Secrets of the Lost Summer
By: Carla Neggers | Other books by Carla Neggers
Published By: MIRA
Published: Jan 31, 2012
ISBN # 9780778313113
Available in: Secure Adobe Epub eBook
Join New York Times bestselling author Carla Neggers with the first book in the Swift River Valley series Secrets of the Lost Summer.
A wave of hope carries Olivia Frost back to her small New England hometown nestled in the beautiful Swift River Valley. She's transforming a historic home into an idyllic getaway. Picturesque and perfect, if only the absentee owner will fix up the eyesore next door....
Dylan McCaffrey's ramshackle house is an inheritance he never counted on. It also holds the key to a generations-old lost treasure he can't resist...any more than he can resist his new neighbor. Against this breathtaking landscape, Dylan and Olivia pursue long-buried secrets and discover a mystery wrapped in a love story...past and present.
Olivia Frost dribbled water from a measuring cup onto herb seedlings lined up in tiny pots on the windowsill above her kitchen sink. Parsley, dill, rosemary. The window looked out on the alley behind her Boston Back Bay apartment but received enough sunlight to grow a few herbs.
No sunlight today, she thought, setting the cup in the sink.
Just when New Englanders hoped they could put away their hats, gloves and boots, March had decided to turn into a lion again. The weather forecast promised the dreaded "wintry mix" by early afternoon.
Olivia sighed at the fresh green of the herbs. She didn't hate winter but she was ready for spring. March had less than two weeks to turn into a lamb and usher in April showers and May flowers. She couldn't wait to drive out to the hills and quiet back roads of Knights Bridge, her out-of-the-way hometown west of Boston, and plant her herbs at the early nineteenth-century house she'd bought last fall. The purchase had felt impulsive, but the owners, desperate to make a quick sale, had offered her a great deal. She had never been one for extravagant spending and kept her expenses as low as possible in Boston. Instead, she had saved her money and was able to snap up her historic house, as picturesque as her hometown itself.
Except for the eyesore just up the road, but that was a problem for another day.
She had enough problems for today.
"Challenges," she said aloud, turning from the sink. "Challenges, not problems."
She was already dressed for work, opting for a black skirt and blue merino sweater. She'd add what she needed to accommodate the weather, but she had a client lunch--a critical client lunch--and wanted to dress less casually than when she knew she'd be holed up at her desk all day.
She'd been too keyed up to sit at the table for breakfast, instead downing coffee and a bowl of oatmeal with walnuts at the sink. She liked her apartment, even if it was small and overlooked an alley. When she'd moved to the city five years ago, she had talked her landlord into letting her paint the walls and woodwork, choosing cozy, cheerful colors--misty-greens, rosy-pinks, summer-cloud whites--to offset the dreary light. On her way home from work last night, she'd picked up a dozen pink tulips and divided them between two glass pitchers and placed one on the kitchen table and the other on the dresser in her bedroom.
Tulips and herbs. Olivia smiled to herself. All would be well.
With a deep breath, she walked through the adjoining living room. The wood floor and her sofa were stacked with books on herbs, artisan soap-making, landscaping, old houses and painting furniture. All winter, she had half dreamed, half plotted how she could convert her historic house into a destination for weddings, showers, lunches and small one-day conferences--eventually, perhaps, into an overnight getaway.
She hadn't thought of her notes and plans as distractions, but maybe they were. Maybe, in part, they were the reason today's lunch was so critical.
She reached into the closet by the front door and reluctantly got out her scarf and coat, a full-length blend of black wool and cashmere that she planned to wear for years. She skipped gloves. She didn't care about sleet, snow and freezing rain. It was mid-March, and she wasn't wearing gloves.
Her iPhone dinged and she saw she had an email from Marilyn Bryson, another graphic designer and one of her best friends.
Hey, Liv. I can't get together while I'm in town after all. I'm so busy these days I can hardly breathe!
I love what I'm doing. I look forward to getting up every morning. I can't...