With her ex off to younger, greener pastures and her only child off to college, Maris Coltrane has a very empty nest. She also has one shot to advance from researcher to writer at the magazine where she works and the summer to turn taped interviews into a series. But there’s a catch. Maris, an unapologetic city girl, is exiled by her editor to the New England coastal town of Pirate’s Nest, a beguiling place that has a way of seeping into one’s spirit.
Unwilling to stay in exile for long, Maris vows to have her series written in six weeks. But the solitude slows her down and gives her a chance to reflect. Each sunset that she experiences from the cottage porch, heals her tattered heart and soothes her battered soul. The only thing standing between her and utter serenity is the very hunky enigmatic owner of the place where she’s staying. This is supposed to be the summer that changes everything. And it will, just not the way she imagined.
Logan Asher is the owner of The Tides Hotel and Cottages in Pirate’s Nest and a man of few words. With the help of his eccentric mother and temperamental teenage daughter, he manages to keep the guests coming back every year. He also manages to keep his heart out of reach of the guests and the local ladies, until Maris rents one of his cottages. Suddenly his well thought out life is turned upside down. He knows that Maris will leave at the end of the summer just as his ex-wife left when his daughter was only a few months old. He knows that she misses the city and he could never live anywhere except Pirate’s Nest. But he can’t stop thinking of her, of making excuses to visit her, of losing sleep over craving to be with her. How can the normally steady Logan be so foolish and why does being foolish feel so right?
© copyright 2015 Patricia Otto
Maris looked out over the beach. She watched the waves curling like fingers drumming on the shore in a froth of white. The sky was looking a lot like the evening she arrived all swirls of purple and gray. Shore birds were having one last shouting match, each one trying to get in the last word. A man wearing headphones sweeping a metal detector back and forth on the sand was the only person on the beach.
She pulled her legs up under her seersucker robe. Letting her head fall back against the cushion, she inhaled a long breath.
To the bone, every cell in her body contentment. She’d almost forgotten how wonderful a feeling it was. In fact, she couldn’t remember the last time she had actually felt like this. There was something about Pirate’s Nest that gave a person that easy satisfaction. Like a soothing balm in the hands of a masseuse, this little town by the ocean had a way of seeping into you, softening life, nourishing your soul. Maris had never lived in a small town, however the appeal of being in one intensified with each sunset. She hadn’t thought about the city or her condo in days. The idea of going back, which had been her all consuming motivation, was now touched with a bit of melancholy. The condo wasn’t home-like. It was hers, it was full of her things, it all looked familiar, but it wasn’t home. She took a long sip of Chablis.
The day was fabulous. The serene, life affirming sunrise walk, the quirky parade, enjoying the barbecue put on by the Chamber of Commerce at the public beach, surprising Logan with dinner plus strawberry shortcake from the dessert social while he was working at the desk. The day was a New England, whimsical play date. Perfect days like today were rare. That notion brushed her heart with sadness. Life should have more days like this one.
Maris spotted him walking up the beach, golden rays of twilight stroking his hair. The long legs, the wide shouldered silhouette, the determined gait, she knew immediately that it was Logan. When he veered toward the cottage, she waved. He didn’t wave back just continued his march through the sand. When the light from inside the house touched his face, his usually easy features were intense and serious. Her pulse zinged as she quickly got to her feet. “Is everything all right? What’s wrong?”
He walked up to her. “I have been thinking about this all day.”