Bayside Summers #2
By: Melissa Foster
Released Jan 10, 2018
World Literary Press
When Emery Andrews’s best friend, Desiree, moves away, falls in love, and opens a an inn all in one summer, she feels her absence like a missing limb. Until she visits over the holidays and meets sinfully hot Dean Masters, who’s as easy on the eyes as he is to talk to. After returning home, what starts as a flurry of late-night flirtations quickly turns into a deep connection and unexpected friendship. Now, months later, Desiree offers Emery a job teaching yoga at the inn. Adventurous Emery jumps at the chance and heads for Wellfleet, Massachusetts, to reunite with her BFF and her new close friend, Dean.
After months of sharing their lives, and their secrets, over video chats and phone calls, Dean’s ready to move things to the next level. The fact that Emery seems oblivious to the sparks between them and has recently put her foot down about dating friends just means he’ll have to bide his time.
When Emery finds a naked man in her kitchen the first morning she’s there, Dean doesn’t hesitate to move her into his guest room. Maybe now Emery will see what’s right before her eyes–although that guy she’s got a date with might be a problem.
There were a few things worse than being stuck in traffic and needing to pee, but after driving since the crack of dawn and sitting on the same stretch of highway for the past forty minutes—which was about thirty minutes longer than her bladder could handle—Emery Andrews couldn’t think of a single one. Her back teeth were floating, and if she didn’t find a bathroom soon, her car would become a swimming pool. She should have thought about weekend traffic before hauling ass out of Oak Falls, Virginia, and heading for her new home and workplace, Summer House Inn, in Wellfleet, Massachusetts. But thinking things through wasn’t Emery’s forte. She was more of a just-do-it-and-worry-about-things-later type of girl, as evident in her move to the Cape.
Now, if she could only get there.
She gazed out at the long line of brake lights in front of her and picked up her phone to call her best friend, Desiree Cleary. Desiree had been like a sister to her since they were five years old, and last summer, she had fallen in love, reconnected with her half sister, Violet, and decided to move to the Cape and open the inn, all in the space of a few short weeks. Desiree’s excitement was contagious. Every time they spoke on the phone, she raved about her new life with her fiancé, Rick Savage, and her plans for the inn, and it had sparked introspection in Emery. She realized she wasn’t living a life she was excited by in Oak Falls—and she had no one to blame but herself. After making a poor decision right before the holidays and going out with her boss at the Oak Falls Back Care and Rehabilitation Center, where she had worked full-time as a yoga back-care specialist, she’d ended up leaving the practice. Unfortunately, she’d signed a non-compete specifically for providing the one thing that brought her the most fulfillment and could no longer practice yoga back care within a fifty-mile radius of the rehabilitation center. In the small rural town of Oak Falls, her career, and her personal life, seemed to have stalled.
She’d needed a fresh start, and when Desiree had invited her up to Wellfleet to teach yoga at the inn, she’d jumped at the chance.
Desiree answered the phone on the second ring. “Hey, Em. I can’t talk. It’s changeover day. I have three customers waiting to be checked in and two on hold. Call you later?”
“Wait! I’m in Orleans, trying to get there. But—”
“Orleans? Really?” There was no missing the excitement, or the hesitation, in Desiree’s voice. “I thought you were coming next week. I don’t have an open room until this Wednesday. Why didn’t you call and let me know you were coming early?”
“Because after quitting my job and packing up my apartment, the emptiness freaked me out and I was excited to get the heck out of Oak Falls and see you!”
Emery had always been the adventurous one, while Desiree had been cautious, thinking things through to the nth degree. But along with Emery’s boxed-up belongings came a big what if. What if she couldn’t find enough clients to make a living? And as she’d sat in her empty apartment contemplating that worry, she’d realized that leaving the only place she’d ever lived, and leaving her family, wasn’t going to be as easy as she’d imagined. But although she’d been sad about leaving them, her three older brothers had called her several times during her long ride up, making her glad to be moving out from under their watchful eyes. She knew if she had stayed in town for another week, they, and her other worries, would have driven her batty. She had never letanything stop her from doing things in the past, and she knew the only way to get over those fears was to plow full speed ahead—and plow she did!
“But with this traffic,” Emery said, “I’ll never get there. I’m stuck on the highway right before the rotary. Should I get a motel room until you have a vacancy?”
“Oh, Em, you’ll never get one. It’s peak season. Everyone’s booked. But don’t worry. I’m sure Vi will let you stay in her cottage.” Desiree and Violet had renovated the old Victorian and the four cottages that had once been owned by their grandparents. “I’ll mention it to Vi, but you might as well find someplace to hang out for a few hours until the traffic eases up. Maybe you can do some shopping in Orleans,” Desiree suggested. “I’m so sorry, but I really can’t talk right now. Will you be okay for a few hours on your own?” Before Emery could respond Desiree said, “Of course you will be. You love new adventures! We’ll catch up when you get here. And if you hang out in Orleans, be sure to bring me something from the Chocolate Sparrow!” Desiree blew a kiss into the phone and the line went dead.
