Finding Haven–with its brand new cover–is out now! Read on for an excerpt and giveaway…
by T.A. Foster
Power. Money. Control. Love.
He has all but one.
When movie star Evan Carlson discovers his girlfriend’s picture with another man splashed on the cover of gossip magazines, he decides he’s had enough of his fishbowl life and attempts to outrun the media frenzy his relationships have become. Driving until the road stops, he ends up on the remote and quaint Perry Island, where a heartthrob can blend in like the locals and be a beach bum as long as he wants. All that changes when Evan meets Haven Owen, aspiring songwriter and the girl he just can’t get enough of.
A summer romance turns into something much deeper and Evan gets tangled in his own web of lies to keep Haven in his life. But when his ex tracks him down, Evan learns there are some things you just can’t outrun.
Is the cost of love losing all control?
Denton Owen strolled next to Evan and patted him on the back. “Thanks for all of your help yesterday getting the festival set up.” Haven’s father spoke over the band playing.
“Sure thing. I didn’t mind.”
Evan liked the man. He just didn’t like his decisions and how they affected Haven.
Most everyone had gone home mid-afternoon to clean up for the night’s festivities. There was a popular beach music band, and the street was roped off for dancing. The local crowd was reappearing one by one, freshly showered and wearing their favorite dancing shoes. Evan felt right at home in his khaki shorts and flip-flops.
“There you are.” Maura joined them. “I couldn’t get out of the fire station until now. Hi, Jay.” She smiled.
“Hi, ma’am.” He watched as she reached up on her toes to kiss her husband’s cheek.
“Where’s Haven?” She peeked around Evan.
Evan had been wondering the same thing. “She said she would meet me here.” He glanced at his watch. It was seven thirty. Fifteen minutes past when she agreed to be at the dance. “Maybe I should call her. I’ll be right back.” He left the Owens and walked toward his Jeep.
He had parked in the store’s employee lot so he wouldn’t have to contend with traffic. Although, he had to laugh at himself. Traffic problems on the island consisted of five cars at one stop sign. It was nothing like L.A. or Atlanta traffic.
He pulled on the handle of the passenger side and flipped the latch on the glove box. He liked life without a cell phone in his pocket. Before he could pick up the device, he felt hands slide around his waist. He jumped.
“What the—?” He spun on his heels to find Haven wearing a smile and a sundress that showed off her tanned shoulders.
“Scare you?” She giggled.
“What? Me? No way.” He closed the door behind him and the space that separated them. “Come here.”
She lunged into his arms, and he picked her up by the waist, crushing his lips into hers. She tasted like strawberries and smelled like the sweetness of the sun.
Haven looped her hands around his waist and pressed her forehead to his. “Sorry I’m so late. I couldn’t decide on what to wear.” He felt her chest rising and falling against him. He loved it when they were close like this.
He lowered her carefully until her flip-flops touched the gravel surface. His finger traced the neckline of the dress. There were tiny flowers on it, but he liked the goose bumps he was creating on her skin as he played with the fabric. “This one looks pretty on you.” It took serious restraint not to peel it off her in the back of his Jeep. “I was just getting ready to call you.”
“I sent you a few texts. Why don’t you keep your phone on you?” She placed her hand into his palm as they turned toward the street.
He sighed. “Because sometimes it’s nice to be unavailable.”
“Except when I’m trying to call you to tell you I’m late.” She poked him in the side.
“Yeah, except for that.” He laughed.
The band started another number, and from their vantage point, they could see the festivalgoers pairing off to dance.
“Are you ready to shag?” She looked at him expectedly.
“Uh, darlin’, don’t you think we should be alone for that? Although, don’t get me wrong, I like the way you’re thinking.” They walked closer to the crowd.
She swatted him on the chest. “No. Not that.” She pointed to the dancers. “That’s shagging.”
Evan watched as the couples shuffled their feet together, and then rocked back on one heel. Some had more pronounced moves, while others seemed content to count out the beat almost at a standstill. It was nothing like the two-step.
He scratched his head. “I don’t know what in the hell they’re doing.”
“I’ve seen you move.” She winked. “Just follow my lead.”
Before he could protest or study the steps, Haven tugged him into the center of the street turned dance floor, and locked a firm grip on his hand.
“Ok. It’s easy. Watch my feet. One, two, three, one, two, three, and then rock back. Like this.” She showed him the simple move and paused to let him give it a try.
This was the first time he had taken to a dance floor in flip-flops, but was pleasantly surprised that they were perfect for the steps.
“Got it?” Her eyes sparkled as she started her first triple count.
Evan grinned. “Baby, I was born to shag.” He matched her steps and rocked on his heel as Haven’s laughter shot out.
“Please, no more jokes. Shagging is serious.” She zeroed in on his eyes with a mock reprimand.
Evan pretended to shake the humor from his face. “Like this? All serious?”
Haven spun under his arm and leaned into the crowd. “Yes. Exactly like that. There’s no laughing in shagging.” She let a giggle slip as he curled his hand around her waist.
The band played until midnight, and they didn’t leave the festival until the last note was launched in the air. Evan was fairly certain he had danced with every woman who lived on Perry Island and a few who didn’t. He also had the chance to show off his two-step, even though he knew this crowd was partial to their beach music. He didn’t know if he had ever laughed so hard or danced so much.
He draped his arm around Haven’s shoulder as they headed to the parking lot, his legs slightly achy from four hours of dancing.
“Did you have a good time?” She smiled at him.
“The best.” He kissed her on the forehead as he shuttled her into his Jeep.
“Wait. What about my car?” She looked over her shoulder at her parking spot.
“Oh, we don’t have time for that.”
“We don’t?” He loved the puzzled look on her face.
“No. I’ve got to get you home.” He jumped into the driver’s seat, cranked the engine, and peeled out of the lot, spewing gravel in all directions. He loved dancing with her all night, but he couldn’t wait to hold her in his arms and dance a little more where no one else could watch.
T.A. Foster is a Southern girl whose heart and spirit are connected to the beach. She grew up catching rays and chasing waves along the North Carolina Outer Banks and now resides in the state with her adventurous pilot husband, two children and two canine kiddos.
Her long love affair with books started at an early age and as soon as she was able, she transformed imaginative stories into words on paper. T.A. has an undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a graduate degree in Educational Psychology from Texas A&M University. When she’s not chasing her two-legged and four-legged children or trying to escape for date night, you can find her reading, writing or planning her next beach trip.
Author Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7164289.T_A_Foster