By Jenna Hart
From Stirring the Plot, the 3rd in the bestselling Cookbook Nook Mystery series by Daryl Wood Gerber aka Avery Aames
I hear this all the time. You're free. You're an adult. You can do anything you want, people say. But can I really? I mean, sure, on a whim, I left my job as an advertising executive to run the Cookbook Nook and café in Crystal Cove. My aunt needed my help. How could I say no? I'm not a seasoned cook, but that's beside the point. I needed a jumpstart. I wasn't yet thirty when my husband died under mysterious circumstances. I was floundering in San Francisco. So I moved "home." I hadn't lived in Crystal Cove since before college, and yet moving back felt so right.
My dad relies on me -- he's a widower, too. He and I have a touchy relationship, but we're repairing it. That takes work. It's not like I can up and leave any time I want if he needs me, right?
And my friends rely on me, too. I've hired my best friend, Bailey, to help me in the shop. She's such a find! Her mind is like a steel trap. And then there's Katie, my other best friend, who is the chef at the Nook Café. Brilliant hire, if I do say so myself. I can't just leave them high and dry if I decided to run the rapids, or climb Mt. Everest, or go on a trip around the world, right?
And then there's Rhett. He's yummy. If I go on adventures, don't I want to do them with someone I, um, like a lot?
So how independent am I? Are you? Do you value your independence?