Winter Flowers: The Flowers Series Book Two, by Author Tani Hanes **Excerpt-Giveaway**
Winter Flowers (The Flowers Series #2)
by Tani Hanes
Genre: NA Romance
Release Date: July 20th 2018
What ever happened to Pete and Daisy?
When we left them, their daughter had just been born, and some momentous decisions had been made.
It’s now four years later. Their family has grown, as has their love for each other. Clio is a rocky smart, precocious four year old, and she’s been joined by baby sister Francie. Pete’s career as a musician is finally taking off, and things should be rosy; however, fame and fortune bring their own pitfalls, and a voice from the past arrives in their lives, threatening to upset everything they’ve worked for.
Can they survive Pete’s success, and the long shadow cast by Daisy’s past? How will Pete deal with groupies, temptation, and prolonged separation from his family? And how far is Daisy willing to go to protect those she loves?
Join the Santangelos on this rollicking roller coaster second installment of their journey.
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The girls, exhausted from the excitement, fell asleep on the subway, and Daisy carried Francie while Pete grabbed Clio for the two blocks to their apartment.
Pete buried his nose in Clio’s hair, inhaling the scent of her as she rested her head trustingly on his shoulder. She was his daughter, she just was. She had grown in Daisy’s womb as his and Daisy’s love for each other had grown, she’d been nurtured by Daisy as Daisy had been nurtured by him. She was Francie’s sister. She was his child.
She belonged to him.
They laid the girls down in their beds and went to change into comfortable clothes. Pete found Daisy in the living room sipping a cup of Earl Grey tea, the only tea he’d ever seen her drink.
“Are you sure?” he asked, sitting next to her.
She nodded sadly, turning huge eyes to his face. She took a deep breath. “But maybe he won’t remember me,” she said hopefully, setting her tea aside. “I mean, it’s been over five years, you know? Plus I’m a mother now. He’s a studio musician, he must screw hundreds of women a year, he must’ve had a million one-nighters since then…” She stopped as she heard her own words, biting her lips together.
The unspoken words hung between them. She, Daisy, was one of the “hundreds of women,” the “million one-nighters” that she was talking about.
Pete was shaking his head. “Daisy, you’re many, many things, but forgettable isn’t one of them. With your hair, your lovely body, those eyes—“ He broke off to kiss her. “Men notice you wherever you go. It wouldn’t matter how many children you had, cara, you’re spectacular and memorable. It’s only a matter of time before he remembers where he’s seen the beautiful redhead with the blue eyes…”
Daisy sighed, a terrible sound. “Pete, I’m so sorry,” she whispered, tearfully, turning away, rubbing at her eyes with her knuckles. “I wish so much that you’d been the one to put Clio inside me…”
Pete gathered her in, tucking her hot face into his neck. “Shh, shh, you mustn’t say that, ever,” he scolded gently. “We love Clio exactly as she is, and she wouldn’t be that person if her circumstances weren’t what they are. You did nothing wrong, cara, nothing.” He stroked her body, rocking her gently. “Don’t blame yourself, please.”
“But, but,” she sobbed softly. “It feels like I could’ve waited, I should’ve waited. For you, Pete. It feels like if I’d waited, Clio could’ve been ours.” She lifted her head to look into his eyes, and seeing his wife tearful like this ripped Pete’s heart up. He could count on the fingers of one hand the number of times he’d seen Daisy cry. It was unbearable for him.
“Listen,” he said firmly, pulling her close again. “If you had never met that man, if you’d never spent the night with him,” and he felt Daisy tense up just from hearing the words, “Clio would never have been conceived, and we wouldn’t have her to love, she wouldn’t have us to love her, don’t you see? And Francie wouldn’t have her wonderful sister.” He gave Daisy a little shake. “You have nothing to regret, she is nothing to regret, cara, and I don’t blame you at all, about anything. She is my heart, Clio is my heart, and I love everything about her, just as it is.”
The truth was that Pete wasn’t sure how he felt, about any of this. He was still reeling from the knowledge that he’d met his precious, beloved daughter’s biological father not three hours ago, and he’d be working with him very closely, probably on a daily basis, for the next three months. He put his own feelings away for now so he could take care of his wife. Daisy needed him now, she needed to hear him say these things to her. He’d deal with his own feelings later, when he had the luxury of time to examine them.
“Daisy, you’re carrying our baby right now, hm?” He kissed her damp forehead. “You can’t upset yourself over this.”
Daisy nodded from the safety of Pete’s arms. “Okay,” she whispered. “Okay,” she said again, with a little more energy. She pushed herself away from Pete so she could look at him.
“Just because he remembers that he slept with me doesn’t mean he’ll figure out anything about Clio, though, right?” She looked appealingly at Pete. “I mean, why would he? It’s not like he’s going to remember that we didn’t use protection or whatever, and he doesn’t know when her birthday is or anything.” Guys didn’t think about stuff like that, did they? “All we have to do is just keep away from the studio while you’re recording, which won’t be a problem. I mean, why would your wife and child be down there while you’re recording, right?” Daisy was starting to babble, and Pete pulled her close again, both as a comfort and as a calming measure.
Her arms went around his neck as she pulled herself in even tighter. “Pete, I’m scared,” she admitted.
“No need,” he soothed, stroking her hair. He looked around at their apartment, at their lovely life, the life they’d built together. Daisy’s thousands of books lined the walls, his guitars and notebooks sat in the corner, and Clio and Francie’s books and toys took up every available nook and cranny of the lower spaces. He loved what he and Daisy had created.
Never had it felt more fragile.
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