Love at Starlight Series, Book 2 (Preview Edition)
Taking Chances Snowy Ridge: Love at Starlight, Book 2 (Preview Edition) By Kris Jett
Copyright 2017 by Kris Jett
This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and events are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
All rights reserved.
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WELCOME TO STARLIGHT
A family-owned pub in the picturesque snowmobiling town of Snowy Ridge, Wisconsin. The weather may be cold outside, but things are sizzling indoors.
Fall in love with the new small-town romance series beginning with:
Christmas at Starlight – Amber & Nick (Snowy Ridge: A Love at Starlight Novella)
Coming Home – Jessie & Cade (Snowy Ridge: Love at Starlight, Book 1)
Taking Chances – Wynn & Bryce (Snowy Ridge: Love at Starlight, Book 2)
Finding Me – Luci & Evan (Snowy Ridge: Love at Starlight, Book 3)
“Oof,” Wynn Foster let out in an exhale. Melody was straddling her chest and patting her cheeks, one tiny hand on each side of her face. Nothing like being woken up by a thirty-pound toddler launching herself at you, Wynn thought. “Mommy, Mommy, Mommy,” Melody sung out. “Wake now.” Wynn peeked one eye open and slowly smiled at her eighteen-month old daughter. “I’m awake, sweetie.” “Mickey?” Melody asked. Melody wanted her to go flip on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on the television in the living room. It’d become her morning ritual lately since they’d moved back to Wynn’s home town, Snowy Ridge, Wisconsin, and in with her mom. Cartoons and cereal in front of the TV while Wynn dragged herself around the kitchen, making and then downing her first cup of coffee. She never had been a morning person. “Mickey?” the toddler prodded again. “Okay, okay, honey. I’m getting up.” Melody leaped off her mother, grabbed her stuffed Mickey Mouse doll from the bed, and raced out to the living room to wait. Wynn sighed and stared at her bedroom ceiling, trying to will herself to get up. She couldn’t believe she was here, in her childhood bedroom. Twenty-eight years old, divorced, and a single parent. And living with her own mommy again. It was pathetic. She felt like a total loser. The one bright spot in her day everyday was Melody. She loved her daughter to pieces and she had to get her act together if not for herself, then for Melody. She crawled out of bed, shoved her feet into her old
worn-out frog slippers, and tip-toed out of the bedroom, careful not to wake her mom who was still asleep in her own bedroom across the hall. Her younger sister, Luci, had also recently moved back home from New York City and was in her old bedroom as well. Their baby sister, Jessie, was the only one of the family who had her act together. She lived in her own place and co-ran the family business with their mother. When their mom could work, that was. She’d been going through chemotherapy and resting as much as possible, so, it was really a good thing that the girls were all at home right now. Even if it wasn’t the reason for them coming home in the first place. Wynn turned on the television and tuned the channel to Disney before patting Melody on the head. “Be right back with your cheerios,” she told her. Melody squeezed her Mickey to her chest and stared at the TV in delight. The kid was obsessed with the show. Wynn padded into the kitchen and begun making breakfast as she thought about her day. She was going to drop Melody off at daycare and then head to work at Starlight for her shift. She perked up when she remembered she had an errand to do before work. Today was the day she enrolled in the local community college. Just last week she’d decided she had to do something to really shake up her life; change the course of direction she’d been on for way too long. Wynn was always floating in and out, from relationship to relationship, job to job. She needed a path, a goal, for her and Melody’s life. No more messing around. She had the scare of her life a few weeks back that really shook her up. She was being stalked by a crazy ex-boyfriend, named Billy. Maybe she should have seen that Billy was bad news from the start, but, she was so vulnerable back then.
