Use code DAD23 for 20% off + Free shipping on $45+ Shop Now!
A Love Like Yours
A breathtaking romance about first love and second chances
By Robin Huber
Formats and Prices
- Trade Paperback $19.99 $24.99 CAD
- ebook (Digital original) $0.99 $0.99 CAD
This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around May 21, 2019. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.
Also available from:
Explore book giveaways, sneak peeks, deals, and more.
She slept with wolves without fear, for the wolves knew a lion was among them.
R. M. Drake
Lucy, Eleven Years Old
I pick at my peanut butter and jelly sandwich, tearing off the crust and shoving it to the side of my paper plate. I keep my eyes down to avoid making eye contact with the two boys sitting across the table from me. I don't know their names, but they're my new foster brothers. Their mother is standing over my chair with a fisted hand on her hip. "You get three chances a day to eat around here. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You don't eat now, you'll be hungry 'til morning."
Her firm voice draws my eyes up. Her yellow hair is tied in a knot on the top of her head, and a ring of dark brown roots surrounds her stern face. I nod obediently as she takes a drag from the cigarette hanging from her lips. But I can't eat, not when my stomach is full of rocks, like it always is when I get moved to a new home. I'll be hungry later, though. Probably tonight when it's dark and everyone is asleep. I got pretty good at sneaking food at my last foster house. I sip my water and watch a trail of smoke follow her out of the room.
One of the boys gets up from the table and folds his paper plate in half. He's taller than the other one, who looks about my age. He must be older. "When was the last time you brushed this mess?" he asks, tugging my hair as he passes me.
I shrink in my chair. My hair is always tangled and it's hard to get the knots out, so I don't brush it very much. I feel the tears coming, but I grit my teeth until they go away.
The younger boy with buzzed hair and freckles reaches across the table and grabs my plate. "Thanks, I wanted seconds," he says, taking my sandwich for himself.
Another boy walks into the room and smacks it out of his hand. He's tall and thin, and his hair is the color of caramel, hanging around his face and over his eyes. "Give it back to her, Will."
Will presses his lips together and slides the plate back to me.
"You don't mess with her, you don't talk to her, you don't look at her the wrong way. Understand?"
Will swallows and nods.
"That goes for you too, Tommy," he says to Will's brother, who bobs his head. He sits down in the chair next to me and moves his hair out of his eyes, which are a mix of blue and brown, unlike any eyes I've ever seen before. "What's your name, newbie?"
"Um, Lucy," I say, looking at his strange eyes.
"You been in the system long, um-Lucy?"
"No, it's just Lucy."
He grins and nods. "Lucy…how long you been in?"
"Um, since I was eight. I'm eleven now, so…" I shrug. "Three years."
"Seven for me. Been in since I was five."
"You're twelve?" I ask, surprised that he's only a year older than me.
"Wow," Will says, leaning over the table. "I didn't know your kind could add or subtract. I mean, I know you can't read."
"Shut your mouth, asswipe. That's A-S-S-W-I-P-E. Do I need to write it on your forehead so you don't forget?"
Will gets up from the table and Tommy follows him out of the room.
"Just ignore Tweedledee and Tweedledum. They're morons."
I giggle quietly.
"I'm Sam, by the way. Sam Cole."
I nod and pick at my sandwich.
"You have a last name, Lucy?"
"Well, Lucy Bennett, either of them mess with you again, just let me know."
"Okay." I pick up a piece of crust and tear it in two.
"You going to eat that or just pick the crust into a million pieces?"
"I'm not really hungry."
"First day's always hard. But don't worry, I've been here for a few months now. Maxine's pretty cool. She's strict, but fair. She knows her boys are assholes. She'll tear 'em up if she catches them doing anything stupid. And if they mess with you again, I'll kick both their asses."
"So, what's your story?"
"How'd you end up here?"
"Oh, um, my mom died. And my dad's in prison, so…"
I look down at my lap and nod.
"Yeah, mine are both in for drugs too, somewhere in California." He shakes his head. "I'll never touch that stuff."
"How did you end up in Atlanta?" I ask.
"My uncle. Turns out, he didn't want me any more than my parents did." He leans back in his chair. "So here I am, living the life in Brighton Park."
