Read, Write, Love (Love in Bloom: The Remingtons, Book 5) Contemporary Romance

BOOK: Read, Write, Love (Love in Bloom: The Remingtons, Book 5) Contemporary Romance
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Read, Write,

Love

 

 

The Remingtons, Book Five

 

 

L
ove in Bloom Series

 

M
elissa
F
oster

This is a work of fiction. The events and characters described herein are imaginary and are not intended to refer to specific places or living persons. The opinions expressed in this manuscript are solely the opinions of the author and do not represent the opinions or thoughts of the publisher. The author has represented and warranted full ownership and/or legal right to publish all the materials in this book.

 

READ, WRITE, LOVE

All Rights Reserved.

Copyright © 2014 Melissa Foster

V1.0

 

This book may not be reproduced, transmitted, or stored in whole or in part by any means, including graphic, electronic, or mechanical without the express written consent of the publisher except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

 

Cover Design: Natasha Brown

 

WORLD LITERARY PRESS

PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A Note to Readers

 

What a joy it was to write about an author who rarely steps out of his writing cave. Talk about being able to relate! Kurt needed a very special woman to drag him into the real world, and the moment I met Leanna Bray, I knew she was the perfect soul mate for him. This book is set on Cape Cod, and in it you’ll meet four of the characters from the Seaside Summers series. I hope you enjoy them all as much as I do.

 

In the back of this book you’ll find recipes for the Luscious Leanna’s Sweet Treat jams mentioned in this book. Luscious Leanna’s Sweet Treats are also available on Amazon, through my website, and also through Al’s Backwoods Berries website.

 

Read, Write, Love
is the fifth book of The Remingtons and the fourteenth book in the Love in Bloom series. While it may be read as a stand-alone novel, for even more enjoyment, you may want to read the rest of the Love in Bloom novels (the
Snow Sisters
,
The Bradens
, and
The Remingtons
).

 

For Les, who totally gets me

PRAISE FOR MELISSA FOSTER

 

“Contemporary romance at its hottest. Each Braden sibling left me craving the next. Sensual, sexy, and satisfying, the Braden series is a captivating blend of the dance between lust, love, and life.”
—Bestselling author Keri Nola, LMHC

(on The Bradens)

 

“[LOVERS AT HEART] Foster’s tale of stubborn yet persistent love takes us on a heartbreaking and soul-searing journey.”
—Reader’s Favorite

 

“Smart, uplifting, and beautifully layered.
I couldn’t put it down!”

—National bestselling author Jane Porter
(on
SISTERS IN LOVE
)

 

“Steamy love scenes, emotionally charged drama, and a family-driven story make this the perfect story for any romance reader.”

—Midwest Book Review (on
SISTERS IN BLOOM
)

 

“HAVE NO SHAME is a powerful testimony to love and the progressive, logical evolution of social consciousness, with an outcome that readers will find engrossing, unexpected, and ultimately eye-opening.”

—Midwest Book Review

 

“TRACES OF KARA is psychological suspense at its best, weaving a tight-knit plot, unrelenting action, and tense moments that don’t let up and ending in a fiery, unpredictable revelation.”

—Midwest Book Review

 

“[MEGAN’S WAY] A wonderful, warm, and thought-provoking story...a deep and moving book that speaks to men as well as women, and I urge you all to put it on your reading list.”

—Mensa Bulletin

 

“[CHASING AMANDA] Secrets make this tale outstanding.”


Hagerstown
magazine

 

“COME BACK TO ME is a hauntingly beautiful love story set against the backdrop of betrayal in a broken world.”

—Bestselling author Sue Harrison

 

Table of Contents
Chapter One

THE TIDE LAPPED at the sandy shore beyond the deck of the cedar-shingled bungalow where Kurt Remington sat on the deck of his cottage, fingers to keyboard, working on his latest manuscript.
Dark Times
was due to his agent at the end of the month, and Kurt came to his cottage in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, to hunker down for the summer and complete the project. He lived just outside of New York City and he wrote daily, sometimes for ten or twelve hours straight. In the summers, he liked the change of scenery the Cape offered and was inspired by the Cape’s fresh air and the sounds of the sea.

