For other countries, please just go to Amazon and search ‘Back to You Roya Carmen’.
Back to You is available on Kindle Amazon.
An old childhood friend.
A beautiful coastal town.
And a clever matchmaking mother.
All the makings of a fun summer romance… a great beach read.
When career-driven, widowed mother Sophie Edwards loses her job and finds herself at a low point in her life, she decides to go back to her hometown and face the past she’s been running from for years. Sophie is drawn back to the beautiful coastal town, her family, and her childhood friend John. Having lost more than one person in her life, she’s afraid to face the past, and the future—and she’s terrified to fall in love.
John Moretti, a playful and laid-back guy, is happy with the way things are. A divorced dad, he’s not interested in a relationship—especially with Sophie Edwards who all but destroyed his heart a long time ago. He decides he will have nothing to do with her—but his heart has other plans.
As Sophie’s mother pushes them together with her playful antics, can John and Sophie find each other again, face their painful past, and find true love?
Author’s Note: Please note this is NOT an erotic romance. It is suggestive and flirty, but not explicit. Steam level: 5/10.
Back to You is a short contemporary romance (55 000 words) and is available on Amazon Kindle.
And speaking of… hot.
All of a sudden, the place felt even stuffier. And Sophie had the urge to run to the ocean. She hadn’t planned to stare, but stare she did. The first thing she noticed was the messy hair and the scruff.
He smiled at her as he neared the table. “Hi Snow…,” he said softly, a hint of a smile.
And then, she noticed the steely grayish-blue eyes. They were the same. And that slightly off-kilter smile—that was the same too, but she hadn’t remembered it being so sexy. And then she noticed the sexy worn plaid shirt, stretched by the lean muscles of his arms. Those were new—not the arms—the muscles. Damn.
“Um…,” she found herself at a loss for words. She was completely speechless, mouth opened, tongue hanging off her banana popsicle. In fact, she was shocked her popsicle didn’t melt right off its stick, right there, on the spot.
“Long time no see,” John said, smiling at both Sophie and Jesse.
“Uh-uh… yes… yes it has,” she agreed, all the while, wondering why she was behaving so strangely—not seemingly able to put a coherent sentence together. She could think of nothing else to say, she was frozen—from shock possibly.
It wasn’t just that he was gorgeous; it was just the familiarity of his face, which had instantly brought on so many memories. They were all fighting each other in her mind, and there was simply no additional space for something as simple as conversation. She was utterly useless.
Dreadful silence filled the yellow room. She was sure she was going to hyperventilate. She was certain he could tell—he was still smiling at her—a playful smile.
“Sit down John,” offered Gloria with a wide smile. Oh… thank goodness someone had finally saved the day, Sophie thought, catching her breath.
“This is Sophie’s son Jesse,” Gloria told John as he took a seat.
“Nice to meet you,” John offered with a smile and a stretched hand.
“Nice to meet you too Sir,” said Jesse, the ever so polite young boy, shaking his hand.
“You look a lot like your mom,” John observed, shooting a quick glance at Sophie who found herself blushing.
What was he doing to her? This was ridiculous. Yes, it was ridiculous, yet she couldn’t look away. She wanted to take in all the details of him—his beautiful eyes, the angle of his jaw, even the shape of his hands.
“Yes… lucky me,” Jesse said sarcastically. “The vampire look is really in these days,” he joked, referring to his alabaster skin and jet-black hair.
“I like it,” John said with a smile, shooting another glance at Sophie. Oh no… this isn’t happening, she thought trying not to look at him. She looked at her mother instead, who had a mischievous grin on her face, clearly enjoying every second of this painful, awkward moment.
“Maybe you can work on you tan this summer,” John suggested. “They’re saying it’s going to be a hot one.”
“That should be interesting,” Gloria chimed in. “We’ll probably be too busy to enjoy it. And you’ll be working on my house, poor you.”
“Well, my guys will be working on it,” he clarified. “They’re the ones you should feel sorry for,” he added. “Make sure you give them lots of cold beer,” he joked.
“Of course,” Gloria agreed, all smiles and gushing.
“It’s too bad we don’t live right on the beach like you John,” Sophie said, finally summing up the courage to speak. “That cool breeze coming off the ocean is amazing in the summer,” she added, remembering the gorgeous property he grew up on.
“Wow, you have your own beach?” Jesse asked. “Maybe we should hang at your place.”
“Please do,” John urged with a wicked smile, not really looking at him, but at Sophie who was practically melting in her seat. “Anytime… you’re welcome,” he added, not taking his eyes off her.
“Uh…” Sophie shifted in her seat.
A smile slowly stretched across his face. Yep, it was the same smile she remembered, yet different—sexy.
“Your popsicle’s melting,” John pointed out.
