Thu
Aug 31 2017 11:00am

Take a Final Summer Holiday with Sarah Morgan’s Holiday in the Hamptons

Holiday in the Hamptons by Sarah Morgan

Surely the summer of 2017 isn’t already coming to a close? Say it ain’t so and grab Sarah Morgan’s Holiday in the Hamptons to eke out the last few weeks of read and relax (a booklovers’ version of Netflix and chill). Seth Carlyle and Felicity Knight ran into each other in New York, Actually, the fourth in Morgan’s From Manhattan with Love series. To say Felicity aka Fliss was uncomfortable, is to vastly underplay her feelings at seeing her ex-husband 10 years after the end of their brief marriage.

But she’s not going to be able to avoid him. Their professional lives match up like two peas in a pod. Fliss, with her twin Harriet, is one half of the successful dog-walking company Bark Rangers, and Seth is a vet. Manhattan can shrink to the size of a village in circumstances like that. Fliss may be the queen of canines on Manhattan’s East Side, but her run-in with her ex disturbs her equilibrium. She can’t hide her feelings from her twin who is also her business partner and housemate.

“Oh. What’s that for?” She felt her sister’s arms tighten around her.

“I hate seeing you hurt.”

Which is why she never let her twin see the true extent of her hurt. “Of course you do. You’re the good twin. I’m the bad twin.”

“I hate it when you call yourself that. I would love to have your qualities.”

“You don’t have room for any more qualities. You’re already loaded with them.”

“I hate it when you call me ‘good,’ and one of these days I’m going to do something really bad to prove it.”

“You couldn’t be bad if you tried, although if you ever decide to give it a try I hope you’ll call me. I’d like to see it. You’re strangling me, Harry. I can’t handle affection before I’ve had at least two cups of coffee.” And because she didn’t trust herself not to say more than she wanted to say. Harriet’s affection was like a key, unlocking a part of herself she preferred to keep secured.

“You’re not bad, Fliss.”

“Try telling that to Seth and the rest of the Carlyle family.”

Confronted by Seth’s sudden reappearance in her life, Fliss’s options are flight or fight and she opts for skedaddle. Stat. Fortuitously, Fliss’s grandmother needs help getting on her feet. Ordinarily, Fliss’s more domestic twin, Harriet, would be the one running out to the Hamptons to help. It’s a measure of Fliss’s distress that she actually falls back on her old childhood ploy of switching places with her twin (needless to say, fooling no one, particularly not her wise grandmother).

And especially not Seth Carlyle who may have a toehold in a veterinary practice in Manhattan but he mostly lives in and works out of his office in, guess where, the Hamptons. Heroes who know what they want and aren’t about to take no for an answer can be stalkery or stellar and Seth falls under the really-good-guy heading. He loved Fliss years ago, he loves her still and that’s that.

Their relationship might only have lasted a few scorching months, but vet Seth knows Fliss–if she’s run away to The Hamptons, it’s because she still feels their connection and it terrifies her. He let her go once before, when he didn’t know any better, but not this summer!

Seth has an accomplice in his quest to rekindle his relationship with Fliss, a Deus Ex Machina, if you will. It’s his delightful dog Lulu. Sarah Morgan has a delightful way of portraying canine cupids. While Fliss is driving about the roads near her grandmother’s cottage, mulling over the past, she momentarily loses concentration, “and in that moment a dog shot into the road. He appeared without warning, a blur of golden brown.” Fliss is distraught: “Along with her other crimes she was now a destroyer of innocent creatures.” Could life get any worse?

“She’s fine, It’s a trick of hers.”

The voice punched the air from her lungs. She wanted it to be a mistake, but the recognition was visceral, and she wondered dimly how it was that a voice could be so individual, like a fingerprint. It could have belonged to only one person. She’d known that voice measured, teasing, commanding, amused. She’d known it hard with anger and soft with love. She’d been hearing that voice in her dreams for the past ten years, and she knew there was no mistake even though it made no sense.

What on earth is Seth doing in the Hamptons? Fliss is looking to avoid him, not run over his dog Lulu. Luckily, Seth loves every strange, singular aspect of Fliss’s personality. As he confides in a friend, “She puts the imp in impulsive.” With “a sprinkling of beachside magic,” Seth and Fliss rekindle their youthful love—greatly aided by the fact that neither has ever stopped loving the other. Holiday in the Hamptons is the perfect coda to the summer season…and come Christmas time, Sarah Morgan will be sharing Harriet Knight’s story in Moonlight Over Manhattan.

***

Learn more about or order a copy of Holiday in the Hamptons by Sarah Morgan, available now:

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Janet Webb aka @JanetETennessee moved from the San Francisco Bay to eastern Tennessee. Baseball is my passion: I follow the Chattanooga Lookouts and the Nashville Sounds (farm team of my beloved Oakland Athletics). Social media devotee. Stories on royals and politics catch my eye. Ottawa born. Grew up on Georgette Heyer and Helen MacInnes. I also review at Criminal Element.

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