He’d bought the estate of a local painter a few years earlier with the intent of renovating the artist’s studio that sat nestled among a grouping of trees on the far side of the property. Initially, Kurt thought he might use the studio as a writing retreat separate from where he lived, with the idea that leaving the cottage to work might give him a chance to actually have a life and not feel pressure to write twenty-four-seven. What he found was that the studio was too far removed from the sights and sounds that inspired him, and it made him feel like even more of a recluse than he already was. He realized that it wasn’t the location of his computer that pressured him. It was his internal drive and his love of writing that propelled his fingers to the keyboard every waking second. The idea of making the studio into a guest cottage crossed his mind, but that would indicate his desire to have guests, which would mean giving up his coveted writing time to entertain. So there it sat, awaiting…something. Though he had no idea what.

The cottage was built down a private road at the top of a dune, with a private beach below. A curtain of dense air settled around him. Kurt lifted his eyes long enough to scan the graying clouds and ponder the imminence of rain. It was seven twenty in the evening, and he’d been writing since nine o’clock that morning, as was his daily habit, right after his three-mile run, two cups of coffee, and a quick breeze through the newspaper and email. Once Kurt got into his writing zone each day, other than getting up to eat, he rarely changed his surroundings. The idea of moving inside and breaking his train of thought was unsettling.

He set his hands back on the keyboard and reread the last few sentences of what would become his thirteenth thriller novel. A dog barked in the distance, and Kurt drew his thick, dark brows together without breaking the stride of his keystrokes. Kurt hadn’t risen to the ranks of Patterson, King, and Grisham by being easily distracted.

“Pepper! Come on, boy!” A female voice sliced through his concentration. “Come on, Pepper. Where are you?”

Kurt’s fingers hesitated for only a moment as she hollered; then he went right back to the killer lurking outside the window in his story.

“Pepper!” the woman yelled again. “Oh God, Pepper, really?”

Kurt closed his eyes for a beat as the wind picked up. The woman’s voice
was
distracting him. She was too close to ignore.
Get your mutt and move on.
He let out a breath and went back to work. Kurt craved silence. The quieter things were, the better he could hear his characters and think through their issues. He tried to ignore the sounds of splashing and continued writing.

“Pepper! No, Pepper!”

Great
. He was hoping to squeeze in a few more hours of writing on the deck before taking a walk on the beach, but if that woman kept up her racket, he’d be forced to work inside—and if there was one thing Kurt hated, it was changing his surroundings while he was in the zone. Writing was an art that took total focus. He’d honed his craft with the efficiency of a drill sergeant, which was only fitting since his father was a four-star general.

More splashing.

“Oh no! Pepper? Pepper!”

The woman’s panicked voice split his focus right down the center. He thought of his sister, Siena, and for a second he considered getting up to see if the woman’s concern was valid. Then he remembered that his sister often overreacted. Women often overreacted.

“Pepper! Oh no!”

Being an older brother came with responsibilities that Kurt took seriously, as had been ingrained in him at a young age. That loud woman was someone’s daughter. His conscience won over the battle for focus, and with a sigh, he pushed away from the table and went to the railing. He caught sight of the woman wading waist deep in the rough ocean waves.

“Pepper! Oh, God. Pepper, please come back!” she cried.

Kurt followed her gaze into deeper water, which was becoming rougher by the second as the clouds darkened and the wind picked up a notch. He didn’t see a dog anywhere in the water. He scanned the empty beach—no dog there, either.

“Pepper! Please, Pep! Come on, boy!” She tumbled back with the next wave and fell on her ass, then struggled to find her footing.

Christ Almighty. Really?
This, he didn’t need. He watched her push through the crashing waves. She was shoulder deep. Kurt knew about the dangers of riptides and storms and wondered why the hell she didn’t. She had no business being out in the water with a storm brewing.

Drops of water dampened Kurt’s arms. He swatted them away with a grimace, still watching the woman.

“Please come back, Pepper!”

The rain came in a heavy drizzle now.
Damn it to hell
. Kurt spun around, gathered his computer and notes and brought them inside. He checked to see that he’d saved his file before pushing the laptop safely back from the edge of the counter, then turned back to the French doors.
I could close the doors and go right back to work
. He eyed his laptop.