Newly divorced and feeling unlovable, she glommed onto the first guy she met in a Single Parents Under Thirty chatroom. Hello red flag. And the jerk wasn’t even a parent—just a creep trolling the chat room. Ugh, she couldn’t believe she was so stupid. She’d moved back home to Snowy Ridge with Melody not only to save money, but to get away from Billy. He seemed like such a winner at first. Of course, don’t they all? But he pushed too hard, wanted too much, and moved too fast. She just couldn’t give him what he was asking for. When she broke things off, it seemed to only make him crazier. He was suddenly everywhere, all the time. He sat outside her job and her house for hours. He sent non-stop notes and presents. He wouldn’t take no for an answer. When Billy crossed over from creepy stalker to downright terrifying nightmare, her sister Jessie got involved. She’d told Billy that Wynn was in the hospital with a rare blood disorder and to please stop texting. When that didn’t work, Jessie told him Wynn had passed away. While dramatic and cruel to do to someone, they just didn’t know what else to do to make him go away. And it didn’t work anyway. Billy showed up in Snowy Ridge and confronted Wynn and Melody in the town square. He had a knife and wanted to force her to go with him to “talk.” Luckily Jessie was also there with her boyfriend, Cade Stone. They’d defended her and then Jessie’s old ex-boyfriend from high school happened to be walking by at the right time, saw the struggle, and ran to help. Cade and he took Billy down. Thankfully, Billy was behind bars now, serving time. It seemed Wynn wasn’t the first woman he’d stalked and threatened. Though it was a completely frightening experience, it opened Wynn’s eyes and she was more determined than
ever to stop the chaos and make a stable home for her and Melody. Life wasn’t going to just keep happening to her. She was going to decide what she wanted and go out and get it. And she was going to forget all about men, at least for a while. She was putting herself on a boyfriend time out until further notice. Valentine’s Day was coming up in a few weeks and she hadn’t experienced the holiday without a Valentine since she was sixteen years old. But she didn’t care. She had her baby girl and she was all she needed. “Coffee?” Luci asked, with a skip as she entered the kitchen. “Turn the perkiness down a notch, would ya?” Wynn asked. “You should try yoga in the morning, sis. A nice sun salutation would really kick your day off to a good start.” “Why on earth would I want to salute the sun? I hide from it as long as possible. I would still be under my covers now if Melody hadn’t woken me up.” Ugh, that was right. She was supposed to be making cereal. Wynn set her coffee cup down with a thump and quickly made Melody her bowl of cereal with sliced banana and filled a sippy cup with milk. She walked it out to the living room and set it down on the coffee table in front of her daughter. Melody jammed one fat little hand right into the bowl and then shoved some cereal in her mouth, stray little O shaped grains falling down the front of her pajamas. They hadn’t quite worked out the spoon business yet so she just let Melody eat how she’d like. At least Wynn didn’t have to sit and hand feed her. Luci joined them in the living room, two cups of coffee in her hand. She set one down in front of Wynn and then curled up in the corner of the couch with her own cup, blowing lightly into it. “So, what are you up to today?”
Wynn’s face instantly brightened. “It’s a good day,” she told her sister. “First stop for me is the junior college. I’m enrolling today. I can’t wait!” Luci beamed at her sister. “That’s so great, Wynn. I’m so proud of you!” Wynn took a big gulp of coffee. “I’m proud of me too. You’re going to see a new me, Luci.” “I already see a new you. You’re shrinking away, these days. How much weight have you lost? Easily twenty pounds.” Wynn’s cheeks reddened and she glanced down at herself. It was true; she had been steadily dropping weight, but she wasn’t even trying. She’d just been under so much stress between moving back home with Melody and the whole Billy situation that she hadn’t been able to eat a lot. “I don’t think I’ve lost that much.” “Well, you look amazing.” Wynn smiled at her sister. “Thanks. I’m feeling good, too. Hopeful, ya know? Like, I’m finally going to turn things around and make everything go my way.” “You can do it,” Luci said. “I have faith in you.” “Thanks, Lu.” “Shhh!” Melody scolded. She threw an annoyed look at her mom and aunt. “Mickey!” Wynn and Luci exchanged glances and burst into giggles. “Mommy!” Melody whined. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. sweetie,” Wynn said, holding her hands up in surrender. Just then her text alert went off on her phone and she glanced down at it. Hey Wynn. I’m coming to Snowy Ridge for the weekend. I’ll be in Friday around 6. I want to see Melody. – Eric “Shit!” Wynn exclaimed.
“Mommy!” Melody said again, irritated. “What is it?” Luci leaned toward Wynn on the couch and cranked her head to see the phone. Wynn quickly pulled the phone to her chest, not wanting Luci to see. “Nothing...