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Seasons of Love - Deluxe Edition (SIGNED HARDCOVER)

Seasons of Love - Deluxe Edition (SIGNED HARDCOVER)

Alice’s vacation heats up when she meets Joy, her law partner’s attractive daughter. But can her summer fling with a younger woman turn into a love that lasts? A steamy May-December romance!

This Deluxe Edition includes the sequel short story Seasons of Change!

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Book specifications

Pages : 272
ISBN : 9789464339369
Weight : 490
Dimensions : 216 x 19 x 138 mm

Full description

A successful solicitor, her business partner’s daughter, and their unexpected chance at love.

Alice McAllister is successful, quiet and disciplined. When her law partner Miranda forces her to take a vacation at her holiday home in Portugal, the unexpected presence of Miranda’s daughter Joy turns Alice’s world up-side down.

Despite their differences–the age gap between them only being one of many–Alice and Joy embark on a passionate holiday romance… until they have to return home.

Can their steamy summer fling turn into a love that lasts? Or will the real world impose too many obstacles to Alice and Joy’s young and fragile love?

Find out in this sultry lesbian age-gap novel (and its sequel short story) by chart-topping lesbian romance author Harper Bliss!

★★★★★ “Harper Bliss is the queen of age gap romances. Be sure to pick this one up right away.” – The Lesbian Review

Themes and tropes

  • Age gap
  • Forced proximity
  • Romance with friend's daughter
  • Opposites attract
  • Ice queen

Chapter One Look Inside

Chapter 1

I try to recline my seat, but as soon as I push the button and apply some pressure, I feel the knees of the passenger behind me resisting my attempt. Perhaps I should have listened to Miranda when she told me to book a business class ticket. “But this is not a business trip,” I’d said, to which she’d just responded with a sigh. Not that I would ever buy an overpriced ticket just to have some more room on any trip—or that I ever go on business trips.

“Some more wine, Ma’am?” a female member of the cabin crew asks.

“No, thank you.” I hand her my empty plastic cup. I’ve had two units already. Despite this being the start of a long overdue holiday, I won’t let go of my health principles so easily.

I close my eyes, the back of my seat straight again, and think about the two weeks of absolute nothingness stretching out in front of me.

“At the end of your life, you won’t wish you had worked more, Alice,” Miranda said a few months ago. “As your partner in this company, I demand you take three weeks off this summer.” She’d offered me her phone and had me flick through some pictures of blue skies and a stylish house a few minutes from the beach in Quinta do Lago. “Consider it booked. How does August 1st till August 21st sound?”

“Three weeks? Have you lost your mind?” I’d glared at her, but had difficulty keeping my gaze off her phone. The last picture she’d shown me was of the swimming pool, which was bathed in the most exquisite light, the water a reflection of all things summer. It didn’t help that she came to me with this on one of London’s more dreary days. “Fine, but it’ll have to be two weeks. Three is just ludicrous.”

Miranda had stretched out her hand and demanded we’d shake on the deal. Apart from a day here and there and a long weekend in Paris or down the coast in Cornwall, I’m not much of a holidaymaker. I’d rather work than spend too much time with my own thoughts, a work ethic that, in my humble opinion, has allowed Miranda to earn enough money to actually buy that house in the Algarve.

But Miranda got her wish and here I am. The plane is about to land at Faro airport.

After going through all airport shenanigans—another reason to only ever travel by car or train—I pick up my rental car and spread out the map over the steering wheel. The lady behind the counter said the car came with a sat nav, but I like to find my destination the old-fashioned way.

By the time I arrive at Miranda’s house, I’m more than ready for a dip in that pool. And I have to agree with her, because as I park my car in front of the house, a sense of summer, of intense leisure, comes over me. A sensation I’ve never experienced anywhere else. Not for a long while, anyway. I’m tired from the journey, but just arriving here engulfs me in an aura of relaxation.

The house looks every bit as stunning as in the pictures. It’s not overly big, but its white walls look picturesque against the blue of the sky, and the pool is surrounded by grass so green and lush, that someone must water it on a daily basis. I hope they won’t intrude on the complete privacy Miranda guaranteed me for the two weeks I’m taking up residence here.

I only brought one suitcase, and I wheel it into the master bedroom, which looks out over the pool area. I inhale deeply, and let the stress of London, work, and the journey here wash off me a little with every exhale.

Before I relax completely and enjoy the rest of this beautiful day, I should get some exercise. The flight was only three hours, but the entire journey took about seven, and my legs are stiff from sitting down too much. In London, my favourite—and only—means of exercise is an hour every morning before work on the stair walker I set up in my spare bedroom. It’s a great way to catch up on the news and stay in shape. When I asked Miranda if there was any gym equipment in her house she’d looked at me funnily, as though that was the most outrageous question ever, even though most hotels around the globe boast some sort of gym on their premises.

“Just relax,” Miranda had said. “Two weeks off won’t destroy your excellent physical condition, Alice.”

