Hearts on the Road
Hearts on the Road
"These heartwarming romances will pull you in and leave you with a book hangover long after you’ve read the final words.” Julie Grant
She’s running from the past. He’s aiming for the future. Can they stop moving long enough to find love?
Randi refuses to invite a man into her life. But when a charming minister steps into the cab of her truck, everything changes. How can Randi consider a new relationship when her heart is still crushed from the past?
As a budding preacher, Matthew knows it’s his calling to minister to truckers. But when he’s partnered to join Randi on a long-haul trip he wonders if his desire to be in her life is God’s choice or his? Could God be pulling him off the road and into Randi’s arms?
A shakeup at home forces Randi off the highway unexpectedly, putting the brakes on her unsettled feelings for Matthew. Caught between her fears and her heart Randi wonders if it’s safe to keep driving their relationship forward. When life pulls them in opposite directions, can Randi and Matthew find the road to a one-way romance?
If you like wholesome love stories, page-turning prose, and heart-felt values, then you’ll enjoy CBA best-selling author Diana Lesire Brandmeyer’s Hearts on the Road.
Buy Hearts on the Road now and hop into a truckload of romance.
*NOTE: This is an eBook edition that can be read on an electronic device, iPad, Tablet, Nook, Phone, Computer, Kindle, or in the BookFunnel App.
Read the first chapter!
Sunshine caressed Randi Davis’s face and poked its strong rays through her closed eyelids. Clawing her way back from the depths of sleep, she knew two things were wrong. The semi-truck sat motionless, and it was past sunrise. “Jess, are you still sleeping?”
A grumble came from the bunk below. Randi peered over the side of her bunk. Jess Price her partner, still huddled under blankets. “Wake up. We’re late—again.” She sat up and stretched her arms in front of her.
Covers rustled below. The truck swayed. “Late?” Jess groaned. “Now we’re behind schedule. Why didn’t you wake me?”
“Don’t yell at me. I did tell you to take over the wheel. You said okay. I assumed that meant you were. Good thing I didn’t close the curtain. Without the sun in my eyes we might have slept for hours.” She swung her legs over the berth, then dropped to the floor and faced her partner of two years. “If you counted up the money we’ve lost from the times we’ve overslept, we could afford to take a cruise.”
Jess dragged a brush through her hair. “You know Dana will be madder than a two-year-old told no.”
“Yeah, I know.” Randi yanked the canvas privacy curtain closed. Twisting around in the tight space to avoid Jess, she snatched a clean T-shirt from a small set of drawers in the corner of the sleeper cab. She slid it over her head. “Let’s call the office after we eat. We can feel guilty with full stomachs instead of empty ones. Dana will tell us to forget breakfast and leave now. Besides, I need my caffeine jolt.”
“Jolt?” Jess slipped on a leather boot. “More like submersion.”
Randi agreed as she finished tying her tennis shoe. She crawled over the driver’s seat and opened the door. She reached over and grabbed the keys and her cell phone and then jumped from the cab. Heat spiraled from the asphalt parking lot of the Wyoming Fuel and Go and curled its tentacles around her. After the coolness of the truck, she welcomed the warmth. The passenger door slammed with a bang. Randi turned, waiting for Jess.
“I’m starved.” Jess ran her hand across her stomach as if to calm the beast within.
“And that’s new?” Randi patted the emblem on the side of the cab door. “Round the Clock means we don’t stop long. This has to be a fast breakfast, Jess. Not one of those famous, ‘I want one of everything’ deals, and you can’t make up your mind.”
“I know what I want.” Jess propelled herself in the direction of the restaurant door, leaving soft taps hovering in the air from her cowboy boots.
Randi patted the back of her jeans feeling for her wallet. “I forgot my money. Order me a large cappuccino and raspberry scones if they have them. If not, I’ll take scrambled eggs.”
“I love those dreams of yours. Better expect the eggs.”
Randi turned back to the truck and dug into her front pocket for the keys. Her reflection bounced back at her from the side of the polished truck. Her hair resembled straw escaping from a bale. Looking for some kind of improvement, she gave it a quick finger comb.
Inside the truck under the driver’s seat, her fingers grazed across the smooth leather of her wallet. A stray lock of hair poked her in the eye. Grumbling at the aggravation, she wished she’d kept her salon appointment or at least brought along scissors. She removed one of many multi-colored elastic bands that rested on the neck of the stick shift, and corralled her hair into a ponytail. Wallet in hand, she stepped onto the chrome running board then to the parking lot. She slammed the heavy truck door.
She scurried across the parking lot and pushed against the door of the truck stop. A blast of cold air from the ceiling vent sent shivers racing down her back. If they were on schedule, she’d go back for her warm shirt. She dreaded talking to the dispatcher, Dana. Concentrating on a clever excuse, she came to an abrupt stop, against someone.
“Sorry! I didn’t see you.”
“That’s okay.” A voice warm enough to melt any iceberg wound its way through her.
