Love Charm for Carlotta by Carly Carson

Thank you for inviting me to your blog. I’d like to introduce you to my third short story in my Love Charm series. Love Charm for Carlotta.

 Blurb: Carlotta doesn’t believe in love charms. Especially not when the bad boy hockey player from her past suddenly re-appears in her life. But the small town island atmosphere of Martha’s Vineyard conspires against her when she tries to escape him. Jace, and her memories, are everywhere she turns. Is it the love charm working, or something else? Do people change, or will she be courting heartbreak again if she succumbs to her high school sweetheart?

Carlotta owns a bakery on Martha’s Vineyard. Jace loves these rolls and thought you might enjoy the recipe.


  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 egg
  • 7 cups all-purpose flour (6 cups white; 1 cup whole wheat)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon


  1. Warm milk in a saucepan until it bubbles. Remove from heat. Let cool until lukewarm. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine yeast mixture, milk, sugar, oil, baking powder, salt, egg and 3 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in the remaining flour, beating well after each ½ cup addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
  3. Heat brown sugar and 1/2 cup butter until melted. Remove from heat; stir in corn syrup. Divide mixture between two 9×13 inch baking pans. Sprinkle 1/2 cup pecans in each pan.
  4. When dough has doubled in size, punch down and turn onto a floured surface. Roll out into a large rectangle and spread with butter. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Starting with the long side, roll up the rectangle into a log, and slice into 1 inch rolls. Place rolls in pans. Wrap pans with aluminum foil. Refrigerate at least 12 hours, no longer than 48.
  5. Let rolls stand in a warm place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  6. Bake uncovered until golden 30 to 35 minutes. Immediately invert pan on serving plate. Wait for 1 or 2 minutes before removing pan.

A tip from Jace: If you like your treats to be as sweet as Carlotta is, double the ingredients in Step 3 to make more of the topping.


Jace hopped off the bike as it rocked to a stop.

“What are you doing?” Carlotta said. “I thought we were just going for a ride.”

Jace wanted to growl. Where was the girl who would have hopped off the bike, thrown her arms around him, and laughed with sheer joy? How could he find her again?

“Come on.” He pulled her off the Harley. “I want to see the breeze blowing your hair.” Actually, he wanted to see it flowing all over his stomach, but he wasn’t dumb enough to say so. Yet.

“I’ve been meaning to cut my hair,” Carlotta said.

“No way. It’s perfect.” He ran his hand lightly through her black curls. He’d enjoy the great view if he ever did get her to go down on him again.

She shivered, and he had to stifle the urge to grab her and tumble her down to the ground.

“I need to go home now,” she said.

“You used to love this beach.”

“I still come here.” She met his gaze. “Alone.”

He stepped closer and cupped a hand around her face. “Come on, Carlotta. I’ve got a whole lotta something for you.”

“That,” she said tartly, “is the worst line I’ve ever heard.”

But she didn’t step out of his reach and her eyes were sparkling again.

“You know I can be a goofball.” He touched the corner of her mouth. “I just wanted to put a smile on your face.”

For a moment, she stared at him in the moonlight. A sharp breeze blew off the water, and the surf lapped at the shore.

And then she licked his finger.

Jace caught his breath, afraid to move. He knew an invitation when he got it, but, for a moment, he was unsure of his approach. Would he scare her off if he let her see the passionate urgency that was overwhelming him? Or would he give her too much time to think if he tried a slow and gradual seduction?

“Carlotta—” he murmured. He slipped his finger into her mouth.

She sucked it in, and licked it again. While keeping her eyes fixed on him.

He thought he might come on the spot, fully clothed, while he explored her warm, wet mouth.

A lone seagull shrieked overhead, and Carlotta jerked back. She looked at him, her eyes wide. “What am I doing? I don’t even like you.”

Shit. Major check. “Of course you do, sweetie.” He bent down and kissed the side of her neck. “You’ve liked me since the day I gave you a dandelion in first grade.”

“I was easy then. I’ve grown up now.”

“So I’ve noticed.” He stroked his hands down the sides of her curvy body. “I can’t tell you how much I like your grown-up parts.” He touched the underside of her breasts.

“Jace,” she said in a warning tone. “I don’t want—”

He feathered his thumbs over her nipples and she gasped.

“You don’t want what?” he asked. He strained to keep his touch light as her nipples beaded.  The wait for her consent was torturing him.

“Carlotta?” Slowly, lightly, he continued to stroke her. She had to give in. He would die, otherwise.


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I have some pictures of Martha’s Vineyard on my Pinterest site: