One minute Maxine Henley is the happy bride-to-be and the next she’s the girl who gets dumped over the phone. Max has never believed in magic and fairy’s tales, but if wearing a love charm can warm her fiancé’s cold feet, she’s happy to stuff that little wooden heart next to her own and wait. The charm came with a promise that the right man will find her, guaranteed, but how can that happen when her teenage crush Sam O’Neal keeps getting in the way!
“Excuse me, miss,” a male voice said. “I seem to have lost my phone number. Could I have yours?”
Max smiled. She’d know that voice anywhere. She just hadn’t expected to hear it in Schomberg. “Your lines don’t get any better with age, O’Neal,” she said, stuffing the charm into her back pocket as she turned around.
“I’m a little out of practice.” He grinned and stepped from the shadows. “How are you, Max?”
“Better now,” she said, meaning it.
Sam O’Neal had been the boy next door, her older brother’s best friend and the one voted most likely to get out of Schomberg. She’d had a crush on him once, the kind of heart-pounding, breath-stealing obsession that fifteen year-old girls do so well. Watching him come toward her now, she wondered if it was her imagination or perhaps some trick of the light that made him look even better than she remembered.
Max moistened her lips even as she felt the faint shift in her shoulders, the tiny flicker of awareness that was as unexpected as it was inappropriate. This was Sam, after all. The one who didn’t think twice about taking her baby-sitting money in a poker game, or daring her to steal peaches from the Jenkins’s’ orchard, and turned out to be the best friend she’d ever known.
“I can’t believe you’re here,” she said, rising up on her toes to wrap her arms around his neck. “And without even a hint of elf anywhere.”
“I hid until they ran out of size eleven curly toes.”
She looked up into his eyes and for the first time was glad she’d made the trip. “I have missed you,” she said softly.
“Me too,” he said, kissing her on the cheek, the way any friend might, and pulling her close for a hug. She held on tight, feeling the strength of his hands on her back, the hard wall of his chest against her breasts and a warmth from both that reached through her fine cotton tank top, making her shiver. She started to step back and wondered for one brief moment if he would stop her, maybe hold on a moment longer, and what she would do if he did.
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Lynda Simmons is a writer by day, college instructor by night and a late sleeper on weekends. She grew up in Toronto reading Greek mythology, bringing home stray cats and making up stories about bodies in the basement. From an early age, her family knew she would either end up as a writer or the old lady with a hundred cats. As luck would have it, she married a man with allergies so writing it was.
With two daughters to raise, Lynda and her husband moved into a lovely two storey mortgage in Burlington, a small city on the water just outside Toronto. While the girls are grown and gone, Lynda and her husband are still there. And yes, there is a cat – a beautiful, if spoiled, Birman. If you’d like to read the legend of Birman cats click here. If you’d like a link to allergy relief, click here.
When she’s not writing or teaching, Lynda gives serious thought to using the treadmill in her basement. Fortunately, she’s found that if she waits long enough, something urgent will pop up and save her - like a phone call or an e-mail or a whistling kettle. Or even that cat just looking for a little more attention!
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