Published by: Vesuvian Books
Publication date: August 28th 2018
Genres: Adult, Romance
One universe, nine planets, 204 countries, 809 islands and 7 seas, and I had the privilege of meeting you.” –Unknown
When Tessa Talman meets Simon Fremont for the first time, not only is she attracted to him, she’s intrigued by how different their lives are. He’s a dedicated scientist, practical, pragmatic, and grounded—while she’s a head-in-the-clouds romance author. As their relationship grows, they agree to meet in places around the world, while continuing to live on opposite sides of the globe.
Though their feelings for each other deepen, their priorities remain the same. Simon is in a hurry to be financially sound and settle down, but Tessa is enjoying her freedom and newfound success. Neither is willing to give in, but as each goodbye gets harder, Tessa begins to wonder whether fame is the path to happiness, or if she has everything she needs in Simon.
Just as Tessa finds the courage to go after her own happily ever after, the unthinkable happens, separating them in ways they never imagined.
To move forward, she must let go of the past, and determine once and for all if love is truly more powerful than the pain of goodbye.
The sound of the shutting door as Will and Ciela leave the house is music to her ears. Time to sit in silence and savor that one cup of coffee, to revel in the comfort of a hot shower before starting her day.
She looks forward to this on most mornings, when dreams don’t consume her and sleep eventually gets its way. Today, she feels fresh and hopeful. Like every other time she’s decided to start over, begin with a clean slate. As she sits on the fourth step of the winding staircase, her unlikely refuge, she gives herself the luxury of time. For the last two years, since her return from Paris, since her decision to settle down, she has sat on this step – it allows her to look over the expanse of her home, admire the things around her, everywhere a sign of her accomplishment and proof that she had made the right choice.
To the far left of the living room is a massive stone shelf filled with books, trophies and awards. The walls of that area are plastered with movie posters and paintings. Her heart on display, a story all too familiar to her. She smiles as she turns her head towards the family room. What she sees pleases her, makes her heart ache with love. Dolls in pink dresses, a shopping cart filled with plastic groceries and actual packages of food from her pantry.
Work, career, motherhood.
There’s a man’s black leather jacket slung across the armchair in the family room.
Because Love. She has that too. It’s beginning to take the form of a tall, dark and handsome man. One she’d just met the year before. He hadn’t stolen her heart. Someone else did that and ran the hell away with it. And although she’ll never get that heart back, she thinks this new guy might give her a new one.
Who would have thought she would settle down? Find a home, stay in one place? In a forgotten time and in a place far away, she left that life and started over.
Through the tall bay windows, she sees the sun. It’s trying with all its might to break through the clouds. There’s snow everywhere, ten feet of it, and all signs of summer – the grill, the deck chairs, the potted plants – are buried underneath the massive lumps of ice.
The shrill ringing of the phone startles her, causing her to rise to her feet. It’s a strange sound, and because no one ever calls on her landline, it astounds her. She hops down from the staircase and runs into the living room. What is it about phones? You can never find them if your life depends on it. She knows that she’ll eventually stumble upon one of the cordless phones strategically planted around the house. She remembers Ciela using one the other day while playing house.
Ah, here it is, she thinks, as she fishes one of the cordless phones from under the fluffy couch cushions in the family room. She’s too late, the call goes to voicemail. It’s a 617 area code,
She can’t think of any association with that city. At least not for the past few years. It must be another insistent telemarketer.
She has no business thinking about Boston. Or who used to be there. Or what that meant to her at a time in her life when all she wants is to move forward.
With the phone in her hand, she begins to tidy around the living room, alarmed when it starts to ring once again.
“Hello?” she answers, glancing at the clock on the mantel. She has thirty minutes to get dressed before she has to be out the door.
It’s a man’s voice. The accent is unmistakable. But it’s the way he says her name that sinks her. It was the way he called her name when she saw him last. Full of sadness, of longing. She doesn’t remember much, but she remembers the way he called out to her before she looked away.
Impossible, she thinks. He left me. Walked away and left me.
“Who is this?” she says.
“Tessa. It’s me.”
She’s reluctant to say his name. It took two years to cast that name out, eradicate the feelings brought about by those two calamitous syllables.
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