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by author "Brenda Novak" in Literature & Fiction
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The Bookstore on the Beach
Length: 12 hrs and 39 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
Eighteen months ago, Autumn Divac’s husband went missing. Her desperate search has yielded no answers, and she can’t imagine moving forward without him. But for the sake of their two teenage children, she has to try. Autumn takes her kids home for the summer to the charming beachside town where she was raised. She seeks comfort working alongside her mother and aunt at their bookshop, only to learn that her daughter is facing a huge life change and her mother has been hiding a terrible secret for years.
After growing up in cheap motels, moving from town to town with her sister and mother, Cheyenne Christensen is grateful to be on her own. She’s grateful, too, for the friends she found once her family settled in California. But she’s troubled by the mystery of her earliest memories, most of which feature a smiling blonde woman. A woman who isn’t her mother. Although Cheyenne has repeatedly asked for explanations, the people who could help aren’t talking.
Gail DeMarco left Whiskey Creek, California, to make a name for herself in Los Angeles. Her PR firm has accumulated a roster of A-list clients, including the biggest box office hit of all - sexy and unpredictable Simon O’Neal. But Simon, who’s just been through a turbulent divorce, is so busy self-destructing he won’t listen to anything she says. She drops him from her list - and he retaliates by taking the rest of her clients with him. Desperate to save her company, Gail has to humble herself by making a deal with Simon.
Up-and-coming TV anchor Emery Bliss can’t imagine anything more humiliating than the sex tape her ex revenge-posted online. That is, until it causes her to lose her job on top of her self-esteem. Seeking solace - and anonymity - in Silver Springs, Emery isn’t looking to get involved with another man any time soon. But when she’s thrown back into contact with Dallas Turner, she sees something that his many detractors have missed.
So much for forever. When Harper Devlin’s rock-star husband ditches her on his way to the top, she takes her two daughters to her sister’s place in Silver Springs for the holidays, hoping family can heal her broken heart. But comfort comes in unexpected places when she crosses paths with local Tobias Richardson.
By the time Presley Christensen returns to Whiskey Creek with her little boy after two years away, she has completely changed her life. She's made peace with her past and overcome the negative behavior that resulted from her difficult childhood. Now she's back in the small town that was the closest thing to "home" she ever knew - the town where she can be with the sister who is her only family. There's just one catch: Aaron Amos still lives in Whiskey Creek.
When Serenity Alston swabbed her cheek for 23andMe, she joked about uncovering some dark ancestral scandal. The last thing she expected was to discover two half sisters she didn’t know existed. Suddenly, everything about her loving family is drawn into question. And meeting these newfound sisters might be the only way to get answers. The women decide to dig into the mystery together at Serenity’s family cabin in Lake Tahoe. With Reagan navigating romantic politics at work and Lorelei staring down the collapse of her marriage, all three women are converging at a crossroads.
Jada Brooks couldn’t have known how her life would change when she fell for Maddox Richardson back in high school. She couldn’t have known his troubled brother would leave hers forever crippled. Or that she’d be forced to shun Maddox completely - only to discover she was carrying his child. Although Maddox was devastated by the events that transpired that fateful night, losing Jada was the worst of it. He’s back in Silver Springs, ready to make amends and provide the kind of youth outreach that once saved him. If he’d known Jada was in town, too, he wouldn't have come.
After catching her fiancé cheating - with another man - usually straitlaced, workaholic scientist Ellie Fisher liberates her wild side just long enough to indulge in a passionate one-night stand with a tall, dark stranger she meets at a trendy Miami bar. Embarrassed by her recklessness, she ducks out the following morning without learning the guy's full name, something that shouldn't have been a problem - until a pregnancy test turns positive.
Kyle Houseman believes that he'll never find anyone he could love as much as Olivia Arnold, who's now married to his stepbrother. Not only did he lose her, he's been through one divorce and has no desire to go through another. He's determined to be extra careful about the next woman he gets involved with - which is why he fights his attraction to the beautiful stranger who rents his farmhouse for the Christmas holiday.
