Serendipity – Serendipity Series Book 1 by Carly Phillips

Serendipity Series Book 1
NY Times, USA Today & Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author
Carly Phillips


He’s from the wrong side of the tracks.
She lived in the house on the hill.
Now their fortunes have reversed…
but their long-ago attraction still burns.

From high school golden girl to wife of a high-powered New York attorney, Faith Harrington lived the dream. Until divorce and her father’s imprisonment for fraud left her with almost nothing. Now she’s back in her hometown to redesign her life, and not every face is friendly. Least of all the town rebel, whose memory lingered long after they shared one searing teenage kiss.

Ethan Barron is a bad boy. Was. Was a bad boy. Now a man—a very rich man—he quietly buys the old Harrington mansion to thumb his nose at Serendipity and the people who looked down on him. But until he reconciles with his brothers and builds a life, the victory rings hollow.

Faith had been a rich girl ripe for rebellion, and his shamelessly stolen kiss still burns in his dreams. Only a fool would risk feeding town gossip by asking her to redecorate the house she grew up in. But Ethan never did choose easy. Not when the hard way promises a much sweeter—and hotter—reward.

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Ten years after leaving Serendipity, Ethan Barron is back. He’s successful now and he’s purchased the landmark house in town. His goal is to make amends with his brothers Nash and Dare although he’s not sure how to go about that.

Faith Harrington is also back in town.  However her circumstances are far different from Ethan’s. Her father apparently had been scamming everyone for years, the law finally caught up with him and now he’s in jail. Everything sold for restitution. She’s staring at her old home remembering the past, when Ethan is approaches her. He doesn’t recognize her at first, but when he does memories come flowing back.

For Faith her divorce and subsequent settlement means she can open her Interior Design business, and hopefully be a success. She will need clients though, and her father pretty much destroyed all the goodwill there might have been in this small town.

This is just one of many favorite scenes.

Awareness and definite remembrance flickered in her gaze. He was struck by how those amber eyes still provided an open window to her soul. When he was younger, he’d been captivated, mesmerized by how pure and untouched she appeared compared to the girls he normally hung around with. Girls with a harder edge, willing to give it up to anyone but especially to him because he had a reputation for being bad and had no problem living up to it.

She’d been different. Special. Another reason her rejection had stung so badly.

Looks like I’m facing another unresolved piece of my past, he thought, disgusted with himself for still caring. Although to be fair, she’d only been sixteen and a good girl at that. No way would she have put out for anyone, let alone him.

She shifted on her high-heeled sandals.

Uncomfortable or restless to leave? Ethan chose the former. He’d like to think he’d gotten to her—the same way she’d gotten to him. Inside his skin just as she had way back when.

She flipped her glasses back onto her face. “Okay, I think we’re finished reminiscing. You go home to your place.” She gestured up the hill. “I’ll go back to mine.”

“And where would that be?” All he knew of her family now was that her father was in jail, and her mother lived on the other side of town, a comedown for a woman with her attitude and former wealth.

He hadn’t known the princess was back here at all. Apparently, Anna had chosen to omit that bit of information.

“I’m renting a place over Joe’s on Main.” She tossed her hair in a way that indicated her new digs were no big deal.

He knew better. Joe’s was the local bar where guys like Ethan used to hang out. But he knew not to pity her. “Interesting,” he said instead.

“What is?” She pursed her glossed lips.

Definitely not a deliberate move but seductive nonetheless, and he longed for a hot, wet taste. Wondered what might have been if she’d given in to temptation all those years ago.

But this was now, and her question still hovered between them. “It’s interesting how the mighty have fallen.” No pity, just truthfulness, he thought and held her gaze, not backing down. S

he raised her chin a notch. “Like I said, you don’t know me at all.”

“Then fill me in.”

She exhaled a puff of air and paused. Probably trying to decide how much to reveal, a feeling he understood too well.

“I came back for a fresh start,” she said at last. “I’ll be opening an interior design business in town. What about you?”

He shrugged. Easy enough question. “I own a weapons software development company.”

Her mouth opened, then closed again.

“Nope, didn’t end up in jail after all,” he said, catching the shock that had registered on her face.

“I didn’t think—”

He folded his arms across his chest. “Yeah, you did.”

The first hint of a smile pulled at her lips. “Okay, so maybe I would have thought that, but you buying this house gave me a clue you’d turned things around.”

A hint of admiration touched her voice, and though he appreciated the sentiment, he didn’t deserve it. He’d still screwed up a lot of people’s lives. But recent years had been better. He’d gone to college on the Army’s dime and put his affinity for computer simulation gaming to good use. After two tours of duty overseas, he’d ended up working at a military base Stateside in the management information system department doing software-related work and dabbling in his own development work on the side.

