Date Published: 03-08-2021
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
River Gallagher loves three things– her family, Frank Finn, and her hometown. Her property management career is going great, or at least it was until Calder Finn arrives in town. His rash plan threatens her and the future of everyone in Sweetwater Harbor, NC.
Calder Finn returns home to settle his father’s estate. But not only is his father still alive, he has a wild and beautiful guardian. River not only threatens Calder’s intention for a quick escape, she also questions his beliefs. Something very few people have ever done before. Tempers flare and personalities clash until an uneasy alliance is forged… at least temporarily.
River stretched and yawned, reaching out to pet the dogs.
Pepper peered at her, panting.
“Where’s Salt?” Rolling out of bed and tugging on her robe, she headed for the living room, Pepper trotting at her heels. Reaching the doorway, she slammed to a halt, one hand going to her chest.
Bathed in the morning glow, Calder sat at the window, looking out beyond the harbor.
Salty curled in his lap.
The scene was altogether tender and poignant. Then, she spotted the envelope gripped in his hand, and she knew Frank’s letter to his son had been as emotional as hers.
Swallowing hard, she nodded to the terrier at her feet and stepped into the room. Crossing to the chair, she waited until Calder looked up. “Hi,” she greeted him. “New buddy?” She flicked a finger at Salty.
“He just hopped up here on his own.”
“I don’t doubt it. It’s hard to make him do anything he doesn’t want to do. He was a real challenge to obedience train.” She gazed out over the harbor. “Looks like it might be a nice day out.”
She saw his shrug in the glass reflection, and her heart twisted in sympathy.
“Are you okay?” She turned back toward him, and Salty took an unconscious step forward.
He nodded. “Yeah, just thinking. You know.”
“Yes, I know.” Frank’s letter had a way of making one stop and think, a lot. She rested a hand on his shoulder for a moment. “Do you have any plans for the day?”
“Not at the moment.”
“How about I go make breakfast? Then after showers, we can figure out the day’s game plan.”
River took her time, first running Pepper out for a short walk. Salty would move when he wanted to, and she would bet not until Calder got up. Finished with the Scottish terrier, she went into the kitchen, looking around. Eggs, pancakes, or waffles, what should she make?
Pausing, she braced her hands against the counter, suddenly out of breath. Why was the sight of Calder sitting by the window, bathed in dawning light, so gripping? Enough to leave her almost trembling and breathless?
Could the reason be because every time she looked into his eyes, she saw the eyes of his father instead? She supposed that was possible. Or was she seeing the man young Calder had grown into?
Maybe she needed a diversion. Maybe she had been spending too much time with him. The last few days they had hardy been apart. Well, he had his rental car back now, so she was free of the transportation duties. Not that she minded them, of course. And her plan to take him around to the area residents no doubt gave him some other things to hopefully think about, beyond his dad’s letter. But now maybe she needed to return to her other duties.
She hauled sausage and eggs out of the fridge, certain she had the perfect diversion for herself.
About the Author
Ryan Jo Summers lives in Western North Carolina. Her first published non-fiction came in 2007 with articles for local, and eventually national, and on-line magazines. In 2012 she released her first fiction novel with a small press publisher. Since then, she has released countless articles and over a dozen novels and novellas with assorted publishers. She also released
two self-published books.
Ryan Jo comes from a family of wordsmiths. Her dad is a songwriter, and his aunt wrote poetry. Ryan’s style in fiction writing would broadly be labeled as clean, sweet romance, but she stretches fingers out into the assorted sub-genres. On several occasions she weaves threads from different
sub-genres into one book. Wholesome, sweet titles would include Beside Still Waters, Cinnamon’s Courageous Heart, and Rainbows in the Moonlight. Her multiple-genre threaded titles comprise of Chasing the Painted Skies, September’s Song, and Wild Whispers.
Ryan Jo’s other passion beyond writing is animals. She has worked as a veterinary technician, director in a non-profit rescue shelter, provided foster care, and more recently she worked as a dog walker and boarding service. She has a menagerie of rescued pets who keep her company and offer inspiration. Her rom-com book, It Happened at the Park was largely written during the time she and her collie, Ty, visited the community dog park. She has two dogs saved from traumatic origins, feral cats who adapted to the house cat lifestyle like Garfield took to lasagna, a bonded pair of bunnies, a flock of chickens, fish, and a talkative parrot who is currently in his “trying twenties’ stage.
Ryan Jo bought a century-old mountain cottage and when she’s not writing or working, she enjoys restoring the Victorian echoes inside and creating flower and vegetable gardens outside. Other interests include houseplants, baking and cooking—because the cutting and blending is therapeutic – working bent and wiggly word-find puzzles, exploring the
nearby national forests, and of course, reading. While she lives land-locked in the mountains, she dreams of packing up her dogs and going to the beach.