Friday Feature: Always With You

Today’s featured book is the first in a series by Jessie Gussman. The heroes are “regular men”: truck drivers and mechanics. This is especially endearing to me as my husband was also a truck driver and mechanic. I can easily relate to these heroes.

This first book is my favorite, but the sequels are great reads, also.

Author’s Inspiration:

We own a trucking company and I’ve always loved reading books about regular men and women who do right and fall in love. I also love reading books where life is like real life, so that’s the kind of book I set out to write. Always With You is the first book I self-published and it’s one of my all-time most loved books. 

About the book:

One night changed everything…

Cassidy Kimbell killed a man when she was only nineteen.

Torque Baxter took the blame, serving ten years for her crime.

He told her to flee the scene of the accident. He told her to run. He told her to keep her mouth shut, so that’s what she’d done. She’d let a boy with a crush become an innocent man behind bars.

Today, that man is being released.

Cassidy expects Torque to hate her. She knows nothing she has done to atone all these years can compare to what he’s lost. But she hopes becoming his sponsor on the outside, especially since she’s a lawyer now, might help.

Little does she know, Torque doesn’t want her to owe him.

He wants her to love him.

But to do that Cassidy would have to give up the life she’s built for the last ten years. She’d have to sacrifice it all, just like he did.


Chapter 1

Cassidy Kimball stood on the cement sidewalk and faced the red brick Pennsylvania state penitentiary building. Hot July sunlight glinted off the razor wire that looped in circles at the top and beside the chain-link fence.  Off to the right, the circular guard house, with its tinted windows, glared down at the parched brown and empty exercise yard.

Her stomach twisted like mangled metal in a car accident.

It could have been her on the inside. Not here, of course. But somewhere.

Swallowing the nerves that clenched her throat, Cassidy twisted the delicate linked gold of her wristwatch. Any minute now. Would she still recognize him? Of course, she would. The question was, would he recognize all that she had done as a tiny down payment on the huge debt she owed him?

When Torque had seen the passengers in the other car, when he’d known what the consequences were going to be, he’d never wavered. His brown eyes had been steady and level as he said, “Get out of here and don’t look back. You don’t know anything about this.” She hadn’t understood at first what he was going to do. Still shaken from the accident, she’d not really been thinking straight. But she hadn’t needed her brain to be fully functioning to know that she was in deep trouble. She’d already been fighting the urge to run. His command had prompted her to do what she subconsciously wanted to. “Hurry, before anyone comes.”

Then, he hadn’t accepted her calls, hadn’t graced her visits with his presence, hadn’t used the money she deposited in his account. Her letters returned unopened, and her emails disappeared into the prison of cyberspace. She didn’t know, couldn’t know, what he thought or felt.

She assumed he hated her.

A bead of sweat trickled down her temple. Her watch chain snapped under her shaking fingers. She shoved the broken links into her clutch.

Her hands stilled as the prison door opened. The jaws of a monster spitting out its prey. Prey she had fed it.

A man, tall and straight, strode out into the sunlight. Her eyes devoured him. Same casual arrogance dressed in jeans and a t-shirt. Same confident walk, with only a slight limp. The limp was her fault, too. With his slim build, Torque would never be bulky, but she could see the t-shirt that probably fit him when he first walked into this building as an almost-eighteen-year-old now stretched tight over shoulders that had widened and filled out.

Cassidy bit her lip and lifted her chin, taking a deep breath to calm the cramping of her stomach and disguise the curl of heat that came to life in her chest. Torque had always had that effect on her. She pushed the feeling aside and channeled her inner upper-crust snob—the only defense that had ever come close to working against the elemental pull that Torque exerted on her.

The last words that man had said to her were, “Shut up, Cassidy.” Now, she intended to get one question answered. Then she had to figure out how to pay him back. What did ten years of a man’s life cost?

About the author:

USA Today best-selling author Jessie Gussman writes sweet and inspirational romance from her farm in central Virginia. Having attended, but never graduating from the school of hard knocks, Jessie uses real life on the farm to inspire her cowboy, rural and blue-collar fiction. 

When she’s not chasing kids, cows and the occasional roll-away haybale, Jessie enjoys wading in Naked Creek and not cleaning her house. Most of the time her main goal is to keep from catching herself on fire…again.

If you enjoy fun stories with vivid characters showcasing strong families with a ribbon of faith tying everything together, you might enjoy Jessie’s books. 

Subscribe to her newsletter and find out why readers say, “I eagerly look forward to Tuesday mornings” and “Jessie’s newsletter is the only author newsletter that I read every word.”

Buy link:


2 thoughts on “Friday Feature: Always With You

  1. I love most all of Jessie’s books. She is really down to earth & funny even when she’s not trying! I have only bought paperbacks from 4 romance authors in the past two or three years. One is Tessa Afshar (amazing), whose books I found at our library. The other two are indie authors who offered a free ebook—Janith Hooper and our dear Jessie Gussman. Only the best books are worth buying for my crowded bookshelves. Always With You, aka The Baxter Boy’s Sacrifice, aka What He Wants (the name on my paperback copy) is definitely deserving of space in my library!


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