas. It’s been my privilege to work with you.”

He reached out and touched her cheek. “The privilege is all mine, Cass.”

She dropped her gaze from his, aware of how vulnerable she’d made herself to him. Wondering if he would accept her words, accept her. And why did it matter so much if he did?

Dear Reader,

Did something ever happen to you that changed the path you’d been following? Maybe it was a job loss or the death of a parent. Maybe it was the breakup of a relationship that you thought would never end. Whatever it was, it changed your life from one you expected to something you didn’t recognize.

If you’ve read my books before, you know that divorce and cancer were two things that changed the path I’d been traveling. They made me stop in my tracks and start asking the big questions. What followed were times of amazing personal growth and change, but it wasn’t easy to start imagining a different future.

I don’t know about you, but I love reading stories about people getting a second chance. About those who take their losses and turn their lives into something beautiful. In this story, Cassie had planned to take over her father’s construction company, and John thought he’d keep designing award-winning cars. But they are about to find out that sometimes the best plan is to embrace the unknown.

If you’re going through one of those times of losses and searching for a new path, don’t give up. Just hold on because a better day is coming.



THE BALLROOM AT the Whittier Hotel in downtown Detroit glittered under the dozen chandeliers that hung from the high ceiling. Cassie Lowman felt a crick in her neck start to form as she stared at the opulent murals decorating the ceiling above her head. While it wasn’t her favorite aesthetic, she could appreciate the artistry. Too ornate and fussy for her—she would rather have something be beautiful in its simplicity.

A tuxedoed waiter passed by with a tray of half-filled champagne flutes. She snagged one before returning her gaze to the ceiling. She lifted her glass for a brief salute and then started to scan the room for familiar faces.

In truth, most of the faces were known to her as well as their names. These were her father’s former competitors—building contractors who had rejoiced when he’d failed and patted themselves on their backs while they swooped in and stole his clientele. She tasted the bitterness and anger at the back of her throat, so she tipped the champagne flute and drank the bubbly liquid before leaving the empty glass on a nearby table. Maybe it was better for her to look for new friends.

Speaking of friends, the Buttucci brothers, Tiny and Biggie, waved at her from the other side of the ballroom. She started to wobble in her shoes as she walked toward them. Blast her mother for insisting she wear high heels to this kickoff event. She wasn’t a heels kind of woman. Nor a fancy dress type, either, she thought, as she tugged at the neckline. It wouldn’t be so bad if she had something to flaunt, but she knew her limitations.

Biggie held a beer in his hands, and Cassie eyed it with envy. She approached the brothers, who were like family to her, especially now that she hoped to be helming the business, rather than her dad. “I’m glad you two could come. I don’t know if I could face this alone, chosen or not.”

Tiny looked behind her. “Your mother’s not here?”

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