Title: The Healing Summer
Author: Liz Flaherty
Genre: Contemporary Romance
It’s a summer romance--what happens come September?
When Steven Elliott accidentally rides his bike into Carol Whitney’s car at the cemetery, the summer takes on new and exciting possibilities. Long friendship wends its way into something deeper when their hearts get involved. Feelings neither of them had expected to experience again enrich their days and nights. But what happens when the long summer ends? When Carol wants a family and commitment and a future, Steven isn't so sure. He’s had his heart broken before—can he risk it again?
“I didn’t eat lunch because I was busy. Then I had to run Reese out to the high school for play practice—her car was already there from when she rode home with Ben yesterday—so I didn’t have time for dinner before quilting class. Now I’m tired and I’m starved and I even have a headache. I never get headaches.” She grinned over at Grace. “And I’m whiny. Don’t let’s forget whiny.”
“So, whining aside, how’s it going?”
The sympathy in Grace’s eyes was nearly Carol’s undoing, but not quite. “Fine. You know, it’s not ideal, but life usually isn’t. I love having Reese, love that Mom and Jo live there. Steven’s great for Reese, too, much more available than Jeff ever was. But—” She shrugged. “I miss him for myself, there’s no denying that. I do what I always do, fill my days up so I won’t notice the empty parts, but it’s not working all that well sometimes.”
“He’s an idiot,” said Grace flatly. She smiled thanks at Jack when he set a cup in front of her. “This is decaf, isn’t it, Jack? Did Dillon call you?”
“He did,” said Jack, walking away, “but you didn’t hear that from me.”
“Steven’s not an idiot.” Carol shook her head. “He was the best boyfriend in the world. It’s not his fault I decided at the ripe old age of way too close to thirty-eight that I wanted to be a bride instead of the perpetual hairdresser to the wedding party.”
“Have you seen Brady Holt again?” Grace turned pink. “I know it’s not my business, but I’m sure there’s a pinky swear somewhere in our history that says it’s okay to be nosy.”
“No. I only went to dinner with him that night because he wanted someone to talk to and if you don’t have a bartender around, someone who cuts hair is the next best thing.”
They talked a while longer, then Carol looked at her watch with a sigh. “I need to get home. There isn’t any class tomorrow for some reason, and I’m thinking I might spend the morning in bed.”
“I need to get back to the twins, too. They love Faith and Grant, but I still go into withdrawal after a few hours.” Grace grinned. “Actually, I’m afraid they’ll like you or Faith better than me.”
“Not gonna happen,” Carol scoffed, leaving money on the table for Jack and pushing herself out of the booth. “I’ll see you Sunday.”
Then, without warning, nausea clutched at her stomach, the snug interior of the Cup and Cozy did a swirly thing, and Jack’s voice rang oddly in her ears.
Carol said, “Steven?”
And that was all.
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Why is your featured book a must-read?
At the end of the day, The Healing Summer is about hope and new beginnings, and never in my life have I seen a time when those two things were more needed. And Carol and Steven are just fun. There’s that., too.
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Retired from the post office and married to Duane for…a really long time, USA Today bestselling author Liz Flaherty has had a heart-shaped adult life, populated with kids and grands and wonderful friends. She admits she can be boring, but hopes her curiosity about everyone and everything around her keeps her from it. She likes traveling and quilting and reading. And she loves writing. She loves hearing from readers at firstname.lastname@example.org
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