Hometown Girl at Heart
Hometown Series Book 1
by Kirsten Fullmer
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Tara has always been too engrossed in her work - refurbishing the historical homes in Smithville. She keeps a tight rein on her jobs and her emotions buried, but she’s losing control of both since that ridiculous city boy investor showed up.
New in town, Justin is confident that his ultra modern resorts will bring Smithville into the twenty-first century. If only the local-yokels and their ringleader, the gorgeous and peculiar Tara, would stop interfering.
With her quirky and protective hometown behind her, will Tara confront Justin and the town’s long buried secrets to take on the financial and emotional risk of a lifetime?
The floor sander whirled heavily in large circles. Justin’s upper arms ached as he struggled to control the machine, forcing it in an even pattern across the hardwood floor of his kitchen. Thinking he’d heard a noise, he glanced over his shoulder and was shocked to find Tara standing in the kitchen doorway, waving a set of blueprints.
He flipped off the machine and turned to her, clenching and unclenching his fists, in an attempt to relax his throbbing muscles.
Her eyes bright and prints waving, she shouted, “...and Winnie brought me this!” Her last few words hung awkward and loud in the silence between them.
She didn’t continue so he could only guess she thought he understood. He reached for the water bottle on the counter and gulped, buying time. Finally, he plopped the bottle back down and wiped his sleeve across his forehead. “What’s your problem?”
Startled by his uncharacteristically harsh greeting, Tara was taken aback. “I said, I was working on the furniture and Winnie brought these by.”
“Yeah...” They both waited for the other to break the thorny silence between them. “I can’t believe you had new plans drawn up...” she began.
He cocked his hip against the wall, his expression flat. “And why is that?”
She swallowed once, then again. “I thought we’d talk about it first.”
His lip curled and he snorted. “Well, funny thing is, talking would involve answering the door or the phone, and you didn’t seem capable of either.”
She retreated another step. Her lips moved but nothing came out.
He wiped his arm across his forehead again. “Did you even check your messages?”
Hometown Girl After All
Hometown Series Book 2
Julia lost everything while she was ill. Self-conscious and alone, she’s moved to Smithville, determined to hide away in her rundown Victorian house. Little does she know, she can’t hide anything in a small town, including her interest in the deliveryman.
Resolved to keep his life simple, Chad has his hands full running his delivery business and supporting his adopted family. So why can’t he get that withdrawn city girl, Julia, off his mind?
Will the eccentric but well-meaning Smithville folk push Julia and Chad to open up, or will the emotional toll drive them both back into seclusion?
At the diner, Chad stepped behind Julia and pushed open the door for her, his hand warm on her back to lead her through. Bells chimed, announcing their arrival, and Marge glanced up from behind the counter. Her customary greeting froze on her lips as she did a double take, her conversation with a bald man seated in front of her forgotten.
The song on the jukebox ended and all the diners turned in the suddenly silent room to watch Julia and Chad walk to a table.
As Chad pulled out Julia’s red vinyl and chrome chair, the jukebox clicked and clattered, changing records. The first few words of the song P.S. I LoveYou, drifted across the room, as Julia did the butt-lift and scoot maneuver so Chad could scoot up her chair. The other diners slowly returned their attention back to their plates and conversations.
“It’s the Beatles,” Chad commented distractedly, shifting his chair up to the table, his eyes darting nervously between Julia and the other customers.
She nodded, engrossed in digging through her purse for something. Giving up in frustration, completely for- getting what she’d been looking for, she turned to hang her purse on the back of the chair, inadvertently catching the eye of a man and woman at the next table who sat staring, with their forks still hovering in mid-air.
Chad cleared his throat and lifted two menus from behind the salt and peppershakers. “So, what do you want to eat?” he asked, his voice a bit too loud.
Jumping in her seat, Julia’s gaze flew from the staring couple, back to Chad. “I—I’m not sure. What’s good here?”
Pretending to glance over the menu, Chad berated himself for bringing Julia to the diner. Why hadn’t her taken her to Uniontown where they could have cuddled in the corner booth of a crowded restaurant where no one would notice them? Feeling the back of his neck burn, he glanced over to see Marge’s pink tennis shoes on the floor next to the table.
Hometown Girl Forever
Hometown Series Book 3
Lizzie gave up her stressful job in Boston to embrace her love of all things country in Smithville PA. Her farm, a new job at the spa, and her pet alpacas are a dream come true, if only her meddling, matchmaking, socialite mother would back off.
Elliot, a successful architect from Washington, DC, designed the new spa, but he certainly hadn't envisioned the exotic bohemian style manager or her intriguing, demanding mother. Small town antics and his interest in Lizzie extend his visit to Smithville, but will the allure of country life draw him in for good?
