Adaline Reynolds has very little time or desire to worry over her non-existent love life, regardless of what her best friend thinks. Perky Jo’s, the café she inherited from her beloved aunt, has demanded all her time and energy since returning to Little Creek. But that all changes the day a damaged photograph mysteriously shows up at her feet.
When she’s suddenly swept away to find the man in the photo waiting to show her some fun, Adaline’s convinced that she’s finally lost her mind. With no logical explanation for these meetings, she soon finds herself giving in to this charming stranger and feeling more and more like her old, happier self.
As she draws closer to the truth about the man in the photo, will she find who she’s been looking for? Or will she discover that the best is yet to come?
Deciding to see what happens if I mix things up, I approach the bench and before he spots me I say, “Hey, stranger.”
He looks up when he hears my voice and my heart clenches when he breaks out his killer smile. “Hey! That’s my line,” he laughs.
Interesting. I was half expecting to get pulled back for breaking the rules or something, but it looks like I can go off script without consequence.
I smile back at him. “You must be rubbing off on me I guess.”
“Apparently,” he says as he stands and closes the remaining distance between us. He grabs my hand with his like he’s done every time before.
Okay, well it looks like this part hasn’t changed.
“What kind of adventure should we get up to today, Adaline?”
This is new. Usually he has his own agenda and just drags me off somewhere. Not expecting this turn of events I say, “Surprise me.”
“You got it, one surprise coming right up!” he flashes that mischievous grin of his.
With my hand in his, he leads me off to the other side of the park and we arrive at a little stand where you can rent bikes to ride around the paths throughout the park. I’ve never done it, but I often see people riding past when I’m sitting in the park.
“May I present your surprise adventure,” Ben declares with a dramatic sweep of his arm.
“Let me guess, you and Quinn used to come here and ride bikes together during some of your many visits to the park?” I tease.
“Actually, smarty pants, we didn’t, but I often saw people riding through and thought it might be something fun to try,” he replies, unfazed by my teasing.
“I’ve always thought it looked like fun, it’s been a while since I’ve ridden a bike. I’m not exactly dressed for a bike ride, though,” I say, gesturing to my flowy knee-length skirt.
“Nonsense, you’ll be fine, besides, there’s no one around to see us anyway.”
“About that –” I begin, but before I can ask why it is that no one else is ever around, Ben already has two bikes pulled out and ready to go. Conveniently enough the bike rentals are self-serve, you swipe your credit card and take a ticket when you take out a bike and then scan the ticket at the kiosk when you return the bike. The whole thing is pretty clever if you ask me.
“Which bike would you like?” he asks, looking at me with an expectant smile, a hand on the handlebars of each bike.
“Tough choice, I think I’ll take the green one.”
“Solid choice, matches those pretty eyes of yours.”
I can’t help the blush that creeps up my neck at his unexpected compliment. “Thank you,” I say with a shy smile.
“Here, let me help you with that,” Ben says, removing my tote from my shoulder and placing it in the basket on the front of the bike. “Let’s take these babies for a spin.”
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About the Author
An avid romance reader, J.E. Benoit soon channeled her love for writing into blogging in order to help spread the love for these stories with others. After spending a few years falling in love with the fictional creations of other authors, she finally decided to try her hand at writing stories of her own. She recently completed her debut novel, The Best is Yet to Come.
She resides in Massachusetts with her husband, two cats, and iguana. When she’s not writing, you can find her with her nose in a book, blogging at The Book Boyfriend Addict or watching reruns of White Collar.