"I'm sure they wanted you. They probably just made some bad decisions. Everybody messes up."
He leans forward and puts his elbows on his knees. "Is that what you tell yourself? Or has your social worker said it so much that you actually believe it?"
"Our parents didn't want us, Lucy. That's why we're here. The sooner you accept that, the better off you'll be."
"That's not true. My mom wanted me. She loved me."
"How did she die?"
"How did she die?" he asks again, making me squirm uncomfortably in my seat. He stares at me, waiting for me to answer.
"A drug overdose," I finally say.
"And your dad…he's in prison for dealing, right?"
"You're here because they wanted drugs…more than they wanted you."
The rocks in my stomach are the size of boulders now. I get up quickly and find the room where Maxine put my book bag, and cry into the musty pillow on the bed, hoping that no one hears me.
A few minutes later, someone knocks on the door.
"Lucy?" Sam calls, pushing it open. He's holding my sandwich in a ziplock bag.
I sit up and wipe my face as he walks into the room and sits beside me.
"I'm sorry. I was a jerk. I didn't mean it." He shrugs. "I guess after a while, you just get used to it all…to being on your own, to not having parents or knowing where you're going to live in six months. I gave up on my parents—and the idea of having a family—a long time ago. But I didn't mean to upset you. And you don't have to give up. Maybe your dad will come for you when he gets out."
"No, you're right. My dad's not going to come for me. He didn't want me to begin with. My mom was all I had."
He nods and hands me my sandwich. "Thought you might get hungry later. Just put it in your backpack so Maxine doesn't see. And don't leave crumbs, unless you have a thing for rats."
I glance around the dusty room. It's filled with stacked boxes that are overflowing with magazines and old junk. "No." I frown. "I don't like rats." I put the sandwich in my book bag.
"Did you do those?" he asks, pointing to the colored drawings inside my bag.
He pulls a few of them out and looks at each one for a few seconds. "You drew these?" he asks again.
"They're really good."
"Do you do other stuff, like paint, or do you just draw?"
"I like to paint. I just don't get to very much. I can usually find colored pencils lying around at school, so…"
"Well, I've never seen drawings like these. They're really cool." He narrows his eyes at me and says, "Kind of badass."
"Thanks." I smile softly. "And…thanks for the sandwich."
He smiles and I see dimples in his cheeks that match the one in his chin. "You're welcome." He stands up and walks to the door, but pauses and looks at me before he leaves. "Kids like us have to stick together, Lucy."
"Are you ever going to hang this?" my future mother-in-law asks me in her polished southern accent, picking up a painting that's leaning against the cinder-block wall in the back of my art studio. "I just love the colors you used. The blue is so vibrant, like the sky on a cloudless spring morning. And the magenta is just gorgeous. So deep and rich. Like the color of love," she sings, draping her cashmere scarf around my neck.
I shake my head at her uncanny way of interpreting my paintings. But if she only knew the real meaning behind that particular one…
"What do you call it, dear?" she asks, flitting over to it again.
"Oh, um, I haven't given it a name," I say, fidgeting with the delicate gold bracelet on my wrist.
"Well, I think it should be called True Love," she says wistfully, throwing her arms in the air as she spins over to me. "Art inspired by life."
I choke a little, because the part of my life that inspired that painting is not the part I've spent with her son.
"Drew loves you so much, darling. What you two have is what I had with my dear Maurice." She sighs and laments, "You would have loved him."
"I'm sure I would have, Janice."
"Drew is just like him, you know. Hardworking and tough as nails. But soft as a teddy bear on the inside," she says, smiling with pride. Janice has had only three loves in her life. Her late husband, Maurice Thomas Christiansen III, her son, Andrew Thomas Christiansen, and her vintage 1986 Jaguar convertible, which was a present from Maurice the year Drew was born.
"Janice, I'm sorry, but I really need to get to work. I have a lot to do to get ready for the exhibit next month."
"Of course you do, darling." She grabs her expensive purse off my desk and smooths her short silver bob. "The best of Atlanta will be here and they'll be buzzing about the wedding."
"It's still a year away."
"Eleven months, to be exact. And you haven't even picked out your dress."