Upon graduation, he’d taken a job with Lockheed but had chafed under their restrictions. He turned independent contractor, picked up a few contracts that enabled him to support himself, and within a few years, he’d perfected a system that revolutionized the capabilities of the country’s next proposed fleet of military jets. He’d sold his system to the government, netting him a small fortune and enabling him to buy her old house.

None of which she’d care about. “And what were you doing here?” he asked, moving the subject away from himself.

They both knew he meant the land, the property, and specifically, her old home.

She swallowed hard. He had no doubt the subject was a painful one. “I came to look,” she admitted. “To remember.”

He nodded in understanding. Her family’s fall from grace couldn’t be easy for her, yet she’d come back.

Maybe they had common ground after all, he thought, finding a more than grudging respect for this woman and her strength. She was right. He hadn’t known her then. Didn’t know her now either, but suddenly, he wouldn’t mind rectifying that fact. If he had the time or energy to invest in someone who wasn’t family-related.

He didn’t.

“Look, I really need to get going,” she said. “The heat’s killing me. I only meant to take a short walk through town. Next thing I knew, I ended up here.”

As if on cue at the mention of the sweltering weather, he caught the bead of sweat trickling down her throat, her chest, disappearing between the swells of her breasts, visible beneath the silk top she wore under her jacket.

He swallowed a groan. She was dangerous, all right. But he couldn’t let her walk back in those ridiculous shoes, and she’d overheat in the damn clothes. “Come on. I’ll give you a ride back to town.”

She shook her head. “I appreciate it, but—”

“It’s hot as hell, and I’d bet my last dollar your feet are killing you. So come on.” He waited for a deliberate beat. “Unless you’re afraid to be alone with me, princess?”

Her breath caught in her throat, and a slow but knowing smile tilted her lips. “You know I’m not.”

That quickly, they were back ten years, and he was daring her to climb on his bike. And she had. She’d been afraid of him, and he knew it, but she’d accepted the challenge, and he’d never felt anything like it.

He wanted to experience that same rush again. Wanted to feel her arms wrapped around him and her body pressed against his, trusting him to keep her safe. But most of all, he wanted to feel her fingernails digging into his skin—and not because they were riding a motorcycle. He remembered thinking that if the bike had gotten her that worked up, he could only imagine what she’d be like during sex. He’d wondered if she’d scream when he pounded into her and made her come. Hell, he’d been so hard for her on the ride, he’d barely been able to see straight to drive. He’d tried to ease the ache she’d caused. And of course she’d turned him down for that.

He couldn’t deny she affected him still.

He turned toward the car before she could notice. “Come on and I’ll drive you home.”

“One question first.”

He gritted his teeth and glanced over his shoulder. “What?”

“Do you even remember my name? Or am I still just that spoiled princess to you?”

Oh, he remembered. He just liked “princess” better. But from the determined look on her face, his answer mattered.

As if he’d forget. He’d taken a philosophy class his senior year in high school. The perky cheerleader had also been in that class, one of the few sophomores there. They’d been given an assignment to explore the meaning behind their names. For once, he hadn’t cut class, and he’d been there the day she’d had to discuss hers. Her name had everything to do with unquestioning belief and complete trust. Something that no one had ever had in him. Ironically, he couldn’t remember what the hell his name meant, but he recalled hers.

“Well?” She tapped her foot impatiently.

He shook his head and let out a groan. “Get in the car . . . Faith.”
Carly Phillips. Serendipity (Kindle Locations 87-153). CP Publishing. Kindle Edition.

There is definitely an attraction there Ethan wants to explore. For Faith, she needs to find her way and her true self.

The catalyst for Ethan to get even a meeting with his brothers, comes as quite a surprise for all of them. Faith witnesses the beginning of it and even though it ruins what might have been a sizzling evening, it is truly a turning point for all of them.

I can’t wait to read the next book in this series!

5 Contented Purrs for Carly!

Coming soon!
Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Carly Phillips

Carly Phillips is the N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of over 50 sexy contemporary romance novels featuring hot men, strong women and the emotionally compelling stories her readers have come to expect and love.

Carly’s career spans over a decade and a half with various New York publishing houses, and she is now an Indie author who runs her own business and loves every exciting minute of her publishing journey. Carly is happily married to her college sweetheart, the mother of two nearly adult daughters and three crazy dogs (two wheaten terriers and one mutant Havanese) who star on her Facebook Fan Page and website. Carly loves social media and is always around to interact with her readers.

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