Need You Now (Love in Unknown) - By Taylor M. Lunsford


I could write an entire book full of the names of people I need to thank, but for my first book I’ll keep it brief. Buckets full of thanks to my crazy family for always supporting me and indulging my love of the written word. An extra special shout out goes to my aunt, Angela, for reading some of my roughest drafts and liking them in spite of their flaws.

This book wouldn’t be here without the support of my Twitter cheerleaders. Allie, Alyssa, Tiffany and Roni – thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your encouragement and advice. Allie more than anyone knows what a labor of love these works have been and I couldn’t have asked for a better critique partner.

I also want to thank my wonderful editor, Amanda. She’s given me a lot of encouragement over the years and I’m so thankful that she helped this dream become a reality.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19


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About the Author

Chapter 1

Twenty-three. It had taken twenty-three boxes, one large moving van, and three people to move her from Chapel Hill, North Carolina to Unknown, Texas, a hole-in-the-wall little town three hours west of Austin.

Melody Carr knew she hadn't had this many boxes when she left home ten years ago. She definitely hadn't had this many boxes when she moved from Brown University to the University of North Carolina a few years later.

"Little sister, where did you get this much crap?" Micah hefted a box of medical textbooks over the threshold of the apartment above their family's bakery. "I didn't have this much stuff when I moved last week and I was moving a five-year-old, too."

Melody made a face at him as she set her own box down. "I'm a girl. There's a line in the girl handbook that we're supposed to have a lot of stuff. At least I coughed up the money to have someone else move it all down here for me. We just have to unload. Plus, you barely lived in your apartment in New York. Someone was a workaholic."

"Mel-bell, you do not have room to talk." Gage Maddox, Mel's best friend, carried in an arm chair, his muscles straining beneath the cloth of his ancient James Maddox High football shirt. At well over six feet tall, Gage and Micah seemed to take up all the spare room in the bread-box-sized apartment. Of course, the piles of big brown boxes littered around the living room didn't help much. Mel couldn’t quite believe that her great-great-grandparents lived here during the first years of their marriage. It was fine for a single woman, but a married couple? There was not a lot of elbow room.

"That's different," she said. "I'm a doctor. We're workaholics by necessity."

Micah snorted. "And chefs aren't? I work just as many hours as you did, squirt, even if I didn't spend eight years going to school."

"Seven. I did undergrad in three years, remember?" She batted her eyelashes innocently. Mel had been blessed—or cursed, depending on how you looked at it—with a high IQ and a nearly photographic memory. As a result she’d had few friends, but school had been a cake walk. Despite her parents' desire for her to have the "high school experience"—whatever that meant—she'd graduated two years early with Gage's class. She’d kept the pace up straight through college and medical school and never looked back.

"How's your mom doing?" Gage asked when they went back down to the truck to get more boxes. Micah slipped into the bakery to check on their mother and his son, Jax, escaping the unseasonable warmth of the early spring day for a few minutes. Passersby nodded and greeted Gage, smiling politely at Mel. Most people in town probably wouldn’t even recognize her. She hadn’t had much time to visit in the last few years, between med school and her residency.

Micah and Mel had both moved back to Unknown with one purpose in mind: to help their mom. The sudden death of their dad the previous January had sent her into a tailspin and eventually landed her in the hospital three weeks ago with a bad case of dehydration and exhaustion. Emma Carr didn't like to admit it, but the bakery had finally become too much for her to handle on her own. Mel trusted her brother to handle the bakery, but she knew their mother