LAURA TAKES A LOVER
High Concept: Sleepless in Seattle meets Enchanted April
A surprise baby brings a rich, grief-stricken young widower and his summer lover, an infertile school teacher together despite the fact they live on opposite sides of the world.
After failed fertility treatments and resulting weight gain lead to a bitter divorce, high school teacher Laura Daniels escapes for the summer to her best friend’s Pacific coast mansion.
Tranquility, the famous movie star Katrina (Kat) Russell’s home, is the perfect place to heal her broken heart. On the drive, Laura gets a flat tire and pulls to the side of the road. She encounters a handsome stranger who offers to fix her tire and ends up offering her comfort.
Arriving at Tranquility, Laura encounters the handsome stranger again. Gorgeous Adam Black is a young widower, who lost his wife and child to a drunk driver the previous summer. He is the other summer guest, having come to Tranquility to escape his memories in New York while restoring a nearby hotel, The Bay Shore.
In the beginning, Laura and Adam are drawn to each other through their shared grief. They meet late at night when neither of them can sleep. As they sit on the bench in front of her guesthouse and stare out at the dark ocean, confiding in each other, an attraction blossoms.
Shared feelings become laden with undercurrents of passion. Laura, who feels self-conscious about her body, is hesitant to believe Adam could think of her as anything but a friend. One afternoon they end up in a secluded garden sharing an oversized chaise lounge and end up kissing. Laura starts to believe Adam is attracted to her and is encouraged by her friend Kat to have a summer fling.
Kat and her husband William leave unexpectedly to begin shooting a movie in Italy. After a few days of solitude, Laura runs into Adam and finds him distant. Frustrated with his behavior, she stomps into his office to confront him. He pulls her into his arms and they end up having a heated sexual encounter on his couch. The next day Adam finds her to apologize for his less than gentlemanly actions. But when they both admit that neither one of them regrets what happened, they end up in her bed.
At the beginning of the affair, Laura is shy and embarrassed to have Adam see her body, but he convinces her that he finds her attractive and encourages her to take a more active role in their lovemaking. Before long, she experiences tremendous sexual freedom with Adam, their antics becoming more adventurous and daring. She confides her inability to get pregnant. Adam shares his desire not to have any more children after losing his only child.
Other passions awaken as Laura takes up an old hobby, watercolor painting. As her feelings for Adam grow, so does her level of expertise.
Adam disappears one weekend and tells her he is meeting his parents in San Francisco. He is actually meeting with his deceased wife’s parents and her sister, Tess, who’s had a crush on Adam for years. Tess uses their shared grief as a reason to try and lure Adam into a liaison. He rebuffs her and in so doing, realizes the depth of his feelings for Laura. Concerned for the strength of his growing feelings for his summer lover, he pulls back from Laura as soon as he returns from his weekend away. She misunderstands his change of heart and blames her age and body for his lack of interest.
Kat and William return for their Fourth of July party and Kat immediately notices the tension between Adam and Laura. Comforting Laura, Kat warns her to be careful with her heart. On the night of the party, Adam admits the truth about his weekend in San Francisco and apologizes, but does not disclose the depth of his feelings.
In late July, Adam’s sister-in-law Tess shows up unexpectedly at Tranquility. Extremely possessive, Tess infers to Laura that she and Adam are together. Adam puts Laura’s fears to rest and asks Tess to leave. This action brings Adam and Laura closer together, but gives Laura a false sense of comfort.
By mid-August, Laura assumes their affair will continue after she returns to San Francisco. However, Adam returns to New York to testify at the trial of the man who killed his wife and son. Before he leaves, he admits to Laura he can’t offer her the level of commitment she deserves. Laura is in love, but understands the timing isn’t right.
She returns to San Francisco to start the school year. Her divorce and punitive prenuptial have left her financially challenged. Moving into her rented townhouse with only her personal belongings and her paintings from Tranquility, she hunts for estate sale bargains and tries to create her own haven. She resolutely believes if Adam loves her, he will find her again.
On Labor Day, she suffers from food poisoning. She visits her doctor and discovers, against all odds, she is pregnant with Adam’s child. She tries to find Adam, but discovers he is no longer in the United States. At about the same time, she meets her handsome gay neighbor, who notices all the paintings hanging in her apartment. Through his boyfriend, a gallery owner, she puts on a one-person art show. At the opening, she discovers several of her pieces have been sold to a mystery buyer.
Her ex-husband Leland, who’s had a brief change of heart and realizes he still loves her, surprises her by attending the opening.
The mystery buyer is actually Adam, who has been working in Cairo. He returned to San Francisco to attend the opening and see Laura. Before entering the gallery, he sees her through the gallery windows with Leland. Thinking she is back with her ex-husband, Adam is heartbroken. Trying to get as far away as possible, he takes a job managing a luxury hotel in Dubai.
Leland pursues Laura, asking her to forgive him and take him back. Despite her fears about the future, she turns Leland down and continues to contemplate telling Adam.
In March, she gives birth to a baby boy, Sam. Kat returns from Italy in time to attend the birth, and helps Laura in her quest to find Adam. Once they discover he is in Dubai, a jealous secretary keeps Laura from connecting with him. Desperate, Laura sends Adam a letter telling him about their child. By May, Laura is a working mother, trying to balance raising a child as a single parent and filled with guilt that she hasn’t been able to tell Adam about his son.
The last week of school, as Laura is walking home with the baby, she rounds the corner and finds Adam waiting on her front steps looking drawn and upset. After an emotional reunion, filled with a bit of anger and regret, Adam holds his son for the first time as tears stream from his eyes. He tells Laura he has loved her since the first moment he saw her.
Having dealt with his grief, Adam is ready to move on. He proposes and admits he is an heir to an international hotel chain. Kat and William throw them a small, summer wedding at Tranquility.