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Gonna Lay Down My Burdens

by Mary Monroe

In the sweltering little town of Belle Helene, Alabama, Carmen Taylor keeps her weaknesses, her frustrations, and her sorrows to herself. She’s too busy dealing with the dramas of troubled friends like Desiree Lucienne, the petite, pampered daughter of a doctor who tries to beat the wildness out of her. But that doesn’t stop Desiree from trawling for men, and trying to drag Carmen along.

It’s not that Carmen hasn’t had her share of boozy pick-ups — only that they can’t compare to the one steamy night she spent with the man she’s loved since they were both kids. Now a local cop, all-too-fine Chester Sheffield keeps showing up in Carmen’s life, wanting to do something about the feelings they obviously share. But that would mean abandoning her “boyfriend” Burl Tupper, and that’s something Carmen just can’t do. Ever since a foolish teenage prank of Carmen’s landed Burl in a wheelchair, she’s been trying to make it up to him. When Carmen doesn’t take her chance with Chester, Desiree does. And although the women’s friendship stays solid, greater challenges await.

On a sultry, reckless moonlit night, Carmen commits a desperate crime of passion, and, with Desiree, hits the road running. But she can’t run from the truth. Now she has two choices — a life on the lam, or a return to Belle Helene, the place where it all began… and the only place Carmen can lay down her burdens and seize her one true chance at love and redemption.