When coffee shop owner Zoey Everwood takes her obsession with ex-boyfriend Braden too far, everyone—except Zoey—is convinced a bit of fun in the sun at the Moment of Zen Wellness Resort will help her get over him once and for all. But Zoey's relaxing vacation turns out to be anything but peaceful when she meets Shane Lawson, a resort guest who bears a striking resemblance to Braden. And things get even more complicated when the resort's owner starts spilling secrets about Zoey’s aunt Nessa, the woman who raised her. Add a snarky Wellness Coordinator and Nate Holmes—Shane's grumpy friend—to the mix, and you've got the recipe for a perfect tropical storm. When Zoey comes back home with a new husband instead of tacky souvenirs, she must convince everyone she hasn't completely lost her mind. As Zoey and Shane struggle to keep the magic alive outside the resort, Zoey discovers that she isn't the only one having trouble letting go of the past. And when Nate drops a bombshell that changes everything, Zoey must decide if the old saying is true—what happens at the Moment of Zen stays at the Moment of Zen.
"Who?" Dar asks, following his stare. I'm shocked he wasn't able to tell her telepathically.
"It's Braden. He's sitting over by the window. What are the odds?"
Dar narrows her eyes at me. "Yeah, Zoey. What are the odds that of all the restaurants in Connecticut, you and your ex both end up in the same hot spot." The way she uses air quotes to emphasize hot spot makes it clear she doesn't believe my story about celebrities lining up to get into this place.
I consider lying to her again, but I know that Dar has already seen right through me. "Not very big," I say, shrugging my shoulders. A quick glance over at Braden's table tells me he is completely oblivious to the commotion. What else is new?
"Please tell me you didn't listen to his voicemail again?"
I can't bear to look at Dar so I search Dex's face to know if there's any chance we might start laughing about this. But he's looking at me with something horrifying in his eyes. Is that pity? I turn away from him and face Dar's accusing stare. "Yes, I did. But it's not my fault. I was calling to check my messages and I accidently dialed his number. Remember when we bought our cell phones together and our phone numbers ended up being just a few digits apart?"
Dex signals the waitress for the check and I see a thin blonde woman walking towards Braden's table. Even though I can't hear her from where I'm sitting, I just know she's the owner of the chirpy voice who's been leaving him all those flirty messages. She smiles and Braden gets up to help her with her chair.
Dar rolls her eyes. "Even if I believed that you dialed his number by mistake, which I totally don't, it doesn't explain why you entered his password and listened to his messages."
"Can we go home now?" I ask, grabbing my purse. I've seen what I wanted to see. And now I can't un-see it.
"Aren't you going to talk to him?"
Dex puts his hand on Dar's arm. "Sweetie, please. Let's just go."
"No, we're here now. Go talk to him."
I shake my head. "If he talks to me I'll be civil, but I'm not going to go out of my way." I instantly regret my words when I see Dar's face cloud over.
"Of course not. But you're willing to access his voicemail, listen to his messages, and make us drive forty-five minutes just to stare at him from across the room. It's been almost a year since you broke up, Zoey. Shouldn't you be over him by now?”
The million-dollar question. Yes, it's been almost a year. I'm reminded of that every time I see the sparkling diamond on Dar's ring finger or when she and Dex talk about their fairy-tale wedding and their plans for their upcoming first anniversary. How could I forget their magical day is also the day Braden broke up with me? Or, rather, it was the day he decided he didn't want to end up like Dar and Dex.
"I know," I say, getting up and running after Dar who's already heading for the exit. "I'm sorry." I take one last look at Braden and the mystery lady with the designer jeans and shiny, bouncy hair. They're gazing at each other as if they’re the only ones in the room. My heart sinks right down to the floor.
Cat Lavoie lives in Montreal, Canada with her tempestuous cat, Abbie. Her debut novel, Breaking the Rules, was published in August 2012 by Marching Ink. If Cat isn't reading or writing, she's most likely watching too much TV or daydreaming about her next trip to London.
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