Cami Checketts is back with her ten favorite moments from her uber-successful THE BROKEN PATH. It’s tearing up the charts at Amazon, so you’ll definitely want to see this!
Cami Checketts: 10 Favorite Moments from “The Broken Path”
1. “My mama silly,” Brittan exclaimed. “You toughs.” Brittan grabbed his nicely defined upper arm. “You got big muscleses. I no hurt you.”
Ethan smiled, the tension in the air diffused. Autumn swallowed a gulp of lemonade, the cool drink sliding down her throat wasn’t her only relief at the moment.
“My mama no like Effan,” Brittan confided.
Autumn choked on the now sour lemonade.
“What?” Autumn gasped. She set her glass on the patio table and blotted the lemonade she’d sputtered down her shirt with a napkin. How had her daughter so terribly misconstrued what her mother was feeling and then announced her childlike assumptions to Ethan?
“You say, ‘no say Effan,’” Brittan reminded her. “You say, ‘it makes me crazy and aches my head.’” Brittan copied the face Autumn had made earlier. “You no like him.”
2. Ethan scowled. “I heard how quickly you said no when Cole asked if I was your man.”
“I didn’t say no like it would be bad.”
“Sure.” He arched a dark eyebrow, questioning her with his eyes. “Would it be so horrible if I was your man?”
“I…I…” Autumn couldn’t even imagine what he was implying. The image of him being “her man” about caused her heart failure.
“Effan, Mama,” Brittan yelled. Ethan had stopped giving the little girl attention and she was clearly upset with the neglect.
“What, sweetie?” He tenderly brushed a lock of hair from Brittan’s forehead.
“No yell,” she demanded.
3. “Autumn,” his deep voice warmed her more than the summer sun. “You look beautiful.”
She tugged at the hem of her shorts, glad her long legs were tan from playing outside with Brittan.
“You…you…” Autumn stuttered, trying to find the right words to express how he looked. “…look beautiful, too,” she said. She barely caught her hand from smacking her head. What kind of an idiot tells a man he looks beautiful?
Heat crept up her face. “I mean, thank you, um, you look nice, too.”
He opened the door wider, a grin splitting his face.
4. Brittan bounded onto his lap. “Effan,” she whispered loudly. “My mama marry you?”
Ethan couldn’t answer. He blinked a few times. Maybe he’d misread how Autumn felt about him. He looked to Autumn with a questioning glance as she slid in next to him at Nancy’s obvious insistence.
She averted her eyes. Her skin tinged pink. “I’m sorry. I don’t know where she got that idea.”
“Effan marry Mama,” Brit chanted. “Effan marry Mama.”
Miss Sue looked over her shoulder, mouth open, painted-on eyebrows lifted. A look from Autumn silenced any comment the woman might have made. She turned back around with a “humph.”
“Effan marry Mama,” Brittan repeated.
“Brit,” Autumn whispered, “if you say ‘Ethan marry Mama,’ one more time I’ll put your nose in the corner with the spiders.”
5. Autumn couldn’t restrain a smile. “Convenient of Mom to forget her shawl.”
“Yeah,” he said, watching the couple go.
“She doesn’t know how to play hard to get,” Autumn said.
Ethan swung onto the four-wheeler. “Lucky man,” he murmured.
Autumn wondered what his comment meant as she watched him move. She admired the taut muscles in his arms. The firm cut of his jaw. The way his shirt stretched across his shoulders. He caught her gaze.
“Climb on.” His words were clipped, uninviting.
Autumn realized once again he had misinterpreted what she was thinking. Why did he have to be so prickly? He acted like she was staring at his deformed legs, when the truth was her stare was concentrated much higher up.
Brittan clung to the handlebars. “Huwwy up, Mama.”
Autumn didn’t try to explain her stare. Ethan wouldn’t believe her anyway. “Where am I supposed to sit?”
Sighing with impatience, Brittan planted her hands on her hips, looking at her mom like a frustrated teenager. “You sit on back.”
Autumn raised her eyebrows. “Does she mean the metal rack?”
“Sounds like a perfect spot to me,” Ethan said, actually smiling at her.
6. “Autumn,” Ethan’s voice was low. His gaze bore into her. “You wanted to tell me how you felt about something, what was it?”
“You,” she squeaked, watching her daughter to avoid his eyes.
“Really?” He sounded pleased and nervous. “How do you feel about me?”
Autumn hazarded a glance at his gorgeous face. The expression in his eyes was one hundred percent puppy dog. He appeared scared, innocent, and completely vulnerable. She wanted to tell him the truth. She thought he was strong, smart, and handsome. He was wonderful with her daughter and she was completely infatuated with him.
“I think you’re…” The truth? Am I insane? No way. She cleared her throat. “I think you’re a nice guy who is cute with my daughter.” That sounded so lame. She looked everywhere, but at him, so as not to give him a glimpse of the real truth written in her eyes.
“A nice guy,” he muttered. “That figures.”
