Whisper Of Attraction (Whisper Lake #3)

By: Melanie Shawn
CHAPTER 1


NEW BOOK BOYFRIEND. Check.

Bubble Bath. Check.

Candles. Check.

Glass of wine. Check.

Music. Check.

Brynn Daniels glanced around her bathroom and saw that she had everything she needed to indulge in a rare, quiet evening alone.

Her Kindle was cued up with the latest Erin Nicholas book. She’d dropped a lavender aromatherapy tablet into the hot water that filled her tub. Flickering vanilla Yankee Candles illuminated the room and a generous pour of Roscato Rosé Dolce was flirting with her from beside the speaker that was playing her easy-listening Spotify list.

As the single mom of a thirteen-year-old boy, her two-bedroom, one-bath, eight-hundred-square-foot house was usually filled with the sounds of video games, music, sports, and other teenagers.

She didn’t mind the chaos or the tight quarters though. Heck, it was bigger than the five-hundred-square-foot apartment above the garage that she and Ryder had lived in until her mom had moved to Arizona. It did make her appreciate her alone time though.

Her ex-husband, Max, had surprised them both when he showed up earlier that afternoon and announced that he wanted to take Ryder camping. Technically, this wasn’t his weekend. Last weekend was his weekend, but it had been Labor Day and her ex had decided to go on an impromptu trip to Vegas. He often missed his weekends. Two weeks ago it was because of “a work thing” and two weeks before that it was because Max wasn’t feeling well.

In the twelve years that she and Max had been divorced, her baby daddy had only seen Ryder for his court-assigned visitations about a dozen or so times. Most of the time, just like this, he showed up out of the blue when he wasn’t scheduled to see him.

Thankfully, it didn’t seem to affect her son. Brynn worked hard and sacrificed a lot to provide a stable environment for Ryder. And, for the most part, she thought it had worked.

Ryder loved his dad and was happy to see him when he did. But he didn’t depend on him to keep his word. It was a healthy place for him to be, not that she was analyzing him which was a mortal sin. Oddly enough, her son didn’t appreciate her putting her master’s degree in psychology to use on him or his friends, go figure.

Brynn stared in the mirror as she untied the belt on her robe. As a child, she’d been in more pageants than she could count because her mother fancied herself a psychic and had foreseen Brynn wearing crowns. Growing up in that environment, she’d always been hyperaware of her appearance. But now, she barely recognized the woman staring back at her as the material slipped from her arms.

The visual disconnect could be tracked to her actions a few weeks earlier. She’d decided that she needed a change. So, she sat in her friend Jess’s salon chair and demanded that she “cut it all off.”

Jess had referred to it as the “breakup haircut” which would imply some kind of action in Brynn’s personal life, something that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Sadly, Brynn wasn’t in the chair because she’d gotten her heart broken. To have your heart broken, you’d actually have to put your heart out there, something she hadn’t done in years. Being single was one of the many sacrifices she’d made to provide stability for her son.

She’d tried dating when Ryder was younger, but when you’re a young mom (or teenage mom, in her case) the guys in your age bracket are usually more interested in partying than raising a family. And she didn’t blame them.

No one was less interested in raising a family than Ryder’s dad. In fact, her ex-husband might’ve dated more after he’d put a ring on it than he had before.

She ran her fingers through her wavy, red locks that fell just above her shoulders before pinning them to the top of her head. It seemed the ten inches Jess had taken off had weighed down her natural wave. She’d only ever seen herself with curly hair in baby pictures. For as long as she could remember she’d had long, straight hair that fell almost to her waist. These new, bouncy locks were taking her a little bit to get used to.

There were a lot of things that she was having to get used to lately. Ryder was a freshman in high school. The high school where she was a counselor. And his schedule and priorities were morphing before her very eyes. They’d always been just like the Will Smith song: it was just the two of them. They had Saturday pizza nights, Sunday movie nights, and Tuesday game nights. But lately, he’d been with his friends and if he was home he wasn’t spending quality time with her, he was texting and Snapchatting with Fiona Caldwell.

She got it. He was getting older and hanging out with her didn’t hold the same appeal it once did. On a completely different note, it seemed her thirteen-year-old son might have a serious relationship before she did.

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