Beards and Love Letters (Sycamore Mountain) Read Online Heather Lauren

Categories Genre: Romance Tags Authors:
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Total pages in book: 28
Estimated words: 25642 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 128(@200wpm)___ 103(@250wpm)___ 85(@300wpm)
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A simple pen pal assignment changed my life forever. Growing up with a name like Joey, it wasn’t unusual to be mistaken for a boy on paper. And that’s what happened when Gavin Golds teacher passed on his letter to me, assuming he was being matched with a boy.
Those letters became my safe place. A place where tomboy Joey could tell a stranger all the girly things that I couldn’t tell anyone else and Gavin shared his nerdy side with me.
Even after the assignment was over, our letters continued. Gavin became my secret, my friend, and my sanity when working the family business gets to be too much.
When his letters suddenly stop, I pack up my life in Starlight Bay and head for Gold in the Mountains. My head telling me it’s just because I’m worried about him, but my heart knows it’s because I’ve dreamt of so much more.

Full Book:

CHAPTER ONE

Joey Bennett

“Well, if that ain't the sign I’ve been asking for every damn day of this trip,” I mutter to no one in the empty cab of my Jeep Wrangler as I pull off to the shoulder of the road to inspect what I suspect is a flat tire.

In the last five days of this absurd trip, I’ve turned around and headed back home to Starlight Bay five and a half times. The half was when I hit a roundabout and circled for a solid thirty minutes, debating if I should take the exit back home or the one that brought me here, to Sycamore Mountain.

Why in the world is a level-headed twenty-five-year-old woman driving across the country, leaving behind everyone and everything she’s ever known? Because someone needs me, or at least I feel like he does.

While my mind freaks out with a hundred crazy scenarios of how this surprise visit to my pen pal will play out, I get to work changing my tire.

“Need a hand?”

I jerk, startled by the unexpected question from a woman.

Turning to face her, I wipe my dirty hands on my jeans before stretching them for a handshake.

“Nope, all done. I’m Joey, and literally just moving to town.”

“Robin,” she smiles, shaking my hand. “Looks like you’ve had a rough first impression of our merry town. I must right this wrong immediately. Cold beer on the house?” She hikes a thumb over her shoulder at the bar, and I nod, eager for the distraction.

I needed time to figure out what to say to Gavin. Even though it was a hellaciously long road trip here, I still had no idea how to burst into his life after seventeen years of only writing to each other.

“That sounds perfect. Thank you,” I sigh, glad for the offer.

I follow her into the cool, dimly lit bar that smells like sawdust but is otherwise charming. The walls are painted black and splattered with graffiti in neon glowing paint, no doubt from drunk patrons.

I sit on a stool at the bar as my newfound friend drops her purse behind the bar. She’s wearing a Jack Daniels shirt. She must have cut up herself because it’s barely a shirt. This woman exudes girl power in a way I’ve never been able to master. I like her already, even though I’m equally intimidated.

“So, what brings you to town?” Robin asks, sliding me a glass bottle of Bud Lite.

“Thank you. Um, a friend of mine lives here.”

I know people are going to ask this question. This is a small town, so word will get out fast. I figure it’s best to play it safe and be honest. Even if I look like a crazy stalker, at least I’ll be honest about it.

“Oh, really? Who is she? I bet I know her. I’ve lived here my whole life.”

“Gavin Gold,” I say, and her eyes widen.

“What’s that look for?”

“Um, no look. Just didn’t realize Gavin had friends, that's all.”

My heart sinks. Gavin grew up in this town and always told me he felt like an outcast.

“Well, he does,” I snap, feeling the need to protect him somehow.

“I didn’t mean it like that. Gavin’s a great guy, don’t get me wrong. I just meant he’s not all that friendly. Sexy as hell, yes, but on behalf of all the single women in the small surrounding area, I should warn you he’s a little stoic. He’s somehow gotten worse since he moved back from California.”

I nod. It didn’t surprise me she thought this, but she didn’t understand Gavin quit nature the way I did.

“Yeah, that's kind of why I’m here. I was worried about him.”

“And now you're not?”

“Now I’m more worried about myself,” I laugh. “I didn’t really think this through as thoroughly as I should have.”

“I mean, he won’t bite…well, maybe if you asked him to,” she winks, and my insides flip. The last thing I need to think about is trying to start a romantic relationship with my pen pal when he’s still grieving. I’m here as a friend, only…even if the possibility of more makes the erupting butterflies in my stomach stampede. Hope bubbles in my gut even though I’ve specifically told myself no a bazillion times….at least.


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