"I know, I've just had so much going on with the exhibit the last few months," I say, hoping she doesn't notice the gleam of sweat that sheens my forehead every time she brings up the lavish wedding she's been trying to plan since Drew proposed.
"Don't you worry, you just leave everything up to me." She narrows her excited eyes. "We're going to throw the biggest party this city has ever seen."
"Oh, Janice, I don't know."
"Nonsense. You're marrying my only son." She reaches for my face and smiles softly. "You are the best thing that has ever happened to him. It's worth celebrating." She touches my cheek with the back of her hand. "You are worth celebrating, Lucy Bennett. My beautiful, smart, talented future daughter-in-law." She drops her hand to her purse and retrieves her lip gloss. "Now"—she dabs some gloss on her thin lips—"how do I look?"
I smile and sigh with inevitable defeat. "You look great, Janice. Oh, don't forget your scarf," I say, removing it from my neck.
She takes it from me and wraps it around her neck several times as she sashays through the studio. "Well, I'm off. Oh, Sebastian, darling, you look as handsome as ever," she says to my assistant, passing him on her way out.
"Thanks, Jan. You look gorgeous as always. Are those new diamonds?" he asks, touching his earlobes.
She spins around with a big grin on her face. "Do you like them? They were an early birthday present."
"Oh? From who? A new suitor?" he asks, perking up in his chair.
"Heavens no. From me." She winks and pushes her big black sunglasses on. "Lucy, you should really think about covering these windows. It's awfully bright in here and you have utterly no privacy. Everyone on the street can see right in."
I press my lips together and raise my eyebrows. "That's the idea."
She nods absently and blows two kisses as she opens the door. "Bye, darlings."
"Oh, my God, your mother-in-law is delectable," Sebastian says, biting the end of his pen. "I'm so jealous. Paul's mom is such a drag."
"Future mother-in-law. And don't encourage her."
"I'm sorry, sweetie, it's just too tempting. You have Joan Rivers for a mother."
"She's not my mother," I remind him, and slouch against the front desk. "She's just the woman who took me under her wing and introduced me to a community I never thought I could be a part of. The woman who told me to believe in my talents and convinced me that I could actually make a living off them. The woman who taught me to always wash my face before bed and to never leave the house without sunscreen." I stand up straight. "Oh, my God. She is my mother."
Sebastian gives me a satisfied smile. "I bet Drew has no idea how fabulous she is."
"I'm not sure Drew would use the word 'fabulous' to describe anything."
He rolls his eyes. "You definitely scored in the mother-in-law department, but the jury is still out on her son."
"Well, she's just so amazing and full of life, and he's just so…normal."
"What's wrong with normal?"
"Nothing. If you like that sort of thing."
"Well, I do. As a matter of fact, normal is exactly the sort of thing I like. All I want is a nice, normal existence. So, case closed."
He arches one of his dark eyebrows and bites the end of his pen. "Pity."
I love Sebastian, from the top of his perfectly styled hair down to his patent leather loafers, but sometimes I want to throw a paintbrush at his head. He's been happily married to his partner for three years, he lives in arguably the coolest apartment in Atlanta, his family adores him, and he's generally pretty happy most of the time. My life is messier. Or at least, it was, until recently. Now, I'm well on my way to nice and normal.
"Can you help me with this?" I ask, struggling to pick up a heavy box off the floor by the front desk.
"Yeah, I've got it," Bas says, taking it from me. "Where do you want it?"
"I think it's the paints I ordered. You can just put it in my office for now."
"You got it, boss lady."
I follow him to my office in the back of the studio.
Sebastian probably knows me better than anyone, but I haven't told him very much about my past. He doesn't know why I strive so hard for normalcy. He knows that I met Drew when I was waitressing at La Pêche, one of the restaurants Drew owns here in Atlanta. But what Sebastian doesn't know is that a few years before that, I dropped out of high school and left my foster home in Brighton Park after the love of my underprivileged life was arrested for drug possession and sent to prison. Then again, Drew doesn't know either.
"Hey, Paul got tickets for fight night at the Garden this Saturday," Bas says over his shoulder. "What do you say, take a break from all this and come to New York with us for the weekend?"
