The Write Man
“Lisa has a wonderful way with words and the depth of emotion I felt while reading this story was one I hadn’t felt for a while. . . . this story grabbed me and touched all of my emotions.”
She’s afraid to trust . . .
Trust comes hard for kid-lit author Merry Sunjoy, who survived a rough childhood and rocky marriage to a pathological liar. But Merry ignores her painful past and seeks silver linings everywhere, though she’s tested by Scurvy Rickets, a writer of raucous pirate stories for kids, who has engaged Merry in a humiliating social media battle. Adding to her anguish is her sister’s miscarriage and the upcoming anniversary of their mother’s death. Merry escapes to the golden beaches of Mimosa Key to hide from the world and write her next book.
He can’t tell her the truth . . .
Syndicated sports columnist Nick Brubaker isn’t looking for love when he meets Merry Sunjoy on the beach, but her sunny, impetuous ways heat him up fast, and she soon owns his heart. They take moonlit walks and share deep confidences, but Nick withholds his most important secret: He is Merry’s detested online nemesis, Scurvy Rickets. A legal contract enforces Nick’s silence, and he can’t divulge his nom de plume or his misbelief that Merry knew the online ribbing was arranged by others for promotional purposes.
Hidden words, hidden meanings . . .
When Merry accidentally discovers Nick’s secret, the betrayal cuts deep, and Merry uses Nick’s contract of silence against him. It will take deft writing on Nick’s part to convince Merry that he’s worthy of her love and trust, and that while he may be The Write Man, he is also, and will always be, the right man for her.
EXCERPT from THE WRITE MAN:
One bottle of chardonnay turned into two, and by the time they finished the last of Poppy Montgomery’s jerked chicken and rice, Merry felt more relaxed than she had in ages. She declined dessert—chocolate cookies made by Keebler elves—but said yes to a walk on the beach.
The threatening rain from earlier had moved further up the coast, taking most of the clouds with it. The result was a beach awash in glowing moonlight. The humidity eased with the deepening of the night, and the breeze billowing off the water was enough to raise goosebumps on Merry’s skin. She wished herself dressed in a diaphanous gown or romantic evening dress but was stuck with her cutoffs and tee-shirt instead. Not that Nick seemed to mind. He had traded his khakis for cargo shorts, offered a lightweight jacket to Merry, and they now strolled in comfort along the shoreline.
“I love feeling the sand between my toes,” she said as they meandered along. “I’d like to live by the beach someday. Maybe even here on Mimosa Key.”
“I’ve thought about it, too. I’ve been coming here for a few years now whenever I start a new Pi—to work. It’s nice this time of year.”
“I thought the rainy season was over, but there’s a tropical storm expected to make land tomorrow evening,” Merry said.
“Is there?” Nick stopped and looked out over the water. “You’d never know it tonight.”
Beside him, Merry followed his gaze. The whitecaps played with the moon, and the choppy water reflected the glow like bits of glitter.
“It’s raining moonlight,” Nick said.
Merry smiled as she stared at the dark horizon. It did look like moondrops dancing across the water.
“I’ve never noticed that before,” she said, entranced. “I suppose sunshine does the same.”
“Sundrops,” Nick said, turning to face her.
Merry shivered into the borrowed jacket and breathed the salt-tinged air. The breeze teased her hair, and she let it fly free, eager to embrace the moment. Tomorrow she’d be gone, her working vacation interrupted by family needs.
Merry’s mother had managed to disrupt her daughter’s life even in death.
“You cold?” Nick asked. “We can go back.”
“No,” Merry said. “This is perfect. I—I was thinking about—I’m leaving tomorrow. There’s a family thing, and . . .” She trailed off and tilted her head to look up at Nick. “Thanks for tonight. This was really nice.”
Nick stared into Merry’s eyes, his dark and searching. Her heartbeat sped when he took her face in his hands, and delight shimmered through her when he murmured against her lips, “It doesn’t have to be over yet.”
“No! What’s wrong with you? It’s too soon! Are you crazy? You don’t know the soul inside this creature yet!” the Faeries shouted.
The word “no” hovered between Nick and Merry, daring her to end the moment. She sensed Nick’s hesitancy a second before he drew away to look into her eyes. When she said nothing, moved not a muscle forward or back, he leaned in again and took her mouth with his. Warmth flooded through her and brought a shiver rippling across her skin. Nick drew her closer and deepened the kiss. Merry pressed into his warmth and reveled in the sensation of his lips against hers. Her limbs melted even as her spirit became empowered by the connection.
She had been careful, had denied herself, for so long. It felt good to surrender to her female instincts, and she immersed herself in the power of it, gave herself permission to enjoy this moment and this man.
God knew what the next few days would hold, especially with the drama unfolding online with that jackass Rickets. She had so much turmoil swirling her way over the next few days. But none of that mattered—not here, not now, not in this moment. In Nick’s arms there was only savory warmth and the thundering of their hearts.
Tonight, he was her silver lining.