Three friends who have known each other since grade school work at Revive, a local coffee shop just off the boardwalk in the seaside town of Lexington. Andrea, Darcy and Ginny are more than ready to meet the men of their dreams. The trouble is, they can?t seem to find them.
Andrea receives a love letter from a secret admirer. Ginny meets a man who just moved to town and sweeps her off her feet. Darcy has the dress and the red leather boots ready and waiting for a fabulous Valentine?s Day, if she can only find a date!
Join these three caring friends as they travel the oftentimes choppy waters of love. As always, a happy ending is guaranteed.
E-book and paperback format at Amazon and Barnes & Noble
E-book format at Smashwords, Kobo, Sony, Apple iTunes, Diesel, Baker & Taylor's Blio OmniLit and All Romance Ebooks
Paperback format at CreateSpace
Also available at Amazon UK.
(Clicking on a link opens a new window)
reached into her seashell covered mailbox and pulled out a stack of mail. Bill,
advertisement, special offer, letter. She stopped rifling and checked the
return address on the envelope that housed the letter. Nothing. Turning the
envelope over, she scanned the triangular section on the flap. Her eyes met an embossed
She made her way along the front walk as pansies greeted her with cheery faces
colored in brilliant yellow, deep purple and sparkling white.
The two-story house she inherited from her parents three years ago welcomed her
home once again. Its cobalt blue exterior and happy white shutters were the
perfect complement to the seashore that served as her backyard.
As Andrea climbed the four steps that led to the wraparound porch, she
remembered her parents? words: We?d
rather give you the house now than wait until we?re dead. We want to see you
enjoy it. You?ve always loved the beach and now you can walk along the sea?s
edge every day.
Childhood memories filled her thoughts as she entered her home. She could never
bring herself to paint over the height marks she, her brother and her sister
made on the thin dividing wall between the kitchen and dining room.
As she passed by the area, her fingers touched the pencil markings and she
?You can?t have grown two inches in a week,? Carena had said when her brother, Steven,
carefully placed a ruler on top her head and let the edge rest against the
?Maybe I had a growth spurt,? Andrea replied.
?No way!? Carena eyed Andrea suspiciously, then said, ?Shenanigans! You?re on
Andrea had been caught cheating. She lowered her heels and Steven re-measured
her height. Sure enough, she hadn?t grown even a quarter of an inch.
Steven was the oldest. One year older than Carena. He had been their
self-appointed protector, giving them vital information on how to survive their
first days of middle school, junior high and high school.
Andrea glanced at the waves falling on the warm sand as she headed for the
library, her favorite room in the house. The walls had built-in shelving from
floor to ceiling. It had been Andrea?s great joy to fill them with her favorite
authors? books. Even with the popularity of e-books, she still loved the feel
of a paperback book in her hands.
The fireplace held special memories of Christmas with stockings hung from the
She crossed over to the two windows and opened them, then unlocked the sliding
glass door. The sea breeze filled the house with its calming aroma and soothing
Andrea kicked off her shoes and sat in the tan overstuffed chair, placing the
stack of mail beside her.
She opened the envelope and pulled out a soft lavender piece of paper. Andrea
unfolded it to reveal a masculine hand had written the words. Andrea began to
I have wanted to write this letter for some time now, but I couldn?t seem to
find the words I wanted to say. Even now, I am not sure this letter will convey
my feelings adequately, but here goes.
I am in love with you.
You may be asking yourself what it is about you that makes me say that. There
are so many things.
When I see you walking along the ocean?s edge, kicking the water playfully with
your feet, I want to join you and ask what you are thinking. You always have a
curious smile on your lips and a look of peace seems to fall upon your
When Mrs. Charleston?s dog, Peaches, digs under the fence and finds her way
onto your porch, and your favorite wicker chair with the cream-colored cushion,
you never chastise her. You give her hugs and kisses and lift her into your lap
and allow her to stay in comfort until Mrs. Charleston comes looking for her.
The first of every month, you leave cookies in your mailbox for your mail
carrier. You don?t see her face when she opens your mailbox and finds the sweet
treats, but she smiles widely and always eats one cookie right then and there.
Late at night, I notice you walking along the second floor balcony as you look
out to sea with a dreamy look on your face. Sometimes I imagine you are wishing
for a man to find you and sweep you off your feet. Then I pretend I should be
so lucky as to be that man.
I don?t want you to think I?m stalking you. I?m not. It?s just that you are
warm and caring and touch everyone?s life with your gentle nature.
I have probably said too much, but I could not let another day pass without
letting you know there is someone who notices your kindness and appreciates it
As I say, I am not sure these are the right words, but here they are laid out
before you nonetheless.