She looked down and saw the sticky treat melting right on the table, not to mention her fingers. She had completely forgotten about it—how completely embarrassing.
“Oops,” she said meekly. “You’re right,” she mumbled as she got up to go throw the melting popsicle in her mother’s vintage apron sink. She grabbed a cloth, and proceeded to wipe the table.
All of a sudden, all eyes were fixed on her, and the kitchen was dead quiet.
“A little distracted?” John asked.
Shifting gazes, and smirks all around the table.
Oh jeez, she wondered if her son could tell she was hot for this arrogant, unkempt but incredibly sexy guy sitting at the table—how mortifying.
“So your mom tells me you’re an editor at a food magazine,” John said matter-of-factly, finally easing up on her.
“Was…” she clarified. “Was… I was let go,” she reluctantly admitted.
“I’m sorry to hear that,” he said softly, sounding genuine. “Are you looking for another job?”
That was a good question. She hadn’t really considered it. She had decided to let her passions lead the way.
“No,” she told him, her eyes downcast. “In fact, I was thinking of possibly working on a book for a while.”
“You mean you haven’t done it yet?” he asked. “You always wanted to.”
Sophie smiled at him, impressed that he would remember such details. But of course he would. John had always been curious about others—never self-centered.
“Actually, it’s not a novel,” she explained. “It’s a cookbook—meal and lunch ideas for kids using yummy healthy ingredients.”
He smiled. “That’s exactly what I need. All my daughter eats is grilled cheese sandwiches.”
“Actually, that’s the case with most kids,” she informed him. “That’s exactly the reason I’m writing it.”
“It’s a great idea,” Gloria chimed in. “She should really do it, don’t you think John?”
“Absolutely,” he agreed. “And I’ll be the first to buy a copy.”
“That would be nice,” Sophie said, gazing at the wall. She couldn’t quite look directly at him—whenever she did, she lost her words.
He was being so sweet—just as he had always been.
“Well anyway, what about you,” she said attempting to change the subject. “Where do you work?”
“I’m a contractor. I do renovations and landscaping,” he told her. “Doing a little work for your mom too.”
“John has his own company,” Gloria boasted. “He has his own equipment, his own truck,” she went on. “He has six employees,” she added. “He’s doing quite well for himself,” she noted, beaming at John, who seemed a little uncomfortable.
You don’t have to sell me on him, mom. His amazing eyes are doing that all by themselves.
“That doesn’t surprise me,” Sophie said simply. They locked gazes for a second until Sophie turned away.
A few seconds of silence followed.
“Well, I should get going on the roof,” John explained, standing to his feet. “My guys will be here any second.”
“Don’t hesitate to come in for drinks, or anything you need,” Gloria insisted, “…and your men too.”
“Thank you Gloria,” he said as he readied to leave the kitchen.
“Sophie will walk you to the door,” Gloria offered with a cheeky grin.
Sophie reluctantly made her way to the solarium with John, feeling at odds with her own body.
“It was nice to see you again Snow,” John told her while putting on his work boots. She couldn’t believe he still called her that.
“Same here,” Sophie agreed. It certainly had been.
“You’ve changed…” he said plainly.
“Really… how?” How had she changed?
“Are those yours?” he asked pointing at the five-inch heel Mary-Jane pumps littering the floor.
“Wow…” he said, picking up the shoe and inspecting it closely, sliding his long finger down the length of its heel.
“And you can walk in these?” he asked, perplexed.
“Yes,” she scoffed. “I walk in them all the time,” for your information.
“Amazing…” he mused, smiling. “You’re still such a girl,” he offered with a wink. That wink was powerful—she couldn’t believe the effect it had on her.
Then he looked at her with a curious smile. “Come over to my truck for a second,” he urged her.
“Why?” she asked, intrigued. Her heart began to beat a little faster. What could he possibly want?
“Just come,” he said.
He waited patiently for her as she fiddled with the straps of her Mary-Janes pumps, and finally put them on.
He was still smiling at her when she was finally wearing them both. “Done?”
“Yes, sorry,” she said meekly. “These pumps take a while to put on,” she explained as she followed him out.
He let her lead the way, and walked slowly behind her. She teetered on her heels, wobbling all the way on the cobblestone path and struggled to get to her destination.
And finally… they made their way to John’s huge black pick-up truck.
“Well, here we are,” he said, a wide grin stretched across his face. “…finally.”
“So what is it? Did you want to show me something?” she asked, wobbling on her heels.
“Nope,” he laughed. “I just wanted to see you walk in those shoes.”
Yep… she remembered this John all right—the same Johnny who ruined her yellow Sunday dress. Apparently, he hadn’t changed a bit.
Copyright © 2014 Roya Carmen. All rights reserved.