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Childhood Dream ebook

Childhood Dream ebook

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Main Tropes

  • Sister's Best Friend
  • Best Friend's Younger Brother
  • Family Saga
Set in the picturesque setting of coastal Maine, Childhood Dream is a hot and steamy small-town romance between an artist and his older sister's best friend. 

Synopsis

His dream just became a reality... Now what?

After drinking one too many glasses of champagne at a wedding and sleeping with her best friend’s younger brother, Krissy Turner, does everything in her power to forget about the curly haired sex god. But after her business is vandalized, he offers his services to help paint the place and in return she agrees to sit for him as a portrait model.

Up-and-coming artist, Tony Moretti, has been in love with his sister’s best friend most of his life. Creatively blocked and his passion lost, he looks to Krissy to ignite that spark inside of him again. Giving into their growing desires is inevitable. But when someone continues to terrorize Krissy, and she relies on Tony to comfort her, their relationship goes deeper than the heated chemistry between them.

When Tony’s passion returns, and Krissy’s enemy is revealed, their love will be tested, but will love be enough to set them free?

Intro Into Chapter 1

Weddings never bothered Krissy before, but now with her two best friends perfectly paired off, a disappointing sadness poked at her gut. Men were never a necessity, not when she had friends to rely on. Times had changed, though. Ella traveled back and forth between California and their small town of Willow Cove with her boyfriend, Lucas, and Cami was head over heels in love with Ella’s older brother, Enzo. And then there was Krissy, perpetually single.

Both couples had made their way to the dance floor to join the bride and groom, and Krissy took another sip of champagne. She was happy for the newlyweds. Marco and Aubrey had a long road to their happily ever after, but still, they were just another couple in Krissy’s circle, and now they were married.

If it wouldn’t be considered rude, she’d click into the e-reader app on her phone and live vicariously through the characters of the current romance book she was reading instead of being reminded that she was alone.

She glanced at her phone and saw a notification for a text. She tapped into the message from her cousin, Victor.

Victor: Did the bride and groom cut the cake yet?

At the last family get together, she tried to convince him to be her plus one so she’d have someone to chat with while the couples danced and did other couple things that would make her feel like a third wheel. She typed back a quick response.

Krissy: Yes, but there is still no end in sight.

Victor responded almost immediately.

Victor: Hang in there, cuz. Maybe find a guy for the night. Weddings are great for hookups.

Krissy rolled her eyes. Victor, a former all American football player was the poster child for hookups.

Krissy: Maybe for you. You know that’s not me.

Victor: It could be. You already have the hotel room for the night, right?

Krissy: I can guarantee the only thing happening in my hotel room later is sleep.

Victor: Just something to think about. Talk soon.

She downed the rest of her drink and sunk into her chair. Normally she, Ella, and Cami would dance together, but they were holding close to their significant others, nuzzling into their chests and stealing kisses, which meant they’d be ditching the wedding at some point for more privacy.

Maybe Victor was on to something. Hookups at weddings happened. Some would say they were almost expected. Having someone to warm her bed tonight didn’t sound like a bad idea. Though, the pickings were slim. Aubrey had a group of work friends she didn’t know, but they all seemed to have brought a plus one.

Damn Victor for leaving her hanging.

Krissy picked up her glass, brought it to her mouth, and sighed when she realized she had already sucked it dry. It was fine. She had two legs. She didn’t need a man to get her a drink. She turned in her seat, ready to spring to the bar, but halted at the large hand dangling in front of her.

“Huh?” Her gaze shot up and locked with the dark brown eyes of Ella’s younger brother. Tony, two years younger than them, had at some point grown from little boy to sexy man. His black wavy hair was free from the bandana he usually tied it back with. The paint-stained jeans he lived in were replaced with a suit that was tailored perfectly to every inch of his body.

He'd had a crush on her when they were younger which she found sweet. Back when they were thirteen and fifteen, two years difference seemed like twenty, and she always had a protective nature when it came to the young Moretti. But somewhere in his twenties, he no longer seemed to need someone watching out for him. He grew into a man capable of taking care of himself.

Their easy friendship had shifted to shorter conversations, and she’d be lying to herself if she didn’t admit that she’d missed their random chats about life and what they’d been up to.

“Want to dance?” Tony asked, his voice filled with unusual confidence.

The room swayed slightly as she tilted her head. Maybe she shouldn’t have had that third glass of champagne. Ignoring the fuzz in her head, she smiled at the man who as a teen taught her the Chicken Noodle Soup dance even though he was terrible at it.

“Why not?” She placed her hand in his, surprised by the gentle yet strong hold. He helped her to her feet, and she stumbled slightly, resting her palm against his chest to stop her momentum. The crisp scent of blue cypress and fresh coastal air surrounded her, and she closed her eyes on an inhale. It was different from his usual paint scent.

