In the Mood for Love

In the Mood for Love by Beth Ciotta Read Free Book Online Page B

Book: In the Mood for Love by Beth Ciotta Read Free Book Online
Authors: Beth Ciotta
Tags: Fiction, General, Romance, Contemporary, Contemporary Women
A way to stay in America. A way to avoid Edward. A chance to reconnect and continue with her old clients.
    That’s if they’d have her.
    If not, she’d reach out to others. Plenty of people needed the kind of help she could provide. She’d build a new client list. Since she wouldn’t be relying on the L visa, she could freelance. Which, given her independent streak, wasn’t a bad thing. She wondered if Sam would be willing to relocate to L.A., not that she was ready to return.
    Yesterday, she’d braved the distance between her house and the pond. She’d sat on the end of the pier. She’d dangled her toes in the water. All exactly as planned. Except she only lasted ten minutes before anxiety reared its butt-ugly head.
    What if some crazed murderer was lurking underwater? What if they pulled me in and held me under? A terrifying watery demise?
    What if someone was hunting in the woods and a bullet went astray, striking me instead?
    What if, what if, what if?
    Once her mind latched on to a fear, it was hard to let go.
    She’d scrambled back to the house in a sweat. She’d run on her treadmill until she’d outrun the panic. She’d showered and focused on good things, brainstormed several promotional ideas regarding the Cupcake Lover recipe book. She was determined to succeed with her second attempt to leave the grounds. A trip into town. A meeting with the CLs.
    She’d dressed for confidence—a bold blue dress and a pair of spiky Mary Janes. She’d been jazzed about discussing business with the club. But then she’d gotten that damned “pink slip” text. The top guns hadn’t had the decency to call her. Although, to be fair, most business these days was conducted via texts and e-mails. Less personal. More efficient. Still. She’d been with the firm for seven years. The cold dismissal was hard on the pride and disruptive on every level—professionally, financially, personally. The thought of returning to Canada—for good—had tripped all sorts of panic buttons. She barely remembered texting Sam. She should’ve texted Rocky. The Sugar Creek native was easily as grounded and responsible as Sam. Compassionate, too. Plus their association was purely business. Whereas with Sam …
    Harper looked away from the billowing curtains, suffered another painful neck twinge. As if that wasn’t bad enough her muscles ached and her head throbbed. Compliments of an anxiety hangover. She glanced at her alarm clock.
    It was 7:05.
    Sam would be getting the kids ready for school. Once they were married, would that task fall to her? Through the night, she’d wondered about a lot of things regarding her role as wife and mom. She couldn’t wrap her brain around the domestic role. She could, however, imagine spending more time with Sam. Even though he irked her more often than not. Even though they had little to nothing in common beyond housing renovations. She admired his grounded sensibilities. He was unflappable. Strong and reliable. She knew now why she’d reached out to Sam and not Rocky. Harper breathed easier when Sam was around, even when she was composed.
    Her cell phone chimed. An incoming text. She nabbed the smartphone from her nightstand.
    Daisy.
    GOOD MORNING, SLICK. SORRY I DIDN’T ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR LATE-NIGHT TEXT. GLAD YOU’RE OKAY. I FELL ASLEEP WATCHING A JERRY LEWIS MOVIE WHICH MADE ME THINK OF THE JERRY LEWIS TELETHON AND THE RAT PACK. MAYBE WE SHOULD HAVE A CUPCAKE LOVERS TELETHON. DO YOU HAVE ANY CONNECTIONS WITH JERRY LEWIS OR FRANK SINATRA JUNIOR? CAN WE MEET TODAY? I’LL FILL YOU IN ON THE CUPCAKE LOVERS MEETING AND THE LATEST GOSSIP. I’M WORKING AT MOOSEALOTTA TODAY. DO YOU WANT TO DROP BY FOR LUNCH OR SHOULD I VISIT YOU LATER AT THE FARM ?
    Harper rubbed her eyes, the screaming-long text aggravating her already pounding temples. Daisy texted a lot and she spelled everything out. Harper itched to print out a list of acronyms for the woman. Or to download a hands-free texting app to her phone so

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