Release Blitz: Life After Love by JJ Harper

Life After Love
(Calston Cove #1)
by JJ Harper
Release Date: September 25, 2023

About Life After Love
All he wanted was a new life, not a new love.

Merrick has the perfect life: a husband, a baby, and a great future ahead of him. Until all that is ripped away, and he’s left alone with his daughter. After two years, he knows it’s time to move on. To find a new life for him and Willow. It comes in the shape of a derelict mill house nestled in the hills above a Devon seaside town.

When Drew loses the chance to buy and restore the house he’s loved all his life, the last thing he wants to do is renovate it for the mysterious new resident. But something about Merrick Green intrigues him, and he feels compelled to lift the heaviness surrounding him. The fact that Merrick’s daughter seems to have taken an instant infatuation with Drew makes it easier.

As the two men become friends, Merrick battles with his attraction to Drew. How can he be interested in the ruggedly handsome when he’s still in love with Josh?

Letting go of the past is hard, but with Drew by his side, he finds a way forward.

Life After Love is a sweet small-town, opposites-attract, hurt/comfort romance with low angst and a sweet little girl that everyone falls in love with.

The book deals with the loss of a loved one.

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An Excerpt from Life After Love
As I approach my truck, a man is looking at it. No, he’s taking a photograph. “Can I help you?” I put my toolbox into the open flat bed.

The man blushes and takes a step back. “Oh, is this your truck? I’m sorry. I wanted to get a photo of your contact details. I’m looking for a building contractor.”

He must be the latest resident in our small beachside town. The new owner of the Mill House. He’s incredibly good looking. I’d say around my age, thirty-five. About the same height as me at five eleven and has eyes the colour of soft, faded denim. His hair is short at the sides, but with honey-blond curls on top, which I envy. My hair is straight and long enough to tie up. I should get it cut. The amount of dust, plaster and sawdust is a bloody nightmare to wash out every night.

I pull a notebook out of the side pocket on my shorts and the pencil from behind my ear. “I’m sure I can do that for you. What sort of work?”

“Um, it’s pretty much everything. The house is a bit of a wreck. I’d hoped to do some of it myself, but I know that’s out of my abilities. I don’t know if it’s something you’re interested in doing?”

I get the feeling the guy is overloaded with things that need immediate action and has got himself lost in the process. “Why don’t you show me? I’ve got nothing else planned for the day.”

He lets out a sigh. “That would be so good. It’s Mill House. Do you know it?”

I smile. My suspicions this is the new guy were right. “I do. I was born and bred in this town. I can follow you there if you’d like?”

“Okay, thank you so much. See you in a few.”

I wait until he’s in his car, then start the engine on mine. His smart, new, not-cheap-at-all BMW is something else for the gossips to talk about. Handsome, single, and seemingly rich. Melanie will be waving her knickers on a pole in front of him in the blink of her false eyelashes.

The drive takes ten minutes, winding through the town and up parallel to the river that runs down to the sea. The Mill House still has the original water wheel. Although the river has been diverted away from the property, it’s still an impressive feature of the house.

I park next to him and climb out. He opens the back door of the coupé and lifts a small sleeping child from her seat. He wipes her hair, which is the same colour as his, from her forehead and kisses her gently. A sweet, loving moment that makes my heart swell. The obvious love for the child is in his every gesture and expression.

He turns to me. “This is my daughter, Willow. I’m Merrick Green.”

“I’m Drew Roberts, but you probably guessed that from the signage.”

“Oh, yes, well, it’s nice to meet you.” He’s flustered as he juggles the sleeping toddler to shake my hand.

He gestures with his head. “Welcome to my home. Or what will be my home. Come on in.”

I follow him up the stone steps to the solid oak door.

He pushes the door open. “It’s a bit of a mess. Please be careful where you walk.”

“Thanks for the heads-up.” I step in, holding back my smile. I used to come here a lot when I was a kid. It’s not as bad as I remembered.

I wait in the hallway as he places the sleeping child on a sheet partly covering an old mulberry velvet sofa that has been here forever.

“I haven’t been in here for years,” I say when Merrick walks back out.

Surprise flashes in his eyes. “You know the house?”

I chuckle. “Everyone who’s grown up here has played around in this house. Not that we were supposed to, but kids will be kids. School-leaving parties took place here, and teenagers just wanting to hang out would come here. It’s about time someone came and loved it again. It’s a good place to live and raise a family, Merrick.”

A flash of pain rocks over his face, and he closes his eyes as he takes a deep breath.

“Hey, are you okay? I’m sorry if I said the wrong thing.”

“No, it’s fine. Can I get you a drink? I’ve got some bottled water or some juice. Then we can walk around, and I’ll show you what needs your attention as soon as you can.”

“I’m good, and is it just the urgent work you want me to do, or are you looking for a quote for all the renovations? Who else have you spoken to?”

“No one else. I’ve only been here a couple of days.”

“You’re not staying in the house now, are you? I don’t think it’s safe.”

He looks at the cracked walls and sagging ceilings and chuckles. “No, I’m staying in a hotel for now. But if you could give me a quote for the initial work, we can discuss the rest of the work when I have the plans back.”

I scratch my chin. “You’re putting a lot of faith into a man you’ve just met.”

“I asked around. You were the first name mentioned. Plus, you look like a decent guy.” Finally, he gives me a small smile.

“When does your wife arrive?”

About JJ Harper

You will normally find JJ in the living room—typing away—with her dog, Siddiqi. As a hopeless romantic, she dives into her stories, always falling in love with her men, making sure they get the happy ever after they deserve, even if they do have to work hard for it.

As a bona fide bookaholic, a wine-drinking and swear-like-a-sailor type of girl, she has yet to work out how to act her age!! LOL. And she has no intentions of growing up or growing old gracefully.

JJ lives in a small, very quiet, village in Lincolnshire, UK, with her husband and dog, and spends all day dreaming up stories full of really hot men.

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