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Emerald Mist: 
A Kindred Spirits Romance

Excerpt

 Wildflowers carpeted the hills with brilliant-colored blooms. Red, purple, yellow, blue—a wonder of nature under an azure sky with feathered white clouds. In her element, she waded through the sunlit flowers, shooting pictures. Birds flitted from tree to tree, celebrating the day, each with a unique song of inspiration. Delight filled her when she captured a shot of a red-crested cardinal with wings spread in flight.

A roar announced a motorcycle as it zoomed through the bridge from the opposite direction. The driver flipped a turnabout, parking behind Aisling’s car—an impressive Harley CVO. Back home, Flynn MacFarlane belonged to a motorcycle club and owned a Harley like the one this guy rode in on.

Faded jeans, a worn tee, and a helmet didn’t hide his charm or sassiness with life. He hung his helmet on the bike’s mirror and lifted his arms overhead, stretching the way one does after a long drive. Opening the top box behind his seat, he retrieved a camera and attached a lens.

Aisling made her way to the road, her Irish politeness kicking in. “Hello, fine day, isn’t it so?”

He looked around, maybe noticing the blue sky with swirls of white and colorful fields for the first time. “Hello, yourself.” He winked, extending his hand. “Shane Rogan.”

“Aisling O’Brien.” The feel of his hand—not rough, not soft. A fine masculine hand. “We have the same want to photograph wildflowers.”

He pointed to the structure. “It’s the bridge I’m after.” He lifted his camera, moving from place to place, clicking photos from the front, back, and sides. Thenwaded through the floral quilted hillside and shot it from a distance.

“An architect, are you?” Aisling trailed behind him like an assistant might.

“What?” Shane continued snapping photos of the bridge’s different angles. 

“A builder?”

He squinted at her over his shoulder with a shake of his head. “A great spot for murder.” His energy implied way too much reality for her liking.

Prickles slid up her spine. She wrapped her fingers around her throat as grisly images filled her imagination. Had she come all this way to meet her death at the hands of a yank? Why didn’t she stick with Dr. Ellie?

“You okay?” Shane reached to steady her. 

“Murder?” She took several steps back, avoiding his touch, her hands still on her neck.

“The perfect location to lure a victim.” He nodded, obviously quite pleased. Turning his camera off, he picked a handful of wildflowers and offered them to her with a charming smile. “Hope to run into you again, Aisling O’Brien.” Heading toward his bike, an air of confidence and comfort in his easy stride.

Puzzled, she watched him roar through the covered bridge on his fire-red machine. His captivating eyes gleamed with the color of a perfectly aged Irish whiskey. And long, sun-streaked hair pulled back. Aisling thought to loosen the leather tie and run her fingers through his hair. A cloud of dust trailed behind this man of contradictions.

“Aw, the Yank having a go at the Irish lass, for sure.” She might have chuckled if he hadn’t shortened her life by a decade. An eccentric, artistic type—gone rogue. “I’ll not be seeing the likes of you again, Shane Rogan.”

 

Her phone beeped with another text from Declan. Wildly missing you, darlin’.

Declan MacFarlane farmed with his grandfather and often smelled of sheep, horses, and hay. He earned a living working with his hands and was proud of his family heritage. Not a hint of sophistication. Yet, a man she respected, a man she might one day take vows with—raise a family with. Shouldn’t that be her goal—marriage and children—why didn’t it feel right? 

She leaned on the rail of the bridge, taking a selfie to send to Declan. A light wind tossed her golden hair as the wildflowers danced in the cool breeze under a cerulean sky.

A feeling of belonging rose inside her—how could it be? What waited ahead in this place called Serenity Cove? A butterfly landed on a delicate white blossom. She dabbed the corners of her eyes. “I love you, Ma.”

She eased back onto the road to Serenity Cove. The butterfly from her sweet mother calmed and comforted her—even if it was mere folklore.

A wildflower bouquet set on the passenger seat, keeping her company. Shane Rogan's woodsy, outdoorsy scent mixed with the sweet alyssum woven with the pretty blooms. Did he hope to see her again?

                                                                         

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Follow AIlsing to Serenity Cove
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