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For Once In My Life

For Once In My Life

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For Once In My Life

218 pagine
3 ore
Mar 31, 2016


Christina Morandt spent most of her young adult life perfecting her talent and then performing worldwide as the prima ballerina for the Savannah Ballet Theatre. When she decides to retire at the peak of her career, she returns to Savannah to open her own dance studio and settle into a life of comfort and solitude.

Captain Garret Rickford is a seasoned Apache helicopter pilot for the U.S. Army, who is awarded a head instructor position at the Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Georgia after serving four tours carrying out assault and rescue missions over Iraq and Afghanistan. He returns home, while secretly battling the haunting traumas of war and the death of his dearest friend and fellow comrade.

She was raised on a horse ranch in Wyoming. He was raised in the Highlands of Scotland. They were opposites in so many ways, each never expecting to cross paths with the other. But, they did and when the spark of attraction ignited, there was no extinguishing the passion once it flamed out of control.

Mar 31, 2016

Informazioni sull'autore

My love of reading romance fiction goes back to those early years when I was raising a young family. It wasn't until much later in life I actually took up the pen to write. I wish I could have gotten to this point in my career much sooner rather than later but, life simply got in the way far too many times. I know because of those detours I have become a more passionate and expressive writer because I can draw upon those painful moments in my past when I need to create the kind of raw human emotion I want my readership to feel. My wish is that my readers walk away with not just an entertaining read but the importance in knowing, "Without imagination & dreams, we lose the excitement of wonderful possibilities." PLEASE leave a review to help others discover my work. I would be so very appreciative. Find me also on Pinterest: and Instagram:

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Anteprima del libro

For Once In My Life - Cynthia Roberts

For One In My Life

Love Song Standards Series

Book #3


Cynthia Roberts

For Once In My Life

Copyright ©2016 by Cynthia Roberts. All rights reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any way by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording or otherwise without the prior permission of the author except as provided by USA copyright law.

This novel is a work of fiction. Names, descriptions, entities, and incidents included in the story are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, events, and entities is entirely coincidental.

Covers by Ramona

My Other Books

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Wind Warrior ~ Book 1

Captive Heart ~ Book 2

Captive Warrior ~ Book 3


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Keeper’s Watch ~ The Wind

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Contemporary – Love Song Standards Series

Unchained Melody

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Upcoming Titles

All The Way

It’s Impossible



Praise for Her Novels

If you are looking for an enthralling story with plenty of heat, humor and adventure, look no further!

~ Romance Junkies

Roberts’ writing is solid, flows well, her angle is thought-provoking and descriptive details keep the pages turning. Roberts’ literary contributions may be worth following.

~ IndieReader

Cynthia Roberts presents rich, three-dimensional characters and immerses them in a lovely, vivid landscape, that comes alive with her powerful use of descriptive language.

~ The Romance Reviews

Chapter One

Christina Morandt loved to dance. It was her life and it fulfilled her in so many ways. Ever since her mother took her to see the Nut Cracker, when she was five, she was hooked.

She was awed by the way the women soared and twirled across the stage. They had made it look so easy. She smiled, as she reflected on the days of her youth, while waiting for her young students to arrive. Just like the six, seven, and eight-year-olds she was teaching, her personality was huge back then. She loved to perform and putting on little shows.

She adored riding horses just as much and; she so missed the Wyoming Ranch where she grew up back in Bear River.

Christina closed her eyes briefly, trying to picture the beauty of the land that she once called home in her mind’s eye. She swallowed the catch in her throat, as the memories pulled her back to the horse ranch she knew as a child. The gorgeous meadows and acres of grazing land where she used to ride her palomino, Sparky, with the majestic Rocky Mountains in the background, pulled at her heart strings.

It was hard walking away from that lifestyle. But her little girl dreams to be a ballerina could not be bridled. It took her two years to convince her mother she was serious to commit to the classes and the forty- minute drive to the nearest studio. And, commit she did.

The moment she donned her first pair of soft pink slippers and was taught the difference between a plie and releve, she was hooked.

Christina practiced three-hour days after school and six hours on Saturday, while maintaining an A average right up until her freshman year in high school. She had made a conscious decision back then to continue her high school education online, missing all the teen experiences like school dances, sporting games, and going to the prom.

Her dance teacher was the former choreographer in residence for the Savannah Ballet School of Dance most of her career. She had been so impressed with Christina’s performance, she taped one of her sessions and sent it to the present Artistic Director. Christina was offered the chance to try out for the company, when she turned eighteen.

It was the beginning of all things wonderful in her life. She was accepted as a student apprentice and in less than a year, promoted to the corps de ballet, performing roles as part of a group. Two years later, she was offered the role of principal ballerina and her notoriety soared. It had brought her some coveted leading roles in the company’s productions.

