❤❤Blog Tour❤❤ Unspoken by Brenda Rothert

Palmer Sinclair was on the edge of happily ever after when she broke off her engagement to Brady Grant. The end of their relationship marked the beginning of a painful solitary journey for her. Though she makes places beautiful with her work as an interior designer, the rest of her life is anything but beautiful – it’s slowly pulling her under.

Brady, a contractor, is swiftly building his business into an empire. Work is a faithful companion that never lets him down like Palmer did. When he sees women now, it’s on his terms. And his terms are simple: just sex. He won’t let a woman break him again.

Palmer is barely holding it together when she and Brady are unexpectedly paired on a project after a year apart. The pull between them is stronger than ever, but the fallout from their reconnection leaves them both wondering if maybe some things are better left unsaid.

 

**Part of the Proceeds of the Sale of Unpsoken will go toward The Keith Milano Memorial Fund at AFSP for the rest of the month of October.**

 

For More Information on AFSP and The Keith Milano Memorial Visit: 

Keith Milano Memorial

#isupportmentalhealthawareness

Chapter 1

I grinned at the image of the bride in the magazine I held,

picturing her classic, beaded veil and big cascading curls on myself.

 

“You like?” I asked, turning the magazine around for my

design partner Georges to see.

 

“Eh,” he said, frowning. “Maybe if you were going to prom in

1985. Add some pink frosted lipstick and dark blue eye shadow.”

 

I narrowed my eyes at him. “I don’t want my hair pulled back

tight the way you like. Brady wouldn’t like it, either. He likes to touch my

hair. You know, run his hands through it.”

 

Georges gave me a horrified stare. “Not on your wedding day,

Palmer! What about the photos? Tell him to keep his caveman hands to himself

until the wedding night.”

 

Just the words wedding

night brought on a tingle of excitement. Not that Brady didn’t bring it

every time we had sex, but the idea of wedding night sex was especially hot.

He’d told me about a fantasy involving his face between my thighs while I still

had the dress on, and I couldn’t deny that I was now fantasizing about it, too.

 

“We still have quite a few details to work out,” Georges

said, looking up from the bridal magazine he was flipping through to give me a

chastising look over the dark rims of his glasses.

 

“I know,” I said, snapping out of my sexy reverie about

Brady. “Let me get out my wedding planner.”

 

“Let’s finish this over sushi,” Georges said. “I skipped

lunch and I’m starving.”

 

I glanced down at my watch and shook my head. “Ugh, it’s

after six. I can’t. My mom asked me to stop by her house on my way home and I

told her I’d be there around six.”

 

“Damn you. Now I have to get carryout.” Georges rolled his

eyes dramatically.

 

“I’ll buy lunch tomorrow,” I said. “Don’t forget that we’re

going to the florist’s shop for a dry run of the centerpieces.”

 

Georges’ face brightened. “Let’s go visit the dress again,

too.”

 

“Maybe,” I said, smiling at him. “It has been a full week

since we last saw it. I’ll see you in the morning, okay?”

 

He nodded and turned back to the magazine. I checked my

phone on the way to the parking deck, smiling when I saw a message from Brady.

 

Brady:

Going to see Dad. Be home late. Lunch tomorrow? Love you.

 

I wrote back, glancing up occasionally to make sure I didn’t

crash into anyone.

 

Me:

Lunch with G tomorrow. I’ll cook dinner tomorrow night at my place. Love you

too.

 

We still called it my place even though he’d practically

moved in. One married, we planned to live in my tiny bungalow after instead of

his tiny apartment. Between Brady’s building skills and my design ones, we’d

made my place into a cozy love nest.

 

On the drive to Mom’s, I let my mind wander to the job I’d

just been hired for. I was designing a nursery for twins – a boy and a girl. My

client loved a traditional look, so I was using gingham, soft yellows and

greens and gorgeous white painted furniture.

 

This job was creating unexpectedly strong maternal pangs.

Brady and I both wanted kids, but we wanted to wait a couple years. He was

paying a price for his father’s lousy decisions, and we both had to focus on

our careers for a while.

 

Still, I let myself dream about the day we’d have a baby.

Hopefully one with his dark hair and bright green eyes.

 

I parked in front of Mom’s house, noticing the faded maroon

shutter that had been hanging by one screw had finally fallen off. Brady had

offered to paint the dingy brownish exterior when Mom and Danny moved in here

last year, but Mom always put him off, saying she knew he was too busy with

work.

