LOVING EDEN by T.A. Foster
Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23150919-loving-eden
Have you ever thought of packing up everything you own and moving halfway across the country?
I’m talking about leaving your entire life behind—friends, family, school—with no turning back. No? Me either, but that was before a week of spring break changed my life forever. Before I did something I never thought I’d do at twenty-two. Before I fell in love with Grey.
Sometimes happily ever after isn’t always what you think it will be.
I blinked a few times harder than usual. It didn’t seem possible that after twenty-three hours of driving, the bridge that would carry me to South Padre was under the wheels of this huge-ass truck I was driving. I was almost delirious from the trip. My eyes blurry, my neck and shoulders on fire, my foot falling asleep off and on. But, I was here. I had made it.
I pulled out my phone to call Grey. I gripped the steering wheel with my left hand as I tapped his number on the screen and hit the speaker button. It rang four times before going to voicemail.
I stared at the phone. Sure, it was after two, but I thought he would be up. I dialed again. Voicemail.
I exhaled. At the end of the bridge, I turned left and dialed his number for the third time. He probably just needed a wakeup call. The island felt different. The cars that filled the parking lots during spring break were gone. The ‘no’ was dark on all of the ‘vacancy’ signs. I passed bars and tiki clubs that normally would be emptying at this time of night, but there wasn’t a soul in sight. I reached Grey’s voicemail again.
How could he be asleep? I had just spent two days of my life driving to him. Wrestling with an enormous truck, breaking down on the side of the road, navigating the ways of the trucker, and he was asleep? The tingles of numbness washed over to prickly stabs of anger. Or was it hurt?
I slowed as the lights of the Palm Palace glowed in front of me. The vacancy sign flashed neon red. I debated on how to drive into the parking lot. There was no way I was backing this monstrosity in there. I pulled alongside the odd-numbered rows of rooms. I noticed there were a few cars on the left. For a second, I was happy for Grey. He had customers.
I cut the engine and opened the door. The ocean air hit my nose and whipped over my skin. I could hear the waves pounding on the shore.
I couldn’t do much about this outfit, but I flattened the creases in my tank top and smoothed the top of my shorts. Room twenty-three, where I spent most of my spring break, looked dark. Across the parking lot was twenty-four, Grey’s room. The last place I stayed when I was here.
On the final morning of spring break, I left fighting tears and pain from the idea that I’d never see him again. He hadn’t come home the night before. I got on a plane to North Carolina with a heart broken into a million pieces. That had all seemed like such a long time ago until I stood in front of Grey’s room. Everything that led me to this moment was staring me in the face.
I had packed all I owned in a truck and driven halfway across the country to be with this man. This was about as real as it got.
I knocked on the door. “Grey. Grey, you there?” Silence.
I knocked again. I tried the knob and it turned. I expected to see him sleeping on the king-size bed, but the room was empty. The closet looked cleared out. The tools he usually kept beside the wall were gone. Instead of Grey, there was a note folded in half, propped on the pillow with a yellow rose.
I crossed the room and opened it.
Welcome to Texas, baby. I have a surprise for you. Meet me at the blue cottage next door.
Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/1rn2neO
B&N Link: http://bit.ly/1spvrF2
T.A. Foster once spent a month long spring break on South Padre Island, where she soaked in the Texas sun, beach, and learned what real Texas country music is. Sometimes fiction does spring from reality.
She grew up catching rays and chasing waves along the North Carolina Outer Banks and now resides in the state with her adventurous pilot husband, two children, and two canine kiddos.
T.A. has an undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a graduate degree in Educational Psychology from Texas A&M University. When she’s not chasing her two-legged and four-legged children or trying to escape for date night, you can find her reading, writing, or planning her next beach trip.
Author Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7164289.T_A_Foster