Title: Pulled by a Dream
Series: The Matthews Brothers Trilogy #1
Author: Kathryn Greenway
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 1, 2018
Emily Darrow is ready for a change. She’s sold her interior design company, and is taking some time off to consider her options before starting a new life with new challenges. But when she inherits her Aunt Jane’s dilapidated farmhouse, along with all its memories, she realizes her future might not be exactly what she’d envisaged. Ignoring resistance from her family, Emily sets out to make her aunt’s dream a reality.
She abandons city life for the tranquillity of the quaint English village where she spent so many happy summers as a child, determined to make a success of her new venture. Emily is used to relying on no one but herself, and that’s just how she wants it. She certainly doesn’t need a man, especially one as stubborn as handsome carpenter Jake Matthews.
Jake’s dreams suffered an unexpected setback with the death of Jane Phelps, and when it becomes clear her niece has no intention of accepting his offer, he has to walk away. But when events take another turn and the pair have to work together, Jake can’t help but be attracted to her, despite her stubborn streak. A chance discovery, however, causes him to think that Emily is not all she seems. And if he’s right, there’s no way they could have a future together.
A large crowd had gathered near the Vale, and there seemed to be a lot of shouting and laughter coming from there. As she drew closer, she caught sight of Dr. Mitchell, armed with a megaphone.
“Step right up, folks. Test your aim on our willing victims—I mean, volunteers. It’s all in a good cause.”
Intrigued, Emily inched her way to the front of the crowd, where a line of bunting barred her from going any further. Ten or twelve feet away, someone had set up two sets of stocks. Then she looked closer. A couple of kids sat with their feet through the stocks, waving their hands in the air and laughing. Next to it was a pillory, where a man had his head and hands held captive. Villagers were throwing wet sponges at them, and judging by the amount of water on the ground between the bunting and the stocks, a lot of people had very poor aim.
Then the man in the pillory raised his head, and Emily realized it was Jake.
She grinned. This is going to be fun.
Dr. Mitchell saw her, and his grin equalled hers. “Miss Darrow. Fancy trying your luck? Only a pound for three sponges. All proceeds go to charity.”
Jake’s eyes widened as she stepped forward, reaching into her jeans pocket for some coins. “Please tell me you’re a bad shot.”
She gave him a sweet smile. “I was captain of my school basketball team. I won an award for the most goals scored in a year.”
“Emily….” His voice held a note of warning. Around her, a ripple of laughter fed its way through the onlookers.
Emily opened her eyes wide. “What?” Her gaze took in his jeans, damp at the bottom where water had already struck him. He wore a white shirt, and thus far, it showed no sign of water getting anywhere near it. She grinned again. “I always did like that scene from Pride and Prejudice, when Colin Firth emerges from the lake, his shirt clinging to him.”
A chorus of ooohs broke out behind her, and the doctor laughed. “I was always partial to that scene myself.” A loud cough came from his left, and he fired a glance at the man standing there. “I can look, can’t I?”
Emily recognized his husband, Alan, who arched his eyebrows. “As long as that’s all you do. Now shut up and let the lovely lady soak Jake to the skin.” He winked at Emily. “Do your worst.”
“You’re not supposed to encourage her!” Jake yelled.
Emily counted money into Dr. Mitchell’s palm. “Nine sponges, please.” More whoops and laughter followed.
“Nine?” Jake gaped at her. “What was wrong with three?”
“Well, I’ll need the first few for practice shots, until I get my aim in,” she explained sweetly. Alan walked over, holding a net of sponges and a bucket full of water. She piled nine sponges at her feet, then dipped the first into the slightly tepid water, letting it soak up as much as possible.
Emily met Jake’s worried gaze. “Ready?”
Jake had regained some of his usual confidence. “Go for it. Let’s see the former basketball captain’s best efforts.”
Emily took careful aim, and launched the sponge into the air, rising in an arc—and landing on Jake’s head. She let out a peal of delighted laughter. “Hey, not bad. Looks like I’ve still got it.”
Wet hair clung to Jake’s head, and he gave her a rueful stare. “Do you think you could maybe lose it for the next eight?”
Emily was already soaking the next sponge. She chuckled. “Oh, I think it’s a skill that never leaves you,” she said with a smile. “Number two!” She aimed straighter this time, and it struck Jake in the middle of his chest. “That’s better!”
By now, the crowd had swollen to three times its original size, and four or five people were lined up behind Emily, coins clinking in their hands. Every time she threw a sponge and it struck Jake, a cheer went up. By the time only one sponge remained, Jake was soaked from head to toe, his white shirt almost transparent, his jeans dark. He shook back his wet hair and blinked water from his eyes. “I don’t suppose you’re going to take pity on a cold, wet project manager, are you?” His hopeful expression reminded her of a puppy, and for a moment, she considered being nice.
Only for a moment. Emily straightened, sponge in hand. “You’d suppose right.” She flung it toward him. It was comical, watching Jake’s face as he followed the sponge’s progress through the air. When it hit the pillory square on, missing his head, he grinned.
“Your aim’s slipping, boss.”
She returned his grin. “Who said I was aiming for your head?”
"All in all, an absolute stunner of a story from a seasoned author branching to new avenues."
"If you like your romances with well-rounded characters, well plotted, beautifully written, with a dash of mystery, and yummy sensuality, you really ought to try Kathryn Greenway's first release." - The Way She Reads
"With some gloriously descriptive locations and a cast of secondary characters that each added more than their own tuppence worth to the situation, this was a generous story, the author spoils us with not only the quality of the work but also the depth of sensitivity that she imparts. Beautifully written, this is an author that I may not have read before but that I would certainly read again. First Class." - Books Laid Bare blog
The rest of my review can be found here: Pulled by a Dream
Kathryn Greenway lives on the Isle of Wight, off the southern coast of the UK, in a typical English village where there are few secrets, and everyone knows everyone else.
She writes romance in different genres, and under different pen names, but her goal is always the same - to reach that Happily Ever After.
Pulled by a Dream is Kathryn's debut novel, although in a whole other life, she is a bestselling author of gay romance.