Authors: Hallie Swanson
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A Summer with Snow
Frosted Seasons – Book 1
Copyright © 2015 by Hallie Swanson / J & L Wells
(Laura Williams & Judy Brimble)
[Hallie Swanson is a pseudonym for J & L Wells]
Cover design by Kellie Dennis of
Book Cover by Design
Formatting and interior design by
Proof reading and editing by Sarah Cheeseman
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.
This book is written by British authors, and all spellings are British English.
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We would like to dedicate this book to a very dear friend, Julie Titus.
Thank you to the wonderful people who helped make our book what it is:
t was the summer of 2005, probably the most memorable summer of my life. I was 12 years old, and in the forty-two days we spent together, our friendship grew into something beautiful. Then, without warning, he upped and left. I couldn’t let go of his memory, and always hoped he’d come back to us. He became my first … my
teenage crush. He was in my thoughts every day, and every night in my dreams. Ten years on, this man is still my secret obsession; of all the men I’ve had any kind of relationship with, none has ever measured up. Even now, all I can think about is that summer, the summer I spent with Snow.
2015 – The Present Day
he metal doorknob of Mum and Dad’s bedroom feels cold as I clasp it between my fingers. I hold my breath for a second as my mind turns over and over. It feels so wrong knowing that they are not inside … and never will be again.
As I turn the doorknob, the door screeches open and I step inside, filled with apprehension. Hooper’s collar jangles and I almost trip as he darts out of the room between my legs. I turn and look out onto the landing.
“Let the dog out!” I bellow, hoping someone downstairs will hear me.
Turning back to face the room, I close the door behind me. I gaze across at the double bed, with its cream and pink floral quilt; it is creased where Hooper, our West Highland terrier, always sleeps.
I stand and close my eyes, and as I do so it’s as if Mum’s still here beside me. I can picture her permed hair, not a strand out of place. It was unbelievable how much hairspray one woman could get through in a week. She always wore the same bright-pink lipstick, verging on florescent, and although I moaned, she wore it anyway. I take a deep breath, and the scent of the face powder she pressed on her cheeks catches in my throat.
Suddenly feeling light-headed, I fan my hand in front of my face and sink down onto the small padded stool in front of the dressing table. My eyes stare back at me through the oval mirror. I ponder what I should do to improve my appearance, and tease my long dark hair with my fingers, scraping it off my face and pinning it up into a loose bun. I lean slightly closer to the mirror to take a more in-depth look at my face. My skin looks paler than usual, but this is not surprising, given the circumstances. I slouch, resting my elbows on the dressing table. Squinting, I notice several blemishes visible on my cheeks. As I look up, it seems that even my eyes have lost their usual sparkle and now have dark shadows lying beneath them. Perhaps it is due to lack of sleep, for God knows I lay awake for hours, with only the ticking clock and the shadows dancing around the walls for company.
Straightening my back, I open the top drawer of the dressing table and reach for Mum’s compact powder. I try to concentrate while I dab the flat sponge across my shiny forehead and cheekbones.
Poker-faced, I stare at my reflection again and watch as it shakes its head back at me.
“Dad, why did you have to drive that night?” I ask out loud.
My eyes sting and I try to blink back the tears, but they fall anyway, smudging my make-up and forging narrow streams down my face. I lift my hand and cover my eyes, losing myself in my thoughts. They may not have been my biological parents, but that didn’t matter to me; they were the only mum and dad I ever really had. If I could have chosen two people to love me and bring me up, it would have been them. I remember how I hopped from one foster family to another, never having enough time in one place to feel settled. I was getting older, and the adoption window was getting smaller every month. It was the summer of 2005 when Brenda and Jeff walked into my life. I bite down on my lip and smile to myself.
Suddenly, I jump, almost tipping up the stool as I feel the weight of a hand rest itself on my shoulder. My hair rustles as I flick my head around.
A tall man is standing behind me, wearing a white shirt and black trousers, with a matching jacket slung over his left shoulder. I look up and am met by a mass of wavy brown hair that trickles its way across his forehead and down to his dark eyebrows. His stare holds me, forcing me to blink; my stomach is in knots. Swallowing hard, my focus turns to his bronzed cheeks, which are interrupted by black stubble like a shadow working its way down under his chin and onto his neck. My gaze wanders to his shirt, where two open buttons reveal his chest.
He clears his throat, and I squint up at him.
God, it can’t be!
I can’t believe how much he’s changed. I lift my hands to my face and rub my eyes.
“Is that you, Snow?” I quiz.
My cheeks are flushed, and I know he can see. He nods in response to my question. It’s been years since I last saw him, yet I remember our goodbyes at Heathrow Airport like it was only yesterday; my memories almost turn back time. Time has certainly been kind to Snow. God, his body… He’s hot, with a capital H!
Where’s that gangly, pasty seventeen year old gone?
I wonder as I stare at his broad chest, my eyes tracing their way through his white cotton shirt as is tightens against his thickset body.