Linda Lingle began writing at a young age and had some early success with her whimsical short stories. Then life intervened and she took a break from writing to build a career in public service. When the storyline for Dear Heart, and its companion book, Sweet Heart, came to her out of the blue, it sparked her imagination and reignited her enthusiasm for writing. She is currently working on a screenplay for Dear Heart which incorporates the plots of both books. Linda lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, Arthur, and her dog, Sam.
Deirdre Reid and Hartley Tate feel an immediate attraction when they meet at the office where they will work together and fall in love. There is only one problem: they are married to others and Lee has four daughters to whom he is devoted.
For 15 months Deirdre and Lee carry on a passionate affair. Then Lee’s wife is offered a big promotion across the country. With his heart breaking, Lee leaves Deirdre in San Francisco and moves East with his family so his wife can advance her high-powered career.
Soon, unforeseen circumstances have Deirdre second-guessing her insistence on a clean break. She resists every impulse to fly to Lee’s side, but on the first anniversary of their parting, Deirdre grows increasingly regretful and melancholy. Then she receives a surprising Christmas present which sets in motion a 38-year ritual that, against all odds, keeps alive the love she shared with Lee.
As their destiny unfolds, Deirdre and Lee dream about finding their way back to each other’s arms, and an unlikely guide emerges to light the path of their journey.
Heartbroken and resentful, Lee has a difficult time adjusting to his life without Deirdre and struggles to settle in to his new surroundings. Knowing he made the only decision a father could make does little to lessen Lee’s profound sense of loss. Although he tries to be upbeat and optimistic for the sake of his daughters, in the dark and quiet of his lonely nights, Lee relives the fifteen heady months that he spent with Deirdre and gives free rein to the anguish and bitterness he feels because he was forced to leave her. Then, his youngest daughter enlists Lee to help her find an elusive Christmas gift for her favorite teacher and everything changes.
As if guided by fate, Lee stumbles across a poignant reminder of his time with Deirdre and sets in motion the 38-year ritual that eased his heartbreak and sustained his hope for the future.
In this companion book to Dear Heart, Lee describes the bittersweet lifetime he lives without Deirdre, introduces us to the people who populate his world, and reveals the shocking secret he promised never to reveal.