(Otago Waters, #3)
Publication date: February 21st, 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Love a slow-burn, second chance romance, with tight-knit families and smouldering secrets?
Don’t we all!
Winner of both the Daphne Clair DeJong First Kiss and RWNZ Great Beginnings competition, LAKE TAIMANA (Lake Diamond) is a contemporary love story set in the stunning Lakes District in southern New Zealand.
The third novel by emerging Kiwi romance writer, Stephanie Ruth, LAKE TAIMANA can be read as a standalone, or in conjunction with two other linked love stories in the OTAGO WATERS series.
What does it take to shift deep-seated betrayal?
Adele Fergus switched back to her maiden name with plans to never look back—never think about her naïve, short-lived marriage to James Montague. But that was before he turned up on her Wanaka doorstep with her missing diamonds, a crazy back-story, and persistent requests for visitation with his ex-stepdaughter.
Adele’s hell-bent on keeping James at arms-length, but it’s not easy with old attractions still running hot. What’s more, she’s beginning to suspect she may have left him on false information.
Divorce was never in James’ game-plan, so when his ex-wife’s jewellery comes to light, he’s drawn back to her—welcome or not—and he isn’t leaving until he has all the answers.
The more the exes re-learn to trust each other, the more they come to realise someone was intent on dragging them apart from the very beginning. Someone close.
Is it worth risking everything to start again?
Authors note: Though this story ends with an HEA, it also includes references to a historical miscarriage, depression, and suicide. Please read at your own discretion.
Adele walloped James a few times between the shoulder blades, concerned. He was hunched forward in the armchair, still coughing as if his life depended on it.
“Steady on,” James choked the words out amidst bouts of hacking. “I might need my spine later in the week.”
“You’re alright now?” She stopped hitting and rubbed the spot with her palm instead, up and down. Turning back to the sofa, she refocused on what she’d been thinking before she’d been rudely interrupted. “I’m imagining red through to yellow. Sunshine colours, you know? Or maybe cooler tones—green and leafy. Yes! Tropical. Fiji-style would look great in here.”
“Stop what?” She turned to James in surprise, and realised she still had her hand on him, stroking the contours of his shoulders and back. Gently up, then massaging down in that valley between his blades that alluded to the power of his back; the strength and breadth of it. “Oh!” She withdrew immediately, red-faced and flustered. “Shit! Sorry.”
It’d felt so natural, so normal. For a moment she’d totally forgotten…
James leaned back against the cushions and slid his hands behind his head, lacing his fingers there as he closed his eyes. “Let’s get something straight.”
“You don’t want me to touch you, right?”
Was that right? Why was she no longer sure if that was right?
She should be positive. Right?
“Right. Yes.” Adele bit down on her lower lip, staring at the tanned skin of James’ exposed neck, and marvelling at how the new beard petered out to give way to corded muscle. “I mean, I guess so.”
Award winning New Zealand contemporary romance novelist and short story writer, Stephanie Ruth lives in the South Island, Te Waipounamu, with her husband, three children, and an ever expanding array of animals. If it doesn’t have a happy ending in some form or other, Stephanie’s not writing it.