The friendship that launched a thousand adventures is about to embark on the greatest one of all…
Ever since Stuart Carlson and Dusty Danforth met as kids on a dig in Egypt, they’ve been best friends, supporting each other through heartaches, triumphs, and countless archaeological expeditions. So when Stuart gets hired to help run the American excavations at Troy, he asks Dusty to join him as the site illustrator.
For Dusty, the Troy project isn’t just another adventure. It’s the chance to tell Stuart how she really feels. After years of pining for him, she’s ready for more than friendship.
But soon after they arrive at the site in Turkey, they’re caught up in a feud with a group of German archaeologists. While both teams are eager to make a major find, Stuart’s boss is so determined to beat his rivals that he’s willing to break a few rules. Or laws.
As Stuart and Dusty work together to keep the dig on track, they give in to the passion that’s been simmering under the surface. But will their romance survive when their boss’s scheme puts the entire project in jeopardy?
B & N Nook Link: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/troy-story-carla-luna/1143099586
UBL (Books2Read): https://books2read.com/u/bMN2k8
Carla Luna writes contemporary romance with a dollop of humor and a pinch of spice. A former archaeologist, she still dreams of traveling to far-off places and channels that wanderlust into the settings of her stories. When she’s not writing, she works in a spice emporium where she gets paid to discuss food and share her favorite recipes. Her passions include Broadway musicals, baking, whimsical office supplies, and pop culture podcasts. Though she has roots in Los Angeles and Vancouver Island, she currently resides in Wisconsin with her family and her feisty Siberian cat.
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Extract from Troy Story by Carla Luna
In the opening chapter, Dusty calls her best friend (and secret crush), Professor Stuart Carlson, to tell him she’ll be joining him on his upcoming dig at the site of Troy in Turkey.
Dusty plopped down on her bed, pulled up her laptop, and logged into her Zoom account. Even if it was only 7:15 a.m. on the West Coast, Stuart was the type who woke at six without an alarm clock.
When his face appeared on the screen, his thick, sandy-blond hair still looked sleep-mussed. He was cradling an insulated tumbler, no doubt filled with piping-hot coffee. His ocean-blue eyes danced in amusement at the sight of her. “Hey, Dusty. I like the new hair color.”
She patted her short, dark hair, which now bore a vivid purple streak. “Thanks. I dyed it yesterday. Naturally, Mom hated it. When we went out to the market, she insisted I wear a hat.” She returned his grin. “I see you’ve grown a beard, Dr. Carlson.”
“You like it?”
“Definitely. You’re totally rocking a distinguished professor vibe.” And making me swoon more than ever. She’d always been a sucker for hot guys with beards. To stop herself from drooling on camera, she directed her attention to the mountain of boxes behind him. “Why does your place resemble a storage unit?”
“Because I’m in packing hell, trying to box up my entire life in San Diego. I sold most of my furniture, but I still have too much crap for someone who’s only twenty-seven.”
“You’re such a pack rat. I’ll bet you could ditch half that stuff and not miss it. When are you driving out to Boston?”
“Next Monday. Please thank your parents—again—for letting me store everything in their condo. I’ve got a place lined up near the university, but the lease doesn’t start until August. I thought I’d have the entire summer to deal with this, but the Troy dig sped everything up.”
“So, basically, you’re driving to Boston, off-loading your boxes, and then hopping on a plane to Istanbul. All in the space of about ten days?”
He raked a hand through his hair, messing it even further. “That about covers it. Speaking of flights, are you coming? Did you get the green light from your mom?”
She snorted. “I don’t need her approval. I’m my own person.”
“Says the woman who’s sitting in her parents’ apartment on a child-size bed.”
“First of all, child-size fits me perfectly since I’m not a six-foot-tall giant like you. Second, why wouldn’t I stay here? This little room isn’t much, but it’s the one place I can call home in this corner of the world.” The wall facing her bed held a trio of bulletin boards, where she’d pinned dozens of postcards and photos. At least half the pictures were of her and Stuart, since they’d been friends for almost twenty years. The sight of them always improved her mood.
“Sorry, but are you coming or not?”
“Of course. I can’t wait to spend the summer digging at Troy with you. I’m flying to Istanbul, then taking the bus to Çanakkale. I figured I’d come a day early so we’d have time to catch up. Any chance you could get me at the bus station?”
“I’ll give it my best shot.” He flashed her an affectionate smile. “I can’t tell you how glad I am that you’re going to be there.”
“Really?” Her heart did a skip-jump. Was he thinking the same thing she was? That this might be their chance to take their friendship to the next level? Now that he was finally single, she needed to seize the moment.
“Yeah. This dig’s going to be stressful, but having you around will make a big difference. You’re such a great friend.”
That was all she’d ever been.
But maybe this summer, that could change.