“My fault. I wasn’t paying attention.” She stepped back to see what the brick wall she had smacked into looked like. She expected an overweight, unshaven trucker. Instead, delicious eye candy stood inches away. Brown eyes met hers and summer nights of star gazing suddenly seemed within her grasp. She had to get away from him. Fast. He made her feel too much, and he’d only said two words. Definite proof she had to give up watching classic Hepburn and Tracy movies.
“Are you hurt?” He reached out and touched her arm.
She jerked away her arm. “Fine. I’m fine.”
“Maybe I should stand back farther from the door. I’m Matthew Carter, by the way.” He handed her a neon green sheet of paper from a stack she just now noticed he held.
“Thanks.” Clutching the flyer, Randi fled, willing her face not to announce her inner turmoil, especially to Jess. She weaved around an aisle of mud flaps and yellow, over-sized load signs into the attached restaurant. The top of Jess’s red hair bobbed above a booth.
Randi slid into the booth where Jess and a mug of coffee waited. She tossed the paper in the center of the table with her phone and then slid her hands around the mug, avoiding Jess’s questioning look. A gulp of the hot drink had her wincing at the searing heat on her tongue. “Muffin or eggs?”
“Eggs.” Jess planted an elbow on the table top, propping her chin on her palm. “What’s going on?”
Randi gathered the bundled silverware and uncurled the paper napkin. The utensils clunked against the Formica. She smoothed the napkin and placed it on her lap. “Nothing.”
“Something’s up. Why is your face red?” Jess nailed her with a stare. “What have you been doing?”
“I bumped into that guy over there, that’s all.” Randi straightened her fork, knife, and spoon into exact parallel lines, avoiding direct contact with Jess’s all-knowing eyes.
“Must have been some bump.” Jess turned halfway in her seat and peered across the room. “Where is he?”
“He’s over by the door in the gray T-shirt, holding a bunch of green papers. I walked right into him.” Randi shook her head in disbelief.
Jess emitted a soft wolf-whistle. “If you have to run into somebody, it’s nice to run into a body like that.” She sighed. “Makes me miss Mike that much more.”
Randi reached across the table and patted Jess’s hand. “We’ll be back with him in Cheyenne soon.” Jess’s face lit. Randi ached at her friend’s happiness. She remembered that feeling. It’s what she’d wished for her own life, but once her thirtieth birthday slid by, she’d made a different plan for herself. Independent Randi, that’s who she wanted to be, a woman not needing anyone but the open road.
The waitress arrived with a tray. “Two breakfast specials with wheat toast, right?” She slid a plate of scrambled eggs in front of Randi.
“Thanks.” Randi reached for the salt shaker as the waitress set down Jess’s meal.
“Randi, I thought you agreed.”
Her hand stilled, she had promised to pray with Jess or at least listen while Jess prayed before meals. It wasn’t that she was opposed to God, more like He didn’t seem interested in her. She folded her hands. “Say it fast, Jess. I’m hungry.”
Jess arched an eyebrow in disapproval. “You know you’re going to make a great mom someday. You have the look down.”
Jess said the common table prayer and finished with, “Father God, bring a good and God-loving man into Randi’s life. Amen.”
“Nice, Jess. You know that’s not in my life plan. It’s going to be me and a truck till the end.” Jess could have Mike. Randi hoped it would work out. Maybe Mike was different from Brent. Brent had promised her a life together, and that’s what he’d meant. While she was home, they were together, but as soon as she left to student teach, he drove into another woman’s driveway.
“I want you to have what I have with Mike. You deserve that.” Jess flipped over the crumpled flyer with two fire-engine red fingernails. “So, let’s see what he’s selling.” Her eyes widened. “Randi, look at this picture. It’s your guy. He’s a minister.”
“He’s not mine.” Randi snatched the paper and scanned the upcoming schedule of places where Matthew Carter would hold services. “He’s preaching to truckers. Wonder if anyone shows up to hear him?” She checked to see if he wore that better-than-thou pastor look. He didn’t, rather more like a man she might have considered dating until Brent reinforced an old lesson first taught by her father: Love can’t be trusted.
Randi pushed her plate to the side, then turned over the bill to check the total. “You want to call Dana?”
“No, but I will. She doesn’t seem to appreciate your wit this early in the morning.” Jess took a sip of her coffee. “And she’s going to be in a bad mood when she finds out we’re late.”
Randi squished her napkin into a ball and placed it next to her plate. “I’ll pay this and meet you back at the truck.” She shot a glance at the front door.
The man had left, or at least he wasn’t standing there anymore.
For a moment she felt disappointment, which confused her. Why did she care if he was still here?
As Randi breezed through the glass doors, her cell phone vibrated in her hand. “Hello?”
“Miss Davis? My name is Rachel Miller. I’m with social services. Your brother’s been arrested for making meth in his home. He listed you as a guardian for his daughter, Emma. When can we expect you to pick her up?”
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