Ever since Tessa Wainwright moved into the rundown bungalow next door, Hale Lindstrom has been captivated by the smart and lovely college student. His busy plumbing business helps him keep a responsible distance, but she seems alone in the world, so he lends a hand when he can. His plan works fine, until he accidentally hits her with a snowball and learns she isn’t the kid he assumed. Their tumble into love brings happiness, but he’s got a secret he’s determined to conceal from Tessa at all costs.
After frustrating years of planning and saving, Tessa is pursuing her dream of a literature degree. Shy, sexy Hale is a serious temptation, but her goals leave no room for romance, and she’s done with men trying to fix her life. Despite her resolve, a polar vortex, a goofy dog, and an irresistible guy are rewriting her carefully outlined future. Maybe falling in love is an unavoidable plot twist, but can she risk her hard-won independence, heart, and dreams of a happy ending on a man who’s keeping secrets?
Come fall in love at the shore!
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~ Excerpt ~
As they reached the end of their walk at Tessa’s driveway, Hale turned. “Hey, Tessa? Ah, want some coffee?”
His warm, hopeful smile demolished her firm intention to return to her writing. “I’d love some.”
Honks filled the air, and a V formation of geese strafed low overhead, aiming for the marsh.
Geese. Oh, no!
Hale grabbed for Gunner’s collar. “Gunner! No!”
With an exultant woof, Gunner lunged after the flock, plowing Hale into Tessa. Scrambling for traction on the icy driveway, but already falling, they lost the battle with momentum and tumbled together into the snowbank in a tangle of arms and legs, Hale landing hard on top of Tessa. The collar ripped from Hale’s gloved hand. Happy barks and peeved honks grew rapidly distant.
Startled, but unhurt from the jarring fall, Tessa caught her breath.
“Damned dopey dog—” Hale’s clear blue eyes locked with hers.
Despite their bulky winter clothes, every imprint of his heavy body against hers was suddenly clear, the intimate pressure outrageously wonderful, tempting…
Their rushing breaths mixed in steamy clouds. Hale’s mouth loomed invitingly close. She caught the exact instant his exasperation flashed over into desire, and his eyes glittered with hunger.
Yes, please, kiss me.
Heat pooled in her belly and shivered over her skin as the insane need overwhelmed sense.
Kiss me, kiss me. So what if it’s crazy or foolish, just kiss me.
His lips were strong and soft, his mouth shockingly hot. Here was the fire promised in the banked heat of his shy midnight kiss. Here was the kiss she’d craved in her dreams. Better.
She had to shut her eyes, drowning in the intense, almost alarming sensations, the hearty salty taste of him, the fine grit and rasp of his beard, the wet heat of his mouth, his sharp nips, and soothing licks.
Bundled as they were against the cold, with touch limited to bare faces, they explored all that mouths, lips, and tongues could invent and combine, an outrageous, fascinating alchemy of seduction.
He delved gloved hands beneath her hood and gripped her head, possessing her mouth in the lovely, lovely insanity. He settled between her legs. His arousal strained his jeans, a proud firm ridge riding against her center. Moaning, she clutched his jacket, greedily seeking more contact with the pleasure of his body, matching the driving rhythm and drugging thrust of hips and tongues.
Ah, you know, you’re seriously making out in the front yard. Anyone might drive by and see you.
Did she care? Not one bit.
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Come fall in love at the shore
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