Release Date: 28th May 2018
Series: Coming Back to Cornwall #2 (can be read as a standalone)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
When things seem too good to be true, they usually are.
Alice is finding her feet managing the Sail Loft Hotel when Sam is presented with an offer he can’t refuse. The bad news is, if he says yes, he will have to leave Cornwall.
Sam’s visits home see him split in his loyalties between his daughter Sophie, and spending time with Alice. Sophie’s mother, Kate, seems to be doing her best to make things difficult.
Meanwhile, Alice’s friend Julie is also facing a long-distance relationship as her new partner, and Sam’s best friend, Luke, is working in London. With no children to think of, and plenty of disposable income (on Luke’s part at least), life should be more simple but Julie has yet to find a long-term job and Luke is still getting over the recent death of his mother.
Can these fledgling relationships pass the long-distance test, and can Julie and Alice make life in Cornwall work for them now that the summer sun has gone?
“Oh.” I feel like my stomach has dropped to the floor. I try to look happy. “But that is brilliant, isn’t it? It’s an amazing opportunity, it’s perfect for you.”
“Alice,” Sam says quietly and I look at him. “It’s not perfect, is it? Because it would mean being away from you.”
He’s been offered sponsorship through university, including a year’s practical experience partway through the course, and guaranteed employment afterwards. His exam results were some of the best in the country for his chosen course, Applied Marine Biology, and he’s actually been head-hunted by a brilliant conservation society. It’s more wonderful news, on top of everything else. Only the course they want him to do isn’t at Plymouth, it’s at Bangor, in North Wales.
414 miles away via the quickest route (seven hours, ten minutes). 389 miles via the A30 (seven hours, thirty-two minutes), five changes on the train (eight hours, fifty-eight minutes).
“You have to do it,” I say, “you have to. It’s too good an opportunity to turn down.”
I am saying the right words but I am willing him to say no, he won’t, he doesn’t want to. We have been apart for ten years, and back together again for a matter of weeks. I can’t bear the thought that we will be separated again. But I know that this decision needs to be his. He looks at me, his blue eyes serious and holding my gaze. I look away first, scared that I might cry.
“I don’t know,” he says. “I don’t know.”
“Number fifty-three!” The lady behind the counter calls out cheerfully.
“This is us,” I say, “I’ll go and get it.” I am grateful for the opportunity to break this moment. “Do you want any sauce?” I ask, trying to match the cafe lady’s tone.
“Alice…” Sam says but I am on my feet, walking towards the counter with a smile on my face while inside my heart is breaking. I know that he has to go.
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Katharine E. Smith is a writer, editor and publisher. An avid reader of contemporary writers such as Kate Atkinson, David Nicholls and Anne Tyler, Katharine’s aim is to write books she would like to read herself. She has three novels to her name, and one non-fiction guide, written with fellow indie authors in mind.
Katharine runs Heddon Publishing from her home in Shropshire, which she shares with her husband and their two children.