It’s time for another episode in our ONE MORE CHANCE excerpt chain! Did you read the first 3? If not, check out my post from August 25, then click on over to and And don’t forget that the fun continues Friday and Saturday at and, then back here for the finale. 🙂 What are ya’ll thinking so far?


“You feeling OK?” Mase’s voice interrupted my thoughts, and I covered my eyes from the sun and squinted up at him. He was dressed in his faded jeans and a blue plaid shirt. A fine layer of dust covered him from his morning activities, and the cowboy hat on his head was tilted back as he wiped the sweat on his forehead with a towel from his back pocket.

“I’m fine. Just lost in my thoughts,” I explained.

He held out his hand to me. “Come on, let’s go eat some­thing. Momma will have lunch on the table by now.” Mary­ann cooked a full meal for lunch every day. She said her guys needed it to keep going hard outside. Mase’s stepfather was still using a walking stick after taking a tumble off his tractor, even though he’d already gotten his cast removed. Mase had been picking up his stepfather’s slack for a while now, and he seemed relieved that he was back out working. His stepfather raised beef cattle, and his work was grueling. Mase was only used to training a few horses.

I slipped my hand into my brother’s and let him pull me up. I wouldn’t admit to him that I was weak from my loss of appetite. I wasn’t nauseated from the pregnancy, but I missed Grant. Right now, I wanted him. I wanted to share this with him. To see him smile and hear him laugh. I wanted more than he could give me.

“You haven’t smiled in days,” Mase said, letting go of my hand.

I dusted off my bottom and managed a shrug. “I’m not going to lie to you. I miss him. I love him, Mase. I admitted that to you already.”

Mase fell into step beside me as we walked toward his parents’ large white farm house with its wraparound porch and flowers in the window boxes. Mase had grown up with the perfect life. The kind that kids like me don’t believe in unless they’ve seen it. I wanted to give that kind of life to my child.

“Answer his call tonight instead of sending it to voice mail. He wants to hear your voice. At least give him that. It might make you feel better,” Mase said. This wasn’t the first time he’d urged me to answer Grant’s calls. I hadn’t told Mase why I’d left. I couldn’t stand the idea of Mase hating Grant. He wouldn’t understand why Grant had reacted the way he had. And he’d never forgive him. They would be family one day. This baby would make them family.

And if I wasn’t around . . .

“You’re stubborn, Harlow Manning. You know that?” He nudged my shoulder with his arm.

“I’ll answer him when it’s time. It just isn’t time yet.”

Mase let out a frustrated sigh. “You’re carrying his baby. He needs to know that. This ain’t right, what you’re doing.”

I brushed the wisps of hair that had fallen out of my po­nytail holder out of my face. He wouldn’t understand why I couldn’t tell Grant. I was tired of having this conversation with him.

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