Falling in love was easy for Chloe. She met Evan, a handsome Australian doctor, and felt sure he was the man for her. But Chloe's whirlwind romance ended abruptly when Evan left to work overseas. For comfort Chloe turned to her new friend Daniel Bennett. When she discovered she was pregnant, Daniel married her, despite Chloe's feelings for Evan.
More than twenty years later--twenty good years--Chloe finds herself once again torn between the two men. Daniel, with whom she's raised a daughter and shared the everyday problems and triumphs of life. And Evan, the man who--she believes--has always held her heart.
Only now, after two decades of marriage and a crisis, does Chloe learn what true love is...and what it isn't.
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May 31, 2007
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Excerpt from When Love Is True by Joan Kilby
Two sets of bubbles rose from the scuba divers off the west coast of Vancouver Island. Chloe Bennett, wrapped in a duffel coat against the chill January air,watched the spreading ripples intersect and wondered which set of bubbles belonged to her husband,Daniel,and which belonged to Evan, her former lover?
Her nineteen-year-old daughter, Brianna, poked about in tide pools, and Chloe could see her glowing blond head as she wandered between granite boulders as large and smooth as a whale's back.Other questions surfaced,which Chloe had given up pondering years earlier.Who had fathered the child who'd brought her and Daniel to the altar--Evan or her husband?
Chloe worried about Daniel. Evan was a highly experi- enced scuba diver,but Daniel was a novice and this deep-water shipwreck was quite possibly beyond his present capability. Only Chloe knew that his confidence was at least partly feigned. Only she knew he was there in large part because he was determined not to show weakness in front of his rival.
She wrapped her duffel coat tighter and shivered at the memory of the rage in Daniel's eyes as the men had suited up on the cobblestone beach between the towering cedar trees. She understood his hostility toward Evan, but why had he turned on her? Was it possible Daniel had overheard her conversation with Evan at the house before the dive?
Twenty years earlier...
"Don't cry, sweetheart." Esme dabbed at the delicate skin beneath her daughter's eyes and the damp tissue came away smudged with dark brown mascara. "This is the happiest day of your life."
"I think I'm going to be sick." Chloe swallowed and pressed a trembling hand to her stomach, which was cinched tight in ivory satin. A worn pair of ballet shoes hung by their pink ribbons from a knob on her old brass bed, a reminder of the career she was giving up just as she was reaching her peak.
"Nerves," Esme pronounced with a bright smile.
"All brides get cold feet before the ceremony." She tossed away the used tissue and pushed at Chloe's wispy red-gold bangs with her beringed fingers.
"Turn around and let me adjust your veil." "Mom, stop!" Chloe clutched her mother's wrists with icy fingers. "It's not nerves. It's morning sickness."
Esme's dark blue eyes widened. "You're joking." "I wish I was," Chloe said bitterly. "Why do you think I'm getting married?"
"I'd hoped it was for love." Esme's gaze skimmed Chloe's thin, muscular figure for any hint of a pregnancy. "You've only been seeing Daniel for a few months. Before that you were head over heels for that Australian doctor who went to work in the refugee camp. What was his name?"
"Evan." Brilliant, handsome, charming Evan had lit up her life like a bolt of summer lightning before leaving for Sudan and plunging her world into darkness. That they'd fought before he'd left added another layer to her misery. Fresh tears spilled over Chloe's lower lashes and she grabbed another tissue from the box on the maple dresser.
Esme sat Chloe on the bed and put an arm around her. "Is the baby Evan's? There was something about him I didn't like. He was a little too glib, if you ask me."
"You only met him once, so that's hardly fair." Wearily, Chloe shrugged her lace-covered shoulders.
"I don't know whose baby I'm carrying. Daniel and I spent only one night together, but it could also be his."
Dependable, solid Daniel, a man of few words and kind deeds. She couldn't have found anyone more different than Evan, if she'd tried. After that first impetuous night with Daniel she'd leaned on him, taking comfort in his steady companionship. In the months following Evan's departure, however, it was hard not to compare Daniel's predictable ways to Evan's quicksilver charm.
Esme rubbed Chloe's back as if she were comforting a young child. "You don't have to have the baby.