Morello Cove #1
by Jannie Lund
Scott Sullivan has been sent on a not all together pleasant trip down memory lane to secure a location for a client. Sure, it may take some charm and convincing to get the owners to sell, but he’s up for the task. And then he’s getting the hell out of dodge to escape the memories. In and out, quick and painless, that’s the plan. He just hadn’t counted on running into a fiery and stunning obstacle with gold flecks in her eyes.
Danielle Harris has worked hard to make her dream come true. With her best friend, she owns a boutique where she sells the vintage style dresses she designs. When a city lawyer comes along and tries to ruin everything, her Italian temper flares.
With Scott trying to conduct a business deal and Danielle fighting for her dream, sparks fly. Not least sparks of attraction and perhaps love. It’s clear that one of them needs to give in, but the feelings of resistance are deep-rooted in them both.
Release Date: February 6, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance
White Satin Romance
Danielle fussed with the delicate, cream colored lace and took a step back to let her critical eyes take in the dress she’d been up half the night finishing. Not that there’d been any rush to get it done, but whenever one of the dresses she created started to take form, she felt a burning need to see it complete and on display at the boutique. Adding the turquoise and mother of pearl necklace completed the vision, and she took another step back. A smile bloomed on her face and satisfaction spread in her body. The dress looked exactly like she’d envisioned when she’d first put pen to paper, and that exact moment was her favorite in the whole process.
“Fleur. Come look at how awesome we are.”
Danielle’s best friend, business partner, and sister in all but blood came out from the back a moment later. She looked in a bit of a daze, which meant Danielle had interrupted her work. She almost felt bad, but then she looked back at the perfect vision of romance and dreams her dress and Fleur’s jewelry made. Fleur would forgive her the interruption.
“What?” Fleur was usually the picture of gentleness and patience, but she became mama bear when someone got between her and her work.
“Look,” Danielle said.
Fleur looked, and Danielle watched the sun rise after a stormy night on her friend’s face. The annoyance gave way to awe and pleasure. “Wow. We did good, Dani.”
“We did better than good, honey. We did amazing.” Danielle slung her arm around Fleur’s shoulders and kissed her cheek.
Danielle and Fleur had been fourteen the first time they’d created something together. Danielle had altered a thrift store dress with her grandmother’s old sewing machine and a few yards of lace, and Fleur had made a necklace for it out of lace scraps and pearl beads. They’d been prouder than peacocks, and from that moment their future had been decided. They had worked hard to learn and to save money, and the result was Annata, the boutique they’d opened on the boardwalk of their hometown of Morello Cove in Monterey Bay. Initially, they’d discussed if it was the right location to sell pricey vintage dresses and handmade jewelry that matched, but they had decided against moving the operation to the city. A wise decision, it had turned out. Women traveled far for the right outfit, and after two years Annata was a definitive success.
“It looks like a dream, doesn’t it? A romantic dream full of moonlight and dancing without music.” Fleur sighed happily.
Danielle squeezed her shoulder. “I’d have said that it’s a piece of art, but your description sounds better. What are you working on this morning?”
“The black garnet pieces for the burgundy satin dress. And the sunrise this morning inspired me so much that I sketched two different wedding sets. Not sure why I see them as wedding sets, but I do. I’ll show you later.”
“I can’t wait.” Danielle looked at her watch. “All right, go hide in your cave. We open in ten minutes, and Susan and Trish will be here any minute.”
“All right. Call me of you need me.”
Danielle nodded, knowing she wouldn’t. There would have to be a code red crisis of epic proportions before she called Fleur out to assist with the customers. Fleur hated it, preferring to hide in her little workshop in the back. She wasn’t even comfortable coming out to say hello to customers who wanted to meet the woman behind the stunning jewelry they bought. Fleur tolerated it, but only barely. Danielle spent as much time with the customers as she did making her dresses. She’d trained Susan and Trish, their two employees, and they were equally at ease with the customers as they were carrying out Danielle’s strict orders stitching hems or beading skirts. They were absolute gems.
When the two arrived a few moments later, Danielle spent a few minutes going over the plans for the day with them. Weekday mornings were usually pretty slow, so she sent both Susan and Trish out back. Trish was helping her with a wedding dress that had a train with an unbearable amount of glass beads, each one stitched on by hand. Danielle couldn’t wait to see it finished. Fleur had created a diadem that resembled a crown of light when its gems sparkled, and Danielle almost envied the yet unknown bride who would wear it.
Susan was asked to deal with the fabrics that had come in earlier that morning, so Danielle had the front of the boutique to herself. This meant that she fussed, corrected a lace collar here, an earring there, and made sure that every dress and every piece of jewelry shone in its own right.
The bell above the door jingling put a smile to her face. As much as she loved creating, finding the right body for her own and Fleur’s creations was exciting, too. However, when she looked up, the body in the door opening was not ever going to fit into one of her dresses, Tall, dark, and handsome came to mind, although that did not do the man justice. Tall, yes. Dark, yes. Handsome, no. More than handsome. Sexy. Devastatingly so. The short, black hair and the icy blue eyes made a stunning combination. The black slacks and white shirt was not enough to hide the muscles beneath, and when he smiled at her, a dimple emerged on the left side of his mouth. She fought the urge to sigh dreamily like Fleur so often did in the presence of real beauty.
Danielle, puzzled at the quivering sensation the stranger invoked in her, pulled herself together and smiled a welcome. If this guy was considerate enough to buy his wife or girlfriend a handmade dress and handmade jewelry, he was pretty much perfect in her opinion. And he hadn’t even opened his mouth yet.