Love Charm for Carlotta

ARe-Carson-LoveCharm03-CarlottaLove Charm for Carlotta

Love Charm Series

Carlotta doesn’t believe in love charms. Especially not when the bad boy hockey player from her past suddenly re-appears in her life. Has the love charm brought him back to her? She doesn’t intend to find out. But, in the small town island atmosphere of Martha’s Vineyard, it’s hard to escape your past. Do people change, or will she be courting heartbreak again if she succumbs once more to her high school sweetheart?

Excerpt: Jace slung an arm over Carlotta’s shoulders as they walked back to her house after the barbecue. For the moment, he was content merely to be with her. “Nice night, huh?” he said.

“You’re not invited in.”

He bit back a laugh. When had she become so prickly?

But he sobered quickly. He had a feeling he might be the cause. The time had gone by so quickly, he could scarcely believe it had been twelve years.

“No problem.” He squeezed her shoulder. “I was thinking we could go for a ride. I haven’t been to Menemsha Beach in years.”

Carlotta stopped at the hydrangea bush by her front walk. “A ride? Have you listened to a word I’ve said?”

“Come on, Carlotta.” He edged her around so she faced him. “Look at the stars. Remember how we used to lie on the beach and watch them?”

“When I was young and foolish.” There was more than a trace of bitterness in her voice.

“You were young and lovely.” The waning moon cast a soft light on her face and she looked exactly as she had twelve years ago, when he’d been too dumb to know what he was throwing away. Jace swallowed the sorrow in his throat over all they’d lost. “You’re still lovely, Carlotta.”

She sighed. “I grew up, Jace. This is the woman I am now. I own a home. I own a business. I go to work every day.”

“Take a break for some fun.” He gestured to the bike. “A quick ride to the beach. What’s the harm?”

If only he could get her there, the ocean would soothe her. She’d always loved the scent of the sea and the breeze blowing against her. He could see that she’d changed a lot. She’d become more sober and responsible. But he was betting that the spontaneous girl he’d known back in high school was still buried somewhere inside her.

“I don’t know,” she said.

But she stared at the bike and he knew he’d won. She’d always loved riding with him.

“Come on.” He grabbed her hand and led her over to his Harley. “You remember what to do, right?”

He tossed his helmet off the handlebars, lifted her, and deposited her on the back of the seat. He climbed on in front of her, and turned his head to say, “You don’t mind riding without a helmet?”

“Does it matter if I do?” But she smiled, and her eyes were beginning to sparkle.

“It’s a short trip,” he answered. “But you have to wrap your arms around me, so you don’t fall off.”

Tentatively, she placed her hands on his waist.

He turned around in her driveway and then gunned the bike. She grabbed onto him tightly. A cheap trick, but yeah, that was better. The feel of her small hands pressing into his waist almost distracted him from paying attention to the road. If only she’d move them forward, and a little bit lower. She used to tease him that way, and it was the best foreplay he’d ever had.

They roared through the quiet streets of Chilmark. Jace knew he should feel guilty for manipulating her, but guilt was something that rarely bothered him. Except for what he’d done to Carlotta by leaving her for so long. Every time she tried to protect herself from him, a knife twisted in his gut.

By the time they reached the beach, his normal positive nature had asserted itself. He’d make it up to her, no matter what he had to do.

He hopped off the bike as it rocked to a stop.

“What are you doing?” Carlotta said. “I thought we were just going for a ride.”

Jace wanted to growl. Where was the girl who would have hopped off the bike, thrown her arms around him, and laughed with sheer joy? How could he find her again?

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Other books in the Love Charm Series

Love Charm for Ashley

Love Charm for Brenna

Love Charm for Dakota

Love Charm for Gillian