Courting Carlyn by Melissa Chambers released this week and is available now! Check out the exclusive deleted scene I get to share with you all as part of the blog tour!
Vaughn Yarborough is ready to trade the fame and glory of the international junior pro tennis circuit for college and a more settled life. First stop: spearhead a summer camp for underprivileged kids. The girl who’s agreed to run it with him has Vaughn more intrigued by the minute, but with the strict no-fraternizing rules, he’s got to figure out how not to fall for her.
When the boy Carlyn Sadowski has crushed on for years asks her to work with him for the summer, she has to pinch herself. When his world-famed coach offers her training for free, she can’t believe her luck. He could actually help her follow in her mother’s footsteps by playing college tennis. But when she finds out the catch is she’s got to convince Vaughn to go pro, Carlyn will have to decide between her dreams and the boy currently stealing her heart.
Deleted Scene – Courting Carlyn
“You want to take the boat out?” I ask.
“One of the canoes?”
I pull a set of keys out of my pocket and shake them in front of her. “The pontoon.”
She peers over my shoulder toward the house. “Where did you get those?”
“Fred gave them to me.”
“He did not.”
“Did too. You don’t believe me?”
She lowers her chin at me, skeptically.
“You can go ask him, and we can lose ten good minutes of boat time, or we can get this show on the road before sunset.”
She smiles, and we head that way.
“You want to drive?” I ask.
“Of course. But don’t you?”
“I’ve never driven a boat. Have you?”
“Yes, of course,” she says.
I hold out my hand to help her onto the boat. “Maybe you can teach me.”
She grins. “All right. Come on, hot shot.”
I untie us from the dock, and she fires up the engine. The boat zooms out through our alcove, and the lake opens up wide. The colors of daylight are hanging on by a thread as the sun descends above us. The cool night wind covers my face, the smell of the lake and the country air filling my lungs as if I’ve never taken a proper breath before now.
She slows the boat and points. “Look.” A huge yellow and white bird with an impossible wingspan soars above us toward the tree.
“What was that?” I ask.
“An owl, I think.”
She slows the boat to a float and steps away from the wheel. “Take it from here.”
I step into the driver’s seat and she sits behind me. She grips my bicep with one hand, rests her chin on my shoulder, and drapes her other arm around mine as she points.
“Put the throttle in forward gear and we’re off.”
I do as told, and the boat takes off with a rough start. She grips my shoulder and giggles. “Not that much.”
I pull back, and it’s not long before we’re off on a steady ride. She rests her cheek on my shoulder, and I can’t help grinning, even though I realize I may end up with bugs on my teeth.
“Pull over there,” she says, and I follow instruction.
She pulls herself off of me, and I already miss her closeness. She hauls the anchor off the front deck and lowers it carefully into the water. After a moment, the boat steadies itself.
I pull the seat bottom up to expose the cooler where I stashed a couple of cans of coconut flavored seltzer water, which I know is her favorite. She sits on the bench beside me, and I hand her a can.
“Thanks,” she says to me.
We sit awkwardly for a minute, and I decide I’ve done enough beating around the bush. I set my can in the cup holder and pull her legs into my lap. I cradle her back, and she rests her head on my chest. “I don’t want the kids to come back tomorrow,” I say.
“You love them.”
“Yeah, but I…” I cut myself off before I say something really stupid. “I like the moments of peace out here in the country without them. This is the most peace and quiet we’ve had all summer.”
She lets out a sigh. “It’s pretty perfect out here.”
I pull away, looking down at her, and she looks up at me, just as I hoped she would. I take the opportunity to kiss her, first soft and sweet, and then with more intensity as we start to find our familiar way with one another. I could kiss her until the end of eternity and not get close enough to her. With every moment I’m with her, I fall a little harder which is both the most wonderful feeling in the world and the scariest, all at the same time.
I’m not sure how long we sit there kissing, but it’s long enough to miss the sunset.
She pulls away, wiping at her mouth. “We should get back.”
I nod, brushing a few strands of hair from her eyes. “I’ll let you drive.”
Author Bio: Melissa Chambers
Melissa Chambers writes contemporary novels for young, new, and actual adults. A Nashville native, she spends her days working in the music industry and her nights tapping away at her keyboard. While she’s slightly obsessed with alt rock, she leaves the guitar playing to her husband and kid. She never misses a chance to play a tennis match, listen to an audiobook, or eat a bowl of ice cream. (Rocky road, please!) She serves as president for the Music City Romance Writers and is the author of the Love Along Hwy 30A series and the Before Forever series (YA).