Kentucky Rain

KentuckyRain200x300Bluegrass Reunion series: standalone stories about second chances

Kate Lawrence is a recently divorced, single mom who is ill-prepared to make it on her own. She moves to her small Kentucky hometown to create a new life for her daughter and herself. Carrying emotional baggage with her, Kate is not sure she is ready for the man she finds living right next door.

A confirmed bachelor, Scott Gray thinks he’s gotten over Kate, but when he finds out who his new tenant is going to be, he’s surprised at the depth of his reaction. Carrying a torch for someone who hasn’t given him a thought in years is ridiculous. There’s no time like the present to move on. But does Scott really want to?

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“I am never disappointed by anything written by talented author Jan Scarbrough. Kentucky Rain, her latest ‘reunion’ story, is an emotionally satisfying read that has us rooting for Kate and Scott the whole way. We love them, hate Kate’s ex-husband, and enjoy her supporting cast. Highly recommended for everyone who loves a happily-ever-after ending.” Karen Block

Bluegrass Reunion: They thought the men they loved were out of their lives. They were wrong.

Although each romance in the Bluegrass Reunion series stands alone, all books are about second chances and are set in Kentucky. In keeping with the Bluegrass theme, when appropriate, a few horses are thrown into the plot for good measure.

The Bluegrass Reunion Series was published in this order:
  • Kentucky Cowboy—Bull rider/veterinarian—She dumped him in high school, because he was a risk-taker.
  • Kentucky Woman—Banker/exercise rider—She loved him when she was a teenager, but they never connected.
  • Kentucky Flame—American Saddlebred Horse trainers—She had his baby, but he left not knowing the truth.
  • Kentucky Groom—Teacher/software designer and Saddlebred groom—She can’t afford to fall in love with a lowly groom.
  • Kentucky Bride—American Saddlebred Horse trainer/CEO—She rejected him once, but he’s willing to try again.
  • Kentucky Heat—Country music singer/artist—She doesn’t need to take on another project, but he won’t take no for an answer. (Sequel to Kentucky Bride.)
  • Kentucky Rain—Divorced single mom/security consultant—She has responsibilities to her daughter and herself, not to the handsome guy next door. (Mentions characters from Kentucky Cowboy.)
  • Kentucky Blue Bloods—Kentucky horse breeder/British thoroughbred breeder and owner—She wants to save the family horse farm, but he has other ideas.

I-64 between Louisville and Lexington

Sheets of rain sliced across the windshield, the steady flap-flap-flap of the wiper blades filling the silence of the SUV. Kate Lawrence gripped the steering wheel unsure whether her blurred vision came from the glare of oncoming headlights against the rain or tears welling in her eyes.

It had been a month since her divorce was final, and tonight was the first time Jerry had taken their daughter. Visitation was an ugly, ugly word.

God! I can’t stand this!

A single tear trailed down her flushed cheek, and she swiped it away with a rough knuckle. But the lone tear soon became a torrent distorting Kate’s vision. A sob shook her shoulders, and she clutched the steering wheel as if her life depended on it. Sitting forward, she stared out into the dark, stormy night.

Stupid! I was so stupid!

She chided herself for having been too content to be his trophy wife and not looking past Jerry’s blond good looks, charming smile and can-do personality. Why had she been so blind?

And when had things gone so wrong between them? When Reagan was born? Surely that seemed to be the start. Until then they were the perfect couple.

Swept up in love, she had quit college her freshman year to marry Jerry Lawrence. He’d thought her perfect enough to marry and establish his home. She had helped him, as his career took off, to entertain the right people and make the right decisions about where to live and what club to join. Always sacrificing, she’d stayed home because that’s where she belonged. That’s where he needed her.

She had been his rock. She grounded him. Or that’s what he had said.

And that’s what she had always believed.

Until that night at dinner when he quietly said he was filing for divorce. No talk. No counseling. No arguing him out of it.

Kate had sat forward then, as she was doing now on her long drive home. Not understanding his words, she had opened her mouth and formed a soundless “but” as her gaze searched his stony face.

His meaning had slowly sunk into her dense, unprepared brain. That night she had been like a glob of her daughter’s chameleon colored silly putty—easily stretched, torn, sculpted and finally shattered. Jerry had devastated her world. More than that, he had destroyed her soul.

And now she had to mold the pieces back together. Make the best of it for Reagan’s sake. She had to be strong for her daughter. Not theirs or his. She no longer thought of Rea as Jerry’s daughter. He had broken up their family. He had no right to the one bright, beautiful thing that had come out of their ten year marriage.

But the courts said he had rights, and she had to “exchange” Reagan with him on Friday nights during the school year and six weeks during the summer. Trouble was that Jerry traveled and taking his daughter as mandated was often “inconvenient.” That’s why tonight was the first exchange of what promised to be a long, drawn-out process.

Anger made her set her jaw. Damn him! He may not want her, but he wasn’t going to let his daughter think she wasn’t good enough for him. Kate would see to that he kept his promises to Reagan.

She sat back against the seat, stretching her arms out so that she put space between her body and the steering wheel. A grim determination poured over her. She would never let anyone tell Reagan she wasn’t good enough. She’d protect her daughter. Even from her father.

Five miles later Kate turned south off the Interstate heading into the Bluegrass Region of Kentucky. She was going home. Not the home she’d shared with Jerry and then Reagan on the hill overlooking the Ohio River in Louisville—the beautiful, rambling brick home she had so lovingly maintained for her family. No, she was driving to Eagleton, her childhood home, the town she’d escaped at seventeen when she was accepted as a student at the University of Kentucky.

Slinking home with her tail between her legs disturbed Kate. She had her pride.

But when it came down to it, that’s all she had. Everything she owned, or thought she owned, belonged to Jerry, bought and paid for through his efforts. Kate had never worked a day in her life. She had no money, just what Jerry earned and that came into the family budget.

But it had been their money, their house, and their friends—for only as long as they were a couple. For only as long as he wanted her. As long as she played her role and kept up pretenses.

Now that was all gone, and so was her identity. It had been hard to have her rose-colored glasses yanked from her eyes only to discover she was nothing without being Jerry Lawrence’s wife.

Kate felt like the character in the TV show The Good Wife—poor Alicia cheated on by her lying husband. Kate had watched the show, absorbed in the characterization and the weekly mystery plots, never imagining she’d end up divorced like Alicia. But unlike Alicia, Kate had no law degree. She had no way to make a living.

Yet six months ago she’d been smart enough to hire a good woman attorney. And in the settlement, she’d received a year’s worth of maintenance besides the monthly child support for Reagan. She was also awarded her portion of the house in cash and enough money to go to nursing school. Jerry had paid handsomely for his freedom, much more than he’d expected.

The thought cheered Kate as she entered the sleeping small town. She’d never believed in revenge, but lately she had toyed with the sentiment. Divorce did that to you. Made you a little crazy.

She’d learned the hard way.