The decadent chocolate shop had been closed when Emery had visited over the holidays, and the way Desiree talked about it, their chocolates sounded practically orgasmic.
I could use a few orgasms—chocolate inspired or otherwise.
She mulled over the idea of trying to make it to the chocolate shop as the cars ahead of her crawled into the rotary. Traffic was at a standstill getting off the rotary and onto the main drag in either direction—toward the Summer House Inn and toward the orgasmic chocolates in Orleans. She squeezed her thighs together. She’d worn her new bikini beneath her tank dress and had hoped to be lying out on the beach by now. The last thing she needed was to pee all over it. She spotted an exit on the opposite side of the rotary.
The heck with it. Desiree was always telling her about back roads the tourists didn’t know about. It was time for her first Wellfleet adventure.
She squeezed by the line of cars waiting to get onto the main drag and drove halfway around the rotary to a side road. As she pulled onto it, she realized it ran in the wrong direction, back the way she’d come. She scrolled through her contacts and called the man who had become her second best friend, Dean Masters. She’d met Dean when Rick, who was Dean’s business partner and one of his closest friends, had flown Emery in over the holidays to surprise Desiree the night he proposed. They’d hit it off right away, and they’d kept in touch after she’d returned home to Virginia. What had started as a storm of daily teasing texts about a big red ribbon she’d had tied around her body the night they’d met had turned into evening phone calls and morning wake-up messages, and eventually, into a friendship she’d come to trust and rely on.
“Hi, doll. How’s it going?”
Dean’s deep voice, and the endearment he’d used since the day they’d met, brought a smile, and just like that, the knot in her stomach eased. Dean had seamlessly filled the gap Desiree had left behind, binge-watching shows with Emery while they Skyped and talking until the wee hours of the morning about everything and nothing at all. They were so different, they shouldn’t have clicked. While Emery barreled into situations with little thought about repercussions, Dean was a thinker, careful and methodical, like Desiree. And, like Desiree, he’d become the yang to her yin.
“Hey, big guy. Please tell me you can get me to the inn from”—she glanced at the road sign—“Rock Harbor Road.” At the next corner, she turned off the main road and onto a residential street, hoping to find a back way to the inn or maybe one of those small-town shops Desiree was always talking about, so she could use their bathroom.
“You’re in town?”
“Yes! Please get me to someplace with a bathroom fast. Traffic is a nightmare, and I’ve got to pee so bad I swear I’m going to knock on the next door I see.”
“Okay, slow down,” he said with a serious tone. “Before you make some stranger’s day, follow my directions. Turn right onto Bridge Road.”
“Um…” She looked for road signs. “I turned off the main road already, and I have no idea what street I’m on now.”
“Of course you don’t.”
She rolled her eyes at the smirk in his voice.
“Why don’t you use your GPS?”
Two weeks ago, she’d called him when she’d gotten lost coming home from a concert and he’d walked her through how to use the GPS. Even with his careful instructions, she’d gotten frustrated and nearly thrown the damn thing out the window. “You know I hate that thing. The stupid voice tells me what to do way too late, and I can’t hear it with the radio on, and I really think it should have a male voice option anyway.”
She tried to concentrate on the narrow, windy road and not on her near-bursting bladder. “Don’t do that!”
“What?” He chuckled again.
She squeezed her thighs together. “Don’t laugh! If I laugh I’ll wet my pants.”
He was silent for so long she checked her phone for a signal. “Hello? Dean? Are you there?”
“Sorry. I muted you.”
“You told me not to laugh, and I’m picturing you bouncing in your seat trying not to pee, and…” His words were lost in his laughter.
And so went the next fifteen minutes as Dean figured out where she was and directed her to his house. By the time she got there she was ready to burst. She flew out of her car, tearing a path around gorgeous, overflowing gardens, and headed for Dean’s front door. He came around the side yard, shirtless, carrying an enormous rock that covered his entire torso. His jaw was clenched tight. Veins bulged in his thick neck, broad chest, and massive arms as he bent his knees and set the rock at the edge of a garden.
Her breath whooshed from her lungs.
Holy mother of hotness.
She’d almost forgotten how large and powerful, how commanding, he was in person, and how from their very first glance, he’d made her stomach flip and tumble. His hair was the same honey-wheat color as hers, cropped so short he looked military. And damn, he’d kept the beard he’d grown over the winter after all. He’d told her he usually went clean-shaven over the summers, but she’d pleaded with him to keep it. She’d told him the girls would love it, and she knew she was right. He looked even more badass than usual, and coupled with his perpetually serious expression, he appeared as if he were going to snap at any moment.
The big faker.
Beneath that big, bad facade was the most patient man she’d ever met. That trait had taken her by surprise, and now she found herself swallowing hard to silence the sex-starved woman inside her who was preparing for a coming-home party.
Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance and new adult romance with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa’s emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family oriented–perfect beach reads for contemporary romance lovers who enjoy reading about wealthy heroes and smart, sassy heroines.
(Five winners will receive a digital copy of SEASIDE WHISPERS)
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