Sarah Morgan shares an extract from her new novel, Holiday in the Hamptons set in, you guessed it – the Hamptons.
“I never think about it.” The lie came easily even though a day rarely passed when she didn’t think about it. She also thought about what Seth’s life might have looked like if he hadn’t met her and occasionally, when she was indulging herself, what her life with Seth Carlyle could have looked like if the circumstances had been different.
Harriet studied her with a mixture of concern and exasperation. “Are you sure? Because it was a big deal.”
“As you say, it’s been ten years.”
“And you haven’t been seriously involved with a man since.”
“Haven’t met anyone who interested me.” Anyone who measured up. Anyone who made her feel the way Seth had made her feel. There were days when she wondered if what she’d felt had been real, or if her teenage brain had augmented those feelings.
“It upsets me when you don’t share your feelings with me. I can understand why you hid everything from Dad, and even from Daniel, but this is me.”
“I’m not hiding anything.”
“All right, maybe I hide some things, but there’s nothing I can do about that. It’s the way I am.”
“No. It’s the way you learned to be. And we both know why.” Weary, Harriet stooped to remove Fliss’s shoe from the puppy’s mouth.
Fliss stared at her sister, the urge to confide momentarily eclipsing her quest for privacy. “I—I think about it sometimes. About him.” Why had she said that? If she opened the door a crack, her emotions were likely to come pouring out and drown everyone around her.
Harriet straightened slowly. “Which part do you think about most?”
That fateful birthday. The kiss on the beach. His mouth and hands. The laughter, the sunshine, the smell of the ocean. Passion and promise.
She could still remember it vividly. Almost as vividly as she remembered everything that had followed.
“Forget it. I don’t really think about it.”
“All right! I think about it. All of it. But I was dealing with it pretty well, until Daniel told me he’d seen Seth here in New York.” You were supposed to be able to leave your past behind. What were you supposed to do when it followed you? “Do you think he knew I was living here?”
New York was a city of eight million people. Eight million busy people, all running around doing their thing. It was a city of possibilities, but one of those possibilities was to live here anonymously, blending in. It had been perfect, until the day Seth Carlyle had taken a job in the vet practice they used regularly.
“In New York? I don’t know. I doubt he knew he’d be this close to you. It’s not as if you’ve been in touch.”
“No. Never been in touch.” It was the only way she’d been able to cope. Put it behind her. Move on. Don’t look back.
He hadn’t been in touch with her either, so presumably he’d been taking the same approach.
Harriet lifted the puppy back into his basket. “I know it feels difficult, but you’ve built a whole new life, and he has, too.”
“I know, but I wish he hadn’t chosen to move his life onto my patch. I should be able to walk the few blocks around our apartment without having to peer around street corners like a fugitive.”
“You’re doing that?” The shock in her twin’s eyes made her wish she’d kept that information to herself.
“I was talking hypothetically.”
“If you’d done what you planned to do and just walked in there and said, ‘Hi, good to see you again,’ you would have cleared the air and you wouldn’t be glancing over your shoulder. Things will feel easier when you’ve actually seen him.”
“I have seen him,” Fliss muttered. “He was standing in Reception when I made my first attempt to approach the building last week.” It was his hair that had caught her eye first, and then the way he’d angled his head to listen to something the receptionist was saying to him.
He’d always been a good listener. It had been ten years since she’d touched him or stood close to him, but everything about him was achingly familiar.
Harriet was gaping at her. “You saw him? Why didn’t you tell me?”
“Nothing to tell. And don’t worry, he didn’t see me.”
“How do you know?”
“Because I dropped to the ground like a navy SEAL on a secret mission. I didn’t move until I was sure he’d gone. I had to stop a passerby calling 911, which was both annoying and reassuring because usually New Yorkers are too busy doing their own thing to pay much attention to a body on the ground. Why are you gaping at me?”
“You dropped to the ground. And you’re trying to pretend you’re fine with this?”
“No pretense necessary.” She ground her teeth. Didn’t her sister have a dog to walk or something? “You’re right. I have to do this. I have to meet him and get it over with.” The thought of it made her heart and pulse thunder a protest. It was a fight-or-flight response, and her body seemed to be choosing flight.
WIN! WIN! WIN!
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The perfect summer escape?
Professional dog-walker Felicity Knight loves everything about New York … until her ex-husband starts working at her local vet clinic. She hasn’t seen Seth Carlyle in ten years, but one glimpse of him – too gorgeous, and still too good for her – and Fliss’ heart hurts like their whirlwind marriage ended yesterday. So when her grandmother in the Hamptons needs help for the summer, it seems the ideal way to escape her past.
Their relationship might have lasted only a few scorching months, but vet Seth knows Fliss – if she’s run away to the Hamptons, it’s because she still feels their connection and it terrifies her. He let her go once before, when he didn’t know any better, but not this summer! With the help of his adorable dog, Lulu, and a sprinkling of beachside magic, Seth is determined to make Fliss see that he’s never stopped loving her…
Sarah Morgan dreamed of being a writer as a child, and although she took a few interesting detours along the way, she is now living that dream. Sarah lives near London with her husband and children, and when she isn’t reading or writing she loves being outdoors, preferably on vacation so she can forget the house needs tidying.