All You Need Is Love (A Green Mountain Romance)

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9781501292897: All You Need Is Love (A Green Mountain Romance)

The family-run Green Mountain Country Store is cherished by locals as a reminder of simpler times. The Abbott children are determined to keep it that way but their father has different plans

When Cameron Murphy heads to Vermont to build a website for a new client, she imagines a more relaxing trip than she gets. After wrecking her car by colliding with the town moose, she meets the most handsome hero she s ever seen. Unfortunately, her savior, Will Abbott, is also the son of her client and he wants nothing to do with the new website or the city girl creating it.

For all Will cares, Cameron can march her fancy boots right out of town and out of his family s business. But he can t seem to get her out of his head. And as his family s dispute heats up, so does the chemistry between the two, leaving them wondering if simple is better after all especially when it comes to matters of the heart.

"

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About the Author:

Marie Force is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 50 contemporary romances, including the Gansett Island Series, which has sold more than 2.3 million books, and the Fatal Series from Harlequin Books, which has sold more than 1.2 million books. In addition, she is the author of the Green Mountain Series as well as the erotic romance Quantum Series, written under the slightly modified name of M.S. Force.  All together, her books have sold more than 5 million copies worldwide!

Her goals in life are simple--to finish raising two happy, healthy, productive young adults, to keep writing books for as long as she possibly can and to never be on a flight that makes the news. 

Join Marie's mailing list on her website at marieforce.com for news about new books and upcoming appearances in your area. Follow her on Facebook at Facebook.com/MarieForceAuthor, on Twitter @marieforce and on Instagram at instagram.com/marieforceauthor/. Contact Marie at marie@marieforce.com.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

AUTHOR’S NOTE

Welcome to Vermont and my new Green Mountain series! A couple of years ago, I was watching my daily fix of Brian Williams on NBC Nightly News when I saw Anne Thompson’s feature about the Vermont Country Store and the family who runs it. I was immediately intrigued by the notion of a family running an old-fashioned country store. When my husband got home, I told him, “We’re going to Vermont!”

Luckily, he was happy to comply, and a few weekends later we took off to explore the Green Mountain State. I was completely captivated by the area, the Vermont Country Store, and everything we experienced during that weekend in Vermont. My husband teased me about how I spent two hundred dollars at the original store in Weston, Vermont, and then went to the second store in Rockingham and managed to spend another two hundred dollars—on completely different items. Visiting the Vermont Country Store is an amazing experience, and I recommend you check out the store in person or online at vermontcountrystore.com.

I’d been to Vermont before, several times in fact, but I hadn’t spent tons of time there. As a result, I had to do a lot of research to make my Vermont as authentic as possible. Suffice to say it was certainly no sacrifice to spend time in such a stunningly beautiful place. I absolutely love the scenery, the mountains, the people, the quaint small towns and the quirky slices of life that make it such a special place.

If you’re wondering where in the Northeast Kingdom the town of Butler can be found, the answer is it’s a fictional place, created from an amalgamation of a wide variety of small towns in the state. Parts and pieces of many of the towns I visited crop up in Butler, so Vermonters may find a slice of their hometown in Butler.

My research was aided by the helpfulness of several of my readers who are either from Vermont or who have lived there at one time or another. Thank you to Diane Nabel, June Claughton, Elysa Blumenthal, Kristin Ells, Terry Langlois, Brent H. Curtis and Leslie Temple, who answered my Facebook call for Vermonters willing to answer a questionnaire. Their input and insights helped tremendously. Audrey Coty, co-owner of the Nebraska Knoll Sugar Farm, provided a very memorable morning for my assistant, Julie, and me at her lovely home. Thank you, Audrey!

I’ve also been “lucky” to participate in the building of several complex websites during my professional life. However, my dear friend Mary Harrington, chief operating officer of Embolden, a website company in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, helped to fill in some of the gaps for me from the contractor side. Thank you so much, Mary!

My assistant, Julie Cupp, planned an awesome three days in Vermont, and many scenes in All You Need Is Love were inspired by our trip, especially the icy climb up the hill to Colton’s sugaring facility, which was a lot more fun to write about than it was to experience in real life! Thank you, Julie, for embracing my new series and for running my business so I can have more fun writing than I’ve had in years.