“Pepper!”

She sounded farther away now. Maybe she’d moved on. He went back out on the deck to see if she’d come to her senses.

“Pep—” Another wave toppled her over. She was deeper now and seemed to be pulled by the current.

“Hey!” Kurt hollered in an effort to dissuade her from going out any deeper. She must not have heard him. He scanned the water again and saw a flash of something about thirty feet away from her.
Your damn dog
. Dogs were smelly, they shed, and they needed time and attention. All reasons why Kurt was not a fan of the creatures.

The rain picked up with the gusty wind.
Damn it
. He grabbed a towel from inside and stomped down the steps,
Dark Times
begrudgingly pushed aside.

 

LEANNA BRAY WAS wet, cold, and floundering. Literally. She’d been floundering for twenty-eight years, so this was nothing new, but being pummeled by rain, wind, and waves, chasing a dog that never listened? That was new.

“Pepp—” A wave knocked her off her feet and she went under the water, taking a mouthful of saltwater along with her. She tumbled head down beneath the surface.

Now Pepper and I will both drown. Freaking perfect.

Something grabbed her arm, and she reflexively fought against it, sucking in another mouthful of salty water as she broke through the surface, arms flailing, choking, and pushing against the powerful hand that yanked her to her feet.

“You okay?” A deep, annoyed voice carried over the din of the crashing waves.

Cough. Cough
. “Yeah. I—”
Cough. Cough
. “My dog.” She blinked and blinked, trying to clear the saltwater and rain from her eyes. The man’s mop of wet, dark hair came into focus. He held tightly to her arm while scanning the water in the direction of where she’d last seen Pepper. His clothes stuck to his body like a second skin, riding the ripples of his impressive chest and arms as he held her above the surface with one arm around her ribs.

“Come on.” She coughed as he plowed through the pounding surf with her clutched against his side. She slid down his body, and he lifted her easily into his arms, carrying her like he might carry a child, pressing her to his chest as he fought against the waves.

She pushed against his chest, feeling ridiculous and helpless…and maybe a little thankful, but she was ignoring that emotion in order to save Pepper.

“My dog! I need to get my dog!” she hollered.

Mr. Big, Tall, and Stoic didn’t say a word. He set her on the wet sand and tossed her a rain-soaked towel. “It was dry.” He pointed behind her to a wooden staircase. “Go up to the deck.”

She dropped the towel and plowed past him toward the water. “I gotta get my dog.”

He snagged her by the arm and glared at her with the brightest blue eyes she’d ever seen—and a stare so dark she swallowed her voice.

“Go.” He pointed to those damn stairs again. “I’ll get your dog.” He took a step toward the water, and she pushed past him again.

“You don’t have t—”

He scooped her into his arms again and carried her to the stairs. “If you fight me, your dog will drown. He won’t last in this much longer.”

She pushed at his chest again. “Let me go!”

He set her down on the stairs. “The waves will pull you under. I’ll get your dog. Please stay here.”

Her heart thundered against her ribs as she watched him stalk off and plow through the waves as if he were indestructible. She stood in the rain on the bottom stair, huddled beneath the wet towel, squinting to see him through the driving rain. She finally spotted him deep in the sea, wrapping his arms around Pepper—the dog who never let anyone carry him. He rounded his shoulders, shielding Pepper as he made his way back through the wild waves. 

She ran to the edge of the water, shivering, tears in her eyes. “Thank you!” She reached for Pepper and the dog whined, pressing his trembling body closer to the guy.

“You have a leash?”

She shook her head. Her wet hair whipped across her cheek, and she turned her back to the wind. “He doesn’t like them.”

He took her by the arm again. “Come on.” He led her up the stairs to a wooden deck, opened a French door, and leaned in close, talking over the sheeting rain.

“Go on in.”

She stepped onto pristine hardwood. The warm cottage smelled of coffee and something sweet and masculine, like a campfire. She reached for Pepper. Pepper whined again and pressed against the man’s chest.