If you ever feel lonely or small and think, even for a moment, that no one
cares, please remember what I have said in this letter.
Your spirit brings hope to me. Maybe one day our paths will cross and I can
share all these feelings in person. If not, please tuck them away in a safe
place and remember how much I love you.
You are in my thoughts always,
Your Secret Love
Andrea read the letter three times, the words surprising her anew each
?I don?t know whether to be delighted or alarmed.?
She placed the letter back in its envelope, checking the postmark. It had been
mailed from Lexington one day ago. It was someone local.
It could be any number of people she saw every day. Her mind played out the
normal events of her day and the many people she encountered. No one in
particular stood out.
She would be sure to pay attention tomorrow. Everyone was a suspect in her love
Andrea put the letter aside and opened the rest of her mail, tossing the
advertisements in the wicker basket by her chair and putting the bills in order
by due date and placing them in a file with a soft blue label titled To Be
She retrieved a bottle of water from the kitchen and headed out the sliding
glass door toward the beach.
The Donaldson kids, Amy and Mark, were building a sandcastle. Their Dachshund,
Tucker, kept stepping on parts of it in his excitement to play with them. They
scolded him time and again, but it made no difference.
Andrea waved to them and they waved back with big smiles on their faces. Tucker
ran over for a pat on the head and an exuberant kiss, then returned to his
As far as her eye could see, there was water. Diamonds of light shimmered off
the quiet ocean, even the waves seemed to have paused to rest for a moment. An
entire world lived beneath the surface.
Andrea remembered camping out on the beach with her friends and making up
stories about mermaids and magic. Whenever things got tough, she thought about
living under the deep blue waters.
She learned to use a snorkel and fins when she was seven, always with adult
supervision, of course. If she had her way, she would stay in the water until
she was one big giant prune. Many were the times she wondered if her wrinkled
and shriveled skin would become a permanent fixture. Her mother assured her it
As she continued walking along the ocean?s edge, she picked up shells of all
kinds and placed them in her pockets. She had hundreds of glass containers
holding shells around her home, but never tired of searching for more.
The idea that a shell may have traveled from clear across the world to land at
her feet always mesmerized her.
She wondered if her secret love was watching her. She glanced over her
shoulder, but saw no one except the kids. How long had he been watching her?
Days, months, years? He knew people?s names and very specific details about her
life. It simply had to be someone she saw on a daily basis.
?That could be anyone,? Andrea mumbled. Owning a coffee shop meant she
encountered many people throughout the day; some regulars, others occasional
visitors, and still others who came in once and never returned.
The wind picked up a bit and blew her hair loose from its barely knotted
burgundy scarf. She tried to push it back, but the breeze was powerful. She
turned her face into the wind and felt her scarf falling down her back. She
reached for it, but the wind had other ideas.
As she chased the scarf across the sand down the beach toward old man Johnson?s
home, her hair marred her vision again and again. Finally, she caught up to the
see-through fabric and snatched it up quickly.
Andrea turned her face to the breeze once again and gathered her hair together
so she could tie the scarf securely around it once more, then headed back
toward her home.
Tucker saw her coming and ran to greet her again, escorting her as he carefully
avoided the waves as they caressed the shore.
?Thanks. Tucker keeps stepping on it and we have to keep rebuilding it,? Amy
?I noticed that. I think he wants to join in the fun.?
As if on cue, Tucker ran straight through the middle of the castle, his feet
and low belly destroying the moat, wall and turrets the kids had so carefully
?Tucker!? Mark hollered.
?Mom! Call Tucker,? Amy requested.
?Tucker! Get in here. Come on, Tucker!? Mrs. Donaldson yelled from the kitchen
Tucker ran to the back porch, up the boarded ramp they had made especially for
his short legs and into the doggy door.
?Looks like you?ll have to start rebuilding,? Andrea said.
?We need to build a moat around us next time,? Mark said.
?To keep our castle safe from Tucker,? Amy said.
?Good idea,? Andrea agreed. ?I?ll see you guys later.?
?See you later, Andrea.?
Andrea made her way to her home and heated up leftover spaghetti in the
microwave, then checked her e-mail and Facebook.
?I wonder if my secret love could be one of my Facebook friends?? She thought
back to what she had posted as her status for the last several months. She had
mentioned several events, just in passing, not thinking that anyone was
actually paying attention to what she wrote. ?Guess I should be a bit more
careful about what I post on the internet.?
Andrea prepared for bed. Just before she closed her eyes to go to sleep, she
wondered if her secret love was thinking of her right then.