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Find Her, Keep Her: A Martha's Vineyard Love Story (E-Book)

Find Her, Keep Her: A Martha's Vineyard Love Story (E-Book)

A SPICY CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE SERIES

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Travel writer Daisy Blanchard discovers the worst news ever. Her boyfriend is now engaged to her best friend! To add insult to injury, she learned about the unholy union from a Facebook post. Daisy escapes her life in shambles by taking a last-minute assignment to Martha's Vineyard, where she immediately catches the eye of a sexy billionaire, Jack Lord. And he wants her—he wants her bad. But is Daisy ready to throw caution to the wind and betray her broken heart?


SERIES READING ORDER

LOVE in the USA - The Lords

1 - Find Her, Keep Her: A Martha's Vineyard Love Story
(Can be read as a Standalone)

2 - There's Something About Her: A Manhattan Love Story
(Can be read as a Standalone)

3 - Say You Love Her: An LA Love Story
(Can be read as a Standalone)

4 - Know Her, Love Her (Jack & Daisy, #1)
(A continuation of their story)

5 - Still In Love With Her (Maggie & Vince #1)
(A continuation of their story)

6 - He's So Bad: A San Francisco Love Story
(Robert Tango's story)

7 - Made to Love Her (Maggie & Vince, #2)
(The conclusion of their story)


8 - He's So Good (Robert & Carter)
(The conclusion of their story)

9 - Say You Love Me (Charlie & Angel)
(The conclusion of their story)

10 - Adore Her, More of Her (Jack & Daisy, #2)
(The series conclusion)

SYNOPSIS

The story unfolds on the enchanting Martha's Vineyard, where a heartbroken travel writer escapes the turmoil of her life, only to find herself in the embrace of a mysterious, sensual, and charismatic billionaire harboring his own secrets.

As their destined romance blossoms, it ignites a chain of passionate relationships. Amidst the ebbs and flows of fate and fervent attraction, these couples navigate their path towards an enduring and unshakable love.

In the "LOVE in the USA" series, Z.L. Arkadie masterfully and captivatingly guides readers on an unforgettable journey of love and discovery.

'FIND HER, KEEP HER' - LOOK INSIDE

Find Her, Keep Her
Chapter One

My eyes ache.

For three days, they've oscillated between weeping and sleeping.

Why?

My best friend, Maya, got engaged to my boyfriend while he and I were on a break. To add salt to my wound, I discovered their joyous news through Maya's Facebook status update. Reeling from the shock, I typed, "You snake," and abruptly closed my laptop. Retreating to my bed, the tears began to flow.

The journey from that painful moment to my current solace, a secluded table at the Day Harbor Café in Edgartown, Massachusetts, on Martha’s Vineyard, is somewhat hazy.

To recount...

Just yesterday morning, after two days of alternating between tears and restless sleep, I gathered myself. I couldn't let heartbreak consume my life. So, I mustered the strength to walk to my home office and checked my email for new writing assignments. 

I was inundated with personal messages, far outweighing any job notifications.

"OMG, I saw the post... Call me." That was from Zoe, a friend I hadn't heard from since late last year.

"She’s a backstabbing cow. He’s a dirty prick. I’m with you," Kathy chimed in. Her support was hardly a surprise; she'd always detested both Maya and Adrian. 

"Are you alive? I’m coming over," Zoe's concern was palpable in her follow-up.

"Your phone is off. Please turn it on and call me back," Kathy sent the next day.

"I knocked. No answer. Are you in town?" Zoe checked in once again.

Then, among the sea of messages, was an email from the main instigator. "Daisy, I’m sorry you had to find out this way. We should talk."

With a forceful click, I deleted the message.

I took a deep breath, trying to quell the dizziness that my surge of anger brought. As my eyes threatened to spill tears, I grappled with identifying my tumultuous emotions.

It wasn't just anger simmering within me; it was raw fury. I had to remind myself that Adrian and I were on a hiatus. Had he proposed to anyone else in the world—anyone but Maya—I believe I wouldn't have batted an eye. In fact, I'd likely have wished him well with genuine relief. Deciding against diving into another email, I was wary of the avalanche of sympathy. Swiftly scanning the senders and subjects of the other thirty unread messages, my gaze settled on one from Dusty Burrows of Golden Destinations magazine. It was a response to an article pitch I'd sent over a year ago. A part of me hesitated, fearing yet another professional setback. But then a thought struck: It would be a refreshing change from the pity. With that, I opened the message, and therein lay the perfect reason for my escape.

Dear Daisy,

I sincerely apologize for the delay in my response.

We've greatly enjoyed your "Stumble Through In a Taxi" series and are keen to feature one of your articles in our upcoming spring issue.

The editorial team has decided to offer you the spotlight with a feature story. Kindly respond at your earliest convenience so we can discuss details.

Warm regards,

DB

Without hesitation, I accepted the offer. Martha’s Vineyard felt like the right destination for me. Initial research showed that the island boasts an array of beaches, some even featuring towering cliffs—morbidly, I considered the option of leaping from one. Fortunately, early October remains an ideal time for ocean swims. Moreover, the island is abuzz with wedding festivities at this time, which I figured would lend a delightful backdrop for my article.

So now, here I am, isolated at a table in a quintessential New England café, staring at a dauntingly blank screen. I've caught myself fidgeting, biting my lower lip, and occasionally burying my face in my hands with a groan. My encounter with writer's block has been agonizing, to say the least.

Shutting my eyes, I grapple with the timeline. Just how did Maya and Adrian grow so close to end up engaged? After all, Adrian and I had only drifted apart three months prior—and it wasn’t even a definitive breakup.

What had he remarked during that dinner?

He subtly criticized my frequent travels for work, reciting the myriad events I had missed—his film screenings, dinners with his friends.

"You were well aware of my career when you pursued me," I retorted.

"I had assumed you lived in LA as well. But you're barely here."

With arms crossed, I stared back, a mix of frustration and determination evident in my demeanor. "What exactly are you getting at, Adrian?"

That's when he proposed we spend some time apart.

But that was only three months ago.

Three months ago!

"You might just drive that fork right through the table," remarks a voice, smooth as velvet.

Startled, I glance up to meet smoldering whiskey-hued eyes. The striking contours of his face and his alluring lips are impossible to overlook. Granted, he's undeniably attractive. Yet, an uneasy tension grips me; courtesy of my ex, I'm distinctly unprepared for any advances from the male spectrum.

"Right," I murmur, releasing my fork. It clatters against the pristine marble.

He offers his hand. "Belmont Lord. But everyone calls me Jack."

His voice seems distant, his aura even more so. Not wanting to appear impolite, I take his hand. An unexpected jolt, like a playful current, dashes through my palm. Caught off guard, I retract quickly.

"You arrived yesterday on the four o'clock ferry, dragging a red suitcase behind you," he notes.

I pull back slightly, eyebrows raised. "Do you make a habit of watching people at the ferry?"

He laughs, thinking I'm jesting—I'm not. "No, I don't," he assures. "But a vibrant red suitcase tends to stand out." His grin remains.

Quickly, I pack away my laptop. "It was a pleasure, Belmont."

"Jack," he corrects with a smile. "Call me Jack."

I regard him with narrowed eyes. Seriously, can't he visually detect the shards of my shattered heart?

"Take care, Jack," I say, quickly rising to distance myself from the charismatic stranger. In my current state of mind, all men seem like potential betrayers, ready at any moment to pursue my best friend.

"Hey there, Jack," greets the young waitress with a bouncing ponytail, as she places the country-style egg-white omelet I'd ordered before me. Right, my food. The appetite eludes me, but it's crucial I don't skip another meal. Reluctantly, I settle back into my seat.

"I'm doing well, Rachael," he replies.

Her face lights up. "Heard about your shindig."

"You're always welcome," he responds, then turns to me with a smile, "And she is too."

"Your usual breakfast will be ready up front shortly." She then addresses me, "Anything else you'd like?"

I shake my head. “No, thank you.”

“Just give me a shout if you need anything,” she offers, then strides away, her ponytail swaying rhythmically with each step.

Belmont lightly drums his fingers on my table. "I never did get your name."

That's because I didn't offer it. That's the retort that springs to mind, but I've been prickly enough for one day. Typically, I'm anything but abrasive. My friends would describe me as amiable, even gentle. But Adrian… he's the one who's twisted this bitterness inside me. Concealing my inner turmoil, I respond with a measured, "Daisy."

"Daisy..." he ponders. "It's a lovely name."

"Thanks," I reply softly, evading his gaze. He's just too... potent.

Setting down a business card beside my plate, Belmont says, "If you'd like a tour around the island, give me a call."

I give the card a cursory glance. "Sure," I respond, both of us well aware the call will never come.

I expect him to leave, but he doesn't budge. The moments stretch as he remains standing before my table.

I lift my gaze, meeting his. I'm momentarily ensnared in the depth of his eyes.

"It was a pleasure, Daisy," he eventually murmurs.

A shaky breath escapes me as he offers a playful wink. "Catch you later."

I can't help but track his departure. His upright posture exudes confidence, and I sense he believes his suave demeanor has left its mark on me.

A fleeting thought tempts me: What if I just let go and...

But no.

Despite his allure, I won't be dialing his number.

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