- Publisher: Grand Central
- Release Date: 2015, 1990, 1992, 2001; Bantam 1985
- ISBN-13: 978-0446356855
- Available Languages: Spanish (84), Japanese (4), German (3), Swedish, Russian, Hebrew
- Available Formats: Audio, e-Book, Print
No woman on the trek to Texas was more mysterious than Lydia Langston. No man was more stubborn than Ross Coleman…and both were running from the past.
Lydia had vowed no man would ever take away her pride, while Ross Coleman stayed true to his wife, who had died in childbirth, the woman who had given him his son.
Yet Lydia and Ross would find themselves together, fighting the same enemy and the same dangerous emotions building inside them…unable to stop the events that would eventually pit a man’s deadly vengeance against the strength of a woman’s love.
Why has God made it so painful to die? the young woman wondered.
She gripped her distended abdomen as another pain tore through her lower body and shimmied down her thighs. When it was over, she panted laboriously, like a wounded animal, trying to garner strength for the next assault, which she knew would seize her within minutes. Undoubtedly it would come, because she didn’t think she would be allowed to die before the baby was born.
She shivered convulsively. The rain was cold, each drop a tiny needle that pricked her skin, and it had soaked through the tattered dress and the few undergarments she had managed to hold together with clumsy knots. The rags clung to her like a damp shroud, a cloying weight that anchored her to the marshy ground as securely as did the relentless pain. She was chilled to the bone, but perspiration had clammily glazed her skin after endless hours of painful labor.
When had it begun? Last night just after sunset. Through the night, the ache in the lower part of her back had intensified until it crawled farther around her middle to twist her womb between angry fists. Cloud-obscured skies made it difficult to determine the time of day, but she guessed it to be midmorning by now.
She concentrated on the leafy pattern of the tree limbs against the gray sky overhead as the next contraction wrung her insides. The rainy clouds scuttled by, heedless of the woman barely twenty years old lying alone in the Tennessee wilderness, giving birth to a being she didn’t want to think of as a baby, even as human.
She turned her cheek sideways into her bed of sodden, rotted leaves, remnants of last fall, and let her tears mingle with the rain. Her baby had been conceived out of shame and humiliation and deserved no happier occasion than this to be born.
“Sweet Jesus, let me die now,” she prayed as she felt another abdominal upheaval rolling through her. Like the summer thunder, it rumbled inside her, gaining impetus before crashing against the walls of her body, just as the thunder seemed to collide with the mountainsides. The pain echoed through her as the thunderclap reverberated through the foothills.
A Note From Sandra
Followed by Another Dawn. There is no third book in the Coleman/Langston series.