Skye Taylor – Falling for Zoe
This week, love is in the air ♥♥♥ with my guest author, Skye Taylor
Skye Taylor lives in Florida where she divides her time between writing novels, walking the beach, occasionally dressing up as a 17th century Spanish colonial and participating in historical re-enactments in old St Augustine, and trying to keep her to-be-read pile from taking over the house. She considers life an adventure and in a world of people who ask why, she has decided to ask “why not?” She spent two years in the South Pacific with the Peace Corps (2002-2004). She’s jumped out of perfectly good airplanes and earned a basic sky diving license. She loves to travel and has visited twenty-six states and fourteen countries on four continents and the South Pacific. Her bucket list includes at least that many more places to see. Having been born and lived most of her life in New England where her children grew up, she is now a transplanted Yankee soaking up the sun, warmth and history of St. Augustine. She’s a member of RWA, Florida Writer’s Association and Ancient City Romance Authors.
Falling for Zoe
Zoe Callahan, pregnant with the child her ex-boyfriend doesn’t want, adores her ramshackle new home in the seaside town of Tide’s Way, North Carolina. When she meets her handsome next-door neighbor, Jake Cameron, who offers some fixer-upper help, her heart goes out to him. He’s a doting dad to three daughters and the kind caretaker to a mom-in-law with Alzheimer’s. He’s a gentle, caring man, the kind she always dreamed about.
Jake can’t deny his instant attraction to his new neighbor, but he’s already got a house full of females he feels he can’t live up to. Besides, he won’t risk turning his family upside down again after his ex-wife nearly destroyed it.
Despite Jake’s efforts to hide his feelings, he and Zoe quickly become the best of friends. Zoe discovers love hasn’t given up on her, even if the father of her unborn child did. Now she just needs to figure out why Jake is so determined not to let the heady attraction that sizzles between them turn into something more than just friendship.
Then disaster strikes, and Jake is Zoe’s reluctant rescuer. He already has her heart, but now, in spite of the rift that has come between them, she must trust him with her life and the life of her baby. Can Jake shake the demons in his own past and trust himself?
Here is an excerpt:
The rumble of a diesel engine and the grinding of gears caught Jake Cameron’s attention. He looked up to see a red and white van with the familiar logo of a well-known Wilmington moving company. Thankful for any diversion from the unwelcome feelings stirred up by today’s unsettling mail, Jake tossed the stack of letters onto the bench inside the garage door and stepped back outside to watch the movers.
The big van negotiated the sharp turn between the crumbling old brick gateposts guarding their little cul-de-sac and eased around the grassy little island in the center. Jake whistled in mild astonishment as it pulled to a stop in front of the once elegant Jolee homestead that squatted firmly on the rise between the road and the tidal marsh beyond. The real estate market was still agonizingly sluggish, and the neglected building had been vacant ever since the former owner had passed away. The nineteenth-century homes with antiquated everything just seemed to sit forever waiting for buyers with an interest in the unique and historic, or for investors on the lookout for cheap properties they could fix and flip.
A battered Toyota pickup truck swung around the van and pulled onto the crushed shell drive. Jake started across his lawn, intending to be neighborly and welcome the new guy on the block, whatever his plan for the place.
The person who slid out of the driver’s seat took him by surprise. She had a wild mane of reddish-gold curls and a figure to grab any man’s instant attention. Jake hesitated, waiting for a husband to appear from the passenger seat, but none did. The woman turned, saw Jake and flashed him a friendly smile.
“Hi!” the woman called in an engagingly musical voice. “Are you my new neighbor?”
Jake yanked himself out of his momentary confusion and finished covering the distance to the drive. He held out his hand. “If you’re moving into this place, then that would be a yes. Name’s Jake Cameron.”
“Nice to meet you, Jake.” Her eyes traveled down over his paint-stained T-shirt and frayed, khaki shorts and came back to his face with a curious sparkle in their greenish-brown depths that made him wonder if he’d left his fly down. “I’m Zoe Callahan.”
“Sorry, I’m kind of a mess. Been painting.” He forced himself not to check the status of his zipper as he shook her hand briefly before jamming his hands into his pockets.
She wasn’t as young as he’d first thought. Late twenties maybe, or early thirties. She was attractive in a fresh-faced, girl-next-door sort of way. What, he wondered, could have induced this engaging young woman to buy a house that was going to need an army to put it to rights?
“This time next week, I’ll be the one apologizing.” Zoe jerked her head in the direction of the house. “Everything will need painting inside and out, I’m afraid.”
“It’ll take a lot more than a coat of paint to get this place ready to put back on the market.” Jake studied the peeling paint and derelict railings more closely, reflecting on how really bad it had gotten over the months the house had been vacant.
“Oh, I don’t plan to sell it.” Zoe’s hazel eyes widened in exaggerated enthusiasm. “I’m here to stay.”
“Is . . . is there a Mr. Callahan?”
“Nope! Just me and the menagerie.”
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