To the amazing team at Berkley—it’s been such a pleasure to work with all of you, especially my lovely editor, Kate Seaver. Kate, thank you for taking a chance on three chapters and hoping for the best. You’re a dream to work with. Leslie Gelbman, we bonded after taking our daughters to college, and you made me feel right at home at Berkley. Susan Allison, Erica Martirano, Erin Galloway, Courtney Landi and Katherine Pelz, your enthusiasm for the Green Mountain series has been so inspiring to me, and I look forward to bringing the rest of the series to life with your help.

A very special thank-you to my agent, Kevan Lyon, who stayed with me during the lean years, stayed calm during the experimental years and who’s the first to celebrate with me during the good times. You’re the best, Kevan, and I appreciate all you do to help keep me sane in the midst of madness.

To my wonderful friends, whether I’ve known you personally for many years or met you along the way through my books, thank you for your support of my career. Maybe you’ve bought one book or all of them, but either way, you’ve helped me more than you’ll ever know, and I appreciate each of you. A special thank-you to my wonderful beta readers, Ronlyn Howe, Kara Conrad and Anne Woodall, who are the first to read everything and the best at “cleaning me up.”

My husband, Dan, my kids, Emily and Jake, and my dogs, Brandy and Louie, make my life complete and support me every step of the way.

I’m blessed with an amazingly loyal group of readers, and I’m thankful for you each and every day. We have tons of fun on Facebook and Twitter, through e-mail and Skype chats and at book signings. I can’t thank you enough for embracing my books the way you have. I hope you’ll enjoy Will, Cameron and the Abbotts!

If you’d like to chat with other fans of the series, make sure you join the Green Mountain Reader Group at facebook.com/groups/GreenMountainSeries. To talk specifically about this book with spoilers allowed and encouraged, join the All You Need Is Love Reader Group at facebook.com/groups/AllYouNeedIsLove1. Join my mailing list at marieforce.com to be notified about new books and feel free to contact me at marie@marieforce.com.

Thanks so much for reading!

xoxo

Marie

CHAPTER 1

A hard job is like forty miles of rough road.

—The gospel according to Elmer Stillman

“What the heck is a frost heave?” Cameron asked Troy, who’d briefly been her boyfriend until they realized they made better friends than lovers.

“Searching,” Troy said, indulging her as he had on and off during her long journey from Manhattan to the end of the earth.

“Well?”

“I need a freaking PhD in geology to understand these explanations, but if I’m reading it right, it’s what happens when water freezes under the road and the pavement heaves upward.”

“Apparently, there’re a lot of them around here. Signs every two minutes.” Cameron’s stomach tightened along with her fingers on the wheel of her gleaming cherry red Mini Cooper, purchased yesterday with this trip in mind. “What do you suppose I do if I happen upon one?”

“Um, I guess you hit the gas and jump it?”

“Thanks. That’s really helpful.”

His loud yawn had Cameron choking back one of her own. What should’ve been a leisurely five-and-a-half-hour trek up the scenic Taconic Parkway had turned into seven tense hours as her paltry driving experience had proven no match for the twists and turns of mountain roads.

“Are you almost there? I’m getting tired.”

“The GPS says twenty more minutes.” All at once, the phone made a series of weird clicking noises. “Troy? Hello? Ugh!” Colleagues had warned her that mountain cell phone reception was spotty at best, but she’d refused to imagine a scenario in which she didn’t have the world at her fingertips. It didn’t bear thinking about.

Cameron hit Redial on the smart phone and reached Troy’s voicemail. At least he was trying to call her back.

She put down the phone and focused on driving. In addition to the frost heave signs, the frequent moose-crossing warnings were also unsettling. What were the rules of the road when it came to moose? Who had the right of way? The questions reminded her that she had lots more research yet to do about her destination.

When the phone rang, she pounced on it. “Are you there?”

“I’m here.”

“Good,” Cameron said, relieved to hear his voice. “Reception sucks up here.”

“How long do you have to be there anyway?”

