Nothing beats a patio filled with candlelight, soft music, and sharing a dessert with your sweetheart on a warm night under the stars. Turning the backyard into a favorite date spot means more couple time after our kids head to bed.
Nearly a year and a half after his pregnant girlfriend left him for her childhood sweetheart, Ryan Isaacs is finally moving on. He’s bought and renovated a three-flat in Bayfield, Wisconsin. Living in a tiny town across Lake Superior from his ex wouldn’t be his first choice. Staying near his young son, however, made the decision for him. Life is good. But he definitely doesn’t have time for distractions; especially not the beautiful new tenant who’s renting the top floor. Not that she’d be interested in him anyway.
Lauren Clark has to focus. After a decade in Chicago, moving to the middle of nowhere was not the next stop she pictured for her career. Years of soothing bridezillas has worn her out. And being left at the altar has her questioning her purpose. She’s agreed to fill in for her friend Francois at his post as city events manager while he’s on sabbatical for a year. If she has her way, she’ll be gone long before then. There would be no point to starting something with the hunky landlord.
Lauren crouched to adjust Waffles’ sweater, her knee momentarily dropping to the frozen sidewalk. Fire burned through her jeans, and she jerked her leg back up and nearly lost her balance. Falling over backward on the ice and injuring herself didn’t sound like a great way to spend a lazy Sunday morning. But then again, it wasn’t like her current activity of dressing up her dog and taking pictures for Instagram was all that exciting either.
“Okay, you look perfect, don’t move.”
Sliding out of her gloves, Lauren retrieved her phone from her coat pocket. Positioned on the hillside, with the icy lake in the background on a diagonal, with her bright pink sweater in stark contrast to the snow surrounding her, Waffles was a picture of big city sophistication in the remote wilderness. Settling in at her new job and practically hibernating inside the apartment building, Waffles’ fans were leaving terse messages looking for an update.
“Hold it. Stay there and…done. Now, let’s get back inside before my fingers fall off.”
She stuffed the phone into the down coat and struggled to move her fingers enough to slip back into the gloves. Waffles continued to hold her pose, ever patient for her owner. Lauren slowly stood up to her full height, rubbing her hands together, and stomping her feet in an effort to get the blood flowing.
They’d walked a little further than they had since becoming residents a little over a week earlier. Blowing on her hands for another minute, Lauren scanned the streets. Perched at the top of a hill on Rittenhouse Avenue, they had a clear view down toward the shops and restaurants of town. Lauren could hardly imagine the empty streets full of tourists, no matter what Francois and Ryan had told her.
Not that I’ll find out for myself.
Lauren stuffed her hands back into her pockets. Her feeble attempts at finding warmth weren’t improving the longer she stood outside. With a gentle tug on Waffles’ leash, she focused her attention on the sidewalk, careful to pick her way on the icy sections of pavement. But Waffles wouldn’t budge. Another, firmer, yank didn’t have any better effect on the dog.
In exasperation, Lauren swiveled on her heel to glare at the dog. But Waffles didn’t look at her. Instead, the dog sat on the ground, oblivious to the cold under her fur and wagged her tail slowly from side to side. Lauren followed the dog’s line of sight, shocked to see a running figure approaching them. When the man dressed in a sweatshirt and track pants approached the intersection mere yards away, Lauren recognized him and shivered. Ryan.
Amazon Purchase Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01EQRWAKA
Rachelle stumbled into the world of romance novels in college; as a way to help speed up reading through Art History textbooks. After years in the professional world writing dry grant proposals and auction descriptions, she started writing the contemporary romance stories she wanted to read. Setting her books in some of her favorite destinations was her inspired way to require plenty of research trips every year with her family.
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Rachelle-Paige/e/B00T0T533Q