A single woman battles to keep her foster child from his newly paroled father—a dangerous man she used to love.
Bridget Matawapit is an Indigenous activist, daughter of a Catholic deacon, and foster mother to Kyle, the son of an Ojibway father—the ex-fiancé she kicked to the curb after he chose alcohol over her love. With Adam out on parole and back in Thunder Bay, she is determined to stop him from obtaining custody of Kyle.
Adam Guimond is a recovering alcoholic and ex-gangbanger newly paroled. Through counseling, reconnecting with his Ojibway culture and twelve-step meetings while in prison, Adam now understands he’s worthy of the love that frightened him enough to pick up the bottle he’d previously corked. He can’t escape the damage he caused so many others, but he longs to rise like a true warrior in the pursuit of forgiveness and a second chance. There’s nothing he isn’t willing to do to win back his son—and Bridget.
When an old cell mate’s daughter dies under mysterious circumstances in foster care, Adam begs Bridget to help him uncover the truth. Bound to the plight of the Indigenous children in care, Bridget agrees. But putting herself in contact with Adam threatens to resurrect her long-buried feelings for him, and even worse, she risks losing care of Kyle, by falling for a man who might destroy her faith in love completely this time.
Adam kept his visor down because of the sunlight penetrating the interior of the truck.
He shouldn’t have interfered with Kyle’s evening. His son came first. But having Kyle staying at Jude’s for the night produced a rush of adrenaline that chugged through his veins.
He squeezed his toes to keep himself in check.
“About The Gator…” Bridget pressed her lips together. She tapped one long nail on the steering wheel.
“How’d you do that?” He pointed. Rather sexy.
Bridget lifted her hand. “Do what?”
“Get that gradient look. The red’s darker at your cuticle and goes lighter to the tip.”
“Ask my manicurist. She’s the magician, not me.”
“They look great.”
Pink crept onto Bridget’s cheeks.
Adam’s lungs expanded against his chest. He shifted to face her, what he’d always done in the past because this beautiful woman deserved a man’s undivided attention. Aww shit, this wasn’t going to work. Even in a full-size cab, he couldn’t maneuver into a good position, but if he angled his knee in Bridget’s direction and set his hand on the console between them, she’d get the hint that what she had to say was important to him.
“I’m worried if Mrs. Dale finds out I’ve been there, she might cause problems. She doesn’t seem to think much of Anishinaabeg.”
“She doesn’t.” Adam fingered the brim of his hat. “Look, I don’t want you doing anything you’re not comfortable doing.”
Didn’t Bridget understand her feelings meant everything to him? If she wasn’t comfortable, then he wasn’t comfortable.
The pink brightened to red on Bridget striking cheekbones. “I know how the police are. They don’t put much effort into the deaths of our people. I do want to help. She was only sixteen and deserves the truth revealed about her death.”
“Maybe it’ll help if you know what her ol’ man means to me. What you say we do coffee? We can always go another night if you decide you wanna.”
“A harmless cup of coffee.” She’d better not think he was out to score. Damned straight he’d give anything to have Bridget beneath him again, her slim thighs spread, sleek arms draping his shoulders, drawing him against her tits, but if anything happened, she’d make the call, not him.
“Okay. Coffee.” Bridget nodded. “A harmless cup of coffee.”
Adam pulled at the scooped neckline of his t-shirt where sweat was beginning to form.