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Finding Hope - A Chance and a Hope Book 2 (ebook)

Finding Hope - A Chance and a Hope Book 2 (ebook)

Sweet n Steamy Romance

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His time in Oregon didn’t end the way he’d hoped, and now Chance is back at the ranch.

He put himself out there, made an attempt at opening up his heart to happiness, but it didn’t work out. Maybe he’s just not supposed to be happy? That’s what he’s starting to believe—until his Remington brothers convince him he shouldn’t give up Hope just yet.

Finding Hope is the second book in the A Chance and a Hope trilogy.

Available to Read on Kindle, Nook, iThings, Kobo, Phone, Computer, Tablet, Etc! Your eBook will be delivered to your provided email address by BookFunnel. 

Finding Hope is the second book in USA Today Bestselling Author SJ McCoy's international hit A Chance and a Hope series, loved by over 1,000,000 fans of sweet and steamy romances. 


Chapter One Look Inside

Chapter One

Chance tried to ignore the banging on the door. He rolled onto his side and pulled the covers up over his head. That didn’t work; the banging continued, growing louder. He burrowed his head under his pillow and covered it with his arms.

“Open up, Chance. I know you’re in there.” It was Mason.

Chance groaned. “Go away.”

“No such luck. I’m coming in.”

“Leave me in peace. It’s my day off.” He heard the front door creak as it opened. For the first time, he wished this was a place where he felt the need to lock his door. He listened to Mason’s boots cross the living room and approach the bedroom. “I’m pretty sure I told you to go away.”

“Tough. I’m going nowhere.”

Chance blew out a big sigh and threw the pillow in the direction of Mason’s voice.

Mason laughed. “Wow. Getting a pillow thrown at me is a whole lot easier to handle than what I thought I might get.”

“What you still will get if you don’t fuck off within the next thirty seconds.”

Mason laughed again. “There’s no need to wait thirty seconds. Like I said, I’m going nowhere, so whatever you’re going to do, you may as well get on with it.”

Chance reluctantly rolled over and sat up. “And I thought I was a stubborn bastard.”

Mason smiled. “You sure as hell are, but I’m right there with you. Just ask Gina.”

Chance nodded and rubbed his hand over his face. His stubble felt more like beard now, but it hardly mattered.

Mason watched him. “Are you planning on shaving anytime soon? You look like shit.”

“Thanks. If you want bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, go find yourself a fucking squirrel.”

Mason laughed. “Nah. I’ll stick around for red-eyed and whiskered, but if there’s any chance you could find your way into the shower, I’d appreciate it. I’ll even make you some coffee while you’re in there.”

Chance glowered at him for a moment. He had no right coming in here, no right to tell him he needed a shower, no right to … He blew out a sigh and nodded. “Okay, but make it strong.”

Mason was waiting for him in the kitchen when he was showered and dressed. He thrust a mug of coffee toward him, and Chance took it with a grunt of thanks.

“You got any plans for the day?”

Chance narrowed his eyes at him. “Well, I was thinking about heading over to Bozeman, doing a little shopping at Macy’s, getting a manicure, and then having a spot of lunch at the Open Range. How about you?”

Mason rolled his eyes. “There’s no need to be sarcastic.”

Chance shrugged and took a gulp of his coffee. Man, he needed that. “Well, there’s no need for you to be so damned superficial, is there? You don’t come in here, drag me out of my pit, and then make polite small talk like we’re a couple of chicks planning a girly day out. Just tell me what you really want or fuck off and leave me alone.”

Mason’s jaw set and his eyebrows came down, in a look that Chance recognized but had never had turned on him before. “What do I want? I want you to stop being an asshole. I want you to accept that I’m worried about you. I want you to come back.”

Chance could feel himself shutting down with every word Mason spoke. His eyes narrowed. His lips pressed together. His grip on his coffee mug tightened and his shoulders set with tension.

“Come on. Say something!”

“What? What do you want me to say? Sorry, I can’t stop being an asshole. It comes naturally. You’re worried about me? That’s your choice. It’s nothing I have any control over. And come back? What the fuck does that even mean? I’ve been back a month.”

