Written by Lisa Hobman
My thanks to Victoria Joss of Aria for inviting me to take part in this Blog Tour
Poignant and uplifting, this is a story to remind hopeless romantics that you never know when true love might strike…
Cassie Montgomery can remember a time where her life seemed pretty perfect. By day she was setting up her own little business in her sleek penthouse apartment, and by night sleeping on gazillion-count Egyptian cotton sheets next to her fiancée, once reputed to be Glasgow’s most eligible bachelor.
And yet one ordinary, fateful day, Cassie uncovers a secret that shatters her heart into tiny pieces, and changes her life forever…
Escaping to a rural and idyllic coastal village, Cassie finds a cottage that, from the moment she steps through the rose-surrounded door, feels instantly like home.
And then there’s Mac, the cool surf teacher, who makes her question what really makes her happy – and makes her wonder if maybe, she might already have found the answer…
- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 1237 KB
- Print Length: 447 pages
- Publisher: Aria
- Publication Date: 18 September 2018
- Purchase Links: Amazon UK
- Amazon US
- Google Play
Cassie rolled to gaze at her man as he slept; the immaculate white pillowcase formed a halo around his messed-up hair and she smiled. Seth was rarely dishevelled but it somehow suited him and she was a little saddened that he didn’t often remain unshaved. The five o’clock shadow that currently graced his angular jaw increased his sexiness by several notches. He looked nothing like his usual self, she mused. And nothing at all like the smart, suited man she had met all those years ago.
Reminiscing about how they met was another favourite pastime of hers and even though Seth poked fun at her for being an eternal romantic it didn’t stop her…
The Guthries were such a lovely family—very wealthy yet still down to earth for the most part. Their huge Georgian mansion house in the most exclusive, rural area on the outskirts of Glasgow, with its line of expensive cars and household staff told of a very different life to Cassie’s. She’d been brought up by her father in the little Cumbrian village of Dent where the two of them lived in a small but pretty cottage with their little dog, Bilbo.
Vina Guthrie’s family had sent her off to university with the best of everything, whereas Cassie’s dad had scrimped and saved following the death of his wife to ensure there were funds available to further his daughter’s education. He had always put Cassie first. Losing her mother at a young age had left her with an emptiness and need for security that her father had clearly sensed. He rarely left her side when she was small and often told her stories of a princess whose mother had met the same fate. But in the story the princess eventually met her Prince Charming and the couple lived happily ever after. By the time Cassie had started her university course she hadn’t met a single person who matched up to the perfect man her dad insisted was the only one deserving of his darling girl. He talked of security, not only financially but emotionally. All the boys she’d known were ridiculously immature and lacking in any ambition. She was beginning to give up hope of ever meeting someone who could withstand the pedestal her father had created in her mind’s eye with his ideals for her future. It was their final year of university and Vina had informed Cassie that her elusive big brother was coming to the city on his way home from a business meeting in Asia and that he was taking her out for dinner. Cassie was delighted for her friend seeing as Seth didn’t seem to get much time to socialise. He had never been present when she had accompanied Vina home for the holidays so he was the only member of the Guthrie clan that she hadn’t had the pleasure of meeting. Her knowledge of the businessman was limited to the stories Vina had told her and the photos of him dotted around the Guthrie residence. What she did know back then was that he was very handsome in a dreamy music and wind machines kind of way. It sounded like he had a wicked sense of humour and could prank with the best of them in his youth but that he had always been Vina’s protector and Cassie greatly admired that quality in him.
Cassie sat on Vina’s bed as her best friend rummaged through her wardrobe to find a suitable outfit for the occasion. Cassie wasn’t paying too much attention and was, instead, miming along to a Pearl Jam track blurting from the MP3 player in her room.
‘Did I mention you’re invited to dinner too, Cass?’ Vina asked as she selected and discarded various items of her extensive collection of designer clothes.
Horrified, Cassie sat bolt upright from her lounging position on Vina’s bed. ‘What? No! I can’t go!’ She glanced down at her jogging bottoms and scratty old Spiderman t-shirt.
Vina grinned. ‘Well not dressed like that you can’t. Here try this on.’ She threw a pretty navy-blue dress at Cassie. ‘I think it’ll suit you much more than me. That colour just drains my complexion.’ She sighed.
Cassie shook her head. ‘But you’ll want to catch up with Seth alone and I’ll just be in the way.’
Vina turned to face her and placed both hands on her hips. Fixing her with a determined stare she stated, ‘You’re my best friend. You’re coming. End of. Get dressed.’
Cassie and Vina arrived at Bella Italia in the centre of Glasgow at seven thirty and were led towards their table by the maître d’. As they approached they were greeted by a familiar, handsome, beaming face.
‘Davina!’ He scooped her up and swung her around, regardless of the cramped space between the tables.
Vina squealed, paying no mind to their surroundings. ‘Noodle-head!’
The dark-haired man placed Vina down once more and turned his attention to Cassie. ‘And I’m guessing you’re the best friend I’ve heard so much about? Cassandra, right?’ he asked in his lilting, Scottish accent that had been somewhat softened by so much travelling.
Cassie felt the telltale signs of embarrassment glowing in her face as she nodded. ‘Yes, that’s right.’
He held out his hand. ‘A pleasure to meet you, Cassandra.’ His gaze locked on hers and she was momentarily transfixed by his verdant eyes as his deep, sensual voice reverberated through to her core. She was taken aback by how much he resembled Gerard Butler in real life, and was momentarily swept away into a fantasy featuring the two of them locked in an embrace as he saved her from some peril.
Oh my word, that voice. That accent. And he’s incredibly good-looking. The sexiest man I’ve ever met. So very sexy. Hmm, sexy Seth.
Realising she was staring she slipped her hand into his where it was swallowed up and she smiled nervously. ‘Lovely to m-meet you too Sex… eth… erm… Seth.’ Her eyes widened and she cringed, shaking her head in bewilderment and embarrassment as her steamy thoughts slipped out as words.
Vina burst into hysterical giggles. ‘Sexeth? Well, it’s the first time I’ve heard you called that, Noodle-head. And we know I’ve heard you referred to by all manner of delightful names.’ She nudged Cassie who was now standing with her eyes scrunched tight and praying for the marble, mosaic tiled floor to open up and swallow her.
When she opened her eyes again, Seth was smiling and there was a distinct twinkle of humour in his eyes. ‘Oh yes, she’s right. I’ve been called much, much worse.’
Cassie swallowed hard, fighting the tears of utter mortification at her ridiculous slip-up. ‘Well, I can’t think why that would be,’ she said forcing a smile. ‘And please call me Cassie.’
‘How kind you are, Cassie. Oh, and there is a story behind Vina’s nickname for me, in case you’re wondering.’ He gave her hand a slight squeeze, which caused her heart to skip and further fuelled the inferno raging beneath her skin.
Lisa Hobman is a British author, living in Scotland with her family and two dogs. Her debut novel was shortlisted in the 2014 RoNA awards. When she’s not writing, Lisa can be found singing in a local band or out enjoying the beautiful Scottish countryside.