Enter Cole, a new guest at Hanna’s. Fresh from the turmoil of a bitter divorce and haunted by his mistakes, he’s desperate for escape. In a matter of weeks he captures the lonely innkeeper’s heart and together they discover a passion as hot as the southern sun and as unstoppable as the bay tide.
Do they dare trust this wellspring of hope they’ve found in each other’s arms?
Excerpt: He watched her for a moment, his eyes reflecting all the pain she felt. When he reached for her, his fingertips brushed over her hair.
She looked at him, surprise fluttering past the sadness. His eyes were so tender, so sympathetic. She wanted to dive right in and wallow in them.
She turned away and moved out of his reach. She couldn’t be weak. She refused to be. She’d mourned enough for what she’d lost all those years ago. It wasn’t about to happen again. Not when everything was at stake. “I thought you were going out with Adrian tonight.”
He dropped his hand. “She couldn’t find anyone to watch Kyle.”
She nodded shortly, staring at the horizon behind the western shore. “She’s been mistreated before. It ate at her for a long, long time but she came through in the end.” She turned her gaze back on him. “If you hurt her like he did, if Olivia doesn’t cut out your heart, I will. But pray she does it because I’ll use a spoon.”
Shocked, he stared at her for a long moment. Then he let out a breath. “We’re just friends.”
“You don’t have to lie—”
“I’m serious. She knows it and I know it. We were friends before and we are again now.”
“But you’ve been on two dates….”
“They weren’t dates. When we’re not talking about old times, all I ever talk about is…”
She waited as he hesitated then looked away. “What?” she asked curiously.
He slowly brought his eyes back to hers. Dragging in a bracing breath, he brushed a nervous hand through his hair. “All I ever talk about when I’m with her is you, Briar.”
Her eyes widened. “Me?”
“Yeah. You.” He looked away again. “I’m not interested in Adrian. The only one who intrigues me around here, who pulls me in, is you.”
Now she was really having trouble breathing. “Are you sure?”
He laughed at her stunned expression and took a step forward. “Pretty sure. I can’t get you out of my head. When I’m not with you, I’m thinking about you. When I’m sleeping, I’m dreaming about you. You’re always there. I can’t get you out.” He closed the distance between them, lifting a hand to her hair again. This time he brushed it through. “I don’t want to get you out.”
She gulped hard. “I-I can’t get a breath.”