Once again, Smithville’s folk interfere with plans at every turn, forcing Lizzie and Elliot to face their personal dilemmas and each other, head on.
Tara stepped off the deck and put her arm through his. “Good morning, curious to see your spa?” She smiled, waiting for him to respond.
“Who—who are all these people?” he stuttered.
Seemingly shocked by his reaction to the throng of moving bodies, Tara glanced to the left and right. “Oh, these are our friends. They came to help set up.”
Elliot nodded weakly. In his experience, set-up days for a new spa consisted of moody and emotional designers fluttering their hands and issuing orders to a uniformed group of workers who moved quietly through the space murmuring amongst themselves as they rolled out rugs or shifted furniture to the left or right. The scene spread before him resembled a county fair more than a spa being readied for business.
Tara directed him toward the old woman at the station wagon. “Elliot, I’d like you to meet Winnie,” she said with love in her eyes as she hugged the woman with her other arm. “She is the one responsible for how I turned out, and she runs my remodel and real-estate business now.” She motioned toward the seated woman. “And this is Mrs. Middlewood.”
The large woman bobbed her head in greeting.
The old lady, Winnie, wiped her hands on her frilled apron, then smiled broadly, her wrinkled face crinkling, her eyes shining. “So this is Elliot,” she beamed. “I’m so pleased to meet you, and I’m glad you finally made it out to see your handiwork.”
Elliot nodded, sidestepping to dodge a woman who hurried past carrying a stack of wooden crates. She was wearing a colorful caftan and far too much jewelry, and her huge bun bobbed as she walked.
Christmas in Smithville
The Hometown Series Book 4
Even though Gloria is determined to change her reputation, most of the women in town still think she’s a tramp. Sure, she may have dressed a little flashy and dated pretty much every single guy in town, but that’s the past. Now that she wants to make a fresh start, will Smithville give her a second chance?
Ned has heard all the gossip, but being the Sheriff’s Deputy, he sees all the kind things Gloria does behind the scenes for the folks of Smithville. It looks like the upcoming Christmas Pageant will offer him the opportunity to spend time with her, but can he overcome a frustrating stutter and talk to her, face to face?
Your favorite characters from the Hometown Series bring craziness, love, and Smithville Christmas style, to a whole new romance about overcoming your past and sharing your deepest secrets. Fall in love and be swept away with the Christmas Eve celebration of your dreams.
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“Then I just had to wr—wrap the baby up and hand her to her mother,” Ned said as he dropped his paint roller in the bucket of hot water.
Gloria stared at him, her eyes wide in fascination. “I can’t believe you delivered a baby by the side of the road. I don’t think I could have—”
“Sure you could,” he said with a shrug. “When the time comes and work needs doing, folks like us st—step up.”
Unsure, she scoffed. “Well, baking a casserole is one thing, but…”
Ned reached out to take her paint roller. “Yeah, okay, the baby was kind of a big deal,” he conceded, “Usually, I just end up learning w—way more about people than I want to know.”
“I understand that.” Gloria nodded. “Given my past, I know—” She stopped, realizing what she was saying. “Of course, I’ve forgotten all about those guys...” She faltered, her words fading away and her cheeks burning red under her freckles.
Ned’s laughter rang out into the workshop. “Oh, I’m sure you don’t know which guys in town burp at the table, who is connected at the hip to their momma, or who snores—” The words chopped off and it was his turn to blush. “I… I d—didn’t mean… I—I w—wasn’t…” His stutter always got much worse when he was upset. Frustrated, he stopped talking and turned back to the water bucket.
“Don’t be embarrassed,” Gloria said, feeling bad for him. “It’s true though, especially with your job. What do you do when you meet someone on the street, and you know intimate details about their personal life?” She waited, but he just pumped the paint rollers up and down in the water, so she tried again. “I’m asking for advice, honest. Do they train you on this stuff at the police academy?”
Kirsten grew up in the Western US and graduated from high school in 1984. She married soon there after and quickly built a family. With three young children and number four on the way, she returned to college in 1992. Her career as a draftsman included many settings ranging from a steel fabrication shops to prestigious engineering firms. Balancing family life with the workplace forced her to become the queen of multitasking. In 2001, bored with the cubical life, she moved on to teach drafting in technical college, then to opening her own consulting firm teaching 3D engineering software. Due to health problems, Kirsten retired in 2012 to travel with her husband for his job. She now works writing romance novels and enjoys spoiling her three grandchildren. Since 2017 Kirsten has lived and worked full time in a 40' travel trailer with her husband and her little dog Bingo.
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