Five-year-old Sloane McBride couldn’t sleep that night. Her parents were arguing again, their harsh words heating the cool autumn air. Then there was that other sound - the ominous thump before all went quiet. In the morning, her mother was gone. The official story was that she left. Her loving, devoted mother! That hadn’t sat any better at the time than it did when Sloane moved out at 18, anxious to leave her Texas hometown in search of anywhere else. But not even a fresh start working as a model in New York could keep the nightmares at bay. Or her fears that her father is deadly.
Savanna Gray needs a do-over. Her "perfect" life unraveled when, to her absolute shock, her husband was arrested for attacking three women. With her divorce settled, she takes her two children home to Silver Springs to seek refuge between the walls of the farmhouse where she was born. It needs a little TLC, but she's eager to take control of something. Despite an escalating attraction to Gavin, Savanna resolves to keep her distance. She trusted her ex, who had a similarly tragic background, and is unwilling to repeat her past mistakes.
When Katie Rogers returns to Dundee, Idaho, it's not because she wants to. It's because she's disillusioned, broke - and pregnant. She was going to make something of her life in the big city. Instead she's paying a high price for trusting the wrong man. Booker Robinson is the man she didn't trust, the man she'd left behind in Dundee...and the first person she sees when she comes back. But despite Booker's notorious past, he now has a successful business and a home of his own. He's also spent two years getting over Katie.
After a painful divorce, Maisey Lazarow returns to Fairham, the small island off the North Carolina coast where she grew up. She goes there to heal - and to help her brother, Keith, a deeply troubled man who's asked her to come home. But she refuses to stay in the family house. The last person she wants to see is her wealthy, controlling mother. Instead she finds herself living next door to someone else she'd prefer to avoid - Rafe Romero, the wild, reckless boy to whom she lost her virginity at 16.
As the daughter of a hoarder, Phoenix Fuller had a tough childhood. So when the handsome, popular Riley Stinson became her boyfriend in high school, she finally felt as though she had something to be proud of. Phoenix was desperate not to lose him - especially once she found out that she was pregnant. Yes, she might have acted a bit obsessive when he broke up with her. But she did not run down the girl he started dating next. Unfortunately there was no way to prove her innocence.
Christmas is a time for remembering - too bad not all memories are pleasant. Everyone in Whiskey Creek remembers Sophia DeBussi as the town's Mean Girl. Especially Ted Dixon, whose love she once scorned. But Sophia has paid the price for her youthful transgressions. The man she did marry was rich and powerful but abusive. Then he goes missing - and she soon learns that he died running from an FBI probe of his investment firm.
Struggling to make ends meet after a messy divorce, Sadie Harris is at the end of her tether. Her waitressing gig isn't enough to pay the bills, let alone secure primary custody of her son, Jayden, a battle she refuses to lose. Desperate, she accepts a position assisting Dawson Reed - the same Dawson Reed who recently stood trial for the murder of his adoptive parents. Joining him at his isolated farm seems risky, but Sadie is out of options.
Keith bears scars - both physical and emotional - from his childhood, but he's worked hard to overcome the past. After walking away from his mother and her controlling ways five years ago, he's built a new life in LA. He's also accumulated a fortune of his own. But as soon as he learns of his mother's death, he returns to Fairham. He feels he owes it to his grandfather to put the family empire together again, and he's determined to find his mother's killer.
India Sommers once had the perfect family - until an ex-boyfriend broke in and shot her husband. Not only did that cost her the man she loved, a respected heart surgeon and the father of her child, but she also feels responsible. Charlie died because of the people she hung out with before she had the strength to change her life.
The car accident was Hannah Price's fault - a few seconds of inattention that changed Gabe Holbrook's life forever, destroying everything he'd been or ever wanted to be. He was a man who'd had it all. Intelligent, handsome, talented, rich, he'd been one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. Now he's come home to Dundee, the small town where he was raised, but he's a stranger to the people who once knew him.