Yesterday we launched our new Valentine's Day serial romance. If you didn't catch the first installment, you can read it at "The Saga of Lovelace Lane Valentine's Serial."
The Saga of Lovelace Lane: Chapter Two
Nothing was going according to plan.
Rose parked the rental car next to the cheerful Victorian home where she’d spent so many summers. Her hair tumbled out of its customary bun, and she didn’t have the energy to reset it. After hours in airports, delayed flights, and a stop-and-go drive to Lovelace, she only wanted one thing. To walk down to the lake and let the water calm her soul.
Out in the warm, early evening air, she stretched her arms over her head. The smell of boxwoods, roses and a whiff of the lake brought memories back. It had been a day like this when she’d met the mystery man. If she would have stayed, maybe life would have turned out differently. She shook her head to erase the memory. Love wasn’t for her. The one time she’d tried it, she’d been left broken-hearted, with only an engagement ring shoved in the back of her drawer and a pile of regrets.
Leaving the suitcases in the trunk, she walked past the wraparound porch and headed straight to the path that led to the lake. She’d been a fool to think her ex would be content with a bookworm like her. And after he’d dumped her for a socialite, Rose had doubled down on her goal of becoming an archivist for the San Francisco History Center. No more musty basement for her. If she got the promotion, she’d move to the sixth floor of the beautiful library. And with enough money, she could finally buy the condo she’d had her eye on—the one with the little yard. How she missed having her own outdoor space.
The lake came into view, and all the tension from the past two days dissolved at the sunlight glinting off the blue waters. She broke into a light jog until reaching a bench. She collapsed onto it, her entire body desperate for rest.
Whoever heard of inheriting a town?
Grandfather had been eccentric, but how had he even come to own Lovelace? All those conspiracy theories he’d told her over the years came to mind. Her favorite had been the tall-tale about the French jewels smuggled into America by Benjamin Franklin, the ones entrusted to a young American soldier who was supposed to get them to Thomas Jefferson at Monticello, the ones Grandfather claimed never made it.
Rose chuckled, thankful to have something light to think about. She wished Grandfather could tell her the tale one more time. She’d loved him so much.
She’d sit here a minute longer, but then she needed to grab a bite to eat and figure out what to do about this mess. Owning a town, indeed…
No matter how many times he told himself to stay away, he always found himself on the path to the lake. Maybe it was the regret of not asking her name long ago. Maybe it was the regret of not finding a woman to spend the rest of his life with. Back then he’d thought it would be so simple. Out of the millions of women, surely he’d be able to find one to love who would love him back? But love turned out to more complicated than he’d anticipated. That’s why he’d devoted himself to his job. Legal matters, miniscule details, justice—they kept him warm at night.
Speaking of his job…he prayed he’d be able to talk this Rose Redmund into keeping Lovelace. If she sold it to the developer, his adopted home—this tiny village—would be destroyed. The small-town charm would disappear into a sinkhole of upscale restaurants and strip malls. What would happen to Lovelace Diner? And Betty Jo’s Beauty Shop?
The sun was sinking lower into the sky, casting a bright haze in front of him. He shielded his eyes, but he could only make out a shadow heading toward him. He moved to the side, out of the glare, and he halted.
It couldn’t be.
He squinted. Long, brown hair tumbled over her shoulders. The bluest of eyes. Older, more mature. More beautiful than he remembered.
She’d paled, stopping in front of him, and the sunlight looked like a halo behind her.
“You.” Her hand covered her throat. The word was breathless, not a question, just the truth.
“Yes.” He’d imagined her in this spot so many times, but he’d never thought she’d actually be here. “Who are you, and why did it take you so long to come back?”
“I…I don’t know. My life is on the other coast.” She lowered her lashes then smiled shyly. “Rose Redmund.”
She was Rose? His mind stumbled as complications piled up. None of them mattered, though. She was here. His Rose had come home.
“Mason Grant.” He thrust his hand out. “Your grandfather’s executor.”
Stop by tomorrow for chapter three!