Now, twelve years later, she was helping other little girls and boys fulfill their dreams, teaching them everything she knew at her own studio, Let’s Dance. She gazed at the wall clock overhead. Her newest class of five to eight year-year-olds would be arriving soon.

She looked about her studio and, as usual, a sense of pride warmed her heart. A contented sigh rolled from her lips. She had come full circle in her life. It seemed like only yesterday she was just a sprite, little thing learning the basic elements of ballet, and now she had an accomplished career behind her and a successful ballet school to finish out her years.

It was Saturday, and her classes would be over by two o’clock. As much as she loved her students, she could not wait for her day to end. She looked forward to cutting loose and was thrilled there was a ranch outside Savannah with some of the best riding trails and open acreage available for experienced riders.

Oak Grove Stables was also a premium breeding farm, specializing in Friesians. She had learned about the breed, when she had accompanied her father to a dressage show as a teen. The breed originated from the Netherlands, and during the Middle Ages, they were in great demand by the knights as war horses. Despite the animal’s size, it was a graceful and majestic beauty, and for her, it was truly love at first sight.

She purchased her stallion just last year. Its stark black coat and powerful bone structure was what had attracted her to him. What she loved most of all about the beautiful beast though, was the color of its thick, wavy, long flowing tail and mane. It matched hers perfectly in color, texture and length.

The stable owner, Clive Hartwell, said the first time he saw her from a distance in the saddle, leaning up over its massive crest to pet its ears and forehead, she looked like a female Centaur, the Greek mythological creature with the upper body of a human and lower half of a horse.

She loved that analogy. When she was riding her horse out on the open range, she felt like they were one.

She smiled inwardly at the name she had given him, Adonis.

Yep, she thought. It’s so appropriate for you, my powerful beauty. Now, if I could just find one on two legs that wasn’t cocky and arrogant, life would be good.

She chuckled out loud, shaking her head and waved to those students, who just began to stroll into the studio.


Captain, Garret Rickford, was strung as tight as a bow after pulling fourteen hours, as an assault helicopter instructor at the Hunter Army Airfield. If anyone asked him right now what he would rather be doing with his life, he would still say flying an AH-64 Apache helicopter.

When he was accepted at the Army Aviation Center at Fort Rucker, Alabama for Apache helicopter training twelve years ago, it was his lifetime goal. He had survived four tours carrying out assault missions over Iraq and Afghanistan.

As much as he loved serving his country, he hated every one of his tours the very moment he set foot on the ground. They were drought-ridden desert regions with dry, hot, humid temps that left you soaking wet, constantly thirsty, and gasping for air. There was no relief from the scorching and oppressive heat.

Even though Savannah was hot, it was easy to get accustomed too. Just being back in the states was a pleasure. There was so much he missed. Being away, made him realize just how blessed he was born an American and calling the great USA home. When his commanding officer told him, he was being offered the position as an instructor back at Hunter, it was a welcomed reward for serving his country proudly.

As he walked out of the hangar, he was too keyed up to simply go home and relax. He needed an outlet, and it wasn’t a punching bag that came to mind. He was a cowboy at heart. What he needed was to ride, and ride hard.

He jumped in his jeep and steered it out onto the highway and headed home to quickly change into his favorite pair of worn jeans, cowboy boots, faded black Stetson, and old gingham shirt.

On his day off, Clive Hartwell let him work at the ranch and ride, whenever he wanted. Clive’s son, Jordan, had been Garret’s closest friend. They went through training together and served in the same unit, until Jordan was shot down.

That was almost a year ago. Jordan was his bud … his pal … his closest friend. It was still hard. Time didn’t heal that frigging raw wound left in his chest from Jordan’s passing.

Being at the ranch helped him stay connected in some small way. It kept Jordan’s spirit alive in his mind and heart. He promised Jordan that he would keep an eye on his wife Tracy and their little girl, Kimberley, if anything happened to him. He was Jordan’s best man, and looking after his family, was an honor he would never walk away from.

Losing Jordan wasn’t easy. Losing a husband and a daddy, was even harder and; Garret did his best to fill that void whenever he could. He loved Tracy like a sister, and he hoped that one day, she would find someone as great as Jordan to fill that void in her life. In the meantime, he would make sure that she and Kimberly were properly taken care of and happy.

Jordan always busted on Garret, from the very first day he had met him at Fort Rucker, and it continued right up until the last day they spent together.

Garret was born and raised in Scotland to a Scottish mother and an American father. It wasn’t until his second year in high school, his father was transferred back to states to head up the new Morgan Stanley division in Montana. It was where his father was born and raised. It was where Garret was transformed from a Scottish country lad to a down-home country cowboy.