Mason shook his head and sat down heavily across the table from him. The stubbornness was gone from his face. His eyes were full of concern. “Yeah, physically you’ve been back from Oregon for a month. But you haven’t really been here, and we both know it. You’ve shut down. I get that; you do that. But you’ve shut me out; you’ve never done that before. I don’t know how to handle it, Chance.”

“There’s nothing to handle. I’m fine.”

Mason shrugged. “Maybe you are, I wouldn’t know. But I’m not. I miss my friend.”

Chance closed his eyes against the tears that pricked suddenly. He couldn’t handle that. He needed to feel angry; he needed to feel hurt. He didn’t need to feel he was letting Mason down.

“I’m sorry. I know that’s not your problem, and it seems you’ve got enough problems of your own, but I miss you. I thought after all these years we could turn to each other.” Mason shrugged. “I guess we can’t. I guess I’m just talking like a chick again.” He drained the last of his coffee. “I’m sorry I ruined your morning. You know where I am if ever you want to talk.” He got up and grabbed his hat from the hook on the back of the door.

“Sit back down, asshole. Since you got me out of bed, you may as well stick around.”

Mason’s lips turned up in the tiniest hint of a smile. “Only if you want me to.”

Chance let out a reluctant laugh. “You’re going to make me say it?”

Mason chuckled. “Yep.”

“Okay. Stay.” Mason raised an eyebrow and Chance gave him a rueful smile. “Please.”

Mason went and poured himself a fresh coffee and sat back down. “Are you ever going to tell me what happened?”

Chance shook his head. “There’s not much point.”

“And why’s that?”

“Because it’s over. Done with. All I can do is put her out of my mind. Forget about it.”

Mason raised an eyebrow. “And how’s that going?”

Chance shrugged. How could he admit that he couldn’t get his mind off Hope no matter what he tried? He couldn’t forget her. She was what kept him awake at night.

“But you don’t want to talk about it?”

“Like I said, there’s no point. Talking about it can’t change it.”

“But talking about things can make you feel better, even when you can’t change them.”

Chance sighed. “It’s not going to make me feel any better. The best we could hope for is that me talking about it might satisfy your curiosity.”

Mason gave him a half smile. “Yeah, there is that.”

Chance nodded slowly. Talking about it wasn’t going to change the way he felt about Hope, and it wasn’t going to change the impossibility of their situation, but maybe Mason was right; maybe talking would make him feel a little better. It couldn’t hurt. “So, what do you want to know?”

“Everything! The last time I talked to you in Oregon you weren’t sure if you were going to even see Hope again. Then the two of you were splashed all over the headlines, and I thought you’d decided to go all in. But after that no one knew where you were for days until you showed up back here—saying that it had all been a mistake, there was nothing to talk about, and you were over it.”

Chance nodded. “That about sums up everything that happened. So, what else is it you want to know?”

Mason frowned at him. “That might be what happened, but I want to know why. I’ll admit I was happy for you when I saw the two of you in the papers. Gina even recorded a segment they did on one of the TV gossip shows. You made a striking couple, you know. And unless she’s completely changed since she was a kid, she’s a real sweetheart.”

Chance cocked his head to one side. “You knew her when you were kids?”

“Not exactly knew her, no, but we used to see her out around town every now and then. Her and her cousins.”

Chance nodded. “She hasn’t changed. She’s a good person. She’s smart and sweet and straightforward …” His words trailed away as he remembered her smiling at him, remembered so many little things about her.

“So, why aren’t the two of you living out the fairy tale happy ending that the press was forecasting for you?”

Chance shrugged. “Didn’t anyone ever tell you fairy tales aren’t real, and the press is full of shit?”

Mason nodded. “I guess, but I had a feeling, I really thought …” He shrugged. “Are you going to tell me what went wrong?”

“Yeah. It wouldn’t have worked.” He nodded. He was still trying to convince himself of that. Every day since he’d been back he’d told himself over and over that it wouldn’t have worked out, that it was best this way. He looked up and met Mason’s gaze. “For a little while there we’d decided that we were going to give it a shot. She was going to come up here to visit me.” He looked away again, remembering how that had felt. He shrugged. “But you know who her dad is, right?”

Mason nodded.

“Well, it seems he decided to check out who I am—and he didn’t like what he found.”

