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Between Now and Forever

Between Now and Forever

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  • 66 Pages
  • 1-2 Hours
  • 20K Words
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She’s a librarian on vacation. He’s a reclusive author who’s scared to trust. Can their friendship survive her departure?

When Sarah Linden-Price arrives at a rental cabin in Maine, she has only one goal—to complete the promised photography project for her best friend and head back to Manhattan. Making friends isn’t part of the plan. But when a walk on the beach results in a mishap with a man and his dog, she’s surprised to discover they’re old acquaintances.

For Dean Jensen, the small town of St. Martin’s Cove is the perfect escape—and the perfect opportunity to keep his pen name a secret. He has no intention of moving back to New York City, and even less of falling in love. But then he reconnects with Sarah, and everything starts to change...

As Dean helps Sarah with her photography project, his feelings deepen beyond the youthful crush from their college days. But as her time in Maine winds down, they’re both left wondering what sacrifices their blossoming relationship is worth.

A sweet and swoony story of old crushes, new secrets, and friendships that turn into something more! Between Now and Forever is a fresh take on a classic trope, a standalone romance full of heart-stopping moments with a guaranteed happy ending!

 


Main Tropes

  • second chance
  • small town beach
  • secret identity

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Synopsis

She’s a librarian on vacation. He’s a reclusive author who’s scared to trust. Can their friendship survive her departure?

When Sarah Linden-Price arrives at a rental cabin in Maine, she has only one goal—to complete the promised photography project for her best friend and head back to Manhattan. Making friends isn’t part of the plan. But when a walk on the beach results in a mishap with a man and his dog, she’s surprised to discover they’re old acquaintances.

For Dean Jensen, the small town of St. Martin’s Cove is the perfect escape—and the perfect opportunity to keep his pen name a secret. He has no intention of moving back to New York City, and even less of falling in love. But then he reconnects with Sarah, and everything starts to change...

As Dean helps Sarah with her photography project, his feelings deepen beyond the youthful crush from their college days. But as her time in Maine winds down, they’re both left wondering what sacrifices their blossoming relationship is worth.

A sweet and swoony story of old crushes, new secrets, and friendships that turn into something more! Between Now and Forever is a fresh take on a classic trope, a standalone romance full of heart-stopping moments with a guaranteed happy ending!

