In His KissBy: Christina Tetreault
Love On The North Shore Book 4
Welcome to North Salem, Massachusetts, the setting for this series. Some of you may have visited before, but if not please let me tell you a little about it.
Located forty minutes outside of Boston, it is in a part of the state referred to as the North Shore. North Salem is a close-knit New England town that few people leave. While such camaraderie can be wonderful, especially in times of need, it also means everyone knows each other’s business, and squabbles that pop up in high school sometimes continue for years.
Despite the occasional gossip and minor squabbles, North Salem is a wonderful place. I hope you come to love the town and its citizens as much as I do.
Thud! The airplane’s tires hit the tarmac, jolting Ella’s neighbor awake. The woman had fallen asleep almost as soon as the airplane took off from London and hadn’t made a peep since. Ella wished she’d been able to do the same. Sleep had eluded her despite her best efforts. She’d even brought along an eye mask and earplugs. They’d helped her sleep months ago when she made the trip from Boston to London and on to Paris. Today nothing helped. Since she’d managed to arrive home safely despite almost missing her plane because her flight out of Paris had been delayed, and the crazy turbulence they’d experienced somewhere over the Atlantic making her fear she’d die in plane crash, she wouldn’t complain.
“Welcome to Boston. Please remain seated until the captain turns off the fasten seat belt light.” The flight attendant’s voice filled the cabin as Ella watched the scene outside the plane window.
Despite the instructions, Ella released her belt and reached under the seat for her purse and carry-on bag. The way she saw it, the plane was on the ground, so she no longer needed the seat belt. The woman next to her did the same.
“This is my first time to Boston,” the woman said with a British accent. “My daughter is studying at university here.”
“Boston’s a great city. You’ll enjoy it.” Ella searched through her purse until she found her smartphone. She switched off airplane mode and sent her parents a message, letting them know she’d landed safely.
“Then Boston is home for you?”
“More or less. I live about forty minutes outside the city.”
No point in telling her she lived in North Salem. Few people outside the United States knew the town existed. Although more people knew about the small town now, thanks to the media attention it’d received over the past few years, it still lacked the name recognition its more famous neighbors received. The town’s citizens preferred it that way.
“Is there anything you think I must do or see while I’m in the city?”
Ella considered all the city offered, and unfortunately memories from her last trip into Boston, a month before she left for France, popped up. She’d surprised Striker for his birthday and got them tickets to see his favorite band, as well as two nights at a downtown hotel. Despite having a great weekend, he’d broken up with her not long afterward. “I’d take a duck boat tour before you leave. It drives you all around the city before going into the Charles River.”
“It sounds unique.”
“If you enjoy art, visit the Museum of Fine Arts. It’s a favorite of mine in Boston.”
“Thank you. I’ll keep both in mind.”
Ella forced her memories back into their little corner and joined the other passengers filing off the plane.
After adding her last suitcase to the already-packed baggage cart, she maneuvered her way through baggage claim and outside. It took only a quick visual inspection of the vehicles before she spotted Jessie Quinn’s compact car. She’d hated asking Jessie for a ride today. The woman’s wedding was in two days. Ella imagined she had a hundred things still to do. Her options had been limited. Mom hated driving anywhere near Boston and Dad didn’t return from his business trip until Friday. She’d considered asking her older sister, but that meant Claire would have to make arrangements for someone to watch her daughter or drag Kerry along. That only left her friends. Cat would’ve been the more logical choice, but every time she saw Cat she thought of Cat’s brother, Striker. She didn’t need or want memories of him bombarding her before she even made it to town. As it was, once she got home there’d be no escaping the memories or the man. North Salem consisted of only so much space. No matter what, she’d eventually bump into him. Today she hoped to put the inevitable off at least until the weekend. Mack Ellsbury’s best friend and his best man, Striker would be at Jessie and Mack’s wedding on Saturday, along with more than half the town.