Author: Julie Farley
Publication date: November 14th 2023
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance
Romance is what Ferry Tales are made of….
It’s been a not-so-great-year. Divorce. Check.Living on pennies. Check. All I need is a quiet summer back at my childhood home on Greensea Island-sitting on the deck with a glass of rosé, savoring one of Dad’s legendary charcuterie boards, and catching up on all the Sherman Family news. But instead, I find myself in an unexpected conversation with a random British guy in my parents’ kitchen who just casually mentioned he’s rented their house for the summer. My carefully laid out plan has just hit a turbulent wave.
She honestly doesn’t know who I am. I can see it in her gigantic green eyes. I didn’t get the oh-my-gosh-you’re-Johnny-Nickel eyes or the swoon here-are-my-underpants look. She’s standing at the end of the kitchen counter, brown hair in one of those cattywampus buns, in an oversized white tee hanging off one shoulder and ripped jeans. Looking hella sexy even if she tried to stab me with a house key when I walked in. I just wonder how long I can keep my identity hidden from her…
And now they’re stuck together…for better or worse!
Love Songs and Ferry Tales is a hidden identity, forced proximity, closed door rom-com with a quirky small town and an anonymous gossip reporter. You won’t want to miss it!
Greensea is my home. My safe haven. As soon as I see the clapboard shingles, I relax. I want to sit and listen to the waves lapping on the rocks. Go out in the kayaks and look for bioluminescence. Hang out at the bar at The Old Owl and eat peanuts while I have a Greensea IPA. Hike in the Grand Green Forest. And read every romance novel Mom has on the shelf. I want to feel like I did before Nick left.
The taxi lets me out at the top of the driveway, and I walk down my favorite brick path. There’s a keypad above the door handle, but my trusty old Hello Kitty key still works in the door. I drop my bags in the foyer and walk into the kitchen. It’s only been six months since my last visit home, but Mom’s taken cottage core to the next level. Jute rugs layered on top of each other. White slip covers and beige throw pillows covering up the old couches. Rattan chairs facing the bay. Jars of sea glass and shells. Wooden beads draped over driftwood. Straw sun hats displayed on the walls. Topped off with the light scent of sage and salt water. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good look; it’s just like Coastal Living magazine threw up in the family room.
I walk out onto the deck and look out at the bay. The morning sun warms me just enough. The fir trees pop against the blue sky. A heron clucks. The salty air carries notes of low tide. The paddle boards and kayaks are in their designated spots next to the boathouse. Dad has the yard in tip-top shape and Mom’s flower containers look better than I remembered in their red, white, and blue holiday spirit. This is just what I need.
Yesterday I closed up my first-grade classroom for the summer. At the beginning of June, I packed up my apartment and put everything into storage and I’ve been staying with my best friend, Daisy. Daisy and I are better friends when we’re in our own apartments. She meditates, does a sound bath each morning, and loves Phish. I like glitter, Pinterest boards, and Neil Diamond. Sharing an apartment with someone reaffirmed my need to make enough money so I can have my own place.
I figured Mom and Dad would still be enjoying their coffee on the deck, but no sight of them. I can’t wait to surprise them and start this trip on a happy note instead of a defeated one.
“Hello?” I yell into the kitchen. “Suuuurrrprise! I’m home!” I announce, but there’s no response. Mom probably has Dad out on the pickleball court early this morning. I give her a quick call, but it goes to voicemail.
The garage door closes. They’re home. I turn around with my arms up. “Surprise!”
“Ehhhh!” I scream. Not Mom. Not Dad. A guy with headphones on. Shuffling his feet in some sort of dance move. I grab my keys out of my pocket and thrust my Hello Kitty key in his direction.
“Whoooa! What the bloody hell!” He puts his hands up. “Who are you?”
“Who are you?” I ask back.
He’s smiling and laughing at me. “Were you going to attack me with a pink key?” he asks with a thick British accent.
“If I needed to. Who are you and what are you doing in my parents’ house?” I ask.
He must be a new friend of one of my brothers. My heart is pounding. He removes his headphones, puts his hands down, and ties his long black curls into a small ponytail on top of his head. He rubs his heavy five o’clock shadow.
“Parents’ house? I think you must be mistaken. This is my rental house,” says the stranger.
“Rental house? Not quite! I’ll ask again, who are you?”
“I’m er—John. John Penny. Who are you? And why are you in my rental house?”
His house? I look around. I haven’t been here since Christmas, but it’s definitely still our house. Our family picture taken at Oliver’s graduation is on the counter next to the fruit bowl. The fridge door handle is still duct taped from hours of the boys hanging on it, complaining there was nothing to eat. Even though Mom’s been giving things a glow up, I still belong here. Not him.
“I’m Jac Brock—I mean, Sherman. And my parents live here!”
about the author
Julie Farley loves writing books filled with big families, lots of heart, and plenty of laughs. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and four amazing kids. Julie has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and a graduate degree from DePaul University. When she’s not busy with her family or writing books, you’ll find her watching reality tv…of any sort!