When Chloe’s employer amps up the verbal abuse and her ex-husband succumbs (again) to his addictions, she accepts a job offer across the country. Before starting their new lives, Chloe and the boys visit the family cottage at Blue Lake for their annual summer vacation.
When Luke meets Chloe, he’s blown away. She’s a strong, smart, gorgeous woman, and he wants to know her better. This sweet dream dies when Luke learns Chloe is a single mom. His #1 dating rule is “no single mothers.” He shuts down fast because he’s been there, done that, and has the broken heart to prove it.
Blending families and addressing addictions co-mingle with summer sunshine in a small lakeside town where the roots of love grow deeper than life’s challenges.
“Uh.” Luke stood there like an idiot. “I’m Luke Anderson. Your mom wanted some landscaping work done?”
The goddess in blue jeans nodded but still didn’t open the door. “Yeah, she mentioned something about that. I’ll give her a call to see what’s going on.”
She left him on the porch, just like a smart city girl should.
She came back a few minutes later with a phone to her ear.
“Well, he’s here now.”
She rolled her eyes at him.
She listened for a few minutes and then said, “Fine,” before disconnecting. She didn’t seem happy about it, but she opened the door and let him in.
“You’re Luke? From Blue Lake?”
He nodded, hardly hearing what she said because her voice so low and sweet caught and held him.
“I’m Chloe. We have a cottage there. I love your summers.”
“It’s a great little town.” The only thing missing: a woman just like Chloe.
He gazed down at her bare feet. Her toenails were painted a light shade of pink, each toe perfect, like a little pearl.
“So you’re staying with us?”
The business person in Luke stepped out to take the place of the love-struck teenager. “I need to write up an estimate, and if she’s cool with that, I’ll get the job done.”
“Oh, she’ll be cool with it.” Chloe’s voice had an edge he didn’t understand, but, hey, city girl. Who knew? He followed her from the living room into the kitchen.
“She wanted me to show you your room. It’s down here.”
He followed Chloe down the stairs into a knotty-pine paneled basement, a bar with a few stools at one end, a sofa under the high, tiny window, and a desk with a laptop and stacks of papers on another wall.
Chloe walked to the closed door across from the desk and threw it open. “Your bed. Shower’s around the corner.”
He kept a blank face so she wouldn’t know his thoughts right now. “It’s fine. Great. Thanks. I’ll take it. No problem. Perfect.” Luke babbled when he was nervous, and his feelings about what he wanted to do with Chloe in that shower she’d mentioned made him more than nervous. He hadn’t felt this alive in years, and now, pow. Wow. So good to be himself again, so good to be interested in a pretty woman.
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