Do you believe in love at first sight? Do you feel there is one person who is meant to be with you? Or do you believe we make certain choices that create a life in which the right and perfect person will enter.
Books in my Love in Dunes Bay series explore these possibilities. The main characters are dealing with personal problems that have made them vow off relationships, despite loneliness and the longing to be known by one special person. Here are brief excerpts of both books:
Then There Was You
Cherish’s mother’s words surfaced in her memory. “You’re twenty-eight, the perfect age to settle down with someone. Devin is a good catch.”
Ugh. Good catch? Really? Her mother had made it seem as though Devin was an object and she was chasing him with throngs of women down streets of the city of Dunes Bay.
Anxiety spiked in her chest. Her parents had better be right about Devin and her belonging together, because as soon as all the fanfare ended, everything about the rest of her life would actually begin. The until-death-do-we-part time.
She breathed in and out deeply and shifted in her chair. Of course, that would be the good part. Waking up in the morning beside Devin, then kissing good-bye as they went their separate ways to work, hers to her family law firm and his to Wellington, Raye, and Black Law Firm.
Oh my God.
The antacids on her desk called to her. So much for being a joyful bride-to-be. Her stomach twisted into knots on a daily basis until two weeks ago. Now, it knotted hourly. Her parents assured her pre-wedding qualms were natural, and she believed them. Yes she did. Her nervous stomach and hair-thin patience didn’t mean she was about to get lost in a life she didn’t want.
She chewed the fruity tablets that promised relief from her self-created discomfort. She was doing this dance of nerves, inexplicably. Devin was a prominent lawyer in Dunes Bay. He was smart and fun. Who wouldn’t want to marry him?
Meant To Be You
Rachel stared out the window at the sunny summer day and felt only gloom. She hadn’t been on a date since Corey’s body was found. It was the least she could do to honor Corey’s life. Then when the truth was revealed about her parents’ arrangement and betrayal, it had all piled too high. No, she wouldn’t waste any love notes on anyone. It wasn’t meant to be. That someone would eventually prove she couldn’t trust him to fill the hole in her heart after all that happened.
She straightened her spine and shrugged off disappointment. Depression was not in her nature, and work would always be there to bring her back to reality.
She checked the time, and startled back into the present. She was almost late to a meeting. It wouldn’t be a good day to miss her grief support group. The people in the group understood what it was like to suffer the loss of dreams.
Rhys Steele let out a long sigh. The annoying sound that went off whenever someone stepped into his office jangled his nerves. He had to do something to alert him when someone entered his place of business, but that ding-dong mechanical noise had to go.
“Hey, Rhys, it’s Jasper.” Rhys’s youngest brother’s cheery voice calmed his annoyance immediately. “I thought I’d drop in while I was in the neighborhood.”
At his desk, Rhys swiveled away from his three computer screens and headed toward the front of the office. He met his brother halfway down the hall. “Hey, Jas!” His brother was wearing his EMT uniform. “On duty, huh?”
Jasper slapped a hug around him and slanted a grin. “How did you guess?” he teased.
“Funny. C’mon back to my office.” Rhys beamed inside, walking Jasper down the hall, appreciating the easy, close relationship he had with him and Gray. “Isn’t it something to think about Grayson being married?”
“Dude, so weird. And on his honeymoon in Paris.” Jasper shook his head.
“Well, he’s the first one of us to bite the dust, though I must admit Cherish doesn’t fit in the bite-the-dust category.”
Jasper gave him a look. “Are you jealous? I agree, Cherish is special. You got a little thing for her?”
Rhys’s mouth dropped open at the idea and his mouth went dry. “Jealous? Of Gray? No, no, no.”
Jasper’s eyes glistened. “So that’s a definite no.”
Rhys ran his fingers through his hair, then stopped mid-scruffing realizing it could be another tell that Jasper might misinterpret. “I don’t begrudge Gray marrying Cherish.” He shoved his hands deep into his jeans pockets. “But—”
“I know,” Jasper interrupted. “You want a love, a woman you can really have a relationship with. Maybe even a long-term one.”
“Is it that obvious?” Rhys didn’t bother trying to deny it. He and his brothers were typically on the same page. It was uncanny. It must be a biological thing was all he could figure.
“What do mean? I’m not dimwitted. I can read you like a book, remember? The bro-thing we have. Our brodar. That and I know you well. I know what you’ve been through.”
“First of all.” Rhys pointed a finger at Jasper. “Don’t ever use that word again. It’s a made up word. Secondly, Gray getting married has nothing to do with wanting someone special.” Rhys clamped down on the depressing thoughts that surfaced. No one but him blamed him for the death of an intended rescue.
“You know, the Coast Guard’s investigation after the death found you free of responsibility. No one blames you, dude. Except you.”
Rhys shrugged. “I’m working on getting past the guilt. And like I said, it has nothing to do with wanting more out of life.”
The third book in the series, Could It Be You, is in the works and will be released later this year. It too follows a possible relationship between the main characters, but which is hampered by their respective inner demons. As with all things that truly matter, enduring love requires work facing those demons. The question is will the characters choose to let their personal beliefs define them or help them learn the truth.