“You okay?” he asked, concern lacing his words.

She nodded, eyes still closed while she centered herself. “Uh huh.” Slowly she opened her eyes, letting the room come back into focus. Why did she opt for contacts instead of her faithful glasses? She concentrated on the straight bridge of his nose, and with renewed balance, she pulled him toward the dance floor. “Let’s dance.”

The music—a contemporary mix of the last four decades—grew louder the closer they got to the DJ. Krissy teetered on the heels she wasn’t accustomed to wearing, and Tony’s hand shot out, steadying her.

“Easy there,” he said.

She smiled and did a quick spin. “I’m good!”

A new song kicked over, this one more upbeat, and Krissy grabbed Tony’s hands and started bouncing to the music. She liked to dance—on occasion—but that didn’t mean she was actually any good.

An amused laugh dimpled Tony’s cheeks and curved his lips, but he didn’t say anything. Instead, he followed, mimicking whatever dimwitted move she made.

She broke into the Chicken Noodle dance, not caring if she looked like a fool.

“You remembered,” Tony said.

“How could I forget? You spent an entire summer dancing around the kitchen doing this silly dance.” Right before his dad was arrested and his whole world changed. “Now, are you going to join me or let the student become the teacher?”

Tony didn’t miss a beat as he went from his current dance to the one from a decade ago.

“You’re still terrible at it.” Krissy laughed.

“You’re not much better.”

“What are you two doing?” Cami asked, leaning over from her intimate dance with Enzo.

Krissy pretended like she was drinking a soda, a move from the dance. “Having fun.”

Cami’s laugh mixed with her own, and Krissy continued to wiggle her fingers and pull her elbows to the ground, letting it rain. The song faded to an end, and Krissy took a deep breath, resting her hands on her thighs. She wasn’t like Cami, who ran for fun. Krissy found the near thought absurd. Physical activity was not fun. Unless she was naked, then she was okay with exerting a little extra energy. Her one form of exercise had been lacking since it had been a while since she had sex.

“All you couples out there, join the bride and groom on the dance floor for this bride requested favorite.”

The powerful voice of Etta James singing At Last rang across the room. Krissy frowned and turned to head to the table when Tony’s hand clamped down on her wrist, spinning her to him. The skirt of her dress spun with her, and she landed against his chest.

“You weren’t going to leave me here all alone, were you?”

“I didn’t think… I didn’t know…”

“I asked you to dance, didn’t I?”

“Yes, but the Chicken Soup is one thing. This…?” She motioned between them. “We’re not a couple.”

“So we miss out on all the fun? That doesn’t seem fair.” He swayed with the music, his hands resting on her hips.

He was right. Why did couples always get to have all the fun while she stared longingly at the dance floor? “No, it doesn’t.”

“Then dance with me.”

One slow dance didn’t mean anything even if Victor’s text flashed in her mind, reminding her hookups at weddings were perfectly normal. Heck, Victor was almost insisting she go for it. But this was Tony, sweet Tony, who she’d comforted after his mom passed. Who she played Go Fish with at his Grandparent’s kitchen table when Ella and Cami wanted to go for a run for fun like two psychos. No matter how lonely she was, she wouldn’t use him like that.

Still, she ignored the red lights of warning going off in her brain. Ignored the fact that Tony was her best friend’s little brother and let her hips move in sync with his.

She stepped into him, wrapping her arms around his neck. His scent engulfed her, reminding her of cool nights by the ocean. “This is nice,” she said.

His warm breath brushed across the bare skin of her neck and shoulder, and she shivered at the unexpected jolt of desire it sparked inside her.

It was nothing. She’d been lonely, wallowing in self-pity, before Tony graciously offered her a dance. She was drunk—lost in the moment, possibly confused by her conversation with Victor, but nothing more.

Tony’s grip on her hips tightened, holding her closer, and she swallowed at the excitement that radiated through her.

She closed her eyes, letting Tony and the music guide her, relishing in the relinquish of control. Between owning and running an ice cream shop and creating and selling her own soap and lip balm, it was rare for her to let someone else take the reins, but it was something she didn’t mind. It was why she had hired a full staff at the ice cream shop. Still, as the owner, control was still firmly in her hands. She was the sole decision maker. All the risks sat on her shoulders and hers alone. So being able to close her eyes now, trusting Tony and the beat to lead her, was nice.

The music picked up, and he pushed her out, spinning her away from him, only to yank her back in another spin. Her hands slammed against his chest, and a laugh burst out of her so loud it echoed above the music. The pity party she had been having earlier seemed like a faraway memory as laughter and joy consumed her.

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