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I stood at the edge of the ocean as the foamy salt water swirled around my ankles chilling me to the bone. As I watched my two sandy haired “tweens” frolicking in the waves I wondered why it was that kids never seemed to feel the cold.
It felt like it was only yesterday that I was their age, full of boundless energy and without a care in the world. My mind drifted back to a particular summer that I spent at this very beach with my family when I was just a few years older than they are now. It was the summer of 1985 and I remember it vividly because that was the year I met Daniel.
Daniel swam up to me one afternoon soon after we’d arrived for my family’s two week vacation and asked if he could hang onto my raft. The ocean had been particularly rough that day so I nodded and then scooted over just far enough so that his elbow wouldn’t be touching mine. I eyed him cautiously at first with a few subtle sideways glances. He had shoulder length dark hair that was slicked back and glistened with tiny grains of sand from being tossed about in the rough surf. His dark eyes matched my own as did his deeply tanned skin. Around his neck he wore a beaded shell necklace with a jagged shark’s tooth dangling from it and I remember thinking how cool the necklace looked. The two of us ended up swimming together all afternoon and then made plans to meet up on the boardwalk later that night.
We ended up meeting on the beach each morning and spending the day swimming together. Each day we seemed to move a bit closer on the raft until by the end of that first week our elbows were just about touching.
One night on the boardwalk Daniel won me a little stuffed panda bear with beautiful frosty blue eyes. It took him several tries at the basketball shoot but he finally sunk one in and then proudly presented it to me as if it were a precious jewel. I actually still have the little bear stuffed in the back of a closet somewhere.
When our two weeks were spent and we were ready to head home we both promised to meet up the following year. My family didn’t go down the next year or the year after that. I didn’t have his phone number or even his last name. It was a time before the social media frenzy, before everyone had a cellphone in their back pocket. It was a time of romantic innocence that I think struggles to exist in this digital age in which we now live.
I never did see him again but every so often I think about him and the time we spent together that summer and I wonder if he still remembers me as fondly as I do him.
It began with a drunken kiss, a furtive but passionate grope atop a pile of discarded winter coats. Downstairs, the party raged on, but all Jess hears is the pounding of her heart as Finn Evans – the guy she had fantasized about for God-knows-how long – ran his hands along her body. It isn’t until Finn staggers from the dark room that Jess realizes she has not only lost her virginity, but her underwear as well. Things only get worse when she sees Finn again and realizes he doesn’t even know it was her in the bedroom that night! She heads to the Jersey Shore with her best friend, hoping a summer of fun will heal her broken heart.
Finn awakes with a colossal hangover and a pair of girl’s underwear jammed in his pocket. It’s not the first time he’s had sex at a party, but it is the first time he doesn’t know the girl’s identity. Thinking he’ll never see her again he heads to the Jersey Shore for a summer of sun, sand and sex.
While down at the shore, Jess and Finn find themselves thrown together time and time again, eventually forging an unlikely friendship. By the time Finn realizes he’s fallen for her, Jess is with someone else. Will Finn be able to convince Jess that he is the one for her, or will his bad boy reputation haunt him forever?
About the Author:Anne Holster resides in Northern New Jersey with her husband and two children. When she’s not writing she enjoys spending time with her family, playing tennis and reading angsty romance novels. She is currently working on her third novel.
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