TCO is excited to once again have Sloan Johnson stopping by today. She has brought her brand new cover from her upcoming Dreamspinner Press States of Love book, His Kindred Spirit, along with a great new excerpt. Make sure you check it out, and leave a comment for the giveaway. Thanks Sloan! Congrats!
Dane has built his life around not relying on anyone but himself. When he travels from New York City to North Carolina at the request of his estranged, incarcerated father, he learns truths he’d rather not know… along with inheriting a share in his grandfather’s inn. But the place comes with complications, including a man he will have to walk away from—but can’t help falling for.
Brook has only known romance through notes left in a mailbox at the end of the beach. When he’s tasked with showing his boss’s gorgeous nephew what makes Sunset Beach and Bird Island special, he’s compelled to take Dane to his favorite place.
Dane never wanted the inn, but when it’s threatened, he steps up to defend it… and keep the man he’s coming to love by his side and in his life. But first they’ll have to clean up Dane’s uncle’s mess.
States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.
Our conversation faded, and we sat watching the tide creep up the beach with every set of waves. The sound of a girl shrieking in the distance followed by rich laughter made me smile. I tipped my head back and closed my eyes, wishing I felt up to a walk across the island tonight because the weather was perfect for it.
When I opened my eyes, I couldn’t believe what sat on the table. A green notebook with the edges curled up from use. “Where’d you get this?”
Dane’s cheeks turned pink, the corner of his mouth lifting upward in a shy smile. “I figured you hadn’t been out to the mailbox since the night we were there. Thought you might miss your reading time.”
“So you made a four-mile round-trip for me?” Maybe I shouldn’t have been shocked, because that was the type of guy Dane was, but no one had ever gone out of their way like this for me. I didn’t have a lot of dating experience, but I’d never even been able to get any of my boyfriends to walk out there with me. They all thought it was a redneck tourist trap, not worth wasting hours of their time. But Dane, who I’d treated like crap last Saturday morning, had walked out there and brought back a book for me to read without me even asking.
“Go on, pick a page and read it to me.” Dane slid lower in his chair and closed his eyes.
I flipped the notebook open to a random page.
“What’s it say?”
“This one’s cheesy,” I warned him.
“Don’t care. Whatever page you open it to is the one you have to read.” He sat up and smiled. “That’s a new rule I made up. The people who write those notes want to be heard, so let’s hear them.”
Heart. Melting. “Okay, just remember you asked for it. Based on the handwriting and what it says, I’m pretty sure this was a teenage girl, probably out there with her parents, but maybe not.”
“You’re stalling,” he pointed out, smirking again. If I was bolder, I’d have lunged over this table and kissed that cocky grin off his face.
“I met the most amazing guy yesterday, but I probably won’t get to see him again. He was funny and really cute. And he said I had a nice smile. No one’s said that to me before, probably because I had those stupid braces for so long. But he liked my smile…”
I kept reading until the end of the letter, signed with a heart with two sets of initials.
“That wasn’t so bad,” he said when I finished. “I wonder if she did get to see him again before they left. Or if they at least kept talking. I hope so.”
“If I didn’t know better, I’d think you were a closet romantic, Dane Montgomery,” I teased.
Sloan Johnson is a big-city girl trapped in a country girl’s body. While she longs for the hustle and bustle of New York City or Las Vegas, she hasn’t yet figured out how to sit on the deck with her morning coffee, watching the deer and wild turkeys in the fields, while surrounded by concrete and glass.
When she was three, her parents received their first call from the principal asking them to pick her up from school. Apparently, if you aren’t enrolled, you can’t attend classes, even in kindergarten. The next week, she was in preschool, and started plotting her first story soon after.
Later in life, her parents needed to do something to help their socially awkward, uncoordinated child come out of her shell and figured there was no better place than a bar on Wednesday nights. It’s a good thing they did because this is where she found her love of reading and writing. Who needs socialization when you can sit alone in your bedroom with a good book?