“But …”

Chance held up a hand. “Come on, Mase. You have to understand that, especially now. Think about little Phoenix. If you found out that she was seeing a guy who had the kind of past I do, would you be happy about it?”

“No, but I’d want to see her happy. I’d want to meet the guy. Find out for myself what he was really like. I wouldn’t just judge him on his history.”

Chance raised an eyebrow. “You say that now, but I think it’d be a different matter if it came down to it.”

Mason nodded grudgingly. “Maybe. So, he didn’t want her seeing you anymore, and she just obeyed him?”

Chance closed his eyes. “Not exactly.”

“Then what, exactly? There’s something you’re not telling me, isn’t there?”

“Yeah. See, the way I found out that her dad wasn’t happy about it was …” Chance wasn’t sure he even wanted to tell Mason. He’d second-guessed himself so many times over his decision to walk out on her in the middle of the night.

“Was what?” asked Mason impatiently.

“On our last night. I got up for a drink of water. Her phone was bleeping away. Her dad was sending her text after text, telling her he wanted her away from me. That I had a criminal record. That … you know. I’m a no-good piece of crap and …”

Mason blew out a sigh. “Please don’t tell me you made the decision for her?”

“There was no decision to be made. Some guy she’d known for less than two weeks, or her dad?” Chance shook his head. “Even you can see how that had to go down.”

“No. I don’t see it. You should have let her decide for herself. I’m guessing you just walked straight out the door and she never even knew what went down, right?”

Chance nodded.

“Damn, Chance! Why? Why didn’t you stick around? Why didn’t you try to work it out?”

“Because the last thing her dad texted her was We’ve come so far in the last few years. Don’t throw it away over some no-good ranch hand.”

Mason met his gaze. “What else do you think he’d call you?”

Chance blew out an exasperated sigh. “Dammit, Mase. It’s not about what he called me. I don’t care what he called me. What I care about is that for him to say that—‘we’ve come so far in the last few years’—then things haven’t always been good between them, but they are now. I know how that feels. You know how many years I lost with my own dad. I’d hate for something to come between us, and I’m not going to be the thing that comes between Hope and her dad. It’s better that she thinks I’m just an asshole who walked out on her in the middle of the night. Her dad can be the hero who picks up the pieces—and who was right about me. It’s more important to me that she should be happy, than that she should be with me.”

Mason shook his head but didn’t say anything.

“What? Say it. Whatever you’re thinking, just tell me.”

“It doesn’t matter what I’m thinking. It’s your decision, and you already made it; but since you’re asking, I think you’re wrong. I think it was her choice to make and you should have let her.”

Chance shrugged. He’d been beating himself up over that ever since he drove away from her house that night. “Maybe so, but like you said, it was my decision. I made it, and there’s no going back now.”

Mason raised an eyebrow. “There’s not? Are you sure about that?”

Chance nodded. “Damned sure.” He wasn’t one to go back, but more than that, he couldn’t allow his mind to open up to Hope again. He had to shut himself down—forget her and get on with his life.


“Because I can’t. I can’t do it to her and I can’t do it to myself. Like I said, it no doubt wouldn’t have worked out between us anyway. She lives in LA; she has a life and a business there. I live here and have,” he smirked, “you and a bunch of cows to think about. We live different lives; it just wouldn’t have worked. I just shaved a couple of months off the process of us figuring that out.”

“If you say so.”

“I say so. Has that answered all your questions? Can we leave it alone now?”


Chance watched Mason’s face, knowing there was still something else. “What? You may as well just go ahead and ask so we can close the subject once and for all.”

“Okay. I will. I’m just wondering. You said she made you feel. Like you haven’t since Chloe.”

Chance pressed his lips together and nodded.

“Do you think that it was the right time, that you’re ready to feel again now, and another woman might have made you feel that way, too? Or do you think it was her?”

Chance sighed. “Honestly, I’ve been trying to convince myself that it was just the timing. You know, right after I decided I need to start living again, I found Hope.”

Mason nodded and waited.

“I have to believe that it was just the timing.”

Mason nodded again and met his gaze.

Chance looked away.

“But it was more than that, wasn’t it?”

Chance shrugged.

“If you ask me, you’re a fool.”

“I didn’t ask you, though, did I?”

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