Pumpkin Everything by Beth Labonte
More than leaves are about to fall…
After calling off her fall wedding, horror novelist Amy Fox is left with a broken heart, a mega case of writer’s block, and a serious aversion to all things pumpkin spice. When she receives news that her grandfather has broken his wrist driving through a Dunkin Donuts—literally straight through the front windows—five hundred miles away, in her hometown of Autumnboro, New Hampshire, Amy has no choice but to return to check on him. If she doesn’t make sure that he’s back on his feet, Grandpa may be moved into assisted living, and Amy’s beloved childhood home will be put on the market.
Knowing she must return, Amy worries about the only thing worse than pumpkin spice—a reunion with Kit Parker—her childhood best friend, first love, and entire reason for skipping town in the first place. As the two reconnect, a second chance seems possible…if only Kit weren’t holding on to a secret that just might unravel everything.
Set against the scenic backdrop of the White Mountains, New Hampshire, Pumpkin Everything is a small town, sweet romance, and the perfect way to kick off the fall season! A pumpkin spice latte wouldn’t hurt, either.
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“Guilt trips aside,” said Kit, lacing his fingers behind his head. “Don’t you think your grandfather would be happier down in Pennsylvania, close to his family?”
I shrugged. “I’m sure he’d love being nearer to us, but look around.” I motioned to Grandpa’s makeshift museum. “Leaving the White Mountains would devastate him. This is the only home he’s ever known. And do you really want my mother selling this house? Depending on who bought it, you and Riley might have to move out. And then…” Then I’d never have any reason to come back here.
“Riley and I can always find a new place to live,” he said casually. Like it was no biggie. Like he was finding out he might need to move out of some crappy sublet. “Don’t keep the house on our account.”
“Just like that, huh? You’d find a new place to live, and oh well, whatever? Geez, apparently Grandpa and I are the only ones attached to this place.”
Kit got that odd look on his face again, before tipping his chin toward the front door behind me. “Do you remember getting off the school bus in third grade? My mom would let me come up here, and we’d barrel through that door, dump our backpacks on the floor, and go straight for the TV.”
“Wrong. We’d hit the kitchen first for pizza rolls.”
“Right, right. Then it was Are You Afraid of the Dark? until dinner. No wonder you ended up writing horror.”
“We were the coolest.” I laughed.
“Giving up this house wouldn’t be so easy for me, either.” After a few moments of silence, Kit tapped his hand on the arm of the couch. “I don’t want you to think that it would. It’s just that sometimes we have to make hard choices. Sometimes we have to make sure that we’re looking at the bigger picture.”
“I appreciate the tip, Obi-Wan, but it’s not happening. Not yet. Not ever. Not if I can help it.”
The idea that maybe Kit hadn’t been hurt at all, after I’d gone, flitted around my mind again. Maybe, instead of getting all philosophical about hard choices and bigger pictures, he should think about the fact that if he hadn’t pushed me away, I never would have left. If it weren’t for the way he’d treated me, Grandpa would still have his loving family around him, right here in his own home where he belonged. Assisted living would never have been on the table.
Then I remembered the reason why he’d treated me the way he had, and my stomach roiled with guilt. It wasn’t his fault. His mother had been taken from him much too young. Rebecca Parker had always treated me as one of her own, happily tossing me in the car right along with Kit and Riley to go roller-skating, or sledding, or apple-picking. My memories of her were half the reason this house meant so much to me. Her death had torn all of us apart, but Kit in particular. Yes, he had hurt me. And yes, the result of that hurt led to our less-than-idyllic current situation. But none of it had been his fault. Not really.
I’d let myself forget that once, but never again.
“Loved this book! I’m a big fan of the author so I was excited for this one to come out. It did not disappoint. It’s an adorable story about second chances in a cozy town. Wish I lived in my own Autumnboro. I was delighted at the Doctor Who references too! Now I’m ready to get out my fall decorations and drink a pumpkin spice latte.” ~
Nicole D. Nostrand
“This second chance romance is full of hope, anticipation and unforgettable love.” ~ Narcie Carrion
“I love everything about this story by Beth Labonte. Not just because the author highlights my neck-of-the-woods, but because it’s just an appealing story. “Pumpkin Everything,” is a second chance romance, small town, with a bit of serendipity, all rolled up into a delightful romance.” ~ Margie
Beth Labonte received a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She worked as an administrative assistant for fourteen years, turning to writing as her creative outlet in an excruciatingly mundane corporate world. Beth now writes full-time and resides in Massachusetts.
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