by Shanna Hatfield
FOUND: Old-fashioned letter in a bottle on the beach…
Now what’s he supposed to do with it?
Tanner Thomas has no interest in contacting the woman who wrote a heartfelt, hopelessly romantic letter his mother found in a bottle on the beach. So why won’t thoughts of her stop tormenting him? Desperate to get her out of his mind once and for all, he makes a surprise trip to meet her, completely unprepared to fall in love with a stranger he meets on the beach.
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To the Man of My Dreams,
A crazy dare from my even crazier friends is the reason you hold this note in your hands. Under normal circumstances, I would not engage in something as undeniably foolish and utterly ridiculous as writing a letter to a man I will likely never meet. In truth, I am not convinced the man of my dreams exists.
You see, I once gave away my heart — my whole heart. The boy I gave it to (for one such as he most assuredly cannot be referred to as a man) tossed it aside one stormy winter day much as one might discard an empty latte cup from Starbucks. After thoughtful speculation, I concluded he was incapable of offering or accepting real love. He owns no respect for love or what it encompasses, what it means.
Love is one of the deepest, most essential human needs — like crisp, clean air to breathe, or cool, refreshing water to drink, or even a piece of rich, decadent chocolate. (Chocolate is a need and if you do not recognize it as such, you may as well tuck this letter back inside the bottle and forget you ever found it.)
In all seriousness, though, every human heart longs to love and be loved.
However, I am far past the desire for a run-of-the-mill sort of love. No, not just any old romance will do. What I seek, what I will wait a lifetime for, is the kind of love that will forever alter my life in a most miraculous, wondrous way. I want the love of a good man to add vibrancy to the colors in my world. His love should be a song my heart eagerly sings. Being with him should be the greatest and best adventure I ever experience. I want a man who perceives the depths of my soul, cherishes my heart, and takes delight in my smile.
I have no use for a man (or boy, because some men remain boys no matter what age they are) who lacks the key traits of loyalty, honesty, and kindness. For that matter, I also have no use for one who possesses a deep-seated fear of the very notion of love.
Therefore, Mister Dream Man, I care not a whit about how much money is in your bank account, what you look like, or the type of vehicle you drive. Your favorite sports teams (go Seahawks), your fashion sense (or lack thereof), and the ability to do such heinous things as burp the letters of the alphabet are of no consequence to me (although that last one is rather revolting. Please tell me you do not do that — at least not with any frequency).
My interest rests in the contents of your heart.
I want to know if you are kind to old women who hold up the line at the grocery store. Do children and dogs like you? Do you have a favorite charity?
By chance, if we do someday meet, I shall do my best never to measure you by anything except your capacity to love with abandon. And maybe your laughter. Laugh lines etched like glorious grooves of joy around your eyes would be an unmistakable sign that you are more than a mere acquaintance with happiness.
I suppose if I expect you to reach out to me upon finding this preposterous missive, you should know something about me beyond the fact I’ve tried falling in love and the experiment failed quite spectacularly.
The world I live in is not complex. Rather, my life is simplistic for the most part. My days are often divine, filled with sweet moments and dear friends. Assuredly, they (the days and my friends) are never, ever dull. I have never had to work at a job (at least by the definition most people attribute to that particular word) as an adult because that which I turn my hand to is something that brings me a heaping abundance of bliss.
After reading this, if you think you may hold an interest in meeting an old-fashioned girl with her share of quirks, one who enjoys sunsets, chocolate (obviously), and treasures from gentler days, please email me at OneVintageRose@…
“The chemistry was really great and I loved the beach setting. This was a really sweet, clean romance.” Amazon Reviewer
“Beautifully crafted love story. Makes you believe in the power of love.” Amazon Reviewer
“Charming story. Historical details mixed with romance and ocean sunsets. Just the right amount of humor tossed into the writing to keep the pages turning.” Amazon Reviewer
After spending her formative years on a farm in eastern Oregon, hopeless romantic Shanna Hatfield turns her rural experiences into sweet historical and contemporary romances filled with sarcasm, humor, and hunky heroes.
When this USA Today bestselling author isn’t writing or covertly hiding decadent chocolate from the other occupants of her home, Shanna hangs out with her beloved husband, Captain Cavedweller.
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