Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Excerpt - The Sunflower Cottage Breakfast Club by Lynsey James

The perfect summer romance for a sunny afternoon and a picnic in the park

Emily Reed is having a bad day. Devastated at losing her hard-earned promotion to the ditz who’s sleeping with the boss, her mother drops a devastating bombshell—the dad she’s known and loved for twenty-five years isn’t her biological father.

Now Emily needs answers and a month in Luna Bay should give her the time she needs to find her father, and land the difficult client at the Sunflower Cottage B&B which should put her back in the running for her coveted promotion.

Setting up the Sunflower Cottage breakfast club should be a great way to meet the locals and maybe even find out who her father is! The only problem is that brooding and insanely gorgeous, Noah, is determined to make Emily’s stay perfectly uncomfortable.

Finding out the truth was never going to be simple, but she never thought her heart would get in the way…

Sunflower Cottage was easily recognizable. Painted in a bright yellow with a healthy crop of its namesake growing in the front garden, it stood proudly above Luna Bay on a hill overlooking the spectacular beach. Even before I reached it, I knew I’d like it there. It seemed to rain down happy vibes on the village with its sunny exterior and looked like a wonderful place to be.
It was just a shame I was here to change all that.
I hobbled up the driveway, dragging my suitcase across the block-work paving and stood outside, appraising the building in front of me. It was practically crumbling to the ground by the looks of things, but there was no denying it had a quirky charm. Plus it was in a great location, ideal for tourists. Yes, it could be a real money-spinner with just a few changes and repairs. I tried to heave my suitcase closer to me and felt the weight drag along the ground. My mind turned to the collection of letters nestled at the bottom and the secret contained within them. Finding out I’d essentially been living a lie my whole life had left me feeling oddly rudderless. I’d always been sure of my place in the world: I was Emily Reed, daughter of Pamela and Simon Reed, sushi enthusiast and business development manager extraordinaire. Now, I wasn’t sure what my place in the world was. Hopefully, I’d find out while I was in Luna Bay. From where I was standing, I could see a building on the corner of the next street: the Moonlight CafĂ©, according to its large silver sign. My stomach lurched. That was Derek and Diane’s place. My long-lost dad was just a few feet away, oblivious to the fact I was here…
Time to go in. Time to stop thinking. I took a deep breath and hauled my suitcase over the rest of the driveway, the wheel snagging on a loose paving block. I got it free without too much trouble. For someone described by my friends as a ‘short-arse’, I was stronger than I looked.
‘Need a hand with those, dear?’
A voice behind me made me jump and I turned to see a stout little woman standing in front of me. Her cheeks were rosy and her eyes were bright and keen. The smile on her face vanished when she saw my dishevelled appearance and she rushed over to me.
‘Dearie me darling, what happened to you?! Have you been in an accident?!’ She studied me with a worried expression, like I was a stray kitten she’d found at the side of the road.
‘You must be Rose,’ I said, extending a hand. ‘I’m Emily Reed, a business developer from Walter Marshall Hotels.’
Rose’s bright smile shrunk a little and she pursed her lips. ‘Ah yes, I’ve been expecting you. Let me help you with your bags. I’ll get you a nice cup of tea and a slice of cake then phone a garage about your car.’
Her voice was laced with sadness and before I could say anything, she hoisted up my suitcase and began dragging it inside. Obviously I wasn’t the only one who was stronger than I looked. I followed her inside.
As soon as I stepped over the threshold, the full force of Sunflower House hit me. The building outside might’ve looked like it was ready for demolition, but the inside was a completely different story. The lobby was painted a pale lemon and the beechwood floors looked like they’d been newly sanded. Light spilled in from three round windows and a large wooden staircase stood proudly at the centre. The lounge lay just off the lobby and straight ahead was a quintessential country kitchen, where I could smell freshly baked bread. Little homely touches- photographs, paintings and the like- adorned the walls, while little shelves held ornaments and other assorted knick-knacks. This wasn’t just another faceless guesthouse; this was on a whole different level.
‘Wow,’ I breathed, ‘this is beautiful.’
‘Thank you dear.’ Rose placed my luggage at the foot of the stairs then came over to join me, her white-blonde curls bobbing round her like a halo and her mouth set into a weak smile. ‘Anyway, where are my manners? I’d better introduce myself properly. Rose White, lovely to meet you.’
She stuck a hand out and I shook it. One look at her told me she not only knew exactly why I was here, but that she wasn’t going to put up a fight. There wasn’t anger or resistance in her eyes; there was only sadness, regret and a hint of relief.


Lynsey James was born in Fife in 1991 and has been telling people how to spell her name ever since. She's an incurable bookworm who loves nothing more than getting lost in a good story with memorable characters. She started writing when she was really young and credits her lovely Grandad- and possibly a bump on the head from a Mr Frosty machine- with her love of telling stories. She used to write her own episodes of Friends and act them out in front of her family (in fact she's sure she put Ross and Rachel together first!)

A careers adviser at school once told Lynsey writing wasn’t a “good option” and for a few years, she believed her. She tried a little bit of everything, including make-up artistry, teaching and doing admin for a chocolate fountain company. The free chocolate was brilliant. When Lynsey left my job a couple of years ago, she started writing full-time while she looked for another one. As soon as she started working on her story, Lynsey fell in love and decided to finally pursue her dream. She haven’t looked back since.

When Lynsey's not writing, eating cake or drinking tea, she's daydreaming about the day Dylan O’Brien FINALLY realises they're meant to be together. It’ll happen one day…

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