A note from the author
Hey everyone! I'm so excited you're here to learn about Love Story! It's always been my dream to write a "road trip" story, although I could never quite feel the story until I woke up one day and Reece and Lucy where just there in my mind, their story waiting to be told.
Also, how perfect that my publisher agreed to the title Love Story and arranged for this one to come out on Valentine's Day??!
About the Book
You can read the official description here, but the short version is that Love Story is a second-chance romance about two childhood sweethearts who burned hot and sweet the summer after high school, only to implode into heartbreak. Eight years later, they're forced to face their lingering feelings for each other when they end up on a 2-week road trip together.
Word on the Street
Excerpt from Love Story
I learned a long time ago that life’s not fair.
I learned it when I was nine, and my mom was struck and killed by a drunk driver at a crosswalk outside a donut shop.
I learned it just a few months ago when my dad finally gave in to the cancer in his stomach.
I learned it when my older sister ditched the crap out of me right when I needed family the most.
To sum up? Life’s not fair, and people leave. I get it.
But right now, what feels more unfair than just about anything else is that the person I hate the most for leaving looks damn hot in tiny denim shorts and a white tank top, with murder in her eyes.
Lucy Hawkins. She’d be my ultimate downfall if I hadn’t already hit rock bottom.
It’s on the tip of my tongue to say, Hey, babe, to see her fire ignite even further, but her parents are here and they don’t know our, um, history.
I know it though. And right now my damn cock is remembering all too well what it felt like to run my hand up those smooth calves, my tongue up the even smoother thighs.
There might be some pain in there somewhere at the memories, but mostly there’s anger. Anger that I didn’t see before it was too late that for all of Lucy Hawkins’s easy laughter and girl-next-door charm, she’s really just a self-serving brat. Always one foot out the door, her eye on what’s ahead instead of what’s right in front of her.
Her hands find her narrow hips and she looks me over. “Reece.”
“Lucy,” I say in response.
“What are you doing here?”
The question pisses me off. I have as much right to be here as she does. Delia Hawkins was as much a mother to me as to her, having put at least as many Band-Aids on my scraped knees over the years as on Lucy’s. And Tim Hawkins was more dad to me than my own, teaching me everything from how to throw a football to how to drive a car, back when I was sixteen and my own dad was in the throes of depression.
Hell, lately, I feel like I have more right to be here than Lucy. While I’ve been fixing her parents’ busted garbage disposal, cleaning their gutters and fixing this fucking car, she’s been off prancing around in high heels at some fancy restaurant, plotting her escape to California.
I guess on that last one I can’t blame her since I’m after the same thing. But damn, I wish like hell I’d known about Princess Lucy’s plans before I’d taken the job at the Sonoma winery.
She’s after it for the glory. I’m after it for the change.
I’ve worked in the vineyards since I was fourteen, and as damn proud as I am to be a part of Virginia wine county, I need to get away from here. Away from the memories.
I’d applied for the job at Abbott Vineyards in Sonoma the day after I buried my father. Not because I thought I was too good for Beaumont Winery, where I’ve been assistant winemaker for three years, but because I simply can’t take this fucking town right now.
It’s like there’s a ghost around every corner, either of my parents, or my sister, or Lucy, even my damn dog Dudley, who I had to put down a few months ago.
It was Craig’s idea that I get out of town for a while. His idea too that I approach his parents, ask about fixing up the ancient station wagon and using it to get my ass to California.
They hadn’t even hesitated, and I love them for it.
What I’m not loving them for at the moment is the fact that the second the precious middle daughter’s car breaks down, they foist her on me. I mean, I get it. It’s logical. Two people needing to make a cross-country move, one car . . . and a shit ton of baggage, and I’m not talking the literal kind.
“This will be perfect,” Lucy’s mom says, oblivious to the resentment simmering between her daughter and me. “We’ve been worried about you making this journey on your own, sweetie, especially in that car, and this way you’ll have someone to help if the car breaks down.”
“I can get Triple A ,” Lucy says, crossing her arms.
I roll my eyes. Diva. I want to remind her of all the summer afternoons when she got a flat tire and called me to come fix it. Me. Not some anonymous AAA number. Me.
But then, that was back before she got fancy.
“I appreciate the offer,” Lucy is saying, “But my whole reason for wanting to do a road trip was to actually see the country on the way.”
“And what, I’ve just been planning to make the drive with my eyes closed?” I ask, leaning against the door jamb. I feel her parents look over in surprise at my sharp tone, but I don’t look away from Lucy.
She pins me with pissed-off cat-shaped green eyes, a startling contrast to her dark hair, tan skin. “The drive I’d planned was going to take two weeks.”
We could easily get from Virginia to California in a few days, even without pushing it too hard.
“Two weeks? What was your plan, just driving in big loops around Kansas?”
She ignores my sarcasm, looking back at her parents. “I really appreciate the offer guys, but if I’m not going to stop through Miami on the way, I might as well just fly.”
Miami? Only Lucy Hawkins would get from Virginia to California by way of Florida.
“I’m sure Reece won’t mind the detour,” Delia is saying. “Reece have you ever been to Florida?”
“Nope.” Not planning on it, either.
I thought it’d be a cold day in hell before Lucy and I would agree on something, but we’re on the same page right now. This joint road trip is a no go. She can take the car if she wants, but no way am I getting in there with her. I’ll find another way to get to California.
“And it could be nice for Oscar to meet a family friend, even if he’s never met your actual family,” Delia is still rambling.
There’s a slight pout to Lucy’s mom’s tone, and I narrow my eyes on the three Hawkinses, who seem to be having some sort of silent standoff.
Then the name registers. “Oscar?” I ask, before I can think better of it.
“My boyfriend,” Lucy says in a sugar-sweet voice, shooting me a smile laced with venom.
Boyfriend. The word rocks through me.
I knew she was seeing someone, but I figured that it was some overeducated douchebag she’d dump when she moved across the country.
That’s what Lucy does. Looks ahead, moves forward.
But if she’s planning to go out of the way to see the guy . . .
Something hot and dangerous rips through me. Possession.
I don’t want Lucy Hawkins. I got that pipe dream out of my system a long time ago.
And yet somehow, I hear myself uttering the most idiotic words of my life: “I wouldn’t mind seeing Miami.”
The look she shoots me would have made me laugh if I hadn’t been so rigid with the shock of what I’d just agreed to.
Me. Lucy. A car nicknamed Horny.