Digital Editions: TorquereBooks | Fictionwise | All Romance eBooks | Diesel | OmniLit | Barnes & Noble
Toby’s children come to visit in the days before Christmas, but it takes more than just fixing up a bedroom and building a playhouse to build a family. When Josie and Charlotte have to face the reality that Daddy isn’t coming back home, can Ven and Toby convince them that this is their home, too?
Length: Novella | Rating: Hot | Publisher: Torquere Press
Themes: Interracial Relationship; Working Class Hero; Interclass Relationship; Hero with Children; Bisexual Hero; Contemporary Romance
“We have a good life. We’re lucky to get to share it. Let’s focus on that.” Ven kissed the top of Toby’s head. “I’m in love with you, and I can’t wait to get to know the kids. I never thought I’d get to have my own family. I’m not gonna let it not work, even if I’m freakin’ out about it. Promise.”
Toby tipped his head back to get a kiss on the mouth this time, and just as he was drawing away, Brenda’s classy blue Lexus pulled into the driveway. Toby could see the girls in the backseat, wiggling to get out of their booster seats as soon as the car was in park. “Show time.” He flashed Ven a smile and stood up, heading for the porch steps.
“Socks, Toby,” Ven said dryly, a reminder that Toby still had his socks on. Then, he got up and followed, hands in his pockets.
“Okay, okay,” Toby said, laughing sheepishly. “I’ll stay on the porch.” He stopped at the bottom step and waited.
Brenda slipped out of the car, pulling her long, wool coat around herself. She spared Toby and Ven a quick wave before she turned to get the girls out of the backseat. She was even lovelier than when he’d met her, tall and curvy, with her dark hair straightened and oiled and carefully coiffed. Her dark skin was flawless as ever. The girls took after her; both of them were beautiful, to Toby’s eyes.
Josie got out of the car first, all bundled up in the WNBA team sweatshirt he’d found for her birthday. Unlike her mother, Josie wore her hair natural: a dark mass of tight curls held back by a bright yellow headband. As soon as she spotted Toby, she gave a little shout and ran past her mother to get to him. “Daddy!”
Toby scooped her up, laughing happily. “Oh, my God! Josie Archer, have you gotten taller since the last time I saw you? It’s only been two weeks!”
Josie giggled and slung her arms around Toby’s neck, giving him a tight hug. “I’m in second grade now, Daddy. ‘Course I’m bigger.” She pulled back to see his face and announced, “Mama says if Gramma gives Charlotte skating lessons, like she’s been askin’ for, I can play hockey!”
Ven stepped past Toby. “I’ll go help Brenda with the bags. Hey, Josie.” He gave Josie a smile and headed down the path toward the car. “Good morning, Brenda,” he said, when he got closer to the car.
Hockey. God. “You want to play hockey?” Toby should have known better than to even bother asking, but he couldn’t help it. He knew Josie was athletic and loved sports of all kinds, but hockey? Hockey was dangerous. She could get hurt.
Josie rolled her eyes. “Duh, Daddy. Hockey’s fun! My friend Marcus plays and he likes it lots. I wanna play, too.”
Toby laughed and gave in. “Okay. If your mom says it’s okay.” He gave Josie another squeeze and put her down. “Let’s go help Ven and Charlotte and your mom with the bags, okay?”
Josie laughed. “Daddy! You’re not wearing any shoes!”
Toby stripped the socks off and winked at Josie. “I’ll just go barefoot, then!”
They headed out to the car, where Brenda was giving Ven one of her cautious, polite smiles. “Good morning, Ven.”
“A thoroughly heartwarming tale.” — Emily, Rainbow Reviews
“Made me fall in love with Ven and Toby all over again.” — Nannette, Joyfully Reviewed
“With each story I love Toby and Ven more and more.” — Hayley, Fallen Angel Reviews
“Anah Crow and Dianne Fox have brought to vivid life the life and trials of love and family.” — Bella, TwoLips Reviews