Candy Hearts – FIND ME by Cait Jarrod

FInd Me

BLURB:
In Heather Ridge, Virginia, myth has it the lucky recipients of the two FIND ME candy hearts distributed each year are soul mates.

Too afraid of seeing her one-time trusted friend, good-hearted Lyse Haynes refuses to go to her high school class reunion. But when she receives a second invitation containing the elusive candy heart, she takes an overdue vacation to pursue the dream of finally finding her soul mate.

Ice cream creator Cooper Schmidt plans to take his product nationwide. His marketing team proposes the perfect destination for his next store. Unfortunately, it belongs to the father of the woman he’s harbored feelings for since high school. He uses her belief in myths and mails her the candy heart to entice her to Heather Ridge, in hopes she will convince her father to sell.

There’s just one problem. After ten years, his old feelings tumble forward, stronger than ever, and Lyse has a decision to make—discover who has the candy heart companion or follow her heart.

EXCERPT:

“Legend has it, there are two FIND ME candies produced each year. When two people lucky enough to receive them see each other, they know they found their soul mates.”

“Phfts.” Coop chuckled. “Good one.”

Rill ignored him. What he said was intriguing. She always considered legends, myths, and superstitions as truths. “Shush,” she said out of the corner of her mouth and focused on the storeowner. “Go on.”

“The thing is, most times finding the other person is hard. People don’t know where to search. They check under flashy exteriors, smug attitudes, and never see the person’s soul.”

“Come on,” Coop growled. “You’re not gonna trust what he’s dishing out, are you? How can manufacturers produce two candies, send them out worldwide, and expect the two people who receive them to find each other?”

Odd, he didn’t get uptight about any of Rill’s other stories. Today, his forehead pulled down, and his lips flattened.

“It’s a myth,” she said.

“Yeah, which you believe.” He spoke with a combination of concern and disgust.

“I think it’s lovely. I bet that’s how I’ll find my soul mate.”

Her comment got another, “Phft,” from Coop.

“I bet it will, little lady.” Rill put the tray back under the counter.

“Let’s go.” Coop grabbed her hand. “Thanks, Rill.”

“Anytime,” he chuckled. “One more thing.”

She pulled on Coop’s hand. He wouldn’t stop, so she yanked it. “Yeah?”

“The two people can only meet in Heather Ridge.”

“You’re kidding me.” Coop fumed, snatched her hand, and tugged her out of the store.

“What’s your problem?” Again, she jerked her hand away from his and stopped. “I think the story is great. It’s romantic. A dream.”

“You haven’t checked out its veracity.”

Leave it to brain boy to think science rules everything. “Sometimes there is no explanation.”

“I hear pigs fly. Do you think I should trust hearsay?”

Now, he was being mean. “Not nice.”

He smiled lopsidedly. “You’re right.” He pulled her into his arms, and she rested her head on his chest. Unlike with anyone else, she discarded the dispute and absorbed his comfort.

“Hey, Lyse!” Wally shouted from across the road. “Want some flowers for Friday? Come on, I’ll let you pick them out.”

No one ever bought her flowers. “Um…”

Coop gave her a tight squeeze and released her. “Have a great time,” he said and walked in the opposite direction of the florist. “See you around.”

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