Happy Monday all!
Delighted to share with you today and excerpt from this book that I am really looking forward to! The book comes out on June 11 and I will be sharing my review with you later in the month, this is a perfect summer beach read!🏖
About the Book
An hour and a half later, Sunshine put a completed salad into the refrigerator and glanced at the clock. According to a text from Declan, he was planning on joining them for dinner. She’d set the table for three, but honestly, she wasn’t holding out much hope. Her boss was in the middle of a big project—something about designing the gardens of a new five-star hotel just north of Malibu. Not only was the job time consuming, there was actually no good way to get to Pasadena from anywhere by the beach without dealing with miles of gridlock and hours stuck in traffic. More than once he’d texted to say he would be home in time for dinner only to call her an hour later to say he was still on the freeway and to start without him.
Sunshine didn’t mind when it was just her and Connor, but she knew the boy missed his father when he wasn’t around.
Once he got home, Declan spent the rest of the evening with his son and he was the one to get Connor ready for bed. They were obviously close, which was good. Still, the whole situation remained slightly awkward for her. Normally by the three- week mark of a job, she was comfortable in the house and had a set routine. She and Connor were doing great, but she’d barely seen Declan and they hadn’t talked and she really had to tell him they should have a sit-down at some point. Maybe in the next couple of days.
The first weekend she’d been employed, Declan and Connor had gone to Sacramento to visit Declan’s parents. Last weekend, Declan had been out of town at a conference and this weekend she had no idea what was going on.
“Do you and your dad have plans for tomorrow?” she asked. “I don’t know. He didn’t tell me. If he’s busy, what do you want to do?”
“I thought we’d go to the Star Eco Station.”
Connor finished putting the flatware in place. “Do I have to hold the tarantula?”
“Not if you don’t want to.”
“Arachnids aren’t ants,” he said, his tone defensive.
She held up both hands. “You don’t have to tell me. I’m perfectly fine with an ant farm but if you told me you wanted to start a spider colony, I’d run screaming into the night.”
He grinned. “In your pajamas?”
His laughter was interrupted by the sound of the garage door opening.
“Dad’s home! Dad’s home!”
She watched him race across the kitchen and through the mudroom, then looked back at the table. Looked like there would be three for dinner and wouldn’t that be fun.
Not that she was nervous. She wasn’t. It was just she barely knew Declan. Which was fine—tonight they would have a conversation over lasagna roll-ups with ant-sized zucchini.
“…and Sunshine’s going to help me with the ant farm. We’re going to check online tomorrow and it’s okay because I read three books and I’ve checked out two more from the library and I’ll read them this weekend so I’m gonna know everything.”
Based on the framed photographs she’d seen in Connor’s room, Sunshine knew he took after his mother. He was small for his age, with a slight build and dark hair and eyes, so every time she saw Declan, it was something of a shock.
The man was big. Not heavy, but tall with broad shoulders and a lot of muscles. He had sandy-colored hair and green eyes, had to be at least six-two. With her only being five-four, that seemed a little extreme. He wore a suit and tie most days, which somehow made him even more impressive. He also had a presence about him—he was someone who was noticed wherever he went. She didn’t know him well enough to have much of an opinion about him, but he seemed like a decent kind of guy. He loved his son and honestly that was all she cared about.
“Good evening, Mr. Dubois,” she murmured as he set down his briefcase, then swept Connor up in his arms and turned the boy upside down.
As his son hung there, shrieking with happy laughter, De clan met her gaze. “We talked about this, Sunshine. Call me Declan, please.”
“Okay, just checking.”
“I want to keep things casual.”
She liked casual. Now that she thought about it, casual was probably for the best considering she’d kicked off her shoes when she’d walked into the house and was currently standing barefoot, wearing jeans and an oversize T-shirt advertising a bar in Tahiti.
Declan turned Connor right side up, then glanced at the table. “That looks nice. What are we having?”
“Ant food!” Connor told him gleefully. “Zucchini ant sticks.”
“Salad, lasagna roll-ups, garlic knots and zucchini fries,” she corrected.
“The garlic knots are bread,” Connor told his father. “I tied them all myself.”
“Did you?” Declan ruff led his hair. “That’s great. Give me five minutes to get changed and I’ll be back to help.” He picked up his briefcase and started for the hallway, his son at his heels. “Sunshine, do you drink wine?”
“Only on days ending in Y.”
“Good. Why don’t you pick us out a bottle of red from the wine cellar? You know where it is?”
Except for Declan’s bedroom, she’d explored the house that first weekend. She knew every place an eight-year-old boy could hide and had moved a bucket full of different bottles of cleaning solutions out to the garage. Yes, Connor was old enough to know not to play with stuff like that, but why tempt fate?
Looks good, doesn’t it! Berit