Amanda Ashby’s latest is getting a whole lot of really great reviews – get your copy to find out why!
A Belles of St. Clair Novel
by Amanda Ashby
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Florist Laney George has a successful business, amazing friends and big, big dreams––oh, and a broken heart. But she’s working through that last one. Then the man she hoped to never see again shows up––and Laney’s carefully ordered plans are experiencing technical difficulties.
Celebrated Author Adam Fitzpatrick planned to be in St. Clair for no more than a day. Sign the books, and get out. Same story, different day. What he didn’t count on was Laney George, who happens to be the star of his somewhat fictional tale. She broke his heart years ago, and he’d gone a bit mad. Okay, maybe a lot mad––and he put everything in his book, never imagining it would be a world-wide best seller.
Now that he’s seen her again, he wants answers. But it isn’t just her that draws him in. It’s the town, something is happening and for the first time in years…he can write again. If only he could convince the woman who hates him most to start a new chapter in their story.
He lowered his phone to where a scruffy tan-and-white face glared at him. His breathing quickened in a way that had nothing to do with exercise. If Violet was here, Laney couldn’t be far away. He scanned the area, hoping for a ash of auburn hair. Nothing.
Did that mean Violet was lost?
Laney had made her feelings about him perfectly clear, but he could hardly leave the dog out here on her own. He crouched down and held out his hand. Violet’s dark eyes narrowed as she bared her small teeth. A low growl came from her throat. It was at odds with the dandelions threaded through her collar
“Don’t tell me you’re running away again?” he said in a coaxing voice, his hand still out.
“Ruff.” Violet stood her ground. Adam’s mouth twitched as he reached for a stick. Obviously, this wasn’t going to be a straightforward rescue mission.
“You’re right. I said some things. Some bad things, but I’m sure we can work through it. Here, look. Want to fetch?” He threw the stick. Violet didn’t move.
Was it possible for a dog to give him an eye roll?
“She doesn’t like that game,” Laney’s voice said from somewhere behind a scraggy shrub. Heat washed over him as he twisted his head, once again searching for her.
“Isn’t it built into their nature? A hunter and gatherer gene? And where are you? Are you hiding up a blossom tree again?”
The leaves rustled, and she appeared. Silken copper hair tumbled down her shoulders, and her yellow dress left her arms and legs bare. When he’d first met her back in San Francisco, she’d been pale. But now she was tanned. Tiny freckles were spread across the bridge of her small nose and her exposed shoulders. Being outside suited her.
“As surprising as it sounds, I don’t always climb trees to hide from people,” she said, seemingly oblivious to the effect she was having on him. Her arms were full of branches. She marched over to a red wagon.
“So, I’m special?” He moved toward her. Why was he flirting with her? Because he had a death wish?
“Should I list the ways?” She arched an eyebrow to suggest her list wouldn’t be positive. “And there’s nothing strange about Violet not chasing sticks. After all, humans are vastly different. Why can’t dogs be as well?”
“I stand corrected,” he said as Violet sniffed one of the branches hanging off the cart.
“Good. Maybe it will teach you not to judge my dog.”
“Working on it,” he said. At least he hadn’t mentioned the nail polish or the flowers this time. Then he frowned. “What are you doing out here?”
“Foraging.” She brushed down the skirt of her dress. Leaves and twigs fell to the ground, and she slung a leather satchel into the cart before gripping the handle. “A florist’s life isn’t all hothouse orchids.”
She tugged the cart in the direction of the inn. He considered his original plan to walk home through the woods. Who was he kidding? He was born and bred in the city. He’d get lost, only to be discovered four years later with a beard down to his knees and the ability to build a hut from a log and an elastic band.
He followed, trying not to be mesmerized by the way the sunlight bounced off her hair, turning it to flaming colors of amber and red as it fell around her shoulders. His fingers twitched, wanting to plunge into the glossy strands. To push them back from her face and claim her mouth.
Stepping to the side, he kept walking, staying just out of hair-touching distance. It was safest for everyone.
Amanda Ashby was born in Australia but now lives in New Zealand where she writes romance, young adult and middle grade books. She also owns far too many vintage tablecloths and likes to delight her family by constantly rearranging the furniture.
She has a degree in English and Journalism from the University of Queensland and is married with two children. Her debut book was nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice award, and her first young adult book was listed by the New York Public Library’s Stuff for the Teen Age. Because she’s mysterious she also writes middle grade books under the name, Catherine Holt and hopes that all this writing won’t interfere with her Netflix schedule.
$20 Amazon Giftcard