THE STORM WITHIN, by Cerian Hebert


For two years Juliana Hopkins has mourned her late husband, killed in a devastating car accident that nearly took her life as well. Unable to escape her reoccurring nightmares, she walks the trails in her woods. One night she finds a tree she knows doesn’t belong. She’s drawn to the tree’s mystical beauty, and the ghost of her late husband, telling her it’s time to move on and open herself up to love again. Juliana falls asleep against the trunk of the beautiful tree.

A destructive ice storm strands neighbor Aidan Byrne, a renowned painter and self-imposed hermit, at Juliana’s home. He’s been in love with her for years, but he can’t push aside his solitary lifestyle and pursue her.

An ex-newspaper editor, Juliana has always been intrigued by the reclusive painter, and the fact that he’s handsome boot, doesn’t make it any easier to avoid the growing attraction between them. She’s always wanted his story, but he holds onto his past tightly. He’s lived most his life wrapped in guilt because of the untimely deaths of his brother and sister when they were children. He finally confides in Juliana, who believes there’s a chance the siblings could still be alive. Against his wishes, Juliana digs into the tragedy of the orphanage fire that took the lives of Aidan’s siblings.

Her investigating puts their budding relationship at risk. Aiden doesn’t want to relive the pain of losing his siblings again, but he discovers that losing Juliana could be worse.