 

This place needed a spruce-up, though, even if Brady and I

had to show up and just do it. Weeds were beginning to overtake the small

flower bed next to the front porch.

 

When I pulled open the creaky back screen door, Mom glanced

up from the kitchen table and stood, meeting me for a hug. She held on longer

than usual, and I studied her face when she pulled away.

 

“You okay?” I asked.

 

“Yeah.” She headed for the stove, not meeting my curious

gaze. “I made you a plate of dinner. Chicken pot pie.”

 

I sank into a chair at the table, looking around the kitchen

for my younger brother. “Where’s Danny?” 

 

 

On cue, his wheelchair came rolling into the room.

 

“Almer!” he cried, reaching out his arms. I grinned and

stood, bending down to hug him tight, the way he liked.

 

As soon as I released him, he turned his chair around,

grunting with the effort, and worked his way back out of the room.

 

“Where are you going?” I called behind him. “I just got

here!”

 

“Cubs,” he said shortly.

 

I smiled at his retreating form, realizing I should’ve

guessed from his baseball hat and Cubs t-shirt that he was immersed in a game

on TV. Though he was 23, Danny’s doctors said he had the mental capacity of a

four-year-old. I knew he was smarter than they gave him credit for. But no matter

what his mental capacity, he was the brightest ray of sunshine in my life. I’d

been in one fist fight in my life – when I was eight and a kid in our

neighborhood called my five-year-old brother stupid.

 

Mom set a plate down in front of me, fussing over grabbing

the salt and pepper shakers and a napkin and pouring me a glass of iced tea.

 

“I can get that stuff. Sit down,” I said. “This looks

delish.”

 

“How are the wedding plans coming?” she asked, her eyes

warming with excitement.

 

“Good. I’m going to make the final decisions on the flowers

tomorrow.”

 

I blew on a steaming forkful of pot pie, studying my mom’s

drawn expression. She didn’t bother with fixing her hair or makeup, since she

spent her days taking care of Danny. But the lines on her face were more pronounced

than usual. Something was off.

 

“What’s up?” I lowered my fork and set it on the plate. “You

look worried.”

 

She sighed deeply. “It’s probably nothing.”

 

“What’s probably nothing?”

 

“I got a call from the hospital today about the pre-op

testing for my back surgery.”

 

“That’s right,” I said, chiding myself for forgetting to

call her about it yesterday. “Is there a problem with the surgery?”

 

Hopefully the doctor hadn’t changed his mind about it

helping her or the insurance hadn’t denied coverage. Mom needed this surgery.

Years of lifting Danny in and out of his chair had left her back aching every

minute of the day, though she rarely complained about it.

 

“They did an x-ray and it showed a possible mass,” she said,

wrapping her arms around herself. “In one of my lungs.”

 

My heart pounded as her words sank in. “A . . .” I cleared

my throat. “A possible mass? What does that mean?”

 

She sighed again. “It means I have to get a CT scan

tomorrow. Aunt Claire came over to be with Danny while I was at the hospital yesterday,

and it’s an hour drive for her. I didn’t want to ask her to come back tomorrow.

Is there any way you could come over in the morning, around 9:30?”

 

“Of course.” Emotions swirled inside me. This was so

unexpected that I was still trying to wrap my mind around it. “But I want to go

with you. I’ll ask Brady to come stay with Danny.”

 

She shook her head. “I don’t know that they’ll do anything

but the scan tomorrow, Palmer. The results may take time. I can handle it on my

own. If you’ll be with Danny, that’d be perfect.”

 

“Sure,” I said, not sure at all. “Are you okay?”

 

She nodded and attempted a smile. “It’s probably nothing.

Just a precaution. They haven’t cancelled my surgery or anything.”

 

I nodded, too, trying to see that as a positive indication.

But the worry that had kicked up my heart rate and drained my appetite in an

instant was still there.

 

Flowers, cake and the perfect wedding hairstyle suddenly

felt like ridiculous things to care about. All that mattered right now was my

mom being okay. She had to be.

 

Brenda Rothert is a proud indie author who loves writing stories that make readers laugh, cry and occasionally, yell at their e-readers. Her Contemporary Romances include Unspoken; The Now Series – Now and Then, Now and Again and Now and Forever, and The Fire on Ice Series – Bound, Captive, Edge and Drive. Brenda lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three boys.

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