Responsibility—that one word sums up Wade Spencer’s existence since his father’s death. Thrust into the role of head of the family, he’s keeping the farm running and his younger siblings in line. When a life-threatening illness attacks his momma, he readily steps in to support her. Sure would be nice to have someone by his side to help carry the load, but all that responsibility hasn’t left much time for dating. Or maybe it’s just his reserved nature holding him back.
Dani Connor had gotten everything she ever dreamed of as a child. Married her high school sweetheart, had a sweet little girl she could shower with all the love she’d been denied by her own parents, and built a life far away from the farm. When those dreams come crashing down, she realizes that back at home on the farm is where she should have stayed.
It doesn’t take long after Dani’s return to Shiloh for Wade to realize she’s the one God has in mind, but Dani will have to get over past hurts and take another chance if she wants Wade to be part of her new dreams.
“I was raised to believe that marriage is forever. That a wife and kids are a gift from God and should be treated as such. I grew up in a home where that was demonstrated every day and I can’t imagine breaking away from that pattern if I’m ever blessed enough to have a family of my own.” – Wade
Wade laid a tip down on the table and then held his hand out for Piper’s. Dani followed them to the register where they ordered gelato. Just before they left the restaurant, he swung Piper up to rest on his hip and reached for Dani’s hand. Oh, she could get caught up fast in the picture they made.
They stopped at one of the picnic tables on the edge of the playground. She and Wade sat on the table, their feet planted on the bench with Piper in Wade’s lap as they ate their treat. Their talk was small, the kind that wouldn’t bend little ears.
The adults took small bites, savoring the creamy indulgence while Piper sped through her little cup in a hurry to get to the playground. Dani took care of the chocolate on her face and hands, then sent her on her way.
“You are so good with Piper. Ever think of having kids of your own someday?”
Wade stopped eating and stared at her.
Too personal? Would it be awkward if she said never mind?
“I would love to have a family someday. But I’d want to be married first and that requires dating… and stuff.” His jaw and neck had turned red. He looked out over the playground and took another bite of his gelato.
She leaned forward to look at him. “When’s the last time you’ve been on a date?”
The red moved up to his cheekbones. He cleared his throat and mumbled something.
He finally glanced at her. “I know it’s weird, but I’ve never dated before.”
Her pulse skittered. Yeah, weird, but also… very appealing.
He shrugged one shoulder. “Time has been a factor. I’ve always worked. And up until recently, there hasn’t been anyone I was really attracted to. I mean on more than a superficial level. Pop always said you don’t date someone you wouldn’t marry, and I guess I took it to heart. Chase too. Rae was the only one for him.”
“What about Zane?”
He shook his head, but one side of his lips quirked upward. “I don’t think he lives by the same rule.”
“You said until recently.”
“Did I?” His lips formed a smile around his spoon as he took another bite.
Her heart thundered in her chest.
Did he mean me? Was that what she wanted? She’d sworn she would never date again, but—
She shoved those thoughts, along with her growing attraction to Wade back into the box they came from. With her heart still tender over the news of Tate remarrying, now wasn’t the time to even contemplate such an action.