Romantic Idea to enjoy this summer: 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.
Eric Sadler needs a break from the woods. His writing career has hit a dead-end and he’s desperate to figure out how to break into publishing. He accepts a temporary teaching position at his alma mater and meets a woman he can’t stop thinking about. Unfortunately for him, it turns out he’s already forgotten her from his long-ago college days.
Jennifer Campbell has too much going on to worry about running into her undergrad crush. She’s trying to find a way forward after an ugly break-up has threatened her career. She built a successful branding business one client at a time. She knows how to help get a company to the next level. Her skill set is exactly what Eric needs. But she knows better than to blur her professional and personal lives again.
Eric has no intention of letting her slip away…this time.
Sitting cross-legged on her best-friend’s guest bed, Jennifer Campbell scanned the notes she’d jotted down on the spiral bound notebook. Her mind blanked as the words bled into one another. Agreeing to teach a semester long seminar at her alma mater had been easy and opportune. But actually planning her lectures and lessons ten years after graduating college had proved a difficult task. A knock sounded at the door seconds before the door burst open and the knob banged against the wall.
“Cookie?” Rebecca held out a platter overflowing with chocolate chip cookies.
Jen slid off the bed and held out her hands to grab the treats from her pregnant best friend.
“Cookies too? Becs, you should be resting!” Jen set the platter on the nightstand and offered a hand to help. But Rebecca waved her off and lowered herself onto the end of the bed. The mattress tilted a little when Jen joined her.
“You sound like Tom,” Rebecca stuffed a cookie in her mouth, crumbs spilling out at her words.
Jen bit her lip to stop the reply. Being compared to Tom, Rebecca’s adoring and steady husband, wasn’t a bad thing. She grabbed the plate off the table and set it between them, taking a bite reached for a cookie off the plate now resting in her lap and took a bite. The bitter dark chocolate and sweet brown sugar nearly had her swooning.
“These are sinful.”
“And there are plenty more,” Rebecca wiped the back of her hand across her mouth. “I had a craving and couldn’t stop making dough. If you want one, just look for the bag in the freezer.”
“So right now in your kitchen you have a giant bag of cookie dough? Why did you have to tell me? Even looking at a cookie makes me gain five pounds!”
“You look great, as always. I’d love to be a size twelve again. I’d love to be able to see my waist!”
Jen fought against her inclination to roll her eyes. Eating in an upstairs bedroom in a snug bungalow on a quiet street in Bloomington, Indiana both dressed in pajama pants and oversized t-shirts, transported Jen back in time. But the warmth and safety of the future had evaporated for Jen with the mistakes she’d made since leaving the college town. Rebecca’s protruding tummy only served as a reminder of the twists and complications of her adult life.
“Rebecca, thanks again. I have no idea where I would have ended up.”
“You’re welcome Jen. But stop thanking me. I have a spare room, you’re only here for a couple of months, and what would you have done? Gone to an extended stay?
“Or maybe a dorm?”
“Ugh, gross,” Rebecca shuddered. “I’m glad to have you here. We haven’t gotten together since, my wedding? And geez, even then I was so distracted.”
“Yeah it is nice. Weird, all things considered.”
“I’m sure,” Rebecca nodded before reaching out to put a hand on Jen’s knee. Jen shifted and Rebecca let her hand slid off. “I’m sorry about that.”
“No you aren’t,” Jen crossed her arms. “You told me my relationship was a dead end years ago.”
“True, but I didn’t want you to waste so much time.”
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.