Intro into Chapter One

St. Martin’s Cove, Maine
Early October


Two weeks at the beach.
Fourteen days of sand and sea and sunlight.
Time away from the library was just what she needed.
Sarah turned the key in the lock of the small house and pushed the door open. She grabbed her rolling suitcase and stepped inside, then paused.
Darkness enveloped the corners of the room and the air carried the fresh scent of a space recently cleaned. She flipped on the nearest switch and the small cabin she’d seen only in pictures lay before her—to the right side, one bedroom and a bathroom, and in front, a kitchen and living room dominated by a large window and sliding-glass doors leading to the back deck.
This late in the evening, the promised view didn’t show much more than impending darkness with occasional twinkling dots, but that would change at first light.
Sarah closed the front door, walked to the glass doors and slid them open. The salty air in the night breeze instantly filled her lungs and the soft roar of the waves brought a smile to her lips.
Her shoulders relaxed in a long sigh, shedding the stress she usually wore as a constant mantle.
Rachel had been right—this was just what Sarah needed.
Sarah pulled out her phone and sent her best friend a message.
I’m here and it’s amazing. Wish you could be here too.
Her phone rang and Rachel’s name flashed on the small screen.
“I was beginning to worry,” Rachel said. “Weren’t you supposed to arrive an hour ago?”
“I got delayed at the airport and had to wait for a taxi.” Plus, the driver had taken the wrong exit.
“In typical Sarah fashion,” Rachel said. “That’s why I’m usually the driver. But not this time.”
“Not this time,” Sarah echoed. “You have a more important job. How’s Peanut? And how are you?”
“Peanut is doing great and so am I. Peter lets me get up only to go to the bathroom, so I guess I should be grateful for that. He’s become a dedicated jailer.”
“Peter loves you and wants what’s best for you and the baby. Just hang in there. Before you know it, you’ll be holding that beautiful little peanut of yours.”
Sarah and Rachel had planned one last best-friend’s trip before the baby came, but complications to Rachel’s pregnancy had forced her to bed rest. At first, Sarah had wanted to cancel their reservation, but after a lot of cajoling from Rachel and Peter, she’d come alone. It was a good decision. Not life-changing, but it would do her good.
“Easy for you to say. Just remember the pictures you promised me.”
“Of course,” Sarah agreed. “All the pictures we talked about.”
While at St. Martin’s Cove, she’d be taking photos of the small town and surrounding spots for a special photo book to be printed as a family keepsake and as a present for Peter.
“What about the cabin?”
“Conway Cabin is just like the pictures,” Sarah replied. “A great little place.”
“I guess you’ll have to wait till morning for that walk on the surf.”
“Not a chance. We planned a walk as the first thing we’d do and I’m taking that walk.”
“In the dark?” Rachel asked.
“There’s a waning moon outside. That’s plenty of light.”
“Just be careful.”
“You too.”
Sarah turned off the phone and breathed in deeply.
From the description on the website, the rental cabin stood within walking distance to the dunes on the beach, accessible from the backyard deck. The sound of the waves confirmed it.
She turned on the flashlight app on her phone and stepped down from the deck. The moon was out but didn’t shine as brightly as she’d expected, and she stumbled a couple of times before finding the trail in the sand.
Once she got used to the terrain under her feet, she continued on and, as she approached the beach, the air stung sharper and the pull and crash of the waves raised in volume. In the low light, the swell of the dunes loomed on each side of the trail and beyond, and she could almost feel the wetness of the water. It was colder than she’d expected.
For a quick moment, the darkness overwhelmed her senses. Maybe this walk hadn’t been such a good idea.
But she was almost there now. Just a few more yards and then she’d turn back to the cabin. She held the phone high and turned the light to shine in front of her, trying to gauge how far the water’s edge was.
Her feet hit something first, then her knees buckled against an obstacle in the way.
“What the—” a male voice said.
Before she had time to react, she fell headfirst in a tangle of arms and legs and sand. Sarah screamed and a dog yelped.
For the longest instant, her world was upside down. Then a strong pair of hands grabbed her by the elbows and set her back on her feet.
“Are you okay?” a man asked.
In the darkness, alone with a stranger, her feelings reeled, and her heart thumped louder and faster as she tried to orient herself.
“My phone,” she said, her voice still unsteady. She looked around and found the flashlight shining from the sand.
As she bent down to pick it up, the dog barked and she trembled. “Does he bite?” He was going to bite her and she had nowhere to run.
“No, he doesn’t bite.”
“He sounds like a beast.”
The dog growled low as if he’d understood what she’d said, and she stepped back.
“Stay,” the man said. At the simple command, the dog stopped growling and sat on his haunches beside his owner.
Panic surged within her. She was alone at night and away from any help. If the man or the dog attacked her, no one would come.
She teetered and he set his hands out as if to steady her.
“I’m okay, I’m okay,” she said quickly. “I don’t need help.” Sarah palmed her phone and raised it up. “I’m going now.”
He held his hands up in a gesture of surrender and took a step back. “Are you okay?” he repeated.
“I’m fine.” She wasn’t but she wouldn’t tell him that. Her knee smarted and her forehead hurt something fierce. Most likely, a sizable goose egg was already forming.
“That was a nasty tumble you took.” He slipped his hands in his pockets and kept his distance.
She still couldn’t see his face clearly, but his voice was calm. Strangely, it calmed her down and her nerves receded as her heartbeat slowed. The dog remained in the same relaxed position.
“It wasn’t my fault,” she mumbled to herself. Not entirely. “I’m going now,” she announced, walking backwards. “Don’t follow me.”
“Be careful. Don’t go falling again.”
After a few paces, she looked back over her shoulder. She couldn’t see him clearly, but he stood on the same spot, the dog still at his side.
He raised a hand. “Have a good night, ma’am.”
When Sarah passed through the back door, she managed to lock it before her legs gave out. She slid to the floor and leaned against the solid wood door, breathing hard and trying to make sense of what had just happened. The flashlight on the phone screen still shone brightly and she turned it off, then settled a hand over her chest.
What a crazy night. First, the taxi company had taken forever to find her reservation. Then, the driver had lost the exit, and taken even longer to arrive. And now, she’d tripped on a man and his dog on her way to the beach at night.
Well, he hadn’t made the situation any better, sitting in the dark behind the dunes.
And to add insult to injury, he’d ma’amd her. How old did he think she was?
Not a promising beginning to a quiet vacation.

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