Anna Sullivan was born and raised in southeastern Michigan, the seventh of nine children, whose claim to fame was reading five books a week in grade school. Needless to say, her obsession with the written word only grew from there-despite a short, and misguided, foray into the world of computer science (the "sensible" job path). She still lives in Michigan, with her husband, three children and two dogs whose life of leisure she envies but would never be able to pull off.
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“What exactly do you want, Hold?”
“A chance to get to know you, and for you to get to know me.”
“It’s not that simple.” She allowed herself to move away from him. Okay, that coward comment had stung, and she’d stayed put if only to show him he hadn’t gotten
to her. But he had.
That long, strong body, the smile that seemed to light up the room, the way his eyes met hers and made her want to just let go and believe.
She’d been there before, she reminded herself.
She’d been taken in by a sunny smile and the attention of a handsome man—or boy, as the case had been. She’d believed Lance Proctor when he’d said he loved her, when he’d said he’d marry her. When he’d promised they’d be a family, the two of them and the life they’d created between them.
She’d been devastated after he ran off, those first days when she’d held her pregnancy a secret. When she’d believed he’d come back. He hadn’t; she’d had to stop believing, and eventually she’d gone to her mother.
Doris Randal had cried. And although the memory of it still broke her heart, Jessi had to content herself with the knowledge it had been the only time she’d caused her mother that kind of pain. The tears at Benji’s birth, and all the ones after, had been happy ones.
Her mother had been gone almost two years, and not a day went by that Jessi didn’t miss her in a dozen ways, large and small. Not a day went by that she didn’t remember the example her mother had set, that she didn’t struggle to find that kind of strength within herself. Her mother had become her rock, Jessi remembered—hers and Benji’s.
Now Jessi had to be the rock.
She looked over at Hold and thought, the bigger the temptation.
“Benji doesn’t ask about his father much,” she said, working her way carefully through her explanation as she gave it. “He used to ask, once he started spending time with the other school-age kids and realized they all had one and he didn’t. I tried to explain to him, you know, that his dad being gone had nothing to do with him.”
“But he doesn’t believe you.”
“He thinks I’m sparing his feelings.”
“And you don’t want to bring another man into his life who’ll leave again. I wish I could tell you I’ll stay, Jessi, but we’ve known each other barely two weeks.”
“I’m not asking for assurances, Hold. I don’t expect you to make lifelong plans that include a ready-made family. But I don’t do anything until I consider how it might affect Benji.”
“I think he’s a stronger kid than you’re giving him credit for. He must be with you for a mother.”
“And you think I’m just blowing smoke up your skirt.”
“You don’t know me, Hold. Not really.” That was part of what troubled her. She was going on instinct, and she couldn’t trust hers. “Why are you pushing so hard?”
“There’s something about you, Jessi.” And now she could tell he was being careful with what he said. “The minute I saw you, there was something. You felt it, too. Are you going to deny yourself a chance to get to know me, and vice versa, because you don’t know how to explain it to your son?”
Hold shot her that lightning-quick, sun-bright grin.
“That means there’s hope for tomorrow.”
“It’ll still be no tomorrow.”
“Then I’ll just have to keep asking.”
Excerpt from HIDEAWAY COVE ©2014 by Anna Sullivan. All rights reserved.
Length: 416 pages
Publisher: Forever (July 29, 2014)
SOME PASSIONS CAN'T BE DENIED . . .
Jessi Randal walked away from her last relationship with a baby and a broken heart. Now, years later, the last thing this single mom wants is to give Windfall Island-and all its nosy residents-anything more to gossip about. But the moment she lays eyes on the tall, sexy stranger with the slow Southern drawl, she knows she's in delicious trouble . . .
Holden Abbot is on the island to find the missing heir to the Stanhope family fortune. It's his job to charm as many secrets out of the town as possible. And if he can charm Jessi into his bed, even better. When all evidence points to her as the heir, a dangerous enemy sets his sights on Jessi and her son. Now Holden will have to risk everything to protect the family he's come to love.
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