The Brookfield Series
By Lacey Wolfe
Resigned to raising her baby without the father, Diane has everything figured out—a substitute dad in place, a support system ready, and a new home to move into—at least until the day he knocks on her door.
Matt tried to let Diane go, tried to forget that she was carrying his child, but an ultrasound picture brings his walls tumbling down. He can’t stay away any longer. But he hasn’t always been perfect. Diane and he share a past full of deceit and lies and now they have only nine months to undo it all and become responsible adults. It’s not only about them anymore.
With complications in her pregnancy, Diane is forced to move back to Brookfield to be under the care of her family. All she has to do is keep her feelings for Matt in check and she can stick to her original plan—raise the baby with Tom.
But it seems Matt has a few choice words about that…
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Diane set the brush down after combing out all her tangles. All she needed was a light layer of makeup and she’d be ready. Tom was supposed to be coming today and she couldn’t wait to see him. The last few days, she’d been feeling like herself again. Maybe it was time to go home. As much as she wanted to stay in Brookfield, she wasn’t sure it was right.
Matt had been leaving her alone. Aside from one day he’d left some bakery items for her with Alyssa. He hadn’t done it again. Diane wasn’t sure if this was a good or bad thing. One moment he’d been adamant about being in her life and now he was gone.
She needed to stop thinking about him and especially stop wanting him. But she’d always been attracted to him, even when he’d dated Alyssa. She found herself making eyes at him though she knew it was wrong. But when it had come to Matt, she threw all morals out the window. And she couldn’t do that anymore. She had a baby to think of.
After turning off the bathroom light, she went into the living room to sit and rest a few. She wanted to get out for a bit, maybe go see a movie. That required sitting and would be enjoyable. Hopefully she could convince Tom. He was acting more and more like a mother hen these days.
A light knock sounded on the door. Diane hopped up and grinned. She opened the door and practically jumped into his arms.
“Wow, I didn’t think you’d be that happy to see me.”
She stepped back and straightened her clothes. This was awkward. How did she explain this. Though it had felt good to have his arms around her again. “Matt, what are you doing here?”
He cocked an eyebrow. “Obviously I wasn’t who you were happy to see.”
“Tom’s supposed to be coming.”
“Can I come in?” he asked nervously.
Was that a good idea? “I don’t know.”
“I promise not to get you upset.”
“Okay.” She motioned for him to enter. She might as well see what he wanted. “This won’t take long, will it?”
Matt glanced at her. “No.”
They sat down on opposite couches but still by each other in the living room. Maybe she should move over a cushion. Diane knew she needed to keep the tension down. But something about this man got her blood pumping. Whether it was hopping in the sack or getting in an argument, she stayed all hot and bothered around him.
“Your sister told me I’m the cause of your stress.”
So that was why he’d been leaving her alone. She was going to kill Alyssa, or was she?
“I don’t want you having this baby early because of me.” He paused. “Or more likely, I don’t want to be the one blamed. If you want, I’ll go away until after you have our son. Just as long as I’m not the one who is blamed if the baby is colicky or something like that. I can’t be the cause of every problem.”
The cause of problems? Where had he gotten this idea from? “Matt, no one blames you—”
“Yes, you and your sister do. Hell, Cody might too. But at least he talks to me to find out my side. All I get from Alyssa is to go away until the baby arrives. As though the problems in this pregnancy were caused by me.” He took a deep breath and continued, “I don’t mean to come here and argue, but I’m tired of being a doormat.”
She hated that he felt that way. “You’re not.”
He snickered. “You just don’t see it. I don’t want to fight or see you get upset. Each time I’ve talked to you has landed you with contractions. But I’m trying. I really am. If you’d let me, I’d be so much more.” His eyes were dark with passion and she knew what he meant. “But I understand you’re with Tom.”
“Don’t apologize. I let you go. One of my biggest mistakes.”
Diane didn’t even realize she was standing or know how she got onto the same couch with Matt. But her lips found his and when they touched, all was right again. They stayed still a moment with just their lips touching. God, she wanted this man. But as she wrapped a hand around his neck to deepen the kiss, she felt him resist. She pulled back and gazed into his eyes.
“Why did you do that?” he asked.
She sat frozen, staring at him. “I, uh. I don’t know.”
“We can’t do that.”
Matt was telling her no. He’d told her he wanted her. And she’d kissed him. Now he was telling her he couldn’t do this. Wow, she was really confused. She wiped her hands across her pants before she stood and paced a little. Her cheeks burned from embarrassment. This man was going to drive her insane.
“Please, sit.” He patted the couch.
“No. I’m not going to sit down. I’m sick and tired of everyone telling me to sit down. Everyone thinks they know what I need or want. But they don’t.” She placed her hands on her hips. “Maybe I want you too.”
“What about Tom?”
“What about me?” Tom appeared.
Thank you to Lacey Wolfe for the opportunity to read this prior to release day! I have been looking forward to this one since Not Just Friends was released. The twist that Ms. Wolfe put in that story made me really intrigued with how she would write it. To be honest, I was hoping that she would keep the twist as part of the story. *sigh*
For me, cheating is something that I absolutely despise. Since Matt and Diane were involved in cheating in Not Just Friends, I didn't like them in that book. However, after we find out a little more about Matt and Diane's relationship, I began to "forget" that they are both cheaters. When Ms. Wolfe brought the twist in of Tom in Not Just Friends, I thought it was funny!
These two characters have so much to work through in regards to trust and communication that I really wanted to see what happened. In the beginning of Growing Love, I really thought both characters were idiots and needed to be Gibbs smacked a few hundred times.
Matt had some justification in his reaction and his feelings, but the way he reacted was one that I really wanted to beat him for! although Matt did behave like an @$$, I did feel bad for him, to a point. He had to really think about the whole situation and decide what he wanted.
Diane, well, she grew on me, even though I thought she was a bitch. I actually began to feel sorry for Diane because of how she was being treated as fragile and that people were trying to tell her what she needed to do and not allow her to work it out on her own.
OH, and Tom? Well, let's just say that I wish I had a "Tom" in my life. I don't want to give much away about Tom because I love his part in the story.
Overall, I am glad that Ms. Wolfe didn't keep the twist in the story because this story was absolutely perfect for Matt and Diane. They had to go down the hard path, but nothing should come easy in a relationship. They had to grow separately before they could grow together.
Oh and Lacey, can we get a Tom Outtake?