You need to talk slower, man, cause I sure as hell can’t understand a lick of what you’re saying. Jordan had told him, when they first met.

Garret couldn’t help but laugh. His brogue had been quite thick back then. It had softened over the years, but still discernible. Jordan told him it was a chick magnet and the only reason he had become friends with him.

It’s been ower a year my freend, he thought somberly, and I still be missing you like hell.

He clicked on the radio and the country station he loved to listen to was playing their all-time favorite drinking song, All My Friends Say by Luke Bryan.

Garret couldn’t help but laugh again out loud. It was a sign for sure that Jordan was with him right at that very moment and; he belted the words out loud just like he did whenever they were together.

Chapter Two

It was spring in Savannah and a gorgeous time of the year. Every part of the city was bursting with color, including the public square, Forsyth Park, and up and down River Street. Georgians loved flowers.

Even though Christina was a country girl at heart, she so loved driving through the historic district.

If only, the walls could talk, she thought, as she cruised by slowly. She never got tired of the view.

The cobblestoned streets were aligned with beautiful landscaped walkways, tiny flower gardens, and overflowing window boxes. Many of the homes originated back when the city was first established in the mid-1700’s. The district exuded old-charm and a tasteful character of its own.

Everywhere she looked, the poppies, azaleas, and crepe myrtle were ablaze and provided a beautiful palette of color. The stately magnolia trees were in full bloom and century-old live oaks formed canopies over the streets with their long draping strands of Spanish moss. The city had earned its nickname the Forest City for good reason.

Oak Grove Stables was only thirty minutes outside the city and the drive gave her a chance to detox with the top down on her vintage 68 Ford Mustang. Aside from Adonis, it was one of her prized possessions that once belonged to her dad. She had it shipped to Georgia after he had passed away. Religiously, she made sure that all the bells and whistles were checked every five-hundred-miles.

She was really looking forward to taking Adonis out for a long ride. There were over fifty acres of trails and scenic terrain where she could just let him gallop. The beautiful, tranquil surroundings also gave her the opportunity to lucidly canter and mull over her itinerary for the following week, or rehash in her mind other issues that needed addressing. She always did her best thinking on horseback, while ballet let her mind flow freely and mindlessly.

Classes went well for the first time this week. Her studio was finally solvent. It took her a while to really listen to her accountant, Lacy, and seriously contemplate expanding her repertoire to include jazz and contemporary dance. Lacy had been right. The broader her base, the faster her enrollments would grow and replenish via referrals.

It did not take her long to act on Lacy’s recommendations. She researched the competition not only locally, but in the surrounding cities as well and did not feel threatened by them. Most had been in business under three years, and only two had more than ten years under their belts. Even those, did not have instructors with accomplished careers.

Christina knew she would have to pay more, but it was important to her that instructors she made available to her students, had danced with the best company’s in the country.

The stables came into view and she could feel her pulse quicken with excitement. She was surprised to see there weren’t too many cars in the visitor’s parking area.

Tracy Hartwell was just exiting the barn, as she approached with a surprised look on her face.

Hey you. The City Market opened. I thought you’d be checking it out after classes instead of riding today. Tracy questioned.

Christina laughed, as she raised her hand in greeting. I’m bad. All I could think of was riding the rest of the afternoon.

Tracy leaned in to give her a hug and quick peck on the cheek.

Can’t say as I blame you, girlfriend. I’d rather go riding myself than getting caught up in all of that madness.

Tracy waited for her to exit her car and then walked alongside Christina back to the barn. You should have called ahead. I would have had Tyrese saddle up Adonis for you.

Christina waved her off and shook her head.

That’s okay, really. I enjoy doing it myself and it gives me time to bond with my boy.

Tracy chuckled at the sweet absurdity of her reply. You two certainly have a special connection. She chuckled and pointed towards Adonis’ stable to further stress her meaning.

Adonis was nodding his head up and down, neighing loudly, as they both approached.

See! What did I tell you? The minute he sees you, he gets excited. Tracy emphasized.

Christina’s face lit up with joy, as she looked in the direction of Adonis’ stall. He was like an excited puppy joyfully greeting its owner when they walked through the door after a full day at work.

She sprinted forward happily as Tracy stood and watched the joyous reunion unfold.

Hello, my beauty, Christina cooed, as she opened her palm, offering slices of apple for Adonis to eat.

He lowered his head, when she moved in closer, resting it upon her shoulder. She kissed the top of its muzzle and ran her palms up and down its neck.

Did you miss me boy? Are you ready to go for a run?

It was as if her

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