She’s a bombshell TV star who wouldn’t mind casting herself as the showrunner’s new girlfriend. Unfortunately, his only rule is never date an actress.
As cast and crew descend on Misty Harbor to film the final season of Sawyer’s Cove, Ariel Tulip finds herself surrounded by couples in love. All her friends are happily paired off and looking forward to life after the show, while she remains stubbornly single. So, she seizes on a project—helping returning showrunner Ryan Saylor jump into the dating pool after his divorce. She doesn’t count on wanting to be first in line to date the brilliant writer, but can Ryan see her as a woman first, actress second?
Ryan doesn’t feel like part of the Sawyer’s Cove family anymore, but he’s still going to finish the show on a high note now that he’s back in charge. That means keeping a lid on all distractions, especially those provided by his charming star, Ariel, who is determined to find someone to date a one-armed divorced television writer. He’s willing to put himself out there, but he can’t stop thinking about the brainy redhead, even though she’s off limits in more ways than one.

When he finds out Ariel has feelings for him, all his carefully constructed walls start crumbling. But guys like him only get the dream girl on TV—not in real life. Right? As the run of the show comes to an end, their future is the only thing left to write.

Revisit all your favorite Sawyer’s Cove couples in this final installment in the Sawyer’s Cove: The Reboot series where Hollywood meets small-town Misty Harbor, Connecticut.

Enjoy an excerpt from Take Me Over

“I used to think the reason I kept striking out was because I hadn’t met the right guy. But now I think maybe I’m using the wrong rubric entirely. A rubric I formed on the basis of your stupid ideas.” She rubbed her bare arms as if the air conditioning was making her cold. “And then I see Jay and Cami, Nash and Mimi. Crosby and Darren, too. They all found each other, and I can’t help but feel like it’s just me, that I’m the defective one in the bunch, the one who didn’t get the magic soulmate dust sprinkled on me.”

Ryan shook his head. “There’s no magic soulmate dust. There’s nothing wrong with you, Ariel.” As he looked at her, his defensiveness at being held accountable for spreading the apparently toxic notion of soulmates gave way to awe. Ariel was a vision of righteous anger, ruby cheeks clashing provocatively with her striking auburn hair. Her flimsy dress didn’t provide much armor, but her pose, hands balled into fists and posture slanted forward as if about to launch into battle, made her look like Athena, down to her flashing gray eyes.

“Except I’m too much. I’m emotional and—horror of horrors—an actress.”

He winced at the obvious reference to his ill-advised gaffe that day in the diner. “Look, that’s not personal.”

“Sorry, but it felt personal to me. Being an actress and all. Look, I get it. Actresses are crazy people, right? Well, I love being an actress, and you created this incredible character, and I wish I could get you to write the script for my life because some days I feel like I’m doing a shitty job of it myself.”

Suddenly, all the fight seemed to go out of her. She blinked, and he realized she was trying not to cry. He’s seen her cry countless times, on and off camera. She was a crier. The sight tugged at strings in his chest that hadn’t been pulled in a long time.

“Hey.” He crossed over to her, put his arm tentatively around her. He wasn’t the most physical guy. He tended to give people a wide berth, not welcoming casual touching himself, but if anyone looked like she needed a hug, it was Ariel Tulip at that moment.

She collapsed against his side, wrapping her arms around his waist and snuffling into the lapel of his jacket. He rubbed her back, the material of her linen dress not nearly as soft as the warm silk of her exposed skin. He hadn’t touched another person, except perfunctorily, in so long. It felt so good, and it made him realize he was ready for his self-imposed sequester to end.

“There’s no script for life,” he murmured. “Do you think I would have written a cold marriage and a messy divorce for myself? Would I have wanted to keep Jay and Cami apart for all those years? If I could, I’d write you the happiest, most sickeningly sweet ever after with your six-foot-two underwear model/doctor soulmate and a brood of babies.”

Ariel laughed wetly. The sound tugged at different strings in his chest. “I’d settle for one or two, not a brood.”

“Noted. But I’m not God. I’m just a writer. I only have control over the world of Sawyer’s Cove. Which isn’t real, sadly. But I understand where you’re coming from. When I wrote the pilot, I viewed my fantasy life as a huge upgrade from my real life—dirt poor, hating my job writing jokes for a game show, at which I was terrible, living with wannabe actor roommates who spent more time partying than going out for auditions. No girlfriend. Definitely no soulmate. I created Sawyer’s Cove because it was a world I wanted to exist. A world I wanted to be a part of, to live in, where beautiful people had first world problems and where the geek got the girl. Of course, it didn’t exactly work out that way. Sawyer didn’t get Amy.”

“No, he got Lily, twelve years later,” she said, tipping her head up.

“That’s right.” He looked down at her, transcendently beautiful. “Lucky bastard.”

She smiled, and he felt shaken, as if he were the only one who felt a 5.0 earthquake. He had an amazing person nestled against him, beautiful and aching for connection, just as he had been all those years ago. Maybe he was still aching for it, had let Heather and work subsume him, to try to make him forget he was looking for the same thing Ariel was—maybe soulmate was too strong of a word, but someone who understood him, who loved him despite his flaws, who was attracted to him despite his unconventional body.

As Ariel looked up at him with her luminous gray eyes, he had the strongest urge to kiss her.

Which would have been disastrous. She was looking for someone, but not someone like him. In real life, the geek didn’t get Lily Fine. And they indisputably didn’t get Ariel Tulip.

Still, it almost looked, the way she parted her lips and gazed at him, almost as if she expected—almost as if she wanted—

Carefully, he set her away from him, putting precious inches of space between them. Her mouth closed, and he straightened up, looking away. The moment was broken, but the disconcerting desire to kiss her was still there.

She looked slightly dazed herself, and she licked her lips, almost as if they had kissed. But they hadn’t.

They never would.