Excerpt, Summertime Dream

But who was he? First Meeting from Summertime Dream

Another little snippet break today. In Clear As Day, my hero and heroine Nate and Kay had known each other for years.  In Summertime Dream, I had the fun of writing Margie meeting  Christopher for the very first time:

“I just wish he’d stop hovering.” Margie peeked over her shoulder at the minivan. Baxter had Joe’s softball gear, and Joe hauled out the first large, food-laden hotbox.

“Maybe you ought to think about a place of your own. You need a change.”

“I’ve had enough change over the last year.”

Debi waved her hand in a stop-it motion. “A positive change. And, yes, I know all the reasons why you stay with them. Heck, I’d leave Baxter for your mom’s peach pancakes alone. But it’s something you should consider seriously.”

“I will. Someday.” Even moving out wouldn’t stop their loving, smothering concern.

“Why don’t we skip the game? I’ll crack open the pinot grigio and we can compare brotherly pet peeves.”

Margie laughed. “I think we’ve covered them all over the years. Go on. Catch up with Baxter. Let me jot some quick scene notes, then I’ll meet up with you all.” That was a complete fib, but her skin crawled with the need for some space.

Debi accepted her fib with a commiserating hug and headed for the ball field.

Margie escaped for her favorite place in the park, the huge old oak topping the low rise of land between the picnic area and the ball field, with a perfect view of the game and the lazy river. Oh, thank goodness, she had the shady homemade swing to herself. She settled against the swing’s thick rope, kicked off her sandals, and let out a heavy breath. Two sparrows squabbled and chased overhead through the shifting patterns of leafy shadow and sunlight. Drawing her bare feet up onto the heavy board polished smooth by years of bottoms and feet, she fluffed the skirt of her sundress over her knees. Determined to change her fib and mood around, she opened the story on her tablet and set to her note-making, resisting the urge to aimlessly edit.

Wild cheers jolted her attention to the game. Whoa. Seven innings already and tied at nine runs each. She sighed. Her missing the game would just give Joe one more thing to fuss over.

They all meant well, but when would Joe and everyone accept she was perfectly fine, better than ever, actually, and stop trying to keep her packed in cotton balls?

Patience, patience. All you can do is wait.

“Wait for what?” a quiet male voice answered.

Jolted, she sat straight, straddling the board to keep from falling, her heart zipping. She’d spoken out loud?

“Sorry, didn’t mean to startle you.” The man from the gate stood at the edge of the shade. “Just came over to check out this great old oak. I’ll leave you be.”

His soft, low voice, rich and warm as caramel, set every dormant feminine nerve on alert.

But who was he? Between growing up in Falk’s Bend and working at the restaurant, she knew everyone and their kin, or, at least about them. If he was a Mills, he must take after his mother’s family. He had the greenest eyes she’d ever seen set in a craggy, captivating face, and smile crinkles by his eyes and mouth. He was lanky and fit, but not so tall as Joe, and maybe older, late thirties. His sleek brown hair was neatly trimmed, his white polo shirt set off his outdoor tan, and more men should look as good in jeans as he did. Her gaze returned to those remarkable eyes of his, and something hot and bright leapt inside her.

He cleared his throat, as if he’d been waiting for a reply.

Holy moly. Heat flooded her. She’d been staring like an idiot. So that’s what all that being lost in a man’s eyes in romance novels felt like. Holy moly indeed.


Summertime Dream and Clear As Day, Contemporary Romances by Babette James

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