"New York? Who's fighting?"
"Cole versus Sanchez. I'm surprised you don't know. I thought you were a big Sam Cole fan."
"I am," I answer with what little air is left in my lungs, while I try to find my heart. "He's fighting Mario Sanchez?"
"Yeah, it's a title fight. It'll be on HBO and pay-per-view. I know Drew isn't a big boxing fan, but you guys should come anyway. Paul got like six tickets." He raises his perfectly manicured eyebrows and puts the box down on my desk. "Perks of working for a music producer."
"Yeah," I say softly. "I guess so."
"So what do you say?"
"I, um, I can't go to New York," I say over my pounding heart. "I've got way too much to do for the exhibit."
"That's why you have me. We've got it covered. Besides, it's still six weeks away."
"Five and a half to be exact. And Drew probably has to work anyway." I try to keep my voice even, but my heart is still pounding inside my chest and my scattered thoughts are stammering around my head.
Sebastian gives me a slanted look. "Drew always has to work. In fact, as I recall, it was the very reason for your little breakup not so long ago," he says. "I thought his work demands were no longer supposed to interfere with your ability to enjoy life. With or without him."
"That's not what this is."
He narrows his eyes. "Mmm, really? How?"
"It just isn't. I don't want to go without him."
"Oh, come on, Lucy. We can go to the Met and get some inspiration for the show. It's just what we need right now."
"I'll be a third wheel, Bas."
"Have Paul and I ever made you feel like a third wheel?"
"No," I answer honestly. I adore them both, and I love hanging out with them.
"Then, come with us."
I pick at my thumbnail. "I can't."
"I just can't, Sebastian," I say abruptly. "Maybe some other time."
"Fine," he says, holding his hands up. "But if you change your mind…"
I nod. "Thanks for the invitation. We'll go somewhere after the exhibit is over, okay?"
"Hey, you know, I was actually just going to paint this afternoon. So if you want to cut out early for the day, it's fine."
"You sure? You don't need me for anything else?"
"No, not today."
He smiles and shoves his hands in his pockets. "You know, you're sort of the best boss ever, right?"
"Don't forget it." I narrow my eyes and force a small smile. "Now go, enjoy the rest of the afternoon with Paul."
"Okay, Okay. You don't have to twist my arm." He winks. "See you tomorrow."
When Sebastian leaves, I fall into my desk chair, drop my face to my hands, and take a deep breath to clear my head. I quickly unplug my laptop and shove it into my desk drawer. I've Googled Sam so many times, I'm surprised the letters of his name haven't worn off my keyboard yet. It's a form of self-torture I'm far too familiar with. A game of Russian roulette where the search button is the trigger, delivering a blast to the head each time I see a new girl hanging off his arm. He has varied tastes, but his favorite flavors are model, actress, and volleyball player, in no particular order.
I get up and grab my painting clothes off the back of the door, exchanging my pleated cream pants and blue silk top for my old ratty cutoffs and paint-covered T-shirt. I'm desperate for the solace only a brush will give me as I walk barefoot to a six-foot-tall canvas in the back of the studio. I grab its wide edge and shuffle it across the cement floor, holding it upright between my knees as I drag it to a spot where I like to paint.
I scan my paint cart and begin selecting various tubes and sizing up my paintbrushes, laying them out carefully as I go. I squeeze several small mounds of paint onto my palette and pull the colors together with my palette knife, blending and mixing them until they're just right.
I begin painting with large brushstrokes, thinking of Sam.
I wonder if he ever thinks about me.
I wonder if he's okay.
I wonder if he hates me.
I keep painting, until the only thing left to wonder about is if I'll ever stop thinking about him.
Lucy, Sixteen Years Old
I hold Sam's hand tightly as he leads me down a sidewalk adjacent to a chain-link fence that surrounds the airport a few blocks from our high school. "Where are we going?" I ask warily.
"It's a surprise."
"Well, I hope it's somewhere we can study, because you have a test on King Richard tomorrow, and I have a paper to write."
He looks down at me and grins. "We can do whatever we want there."
"You know, those dimples will only get you so far in life." I narrow my eyes at him.
"They worked on you, didn't they?"
