Birding With Benefits

By: Sarah T. Dubb | Gallery

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With a teenage daughter about to fly the coop, Celeste Johannesen is ready to fill her empty nest with much-needed alone time to find the person she lost somewhere in the course of her marriage—herself.

When John Maguire’s friend drops out as his partner in the regional bird-watching contest at the last minute and sends the dizzying and dazzling Celeste to be his partner instead, John can’t understand why she seems more interested in holding his hand than looking at birds. By the time they untangle all their crossed signals, John’s got a new fake girlfriend and a birding partner. But since Celeste can’t tell a sparrow from a swallow, the pair must spend hours hiking together in the Arizona wilderness. Soon, what started as a fake relationship to get everyone off their back turns into a very real attraction.

While they can’t ignore the spark, they’re both determined to stay on their independent paths and out of a relationship, which leads them to a status upgrade: birders with benefits. But as their bird count goes up, and their time together ticks down, they’ll both have to choose if what they have to gain from finding love is worth the parts of themselves they risk losing.

 

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