Maybe it’s not just Robbie and Jason that can have the greatest love story ever told.
Robbie runs a small Post Office made from a converted Station House in a village northwest of London, England. He is stunned when a close friend dies and leaves him half of her estate. The only proviso is that it is to be shared equally with an American stranger, Jason, who has recently moved to the village.
The sealed box that they jointly inherit includes several rare first editions and an old cookery book. Only when the secrets of the ingredients in a particular recipe are finally revealed does everything begin to make sense… and a love story that began seventy years ago can finally be celebrated.
I’ve always been fascinated by the *yanks* who came over to the UK during World War 2. Where I live, we are close to various places used in WW2, and were really close to an old USAF base. The idea that men and women, far away from home, came from the States and ended up near a sleepy English village and then fell in love… I couldn’t resist the story.
Two brothers, one who came back from a mission, another who didn’t, and the women that fell in love with them, is the backdrop for a modern MM romance, and one I loved writing. Most of my books are set in the US, but every so often I will write stories set in England (The Gallows Tree, The Summer House, the Salisbury series) and a lot of the time they will have a historical twist in them which may or may not involve the odd whisper of a ghost!
Rainy Afternoon was written some years ago now, but it remains one of my favorites 🙂
An excerpt from For a Rainy Afternoon:
We stopped at the low iron gate emblazoned with the name Apple Tree Cottage, and I felt immediate guilt that I hadn’t come up here and at least mowed the lawn in the last few weeks.
Maggie had always used a gardener, but clearly he’d not been called in to work on the beautiful garden since she’d died. Anyway, who would have called him? All I knew was that he was someone from Steeple Aniston or somewhere else close by. It should have been me up here because Maggie loved this garden, and I abruptly felt like I had abandoned Maggie in some way by not keeping it nice.
“Jeez,” Jason said with a whistle. “This is like everything England all wrapped up in one tidy package. How old is this place, three hundred years old?”
“Seventeen eleven. That is when it was built,” I said. I knew because at the rear of the cottage, the part facing the main through road, the numbers 1, 7, 1, and 1 were built into the brickwork. And I only remembered it because the school bus stop was right by the cottage and I stared at the numbers for years while I was waiting for the bus.
We stood in silence for a brief moment, and he watched me expectantly. I didn’t quite understand my role in this conversation, but habit had me talking. “I guess you have a key?” That was my not-so-subtle way of checking that he was actually somehow allowed inside Maggie’s house.
He dropped his bag and fumbled in the side pocket before pulling out a silver house key. “From the executor,” he said by way of explanation. For a second he held it out to me, and I wasn’t sure what I was meant to do. Did he want me to open the door? Or was he just asking me to acknowledge he had a key?
“Good,” I said. That seemed to be enough because he closed his fist around the small item. I could see the white of his knuckles at the pressure he was exerting.
I wanted to ask why he was here. Why now? Was he going to be the one responsible for emptying the cottage, then putting it on the market? I didn’t ask, because I didn’t want to be impolite or come across as weird. What I wanted was to find out how his uncle knew Maggie and what Jason was going to do with the cottage. I helped him to the door, then stepped back out of his way and watched him try to turn the key. I’d watched Maggie do this so many times. She would wait until I closed the post office and ask me to walk her home. I’d learned a lot about Maggie, all except how in the hell she was connected to the man cursing under his breath as he attempted to turn the key.
“Let me.” I took the key from him. “You need to push it in, wiggle it a bit until you hear that click. Did you hear that?” I could clearly make out the little click that indicated the worn key and lock had connected. Evidently he hadn’t, and as he leaned in to listen, I got a much closer look at those gray eyes that were actually tinged green in this light. They were really beautiful eyes, and I could write lines in songs about them and Jason’s lips, which were soft and full and oh so inviting. I pulled the key out and repeated the exercise. This time he must have realized what he needed to know, and he nodded with a very serious expression on his face. “I’ve lost count of the times I’ve seen Maggie do this,” I added. Then realized I had my tenses all mixed up. I had seen her. I wouldn’t see her again because she wasn’t there anymore.
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