REWRITE THE STARS
by Julieann Dove
Publication Date: August 23, 2018
Genres: Adult, New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Standalone
Cover Design Credit: Kristin Clifton @ Sweet Bird Designs, LLC
(#FREE WITH #KINDLEUNLIMITED!)
For ten summers Claire and her mother had been guests at the Prescott’s beach house at Kelly’s Cove. And for ten years she played with Mallory and her twin brother, Colin. But it wasn’t until she returned after college graduation for her last summer there, that she realized Colin had grown into a guy who made her knees knock just by smiling at her. Being from different worlds, she knew nothing would come from her attraction to him.
Having returned to the states from studying abroad for four years, the last person Colin thought he’d find staying in his bedroom was Claire Ashton. Lanky and awkward during her adolescent years, he had to look twice to make sure this was the same girl. After a week together it was obvious he’d overlooked something before, because he felt things for her he’d never experienced before. There was only one problem—his last name and all that came with it would never permit him to be with her.
In the end, it’s either love or prestige that will win in the game of love.
“Colin, where are you taking me?” Claire saw he’d taken a right at the intersection, rather than the left that led downtown.
“I hooked us up with a private flight around the island. The instructor told me I can even take the controls to feel what it’s like to pilot the plane by myself.” His eyes became as large as fifty cent pieces, just like the little boy who’d gotten excited when his mother brought home a model plane for him to drive remotely around the side field of the house. Mallory and Claire saw very little of him that summer.
Claire’s anxiety level began to soar, higher than she ever wanted to experience from the air. “I’m not so good in planes, Colin. And that’s usually the commercial ones, with two hundred or so seats and a locked cockpit where I’m unable to see the pilot and all the buttons it takes to lift off into the clouds and stay lifted. I’m not so sure I can do two-seater tin-can models.”
“Do it for me?” He took her hand in his and pleaded, trying to stay on his side of the road.
She took a deep breath, teetering on thoughts of plummeting into the earth’s atmosphere and touching again on soil with all body parts intact. The last thing she wanted was to disappoint Colin. His father did enough of that already, and he looked so happy. His foot was tapping to the song playing on the radio and his smile was completely infectious. “All right, but the first time I’m scared, you’ll tell the pilot it’s time to come back?”
“Promise.” He crossed his heart.
“All right then. Let’s go earn you some wings!” she yelled.
He pulled into the parking space and grabbed her face for a quick kiss. “I love you.”
She opened her eyes quickly right before the contact of lip on lip. What did he just say? He must have caught that slipup, too. Instead of following through with the kiss, he was doing somewhat of a staring-off contest, and neither one was blinking.
“Did you just—”
“I did. It wasn’t planned, I promise, and if it freaked you out…” He didn’t finish his sentence.
She didn’t know what to think. She thought of her mother instantly, and what advice she’d give her. Stop being so guarded, more than likely. Claire had a problem with letting people get close to her. Especially now that she knew how completely lost she was without her mother. But she knew if she was ever going to find love, she’d have to open herself for the possibility of having her heart broken, too.
“Aren’t we still in the trying out period?” She eased back a few inches from his beautiful intense blue eyes. Not that she hadn’t already fallen madly in love with him. But she was waiting it out, for him to figure whether it was something he wanted, too. Guys usually didn’t figure it out until years into a relationship. This was sudden and completely a pinch-me moment for her.
“I mean, did you mean what you said, or was it just sheer excitement and adrenaline over being able to fly a plane and me agreeing to go with you? Risking life and limb.”
His eyes didn’t waver with his answer. They stared at her, to the very core of her, and his words rang inside her ears. “I meant it. I do love you.”
Her heart leapt with joy. A thousand fireworks exploded inside her, setting off tinier ones for the smaller parts, like her pinky fingers and piggy toes. “I love you, too.” She tried her best not to sound fourteen when she said it.
There it was—spoken to the universe. Like a corked bottle finally getting release. Lightning could strike her if it was untrue. But it was true. And a secret. Like the ones Frieda told her the house held. A secret that had been burning inside her since high school. It was in those years after Colin had grown out of a little boy playing pranks and into a young man who was hell-bent on spending his time challenging Claire to swim out to the first beacon. Although both wore the guise of feeling indifferent, inside she wanted him to want her as much as she wanted him. The mask was now off and it felt wonderful to say it out loud.
He moved forward to kiss her again. This time slower, with a hundred percent more passion. His tongue fought to get at her. His chest heaved in and out, as he touched her breasts, straddling across the center console to do so.
“Colin, are you going to be late?” She backed away slightly, wiping her lips. “Not that I’m not enjoying this immensely and maybe hoping a little tiny bit,” she held up two fingers, “that the flight will get canceled and we can return to the guesthouse. But I don’t want you to miss this opportunity.”
“You’re right.” He adjusted his shirt from riding his neckline. “We’re supposed to be in there now. Thanks again, Claire, for coming with me.” He jumped out and ran to her side and escorted her to the tarmac.
ABOUT JULIEANN DOVE
Julieann lives in Virginia, where she loves collecting houseplants, sewing cute little quilts, and writing about messy love. She fell in love with reading at a young age, after following Nancy Drew in solving the mysteries of the world. This carries on today, as crime shows are among her favorite to watch. Well those and the Hallmark channel love stories and mysteries. Keeping busy with soon-to-be six children, she needs time to unwind!