I’m excited to announce the 5th, and final, book in my Hope Springs Romance Series will soon be available on Amazon in Kindle Unlimited, eBook, and paperback! Here’s a little preview of the story of Missy and Cooper.
As Cooper Landers entered the law offices representing his late grandmother’s estate, he wasn’t sure exactly what to expect. Priscilla Bordan had lived a comfortable life, with a house too large for one person, a staff to take care of every detail, and a full social calendar. She even had a driver to take her wherever she needed to go. His grandmother also had a bit of an eccentric personality, so Cooper was fully expecting to find out that she’d left her entire estate to some oddball organization.
Cooper was okay with that option. He’d made his own way as an architect with Frederick Development Inc., or FDI, and didn’t really need his family’s money. His grandmother had outlived her only child, his late mother, leaving Cooper the sole heir to her estate.
“Good morning,” he said, smiling to the receptionist sitting at the small desk just inside the door. “I’m Cooper Landers. I believe I have a meeting this morning with Mr. Smithson.” Cooper had accompanied his grandmother to her lawyer’s office several times, but he didn’t ever remember this particular receptionist.
“Yes, sir,” the young woman answered. As she rose from behind her desk, he watched her brushed her left hand over her dress, straightening out non-existent wrinkles. “Right this way,” she said as she escorted Cooper down a long corridor to a corner office. Entering the room, the receptionist flashed a huge smile. “Mr. Smithson will be with you shortly. Can I get you something to drink while you wait?” she asked, her voice dripping with sweetness.
Cooper wasn’t a vain man, but he could have sworn she was coming on to him. “No, thank you,” he replied politely.
“Very well,” the young receptionist answered, seemingly disappointed to be leaving him alone.
How odd, Cooper thought as he walked over to look at the expansive view Mr. Smithson had of the city below. Prime real estate. He knew several of the attorney’s clients, having gone to prep school with their children. One did not hire this lawyer unless one had an extensive portfolio.
Cooper turned just as Mr. Smithson entered the office. “Cooper, how nice to see you again.” The older man extended his hand, and added, “I just wish it were under more cheerful circumstances.”
“Thank you,” Cooper replied as he shook the lawyer’s hand. “Yes, Grandmother lived a long, active life. I think we were all a bit shocked to hear she’d passed in her sleep.” Cooper was happy to hear she hadn’t suffered in any way.
“Please have a seat and we’ll get started with the reading of the will,” Mr. Smithson said, walking around to sit at his desk. He opened a legal-size folder and looked at the will before him. “Now, before I get started, please know that this will contains your grandmother’s wishes. She revised it only a few weeks ago. She wanted me to give you this letter to read after you leave here.” At the questioning look Cooper gave him as he handed the letter over, Mr. Smithson added, “I’m guessing it’s personal in nature and she didn’t want it included in the will.”
Cooper took the letter from the lawyer and thought how strange it was. His grandmother had been quite vocal with her opinions when she’d been alive, so he found it odd that she’d felt the need to write him a letter to be opened after he’d heard the contents of her will. “Is it a good thing I’m sitting down for this?” he asked curiously.
Mr. Smithson just smiled. Of course, he thinks this is entertaining, Cooper thought. He knows what’s in the will. “Okay, let me hear what strangeness my grandmother has in store for me,” Cooper said, sitting back in the comfortable high-back leather chair and crossing his right leg over his left.
Mr. Smithson began, “I, Priscilla Marie Bordan, being of sound mind and body, do hereby decree this to be my final will and testament . . . .”
While lounging on his brown leather sofa nursing a bourbon on the rocks later that evening, Cooper stared at the letter sitting on the coffee table in front of him. He was still in disbelief at the contents of his grandmother’s will. He’d never heard of such a request, but then again, his grandmother was not your normal cookie-baking grandmother. Cooper was actually afraid to open the letter. God only knew what other demands she might have placed on him. “I think I’ve had enough fun for one day,” Cooper said out loud. “This can wait for another time.”
Finishing his drink and getting up to take his glass to the kitchen, Cooper stood looking at his well-appointed condo in one of the high-rise buildings overlooking the river. He thought about his grandmother’s request, and decided maybe part of it wasn’t so strange after all. He walked back into the living room and picked up his cellphone, dialing the one number he knew could be the answer to a fresh start.
“Hello, Cooper,” Peter Frederick answered cheerfully. “How’s life in the big city?”
Cooper grunted and asked, “Are the Cotton Mill Condos ready for occupancy?” Cooper had designed them, but hadn’t expressed an interest in buying one, until now.
“The corner unit on the second floor has your name on it,” Peter assured him. “We’d love to have you move to our humble little town.”
“Good. Give me a few weeks to take care of things here, and I’ll be down,” Cooper told him. “This small town better be as relaxing as you say it is, Peter.” All Cooper had heard from Peter and some of the other employees was how wonderful Hope Springs was. He sure hoped that was true.
“Come on down and see for yourself,” Peter said. “I’ll have office space for you as well.”
“Sounds good,” Cooper answered. “See you in a few weeks.”
Peter hung up the phone and turned to his wife, Chandler. “Looks like another eligible bachelor is moving to Hope Springs.”
“Really?” Chandler Frederick asked, surprised.
“Yes, Cooper Landers has decided to move to Hope Springs,” Peter answered. “He said he’s ready for some relaxation.”
Chandler moved to readjust the pillow she’d been leaning on. As comfortable as her sofa was, her newly-growing baby bump was already making it more difficult to be in a comfortable position for too long. “Well, I think Hope Springs is definitely relaxing. And who knows, he may meet someone here he can relax with.” Silently she already knew there was a woman who would be perfect for him.
Peter gave his wife a sideways glance and laughed. “Yes, dear,” he said, leaning in to kiss Chandler on the cheek. “I’m sure you already have someone in mind.” Peter wasn’t sure if Cooper was ready for the women of Hope Springs.