Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t read the previous edition of Becoming Natalie, the following will spoil the ending for you. I recently added an epilogue to the book, and decided to post it here for those who’ve already purchased and read it. Click here to read a FREE excerpt.
Though the resort had been beautiful in the winter, with the glacial sky stretched over the frozen ocean, it really came to life in the summer. Natalie had practically counted down the days to June—for more than one reason. For one, the resort’s steady flow of guests had slowed down considerably during the colder months, which meant she had a lot less to do. For a while, she’d worried that she’d be out of a job, but Rohan had assured her that wasn’t the case.
“After all,” he told her brightly, “we’ve got renovations to do all winter.”
And renovate they had.
With Nigan back in commission, things really got moving. Between Rohan and his father, Natalie stayed busy making new materials for the spring and summer promotions. The Singh men had big plans for the resort—including a full-service spa and wedding planning. By the time June bloomed around the grounds, business was booming.
But the resort wasn’t the only thing growing.
Though they were taking things slowly, Natalie and Rohan had been dating for ten months. She wasn’t about to drop any L bombs any time soon, but once they were together, things between them were just . . . easy. She’d been slightly worried that dating another guy that was her boss would be a bad idea, but Rohan had wanted to immediately set boundaries.
“When we are working, we are Natalie Booth, marketing coordinator, and Rohan Singh, hotel concierge,” he said in bed one evening.
“You know,” she said, her head resting on his chest, “you can seriously drop the last names now.”
“I am serious. We need to make sure our working relationship doesn’t interfere with, well, us, Natalie.” Those deep brown eyes bore into hers. “I don’t want to screw this up,” he said softly.
“Neither do I.” She pressed a kiss to his cheek. “So we should probably make a rule about keeping things strictly professional while on resort property.”
“Well . . . minus our suites,” he said with a grin. He pulled her into his arms, and they stopped talking.
Still, things were going incredibly well, considering how often they saw each other. Natalie’s days were a blur of marketing meetings, hours designing posters and brochures, and scheduling ads across newspapers, radio stations, and social media. At night, she and Rohan either had dinner in the dining room or went out. And her days off—well, those were her favorite days of all.
Since Rohan still had family in India, he, his uncle Nigan, and his father Darius visited quite often. She’d gone with them for a few weeks in January. Visiting another country should have been slightly nerve-wracking, but with Rohan and his family, it was fun. He often whisked her away for adventures on weekends, too—whether it was running karaoke at a random Connecticut dive bar or exploring the lakes and parks hidden around the state.
The door to her suite swung open, ricocheting off the wall. Layla lifted her head from the floor, then settled right back down when she saw who’d come in.
Natalie’s father balanced two plates piled high with waffles, a jug of maple syrup, and two tall glasses of milk. He hustled across the living area and plunked everything down on a nightstand—somehow managing not to spill anything.
“Dad,” she said, “I told you to just call room service.”
“And miss out on my famous waffles?” He shook his head at her. “It’s healthy to have a nice, home-cooked meal every so often.”
“I have home-cooked meals every day.”
“A restaurant in the resort you live in doesn’t count, Lee.”
“Dad.” She tugged her hair up into a messy bun, using the gesture to hide the smile pulling at her lips. “Darius usually cooks for us. He’s really talented. He can even make Italian food—”
Her father pressed a plate of waffles into her hands. “Eat, Nat. It’s getting cold.”
Shaking her head at him, she cut a bite with her fork, trying not to think about how annoyed the chefs might be with her father for barging in on their kitchen. She hoped he’d at least cleaned the waffle iron.
“So,” Dylan said between bites of waffles. “Are you happy?”
She set her fork down, considering. It was still kind of weird to live so far from any family. While it was true that her mother and stepfather were still in the state, they weren’t close anymore—and probably never would be again. Though it’d initially stung to find out that her mother had cheated on her father, Natalie had accepted things for what they were. After all, she and her dad were so much closer than they’d been. Even if he was the type to force waffles on her.
At least Grandma Booth had stayed behind in Florida for the summer.
“Yes,” she replied, answering her father’s question. Her eyes lifted to meet his. “Are you?”
“Well, your grandmother is driving me crazy . . .” He exaggerated a grimace. “But yes. I am.” He shook a finger at her. “Just don’t go doing anything drastic like getting married, young lady—at least not without letting your old man know first.”
“Don’t worry, Dad. I’m happy with exactly the way things are right now.”
And she was. Though it’d been hard to let her dad go to Florida, he was much more independent than he’d been while she’d stayed with him last summer. He was driving for a school bus company and planned to continue spending his summers at Laurel Lock. In a few weeks, she and Rohan would go visit him—Layla too.
“Now what about that meddling friend of yours? I never could stand the way she interfered with your life,” Dylan said.
Natalie lifted an eyebrow at him, but chose not to comment on the irony of his statement. “You mean Violet? We talked. We’re not as close as we once were, but she apologized. She’s really happy for me—and she got rid of that tool she was dating.” She shuddered. Between her and Violet, they had the worst taste in men—with the exception of Rohan.
As if on cue, knuckles rapped on her door and Rohan strode in. “Ah, Dylan Booth!”
“You can call me Dad—”
“Just Dylan is fine,” Natalie amended, shooting her father a look.
Rohan plopped down on the bed beside her and plucked the fork from her fingers. He shoveled waffles into his mouth.
“I thought you said his father was feeding you?” Dylan asked, looking quite satisfied with himself. “It’s a good thing I’m visiting.”
Natalie sighed, then smiled. The more things changed, she mused, the more things stayed exactly the same. She could live with that.
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