7. Brittan climbed onto the four-wheeler and tucked a flower behind Ethan’s ear. He smiled at the child. It killed Autumn that he rarely bestowed one of his smiles on her.
“I look like a girl,” Ethan protested to Brittan.
“You look beautisul,” Brittan said, throwing her arms around his neck.
Ethan grinned. Autumn completely agreed with her daughter’s sentiments. Why couldn’t she say something impetuous and throw herself at him? Oh, to be a child again.
8. “Need kiss. Need kiss.” Brittan demanded as she clung to Ethan’s neck.
Autumn hurried to her daughter’s side, leaning to kiss Brittan goodbye. Ethan’s lips touched Brittan’s other cheek at the same moment. Their eyes locked over Brittan’s head. Autumn blinked in surprise. They were centimeters away. If Brit had moved at all. No. She couldn’t think like that. Imagining the touch of Ethan’s lips on hers made her feel weak inside.
She tried to move away. The air swirled with Ethan’s cologne, breathing became difficult. Brit’s arm caught her around the neck, pulling her closer to Ethan. What is my girl doing? Autumn’s face almost touched Ethan’s. The look in his eyes said he didn’t mind at all.
His lips brushed her cheek. Warmth started in the pit of her stomach and quickly spread. Brittan continued pulling, his lips were practically on top of hers. She could smell and almost taste his mint-flavored breath.
9. “They’re such a beautiful family. So happy. Why couldn’t that be me?” Staring at the grains in the wood floor, she didn’t dare look at his face. “Why did I have to marry somebody who was violent? Why couldn’t Brit have two parents and siblings who love her?”
Autumn wiped angrily at a tear that had made its way down her cheek. She glanced up at Ethan, regret and embarrassment coursed through her. “Wow. Don’t know where that came from.”
He studied her. “Brit’s lucky to have you.”
His comment drew more tears, but at least he hadn’t addressed her failed marriage. She pointed her finger at the wall. “But I could never give her all this.”
Ethan looked over the pictures, then back at her. “Does she really need it?”
Autumn let that sink in. She shrugged. “It would be nice.”
Ethan smiled; it didn’t reach his dark eyes. “It would. But Brit is beautiful, smart, happy, loved.” He elevated his massive shoulders. “What could be more important than that?”
10. “I’m sorry for staring,” she said, dropping her towel on the concrete and sliding into the warm water.
“It’s okay.” He shrugged his striated shoulders. “I’m sure seeing my legs for the first time would be shocking to anybody.”
“What?” Autumn couldn’t believe what he was thinking. His legs? “I didn’t notice your legs.”
His lips pressed into a thin line. “Sure you didn’t,” he muttered.
Ethan swam a few feet away, ducking underwater. When he came out with his dark hair, face, and chest glistening, she could barely speak. She made an effort though. He had to know she wasn’t gawking at his legs like a rude teenager.
“Ethan, I promise I wasn’t looking at your legs. I never got that far.”
“What were you looking at?” He elevated one eyebrow, his expression full of hurt.
“Your chest.” Autumn flushed pink, embarrassed the truth had flown from her lips. It was her turn to duck under the water and swim away from him.
Ethan’s arm encircled her, pulling her above the surface. He whipped her around to face him.
“You’re quick in the water,” she gasped.
“The only time I am.” His hands wrapped themselves around her waist. “My chest, huh?”
“Yes,” she whispered, looking away.
His deep chuckle echoed against the concrete pool wall.
Her gaze swung back to his face. “You must workout, huh?”
More from “The Broken Path”
Injured in a debilitating accident at age six, Ethan Searle believes women eye him with a mixture of pity and disdain. He’s tried love before. He won’t again. He meets his match in a precocious two-year old who loves him despite his disability, even while her mother seems bothered by everything about Ethan.
Autumn Reader escaped her abusive marriage with her beautiful daughter and a stack of fear. She can’t make the mistake of trusting a man again. Autumn’s daughter becomes enraptured by Ethan. Despite Autumn’s best intentions, she finds herself following her daughter’s example. When her ex-husband reappears, threatening everyone she loves if she won’t submit to his demands, Autumn has to learn to trust or lose her chance at real love.
“Characters to fall in love with, action to keep you turning pages, and the most adorable little girl ever, The Broken Path is a compelling tale of strength and trust, courage and heart. I truly enjoyed this book.” – Maria Hoagland, Author of Family Size
“The Broken Path is sweet romance with heart, suspense, and plenty of story twists that kept me turning pages. Add in a romantic hero with a cane, a struggling single mom, and an adorable little girl and this book has it all!” –Heather Justesen, author of The Switch
Read an excerpt or buy The Broken Path on Amazon
Cami is a part-time author, part-time exercise consultant, part-time housekeeper, full-time wife, and overtime mother of four adorable boys. Sleep and relaxation are fond memories. She’s never been happier.
A portion of the proceeds from Cami’s books will be donated to The Child & Family Support Center. For more information on this worthy cause, please go towww.cachecfsc.org