Hearts of Broken Wheel
Twelve years ago, a terrible school bus accident divided a town, but bonded the survivors. Some of them fled the small West Texas town, some remained, and some felt drawn back to the place where they lost their innocence.
Beck Conover didn't intend to do more than check in on his mom in Broken Wheel when he was driving through Texas on his way to his job in Las Vegas. He hadn’t been home in, well, longer than he’d care to admit. But when he gets there, the house is in terrible shape. Despite his contentious relationship with his mom, he decides to stay in town and fix up the house so he doesn’t have to feel guilty about leaving her alone.
He’s already hired a home health nurse to check on her, but he doesn’t think she’s getting enough help. When he comes face to face with her nurse, he’s startled to see it’s Lacey Davila, the girl he pulled from the flood waters the day the bus was swept off the road.
Lacey Davila stayed in Broken Wheel because she didn't want her father to be alone after her mother left him, bored by life in this town. Her job as a home health nurse was a natural extension of her need to care for others. Even though she chose to stay, she understands why Beck left, why her mother left.
When she discovers she’s pregnant, the child’s father turns his back on her, but Beck is there, stepping in to help as he had the day the bus washed into the creek bed.
But like her mother, he will leave when the town gets too small for him. And she’ll be alone.
She won’t risk that for herself, or for her unborn child.
When Caleb Pearson comes unexpectedly back to Broken Wheel, the whispers start again. The scandal Sofia Aguilar spent ten years trying to put behind her has reared its head with his appearance.
While Sofia would love to put as much distance as possible between them, he is in town to settle some family business and he needs to stay in her motel. Every fiber of her wants to tell him to stay elsewhere, but she’s in debt from remodeling the place, and needs every dollar she can get, even if it comes from the man who ruined her senior year of high school.
Caleb hasn’t been home since he lit off for the oil fields after graduation. His parents died shortly after, and there was nothing to hold him in Broken Wheel. But a letter telling him he’s inherited the old garage on the square has him returning at a time in his life when he needs a turn of luck.
So now he’s back with his six-year-old daughter, facing the young woman who fled town all those years ago because of him.
Proximity first breeds contempt, but Sofia softens toward Caleb’s daughter and she offers to entertain the girl while Caleb deals with the dilapidated property. Her kindness to the child puts her in closer contact with Caleb, and she comes to see he’s no longer the self-absorbed boy who had hurt her so. His gentleness extends from his daughter to her, and she finds herself now softening toward him.
But even as she starts to forgive him, her family—and the rest of the town—cannot. How can they put the past behind them, if everyone they know keeps thrusting it between them?