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White Wattle Creek Book 1
BY VIKKI HOLSTEIN
Kelsey’s sole purpose in life is to keep four-year-old Pipa safe. Conceived in a violent, drug-induced rampage, Pipa is being hunted by the man responsible. He wants her dead, and no matter how far Kelsey and Pipa run, the brewing storm is never far behind.
Protection lies in Kelsey’s hometown of White Wattle Creek in the form of Ethan, the man who’d always been her safe place. The one she loved. And the one who broke her heart. But she not only has Ethan to face when she returns. The emotional abuse of her past and the truth surrounding Pipa’s existence both rain down on her from the clouds gathering overhead.
When Kelsey finally opens her heart to Ethan, her nightmares tip over into reality, and with Pipa’s future hanging in the balance, Kelsey must find the strength within to fight for their right to happiness … before the storm breaks.
‘I can’t give Pipa what she deserves with this hanging over us. She wants a puppy, Ethan.’
Tears began trickling down her cheeks.
‘She wants a home, and I want to give it to her. But how can I? How can I when he’s still in the background?’
‘Why were you with him then?’
‘It just happened that way.’ She shook her head, scrubbed at her wet cheeks and closed up on him again. ‘I came because I wanted your help before I talked to Mark. I want you to promise you’ll look after Pipa if anything happens to me.’
‘I’m not a lawyer, Kelsey. You know that. I do conveyancing.’
‘I’m not after a lawyer. I need someone I can trust with her life.’ She met his gaze. ‘I thought it was you. Now I don’t know.’
‘You don’t trust me anymore?’ Losing that last part of her would carve a wound deep in his heart. ‘You know I’ll help in any way I can. Talk to me, tell me what’s happened.’
‘It’s not what has happened, but what will.’ She rested a cheek on the top of Pipa’s head. ‘I can’t do anything until I know she’s safe, that she’ll be looked after.’
‘Kelsey?’ He waited until she lifted her head. ‘What do you think will happen?’
‘Can you promise me you’ll look after her? No matter what?’
‘It hurts that you think you have to ask.’ He picked up his cold mug of coffee, then put it down again. ‘Whatever I’ve done, whatever I’ve said, I hope you haven’t spent the last five years thinking I’m a monster.’
‘No.’ Cheeks red, she shook her head. ‘No, I haven’t. I wouldn’t be here if I did.’
‘Then why did you wait so long to come home?’
She shook her head again, but before he could push for an answer, Pipa shifted, stretched her arms out and yawned, then blinked up at Kelsey.
‘Mummy, I have to pee.’
Vikki Holstein is the author of Breaking Storm, the first book in her romantic suspense series, White Wattle Creek.
An avid reader from a young age, Vikki often escaped into other worlds and lives, and discovered romance novels at the age of fourteen. She devoured romance, fantasy, science fiction, horror, and anything else she could get her hands on until the year 2000, after her third child was born, and she decided to write what she hadn’t found in any book yet. A story like her own.
A survivor of childhood sexual abuse, her writing reflects the courage it takes to trust again, and the struggle to forgive ourselves on the journey to finding love, peace, and happiness. Her stories invariably feature horses as they were an integral part of her survival as a child and teenager.
Now a wife, mother, and storyteller, she lives in central Victoria, Australia, with her husband and herd of animals. When not writing, she spends time with her horses, helping her husband on his latest renovation project, reading, or gardening.
Links to Vikki’s website, blog, books, etc.
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Thanks, Vikki, for sharing your book with us!
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