Enjoy a peek into the story:
"A dog, Nathan, really?" Janelle asked, laughing as she stepped off of the porch to greet Nathan the following Wednesday. He was walking toward her, a black-and-tan German shepherd held on a tight leash beside him. The screen door slammed behind her, and she turned to her children and motioned for them to stop. They froze on the top step; Zoe bounced anxiously on her toes as Janelle faced Nathan again. "Who's this?"
"This is McClane." Nathan smiled broadly as he stopped in front of Janelle and leaned closer. "Can I kiss you yet?" he whispered as he glanced at the kids.
"Not in front of the children," she replied with a grin. "Why did you bring your dog?"
"He was getting lonely all by himself at my house." Nathan took Janelle's hand and continued to walk toward the porch. "And I thought he might be helpful to Zach."
"Has he ever been around children?" Janelle asked hesitantly, tugging on Nathan's hand as she stopped before they reached the bottom step.
He stopped and turned to face her. "He'll be fine."
Nathan waited for her to nod before he allowed the dog to climb the first step. "Zach, Zoe, this is McClane. He's two years old, and I thought you might like to meet him."
"Mommy, can I pet him?" Zoe asked enthusiastically, her hands clenching and unclenching by her side.
Janelle looked at Nathan, who looked almost as excited as his daughter, and gave the go ahead. Zoe squealed when her fingers reached the dog's fur for the first time. Janelle climbed to the top step and rested against the column as she watched Nathan guide Zoe on how to touch and how not to touch the dog. Zach slowly inched closer, and eventually Nathan was teaching him as well.
Her heart swelled at the scene in front of her and she knew this was exactly what her kids needed. Not necessarily the dog, but the experience and the guidance that Nathan gave them. She knew, without doubt, that he would always be that teacher, leader, and guide for them, and that he'd do it enthusiastically because he loved them. It would never be a chore for him because he would want to help them.
He loved them. And they loved him. Her heart tripped over the realization but it was all there in front of her. Suddenly, she could envision a life she'd only ever dreamed about laid out in front of her. She shook her head and laughed away the ambitions thoughts. She was getting ahead of herself.
She watched him give some final instructions to the children then stand and walk toward her. He stopped beside her and placed his hand on the rail behind her, his arm pressed against her back.
"What are you doing here so early?" Janelle asked as she watched Zoe rub the dog from shoulder to the base of his tail with a grin on her face. McClane's tail thumped against the wooden porch boards.
"You said you had yard work, I thought I'd come and help," he answered.
"Kelsey and I can manage it on our own. You didn't need to do that." Janelle turned so her back was pressed against the column and he was to her side. "We actually enjoy doing yard work."
"Jan, I'm going stir crazy, sitting at home with nothing else to do every day," he said and Janelle could hear the underlying plea in his voice.
She looked into his hazel eyes, and her heart skipped a beat. He had said he wanted a normal life, and she supposed this would be normal. Richard had never been a fan of gardening or maintenance--she'd always had to do that. She closed her eyes and shook her head. She had to stop comparing the two of them. She'd known in high school that Nathan and Richard were different; it wasn't fair to Nathan for her to continue to measure him against Richard. Even if he did come out more favorably.
"No?" Nathan asked, misunderstanding her movement.
"No," she repeated and looked at him, "I mean, yes, you can stay and help."
"Why did you shake your head?" Nathan frowned.
Janelle placed her palm on his cheek. "It was nothing. Just a bad habit I need to break."
What readers are saying:
--I loved that On The Line picked up right where What It Takes left off and that all of the characters from the first story in this series still played a major role in this angsty, suspenseful romance. Ms. Ascher is obviously an extremely talented author with a flair for creating complex, well-rounded characters, the ability to draw the reader in emotionally and to write a dramatic story that could stand with any of the most popular crime titles and authors as well as with the best written romances.--Bea L.
--An emotional read that will break your heart but in the end it will bring a smile to your face when you read that awesome epilogue.--Monica C.
--Absolutely excellent story. So much happened in this story it was hard to put down for any reason. To add to that was all great reading , story and plot as well as characters . I highly recommend .--Angel H.
--This book grabs you and draws you in and sometime you feel like it may be to much and other times you find yourself turning the pages just to see what happens. I am really excited to read the rest of this series. This action pack book will not disappoint.--Sarah
--ON THE LINE is a very well written book, evenly paced, where plot twists abound. Janelle and Nathan are flawed people, and at times I must say I wanted to slap Janelle, and this probably the book’s greatest quality: it offers a very realistic portrait of the people involved in this story. A most satisfying read!--Monique