“If they hire us, and that’s a huge if at this point, hopefully just a week, maybe two. I’ll pacify my father, and then get back to civilization.” Cameron didn’t like to think about what was riding on her landing this big job.

“Sounds like a plan,” he said, yawning again.

“Stop that, will you?”

“Sorry.”

Cameron had never driven on such a dark road and had visions of missing a turn and pitching off the side of a cliff. Her fingers ached from gripping the wheel so tightly. “Talk to me,” she said.

“What do you want to talk about?”

Over the course of their ten-year friendship-that-defied-definition, they’d covered every subject under the sun. “I don’t know. Think of something.”

“You never did tell me much about the project.”

She released a rattling deep breath, seeking to calm her nerves. “The Green Mountain Country Store needs a website. From what I hear, they’re still living in the early-twentieth-century dark ages. My dad went to school with the majority partner, and they ran into each other at their Yale reunion. Dad told him what I do, and one thing led to another.”

“You mean one thing led to frost heaves and moose crossings.”

Despite her tension, Cameron laughed. “God, Troy, what am I doing here?”

“Taking one for the team the way you always do.”

“Yeah, I guess.” Her father was one of her weak spots, and he’d taken full advantage by all but ordering her to meet with his old friend. But since her website development company was still recovering from the economic downturn a few years back, any new business was welcome—even if it required a trek into the wilderness. “It’s so dark I can barely see where I’m going.”

“You’re talking hands-free, right?”

“Since both my hands are surgically attached to the wheel at the moment, yes.”

“I should’ve driven you up there,” he said, sounding regretful.

“You’ve got court this week.” Her friend was an up-and-coming attorney in Manhattan, and Cameron was proud of all he’d accomplished—and appreciative of the pro bono work he did for her company.

“Still, we could’ve gone up yesterday. I would’ve been back in time.”

“That’s sweet of you, but I wanted to do this on my own.”

“Had something to prove to yourself, huh?”

“Well, when was the last time I drove? Or even left Manhattan? I’m almost thirty, and until yesterday I’d never owned a car.”

“I’m proud of you, Cam. You could’ve said no or sent one of your employees. It says something about you that you decided to take this on yourself.”

Touched by what he’d said, she released a nervous laugh. “We’ll see how proud you are of me after I’m here a week and going through ugly city withdrawals.” Her eyes darted from the dark road to the GPS. “Only five more minutes. I guess I can take it from here.”

“You sure?”

“Positive. Thanks for keeping me company.”

“Anytime, kiddo. Call me tomorrow?”

“I will. Good luck in court.”

“Thanks.”

Cameron looked down long enough to end the call. When she returned her attention to the road, something large and black was in her path. A shriek escaped from her clenched jaw as she jammed on the brakes. The tiny car skidded perilously, and she was certain she’d be spiraling into the abyss at any second.

Instead she smashed straight into the immovable object, deploying the car’s airbags. That was the last thing she saw before everything went black.

 · · · 

Cameron didn’t think she lost consciousness. Rather, she lost her headlights, which pitched her into inky darkness unlike anything she’d ever experienced. In the city that never sleeps, it didn’t ever get totally dark. Not like this anyway. With the headlights went the heater, and within minutes she was trembling from the cold and the fear of being alone in the middle of nowhere with something blocking her path. And smacking her face on the airbag hadn’t helped. Her nose hurt, and her eyes were watering.

She reached for her phone and managed to drop it. Rooting around on the floor, she finally found it, but when she turned it on she had no service. “Ugh! You gotta be kidding me!

Squinting, she tried to make out what was blocking her path, but it just looked like a huge black wall. She pushed the airbag aside and turned the key. The engine clicked in response but didn’t turn over.

“Fantastic.” Who did one even call out here? Did the auto club send tow trucks into the middle of nowhere? She was powering up the phone to try again when the flash of headlights coming toward her caught her attention.

With fumbling hands, she managed to get the door open. Her legs didn’t want to cooperate as she forced herself out of the car, sinking ankle deep in something cold and wet. Thinking of the five-hundred-dollar cinnamon suede boots she had lusted after for months and finally bought with a gift card from her dad, she whimpered.