“He…” Her teeth chattered from the cold. “He must be scared.”

“I’ll get you a towel.” He eyed the dog in his arms and shook his head before disappearing up a stairwell.

Leanna scoped out the open floor plan of the cozy cottage, looking for signs of
crazy
. How crazy could he be? He’d just rescued her and Pepper, and Pepper already seemed to be quite attached to him.
He went into the water in a storm without an ounce of fear.
Damn crazy
. It dawned on her that she’d done the same thing, but she knew
she
wasn’t crazy. She’d had no choice. To her right was a small kitchen with expensive-looking light wood cabinets and fancy molding. A laptop sat open beside two neatly stacked notebooks on the shiny marble countertop. The screen was dark, and she had an urge to touch a button and bring the laptop to life, but she didn’t really want to know if there was something awful on there. He could have been watching porn, for all she knew, although he hadn’t checked her out once, even with her wet T-shirt and shorter-than-short jeans shorts. She couldn’t decide if that was gentlemanly or creepy.

She shifted her thoughts away from the computer to the quaint breakfast nook to her left. Her eyes traveled past a little alcove with two closed doors and a set of stairs by the kitchen to the white-walled living room. There was not a speck of clutter anywhere. A pair of flip-flops sat by the front door, perfectly lined up against the wall beside a pair of running shoes. She located the source of the campfire smell. A gorgeous two-story stone fireplace covered most of the wall adjacent to an oversized brown couch. There was a small stack of firewood in a metal holder beside the hearth. The cottage was surprisingly warm considering there wasn’t a fire in the fireplace. Dark wood bookshelves ran the length of the far wall, from floor to ceiling, complete with a rolling ladder. The room was full of textures—a chenille blanket was folded neatly across the back of the couch, a thick, brown shag rug sat before the stone fireplace, and an intricately carved wooden table was placed before the couch. Leanna had a thing for textures, and right now she was texturing the beautiful hardwood with drops of water. She snagged a dishtowel from the kitchen counter as the man came back downstairs with Pepper cradled in his arms like a baby and wrapped in a big fluffy towel.

The possibility of him being crazy went out the door.
Crazy people don’t carry dogs like babies
.

He shifted Pepper to one arm and handed her a fresh towel. “Here. I’m Kurt, by the way.”

Pepper sat up in his arms, panting happily.
Show-off
.

“Thank you. I’m Leanna. That’s Pepper.” She tried to mop up the floor around her. Every swipe of the towel brought more drips from her sopping-wet clothing. “I’m sorry about this. For the mess. And my dog. And…” She frantically wiped the floor with the dishrag in one hand, using the fisted towel in the other to scrub her clothes, trying desperately to stop the river that ran from her clothes to his no-longer-pristine floor. She lifted her gaze. He had a slightly amused smile on his very handsome face. She rose to her feet with a defeated sigh.

“I’m so sorry, and thank you for rescuing Pepper.”

He glanced at his laptop, and that amused look quickly turned to pinched annoyance. His lips pressed into a tight line, and when he glanced at her again, it was with a brooding look, before stepping forward and closing his laptop.

“You should have”—Pepper barked in his ear; he closed his eyes and exhaled—“had the dog on a leash.”

The dog
.

“He hates it. He hates listening, leashes, lots of things.” Pepper licked Kurt’s cheek. “Except you, I guess.”

Kurt winced and set Pepper on the floor. “Sit,” he said in a deep, stern voice.

Pepper sat at his feet.

“How did you do that? He never listens.”

He dried Pepper’s feet with the towel, apparently ignoring the question.

“Labradoodle?”

You know dogs?
She was intrigued by the dichotomy of him. He was sharp, brooding, and maybe even a little cold, yet Pepper followed him to the fireplace as if he were handing out doggy biscuits. Leanna couldn’t help but notice the way Kurt’s wet jeans hugged his ass.
His very hot ass.
He crouched before the fireplace, his shirt clinging tightly to his broad back, his sleeves hitched up above his bulging biceps, and she made out the outline of a tattoo on his upper arm.

BOOK: Read, Write, Love (Love in Bloom: The Remingtons, Book 5) Contemporary Romance
5.89Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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