ebook Love & Disaster trilogy, #3 · Love & Disaster Trilogy

By Tara L. Roí

cover image of Hope

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angsty | second chance | redemption romance | love over forty | climate fiction

"Roí offers romance fans an engaging and creative storyline. Refreshing and new... A distinctive novel."

~ The BookLife Prize, 2023

His betrayal set their relationship and their lives ablaze.

Now, research chemist Josh is racing time to prevent more wildfire destruction while trying to become the trustworthy man Celeste deserves. Plagued by imposter syndrome that threatens her career as a couples' coach and self-help author, all Celeste wants is to escape wildfire country and the man she wishes she could stop loving. Can love help Celeste and Josh rise from the ashes?

Get HOPE and find out.


October 6 - Wildbranch, CA


As soon as the envelope disappears into the slot and clunks at the bottom of the mailbox, my stomach tightens. I've made a huge mistake. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. How can I get the letter back? My fingers are thin but not thin enough to fit into the slot.


Fishing line?

Coat hanger?

Bra strap? Damn these new mailboxes that no one can break into. Not that I ever knew how or wanted to get into an old one. It's a felony to tamper with the mail. Why isn't infidelity a felony?

My handwritten words flash through my mind: "You implanted this idea in him... Not all men cheat... All those times you disparaged men in front of Josh..."

I cringe.

That's right, folks: it's Celeste Cairan, the great relationship coach, who, after discovering her soulmate's infidelity, wrote a
scathing letter to his mother. Yes, Celeste Cairan, who ignored the loving relationship she shared with her soulmate's mother and instead blamed the woman for having raised him wrong. I'll have some new openings in my schedule when my existing clients realize I'm a complete fraud. Can't keep a man. Can't sustain a relationship for more than seven years. What's the refrain? Those who can't do, teach. Yup.

Ash falls from the wildfires in the mountains, coating my arms with a sticky gray pallor. What are the chances the fire will snake a path through the mountains directly to this mailbox and turn that letter to dust without scorching anything else?

Or... better fantasy for everyone: it rains, washing away the ash, stopping the fires, running the ink on my handwritten diatribe.
The letter could get lost in the mail. One can only hope.

Damn it! Why must I always speak my mind? What good can possibly come from this?

I drop my forehead on the mailbox. The heat of absorbed sunlight is remarkably soothing. I'll just stay here for a while. Maybe the heat will transfer some of the mailbox's blue paint onto my skin, marking me. A cobalt blue reminder to all who cross my path, like The Scarlet Letter. Instead of A for adulterous, B for bitter.

"Excuse me. Are you done here? I need to mail something," a soft voice says to my right.

I roll my head toward the sound. Sunlight silhouettes a tall figure.

"Sorry." I step away from the mailbox, recognizing its defeat over my better intentions.

"Hey." Her voice perks up. "Didn't I just see you in California Inspiration Magazine?"

How did she recognize me behind the n95 mask and goggles? "That was me." A real inspiration.