"It was more than your dimples, but yes."
He pulls me off the sidewalk and pushes me up against the fence. "More than my dimples? Hmm…Was it my eyes?" he asks playfully.
I gaze up at his beautiful eyes. They're a mix of brown and blue. The left one is more brown, but it fades to blue on one side and has a gold ring in the center. The right one is mostly blue with brown around the edges and a matching gold ring. "I love your eyes, but no, that wasn't it either."
"It must have been my body, then." He can't even say it without laughing.
I laugh with him and push against his chest, which is like pushing on a wall. "Sam." I shake my head.
"No? Well, maybe it was my brains."
"I love your brains too. You're very smart, even if you dismiss it. But no, that's not it either."
"All right," he says, gazing into my eyes. "What on earth could possibly make someone like you love someone like me?"
The corners of my mouth turn up because the answer is so obvious. I place my hand on his chest and say, "Your heart."
His eyes narrow with curiosity.
"It's strong and fierce and brave. You've always made me feel so safe…and loved."
He drops his forehead to mine. "I do love you, Lamb. And I'll always protect you."
The corners of my mouth turn up again. "Because you have the heart of a lion."
"Like King Richard?"
I raise my eyebrows. "You've been studying!"
He laughs softly and pushes on the chain-link fence, creating an opening where the metal wire has been cut. "After you."
"Sam, are we allowed in there?"
He doesn't respond and I know that the answer is no. But I bend down and slip through the opening in the fence anyway, scraping my jeans and catching my flannel shirt on the metal wire. Sam unhooks it and follows behind me. I take his hand again, and he leads me to a place on the wiry brown grass while I examine the damage to my shirt. It now has a hole in the back to match the one in the front that was there when I bought it from the consignment shop. I take it off and tie it around my waist over my white T-shirt, letting the bright November sun warm my bare arms.
Sam drops his book bag on the ground and pulls a tattered-looking sheet out of it. He spreads it out on the dormant grass and sits down.
"You had this whole thing planned out, didn't you?"
He smiles and pulls me down next to him. "Just wait a minute," he says, pointing to a plane in the distance that's taxiing toward the runway. We're at the opposite end, directly in its flight path.
"Sam, is this safe?"
"As long as it takes off it is." He laughs.
I grimace at the thought of the plane barreling down the runway and plowing right over us.
"Here it comes," he says excitedly.
I can hear the engines roaring as it gains speed and charges toward us. We're on the opposite side of a small hill at the end of the runway, so hopefully the pilot won't be able to see us. I can only imagine what kind of trouble we'd get in if we got caught. I glance at Sam, and he smiles at me with eager eyes. He's worth the risk. I inhale a deep breath as the plane races down the runway.
It's getting closer.
I squeeze Sam's hand as the plane lifts off the runway into the air like a feather. I cover my ears as it roars over our heads, but I can't take my eyes off it. I lean back on my hands and watch the wheels retract, tipping my chin up until I'm lying on my back watching it upside down as it disappears into the sky. "Wow." I drop my head to the side and look at Sam lying beside me. "That was so cool."
"I thought you'd like it."
I smile and roll onto his chest and drop my mouth to his. "I do."
He reaches for my hips and pulls me all the way on top of him.
- "An emotional, captivating second-chance romance.... This moving, unforgettable journey will leave you begging for more."—Frolic
- "A Love Like Yours has angst, heat, conflict, tension, and heart.... Fans of Meghan Quinn and Katy Evans will enjoy."—Harlequin Junkie
- "Sexy, emotional, and heartfelt. I read this second chance love story in one sitting!"—Mia Sheridan, New York Times bestselling author
- "A story that doesn't shy away from the complexities of tangled hearts. Achingly romantic."—K.A. Tucker, USA Today bestselling author
- "Robin Huber is a fantastic storyteller. A Love Like Yours is a breathtakingly romantic debut."—Melanie Harlow, USA Today bestselling author
- "Readers who appreciate seeing their couples... grab their HEA while overcoming difficult circumstanceswill need tissues as Sam and Lucy fight their way back to each other."—Library Journal
- On Sale
- May 21, 2019
- Page Count
- 368 pages
- Forever Yours