How can two people who never had a chance find a second chance with each other?
Col. Sid “Bull” Bullington (USMC, Ret.) is twenty-five years and two lifetimes older than Gail Callaway, While his struggle is carefully masked, hers is obvious--the cane she uses because of a worsening congenital neuromuscular disorder. His gut tells him to back off, but her childlike joy and simple trust in the goodness of others draws him into a relationship he knows they may both regret. When her unscrupulous brother complicates the mix, Sid feels he has no choice but to back off. Then on 9-11, the country and everyone in it is forever changed. For the first time, Sid wants to fight the demons of war and move on. Does he dare ask Gail to do battle with him?
Can two people who never had a chance find a second chance with each other?
Gail Callaway—thirty-one, unmarried but not unwanted until her Marine fiance died while deployed overseas—works as a paralegal for a top law firm in Springfield, Missouri. So does her much older brother Alex who wants to be more than a junior partner. Their father, who made no secret of the fact his daughter was his favorite, is dead, and their mother lives in Charleston with her current man friend.
She also lives with a non-specific form of ataxia, misdiagnosed as cerebral palsy when she was a child. Retreating into a world of music and make-believe, Gail feels safe from anything else the world might do to her.
Then she meets Sid “Bull” Bullington on a dinner cruise aboard the showboat Branson Belle.
Oil and water, sunshine and rain, night and day.
Can they find anything in common? Is it worth the risk?
Gail’s decision isn’t hard.
Character Sketch: Sid
Col. Sid “Bull” Bullington, USMC, Ret., needed to get away, but he didn’t need to meet Gail. Twenty years older and toughened by a childhood of neglect and abuse, two tours of Viet Nam, and countless other deployments around the world, he protects himself from anything else life can hand him by keeping to himself.
The nightmares and flashbacks, uncontrollable rages, alcoholic binges, and wondering why his men died instead of him aren’t the only symptoms of his untreated PTSD. He’s lived fast and loose and has enough guilt to last the rest of his life—which he often hopes won’t be a long one.
He wants the peace Gail offers him, but he knows he’d destroy her and have to live with that guilt, too.
His decision is hard—but totally necessary.