by NY Times and USA Today Bestseller
Natalie Ramirez has spent less and less time with her husband over the last year and more and more time alone. She longs for the happy days of summer when she and Chase would pass the time together on the beach and under the boardwalk, exploring the passion that simmered between them as hot as any summer sun.
Chase Smith had to work hard for everything he ever had, including his wife Natalie. His wife had never wanted for anything in her life and Chase didn’t want to disappoint her. But somewhere along the way, Chase lost sight of the most important thing she wanted: his love.
A passionate night under the boardwalk brought them together, but can Chase and Natalie rekindle that lost love and save their marriage?
The brass key hung heavy in Chase Smith’s pocket, the weight a reminder of what had been in the past and what still might be possible for the future.
Would Natalie remember that this was the place where it had all started? Chase wondered as he left the quaint inn in Ocean Grove.
Of course Natalie will remember, the little voice in his head reminded. She wasn’t the one who forgot things like that or got so wrapped up in work that they’d let their personal life go to shit.
She wasn’t the one who’d become a boring uptight prick who’d forgotten how to have fun, chastised the nasty little voice in his head.
Chase’s gut clenched as reality sank its painful hooks deep. He took a deep breath and told himself to relax.
Tonight was supposed to be about having fun. Tonight was supposed to be about trying to recapture what it was that had brought him together with his wife.
Soon to be ex-wife if they couldn’t find a way back to the couple they’d once been.
He rushed down Main Avenue, heading toward the Ocean Grove boardwalk. As he neared it, the scents and sounds of the Jersey Shore washed over him, cleansing some of the tension from his body.
It was always like that here, that sense of peace and calm and rebirth.
He hurried to the metal railing at the edge of the boardwalk and leaned against it, savoring the final remnants of the early fall day. The susurrus of the waves soothed as a refreshing ocean breeze blew inland.
The temperature had been in the high sixties earlier; the day sunny enough for some post-Labor Day beachgoers. Far less people than the crowds that packed the beaches during the height of summer, but as he glanced up and down the boardwalk, there was still a good amount of activity.
He lingered for a few minutes more, gathering his courage. Watching as dusk arrived and the last rays of the sun bathed the ocean with touches of gold.
Glancing at his watch, he realized he had to get going and do the half mile or so walk to Asbury Park to meet Natalie.
He turned and headed north toward the end of Ocean Grove, fingers jammed into the pockets of the black skinny jeans he’d bought earlier that day along with the T-shirt and hoodie. It wasn’t what he’d originally planned to wear, but at the last minute, he’d decided that the button down shirt and khakis were a too visual reminder of the man he’d become instead of the man he used to be.
Luckily there was a surf and skate shop right on Main Avenue that had a nice selection of clothes that were just what he needed to discard his uptight self.
He quickened his pace, his long strides eating up the distance to the Casino along the boardwalk and the start of Asbury Park. Passing the Boardwalk Pavilion where Sunday services were held, he glanced at the Great Auditorium at the far end of Ocean Pathway. The bright white cross gleamed in the growing darkness and for a moment he felt a little guilty because what he hoped for tonight was far from pure or chaste.
What he hoped was that he and Natalie could rekindle the passion they’d once shared and find their way back to a marriage that had been filled with so much love and possibilities.
As he neared the Casino, the sounds of a lone guitar player echoed in the large metal shell of the building. The man stood playing as people strolled by, coming and going from one town to the other.
The man he had become would just pass the man by, but tonight was about being more like his old self. More open and accepting.
Chase reached into his jeans pocket, pulled out a dollar, and tossed it into the man’s guitar case.
At the far entrance to the Casino, the start of the Asbury Park boardwalk loomed large and he knew that once he stepped out onto it, there was no turning back from tonight.
But he didn’t want to turn back. He wanted Natalie back in his life. Back in his bed.
He pushed ahead, his gaze skipping from face-to-face in the crowd until it seemed to part before him like the Red Sea and there she was, standing by the railing.
After a month apart, he drank in her beauty like a thirsty man at a desert oasis.
Her cream-colored dress hugged her sexy curves, but the skirt was loose and billowing in the ocean breeze. Her shoulder length caramel-colored hair was loose and wafted around her face.
As he watched, she tilted her head back, eyes closed, and a peaceful smile crept over her lush lips.
She was so lovely. So beautiful. Warmth pooled in his gut at the sight of her just as it had nearly a decade earlier, when he’d first seen her on this very same boardwalk.
He took a deep breath, fighting back desire and fear, and walked toward her.
This novella is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is coincidental.
Copyright © 2016 by Caridad Piñeiro Scordato
All rights reserved. Except for use in any review, the reproduction or utilization of this work in whole or in part in any form by any electronic, mechanical or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including xerography, photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, is forbidden without the written permission of Caridad Piñeiro Scordato.
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About the Author
NY Times and USA Today Bestseller Caridad Pineiro is a Jersey Girl who just wants to write, travel, and spend more time with family and friends. Caridad is the author of nearly 50 novels/novellas and loves romance novels, super heroes, TV and cooking. Caridad writes dark and sexy romantic suspense, erotic military romance, and paranormal romances for those who live to love on the edge. Her sweet, but still naughty side, Charity Pineiro, writes contemporary romances packed with emotion and humor. For more information on Caridad/Charity, please visit http://www.caridad.comor http://www.rebornvampirenovels.com. You can also find Caridad/Charity on:
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