About the Book:
Florist Laney George has a successful business, amazing friends and big, big dreams––oh, and a broken heart. But she’s working through that last one. Then the man she hoped to never see again shows up––and Laney’s carefully ordered plans are experiencing technical difficulties.
Celebrated Author Adam Fitzpatrick planned to be in St. Clair for no more than a day. Sign the books, and get out. Same story, different day. What he didn’t count on was Laney George, who happens to be the star of his somewhat fictional tale. She broke his heart years ago, and he’d gone a bit mad. Okay, maybe a lot mad––and he put everything in his book, never imagining it would be a world-wide best seller.
Now that he’s seen her again, he wants answers. But it isn’t just her that draws him in. It’s the town, something is happening and for the first time in years…he can write again. If only he could convince the woman who hates him most to start a new chapter in their story.
“Sorry I couldn’t get here sooner,” Laney said, burying her face in the trunk to avoid Jessica’s scrutiny. “I came back to a mountain of work.” And men to avoid.
Not that she’d been successful.
If failure to avoid Adam Fitzpatrick had a poster girl, I’d be it.
Her plan of clearing the air, then never seeing him again, had back red in a spectacular fashion. Complete with a laser light show. If she’d told him he couldn’t stay, that would make her no better than the fictional Nina.
Which meant Adam was her new neighbor, and she kept seeing him everywhere she went. From helping Tilly to enthralling Kira Carmichael and her friends with his tales of being a writer to helping Sam fix a broken chair.
Every time–showing her that he wasn’t the selfish jerk she remembered.
It just wouldn’t do.
He didn’t even have the decency to wear a stained T-shirt or let his hair go greasy.
“How have you been?” Jessica asked as Laney passed her an armful of pale green olive leaves, the silvery underside soft like velvet.
“Busy, but I finally got an appointment with the bank. I’m going there next week.” She gathered up the rest of the flowers and shut the trunk with one hand. “You’re still going ahead with it?” Jessica’s face fell an inch. Her sister-in-law had been worried Laney would become too reclusive. Too alone.
“I swear I won’t turn into an eccentric flower woman who never leaves her property. I’ll still have the store and will be around all the time to see my adorable niece or nephew. Unless you’re worried that I’ll become cool Aunt Laney, who lets them stay up late and eat junk food.”
“I might need to get in on that action myself. Staying up past eight o’clock and eating something that doesn’t involve olives sounds good right now.”
“Still on the olive kick?”
“Up to one jar a day. This baby is going to come out green.” She sighed, though her face was still glowing and dewy. Maybe Laney should eat more olives, too? Then again, she suspected the glow came more from being happy about the tiny human percolating in her womb.
They walked across the parking lot. The Bluebell Inn had been in the George family for the last three generations, and when Simon had moved away and become a dentist, it had been Jessica who’d taken it over. The three-story building was painted in a soft gray. White pillars flanked the low steps leading up to the door. There were also ten smaller cottages fanned out around the main building.
Through the grand old entrance was a long reception desk. Ever since Laney had moved to St. Clair almost ten years ago, she’d been making sure the huge Chinese vases were over owing with local blooms. The hardy zinnias and delphiniums had held up well.
She came to a halt as her eyes slid farther up the wall.
An old seascape usually hung there, but it had inexplicably been replaced with a framed blue sweatshirt with the words Nina Took It splashed across the front.
And was it signed?
“Jess, honey. What’s that?” she croaked, putting the flowers down on the counter.
“Isn’t it great?” Jessica rubbed her swelling belly. “Paige gave it to me. The publisher sent a couple of extra ones, and she thought it might help with publicity for the inn. Adam signed it when he checked out. I’m going to start a wall of fame.”
Adam’s fame, Laney’s shame.
“I see.” Heat stung her cheeks at the unfairness of it all. For so long, St. Clair had been her safe space in the world. The town had embraced her, first as Simon’s bride and then as his widow. She had a place here. Well, she had, until Adam had literally turned up on her doorstep. His very presence was a threat.
She picked up the vase and carried it through to the kitchen. Far away from the stupid sweatshirt.
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About the Author: Amanda Ashby was born in Australia but now lives in New Zealand where she writes romance, young adult and middle grade books. She also owns far too many vintage tablecloths and likes to delight her family by constantly rearranging the furniture.
She has a degree in English and Journalism from the University of Queensland and is married with two children. Her debut book was nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice award, and her first young adult book was listed by the New York Public Library’s Stuff for the Teen Age. Because she’s mysterious she also writes middle grade books under the name, Catherine Holt and hopes that all this writing won’t interfere with her Netflix schedule.
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