It’s not a hardship to have to make do with the pool. I’m not the world’s best swimmer, but it will be good for my biceps, triceps, and deltoids, not to mention release the tension from my legs. I can be adaptable, I want to say to Miranda, but I’ll have to save it for when I see her again in two weeks.

After I’ve emptied my suitcase and given my clothes their rightful place in the wardrobe, I slip into my one-piece bathing suit. I also splashed out on a bikini with a loud floral print and, looking at it again, wonder what on earth came over me when I purchased it. A one-piece will do.

The water is not warm, but not cold either. It’s just the right temperature and before launching into a few laps for sporty reasons, I float on my back, the late afternoon sun still strong enough to pierce underneath my eyelids.

The pool isn’t very long, so I count my laps until I’ve reached forty, after which I sit on the ledge panting. A tall tree casts my chosen spot in shadows, and I breathe in to acquaint myself with the summery smells surrounding me. When Miranda first told me she was buying a house here, I accused her of being foolish with money, but sitting here now, I guess I’m beginning to understand. She’s had this place for eighteen years, has asked me to come here a thousand times, and I see now that I was the foolish one for always having a good reason not to. But summers here were booked up with Miranda and her daughter spending at least a month in the house—a luxury I often scolded her for—and, after Alan left me, I was working all the time anyway. What was I going to do coming here on my own? And travelling with Miranda and her daughter somehow never appealed to me. I don’t dislike children, but, for relaxation purposes, I would never deliberately seek out their company either.

When my stomach starts growling, I take a shower and head into the nearest village. I buy enough food to last me a few days and two bottles of wine.

Just when I arrive back at the villa, my phone rings. Miranda advised me to turn it off and hide it in a cupboard, but that was simply one stretch too far. When I look at the screen, I see it’s Miranda calling. Maybe to check if I would answer. Of course I do.

“Alice, isn’t it glorious? Listen to this.” She does something with the phone and I hear a buzzing noise. “That’s the sound of a lovely London rain storm pelting against my office window.”

“It’s rather amazing.” I lean against the table in the open-plan kitchen and I can see the swimming pool from here as well.

“How do you feel?”

How do I feel? Miranda learnt to not ask me that question a long time ago. “Erm, great.” The irony is perfectly audible in my voice.

“Are you relaxed?” She pauses. “Because, well, um, there’s something…” It’s not Miranda’s style to do this much hemming and hawing.

“Is it Mr. Pappas? I knew I shouldn’t—”

“No, Alice, relax. It’s got nothing to do with work.” She clears her throat. “It’s Joy. She’s unexpectedly starting a new job in a week and she’d like to enjoy a bit of summer before going back to work.”

“Okay. Then she should.” I fail to understand why this upsets Miranda so much. She should be happy Joy has a new job, the way that girl flutters from employer to employer.

“Yes, well, the thing is, Alice, she’s asked if she could go to the house… just for a few days. Just for some much needed vitamin D.”

Is Miranda talking about this house? She can’t be. I’m here. I was promised privacy and solitude. “Joy wants to come here?” For once, I don’t hide the outright indignation in my voice.

“Only if you agree. I mean, the house is more than big enough for the two of you. She won’t be a nuisance, I promise you that. She’ll be at the beach most of the time, anyway. You’ll barely notice she’s there.”

No, a little voice in my head screams. But this is Miranda’s house. What am I supposed to say? Your own flesh and blood can’t use it because I’m here? It goes against every rule of politeness I’ve ever lived by. “Well,” I start, but Miranda cuts me off again.

“It’ll only be for a few days. She needs to come back and start work.”

I roll my eyes. The lows Miranda stoops to for her daughter, while a simple “No, the house is occupied” would have sufficed. I don’t know Joy very well. I haven’t seen her in years, but I guess Miranda hasn’t stopped spoiling her after she graduated from university.

“It’s fine, Miranda. I’ll welcome her with open arms.” But only because you’re not giving me a choice. Miranda knew full well I wouldn’t say no. It’s probably much easier for her to make this phone call to me than to say no to her daughter. Children. Neither Alan nor I were very interested in pursuing a traditional family. I got all the satisfaction I needed from pouring all my energy into my career.

“Thank you so much. I owe you,” Miranda says. “I’m well aware. I’ll make it up to you somehow, I swear.”

Miranda then proceeds to tell me Joy, who is apparently sitting next to her while she makes the call to Portugal, will book her flight straightaway. She’ll be there tomorrow afternoon. No need to pick her up at the airport, she’ll get her own car. A rental Miranda will pay for, I’m sure. By the time I put down the phone, my relaxed state has all but dissipated. So much for my holiday. While I prepare a simple salad, I think of ways to make Miranda pay for this. She’s the one who was so dead set on me going on holiday in the first place. It just goes to show where her loyalties lie. Blood is always thicker than the waters of friendship, even though we’ve been friends since before Joy was born.

While I eat my salad overlooking the pool, I exceed my self-imposed daily alcohol limit by drinking two more glasses of wine.

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