Long-Lost Father

Long-Lost Father
О книге

What would you do if the husband you thought was dead walked into your life, wanting to pick up where you'd left off?Brett had been gone for six years. Wonderful memories were all Samantha had…she'd also been left to raise their little girl alone.But Brett is alive, and has finally found his wife. Only now he has a daughter who's a stranger to him and who will never be able to see what her daddy looks like.Although Brett knows he can never make up for the missing years, he's still Sam's husband. And although she's changed, and treats him with wary caution, he still loves her with a burning passion. one he hopes will rekindle their marriage!

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Dear Reader,

All families are special, but some are truly miraculous. My brother’s family is one. Ten years ago, this family, with three young children, relocated to Kathmandu in Nepal. My brother was a medical officer for the U.S. Peace Corps. One day my sister-in-law visited a hospital in the city, and saw what she thought was a newborn baby—but that baby was eight months old, and dying. With tears in her eyes, she asked how she could help. The sick mother of five put that baby in her arms. “Take my baby,” she said. “Save her.”

The doctors gave that child a month; but with round-the-clock nursing, my nephews, niece and both grandmothers included, they saved her. Today, after many operations and constant care, she is almost nine, a singing, dancing marvel, adopted with her real parents’ blessing.

So when I was asked for a book “outside the square” for the Harlequin Romance® line, I thought of a book dedicated to this very special family. It is the proudest moment of my writing career to bring this story to fruition.

Wishing you all joy,


“I never should have gone to Africa without you, Samantha.”

“It’s over, Brett.” Her eyes turned dark. “We need to move on, to accept our past before we can know if there is a future for us as a family.”

“Oh, there is, Sam.” He picked up her hand. “Acceptance is good, such as accepting that I’ll always be here for you from now on, or how much I love you.”

He saw her swallow. “Brett—”

“Tonight, I’ll show you how much we have in common. We can go home—if that’s what you want, Sam. If it is home, for us both.” She was listening…and maybe, just maybe, she was open to his suggestion.

He looked into her eyes, and his whole body took fire. He was winning her over. If he had his way, the night would blend into tomorrow, the next day, week, year or decade—in her home, in her bed.

He just prayed he didn’t blow it again.

Long-Lost Father

Melissa James


Melissa James is a mother of three, living in a beach suburb in New South Wales, Australia. A former nurse, waitress, shop assistant, perfume and chocolate demonstrator, among other things, she believes in taking on new jobs for the fun experience. She’ll try anything at least once to see what it feels like—a fact that scares her family on regular occasions. She fell into writing by accident, when her husband brought home an article stating how much a famous romance author earned, and she thought, I can do that! She can be found most mornings walking and swimming at her local beach with her husband, or every afternoon running around to her kids’ sporting hobbies, while dreaming of flying, scuba diving, belaying down a cave or over a cliff—anywhere her characters are at the time!

Outback Baby Miracle #3936

This book is dedicated to Lily Maya, for singing, dancing and demanding all the happiness that life can offer. To Chris, Chrisanya, Zeb and the family, for all you did to save a baby in a hospital in Kathmandu, who would never have lived without you. Special thanks to the Institute for Deaf and Blind Children in Sydney, for helping me to understand the special needs of my brother’s family, and for permission to use their marvelous facilities as a part of Casey’s life.

Final thanks go to Mia Zachary, Olga Mitsialos and Rachel Robinson, for all their excellent suggestions. And to Maryanne and Diane. You know why.


“SO SHE MARRIED the prince and lived happily ever after in his beautiful castle.” Samantha Holloway’s fingers left the page to trail over her daughter’s sleep-flushed cheek. “It’s time for sleep now, princess.”

The child’s tiny Cupid’s-bow mouth stretched wide in a yawn. “Oh, all right.” The golden-brown eyes—so like her father’s—turned to Samantha, soft and unfocused. Eyes as heartbreaking as they were beautiful, for while they were filled with expression, they were not filled with light. “D’you still love me lots and lots?”

Sam felt her throat close up as she caressed the feathery gold curls. “More than anything in the world, princess.” To love and protect her darling girl was her life’s mission.

Casey smiled, lighting twitching dimples, with a look of mischief that was her father’s inheritance. Sam ached anew, seeing it. “Night-night, Mummy.” After her prayer, she rolled over and pulled up her sheet before drifting off to sleep.

Sam returned the stuffed animals and discarded book back to their slots—and then she did the same for the rest of the house. Cleanliness wasn’t a luxury or an obsession in Sam’s home. It was a necessity she couldn’t afford to neglect. A dropped toy was a potential hazard; spilled milk not immediately wiped dry could be worth crying over.

When your child was blind, mess was deadly.

When her work was done, Sam heaved a sigh of relief and wandered to her bedroom. She crossed to the window and looked out at the night through her neighbour’s trees, luxuriating in the simple joy of silence and peace.

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