On the other side of the big black wall, which was now partially lit, she heard a voice.

“Are you okay, Fred? Does anything hurt?”

The wall let out the deepest “moo” she’d ever heard and began to move.

If her feet hadn’t been encased in something nasty, Cameron would’ve taken a step back when she realized “the wall” was alive. “What the . . .”

Ambling slowly into the woods, the animal’s departure allowed Cameron to see a large man standing in the silhouette of headlights, his truck running behind him. At well over six feet tall, his shoulders were broad and his posture menacing—or so it seemed to her. All he needed was a chain saw to complete the Texas Chainsaw Massacre image that was forming in her overly active imagination.

She wondered if they had chain saw or axe murderers in Vermont. Judging from the number of trees she’d seen on the way up here, they had plenty of use for both tools. Glancing down to her right, she gasped at the smashed-in front of her new car, illuminated by the truck’s headlights. “Oh no! My car!

“You hit Fred,” the would-be axe murderer said.

Without taking her eyes off the front end of her once-pristine car, she said, “Who’s Fred?”

“The town moose.”

She stared at him, agog. “The town has a moose?”

“That’s right,” he said as if such things were perfectly normal, and she was the crazy one for asking the question.

“What about my car? Look at what he did to my car!”

“Didn’t you see the moose-crossing sign a mile or so back?”

“I saw it and a thousand others, but I didn’t think it meant a moose would be stupid enough to stand in the middle of the road where it could get hit by a car.”

“Are you calling Fred stupid?”

As cold, wet muck seeped into her lovely boots, Cameron wanted to shriek. This whole thing was beyond stupid! She wished she could close her eyes and be back in her SoHo apartment, in a world where everything made sense to her. A “town moose” standing in the middle of a road definitely did not make sense.

If she could manage to extract her feet from the goop, the first thing she’d do was click her heels together three times and hope for instant transport home. Hey, it had worked for Dorothy, right? Thinking about her favorite movie of all time buoyed her flagging spirits.

“Are you hurt?” he asked, almost sounding concerned.

“I don’t think so.”

“Where you heading?”

“Butler.”

“You’re close.”

“I know. The GPS said I was minutes away before Fred got in my way.”

“Looks to me like you hit him, not the other way around.”

“Tell it to the insurance company,” she said, wondering if her insurance covered mooseas...

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Book Description BRILLIANCE AUDIO, 2015. CD-Audio. Book Condition: New. Unabridged. Language: English . Brand New. The family-run Green Mountain Country Store is cherished by locals as a reminder of simpler times. The Abbott children are determined to keep it that way but their father has different plans When Cameron Murphy heads to Vermont to build a website for a new client, she imagines a more relaxing trip than she gets. After wrecking her car by colliding with the town moose, she meets the most handsome hero she s ever seen. Unfortunately, her savior, Will Abbott, is also the son of her client and he wants nothing to do with the new website or the city girl creating it. For all Will cares, Cameron can march her fancy boots right out of town and out of his family s business. But he can t seem to get her out of his head. And as his family s dispute heats up, so does the chemistry between the two, leaving them wondering if simple is better after all especially when it comes to matters of the heart. Bookseller Inventory # BRI9781501292897

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Book Description BRILLIANCE AUDIO, 2015. CD-Audio. Book Condition: New. Unabridged. Language: English . Brand New. The family-run Green Mountain Country Store is cherished by locals as a reminder of simpler times. The Abbott children are determined to keep it that way but their father has different plans When Cameron Murphy heads to Vermont to build a website for a new client, she imagines a more relaxing trip than she gets. After wrecking her car by colliding with the town moose, she meets the most handsome hero she s ever seen. Unfortunately, her savior, Will Abbott, is also the son of her client and he wants nothing to do with the new website or the city girl creating it. For all Will cares, Cameron can march her fancy boots right out of town and out of his family s business. But he can t seem to get her out of his head. And as his family s dispute heats up, so does the chemistry between the two, leaving them wondering if simple is better after all especially when it comes to matters of the heart. Bookseller Inventory # BRI9781501292897

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