It’s finally here! Book 6 in the Circle Eight series, Tobias, is now available in both ebook and print! Huzzah!!
This book was an emotional roller coaster for me – high points and some really low points. Tobias is a very damaged hero, one of the top five heroes I’ve ever written who was so twisted inside. That’s like kryptonite to me – I cannot resist redeeming them. Perhaps because the redemption is that much sweeter.
This is book 6 in the series – there are only 2 more to write and then each Graham sibling has their HEA. When I see a series through to the end, I am always nostalgic long before I get there. The Grahams have become part of me and each book includes a large piece of my heart.
Rebecca Graham proved to be the strong, silent sister. A natural born healer with romantic tendencies, she works until there isn’t a smidge of effort left in her. She’s stubborn but willing to admit when she’s wrong. Not so much with Tobias. LOL
I hope y’all enjoy Tobias and Rebecca’s story!
A broken man. A woman who needs a hero. A love that should never have been.
Rebecca Graham always knew she was to marry a hero and leave home in blissful happiness. She chose that man when she was seventeen. Unfortunately, her family hated him. In a fury over being swindled by someone else, Tobias burned down the Circle Eight, her family’s ranch. He spent four months rebuilding alongside her family in penance. When he accepts her help to nurse his grandfather, she has hopes he will become the hero she envisioned. She was wrong.
Tobias Gibson never expected happiness for himself. His brothers, adopted by their patriarch Pops, were all that matters. After Pops dies while under Rebecca Graham’s care, he cannot forgive her failure to save his grandfather. He ignores his attraction to Rebecca. There is too much bad blood between them.
Life never rolls forward as expected however. Five years after he’d last seen her, Rebecca Graham reenters his life. Together they face the storm that sweeps across their lives. They have to rely on each other and ignore the growing love setting their souls and hearts on fire.
Rebecca didn’t blame Tobias for the fiasco in the tall grass so long ago. She made a choice and it turned out to be the wrong one. It was a harsh lesson a young, impressionable seventeen-year-old learned. Now she was older, wiser and in full possession of life experiences to make her decisions with more careful consideration.
At least when it came to men.
She hadn’t let any man close to her except for her family. No man held her interest. It didn’t matter if Tobias wasn’t the prince she wanted him to be. She wasn’t ruined for love, but simply chose not to fall into it again. Possibly ever. What had being in love brought her except for disappointment? Perhaps she’d been foolish, but no longer.
Taking care of the man who taught her about intimacy and how not to love was the last thing she expected to be doing. Yet she was because it was the right thing to do. She always had a choice to refuse to help someone, but she never had. And her past with Tobias wasn’t going to affect her devotion to healing people.
Rebecca had a few talks with herself over the first two days of taking care of Tobias. She wanted to walk away but she couldn’t. Both Will and Tobias needed her. She couldn’t treat one and not the other. Nor did Tobias deserve to be set aside because of an ancient history between them.
“You look vexed, Becca.” Each time Tobias used the shortened version of her name, she had to clench her teeth to stop the growl from escaping.
She stirred the poultice with a bit more force than necessary. “I’m not vexed. Now be quiet so I can treat your injuries.” She pulled the chair beside the bed and set the poultice on his chest. “Hold this.”
He frowned at the bowl. “I ain’t a table.”
“Shut up.” She spoke without rancor. “Your bruises are deep and the poultice will help heal them quicker. Your shoulder is also in need of poultice.”
“It smells funny.”
She rolled her eyes. “So do you. Now shut up.”
“You gave me a bath. It ain’t me that smells.”
Rebecca refused to look at his face. She didn’t want to be pulled into the debate with him. He was already confusing her, the last thing she needed was to interact more with him. She tested the consistency of the poultice with her finger and deemed it ready.
“Sit still while I do this. The poultice needs to set before I put a bandage over it.” She moved closer and removed the bandage from his shoulder. His skin had turned deep purple with shades of green on the edges. The boot prints were more pronounced on the side of his ribs.
“It’s warm.” He flinched when she started smearing the thick concoction on him.
“I used hot water. It helps to bind the ingredients together.” She was more comfortable discussing her work than focusing on his injuries. “This will help dissipate the blood under the skin, reduce the pain and speed the healing.”
“You do sound like a doctor.”
She managed a small smile. “I try to know as much as I can about the herbs and plants I use and how my patient will be effected.”
“Did you go to school?” He sounded genuinely interested.
She shook her head. “No, but I have read a great deal of books.”
He was quiet for a few minutes as she worked. For the first time in the last few days, she wasn’t fighting the need to run from the room.
“I can’t read much. That’s why that brother-in-law of yours swindled us. Pops could read but he trusted a handshake.” Tobias frowned.
Rebecca wouldn’t pity him for not being able to read. Lots of folks didn’t think educating children who worked on farms and ranches was important. Tobias didn’t have an easy life, that much she knew. His grandfather had taken him in after his mother abandoned him. Rebecca had been lucky to have parents who believed being educated was a strength and made sure all their children learned.
“Vaughn has apologized and made up for what he did.” She defended her brother-in-law. He had become a part of the family and her sister Elizabeth’s husband and father to their children. The Grahams protected their own just like the Gibsons did. It was one thing they had in common.
“That don’t make it right.” Tobias held grudges. That was obvious from the moment she’d met him.
“People make mistakes. We have to do our best to forgive.”
He pulled a face and then closed his eye on a grimace. “I ain’t never gonna forget. Good thing I don’t have to see that cheat.”
“You don’t have to be angry at the world, Tobias.” She wrapped his shoulder, pleased with the poultice and how well it set. “Life is easier if you find joy instead of darkness.”
His eye popped open and she felt the intensity of that gaze down to her marrow. She didn’t know his secrets or whether she wanted to hear them. If she were honest, she did want the Gibson brothers to repair their fractured relationship. She knew the importance of family; the older she got the more she understood the gift her parents had given them.
“I ain’t had nothing but darkness, Becca. I don’t know joy.” His voice had dropped to a harsh whisper.
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