When I left Dogwood Cove eighteen years ago, Ethan Monroe was nothing more than my best friend’s older brother.
Over that time he went from the boy who played hide and seek with us, to the seriously hot, plaid-wearing, scruff-bearing, mayor of the small town we grew up in.
But I’m only back to figure out what to do with the run-down beachfront resort my estranged father left me in his will.
Not to fall in love.
The resort needs a lot of work and Ethan wants to help me restore it. He makes a tool belt look good and watching his muscles lift heavy loads is giving me ideas that go way beyond just friends. And if the heated, lingering looks he sends my way are any indication, the attraction goes both ways.
Except I’ve got trust issues that can’t be repaired with a hammer and some nails, and Ethan has his own secrets he’s hiding.
Still, coming home could be the start of the life I’ve always dreamed of.
And Ethan could be the missing piece that puts my heart back together.
Our agreement was real. The feelings were fake. It was simple, until it got complicated.
The partnership at Dogwood Cove vet hospital is within my reach. But it may as well be a million miles away with the stipulation my boss has given me. “Settle down” he says, whatever that means. All I know is that I need something or someone to make it clear I’m ready to stay in Dogwood Cove for the long haul, and I’ve got nothing on the horizon.
Until Mila Monroe kisses me.
She’s beautiful, friendly, and not looking for a real relationship any more than I am. Not to mention she makes the best cinnamon buns I’ve ever tasted.
We both have our reasons to keep the relationship fake so it should be easy to keep our boundaries in place and just fuel the rumours by pretending to be more.
We said we wouldn’t fall for each other. Turns out that was as big a lie as the relationship the town thinks we’re having.
On the eighth day of Christmas my true love was the only maid a milking….
Except Abby Martin is no milkmaid, even if I do find her hanging out with cows a lot. And she isn’t my true love. Is she?
She’s mother of one of my students and should be off limits. But I can’t seem to stay away from her. Even if we have to keep it a secret at first, our chemistry needs to be explored and under the mistletoe seems the perfect place to do just that.
But when things start to get real, I’ve got my work cut out for me proving to Abby and her daughter that this Christmas, we might all get the gift of love.
Forced to share an AirBNB with a hot guy? Check
That guy being my new boss? Check.
The fact that my hot boss clearly doesn’t want me here? You guessed it, check.
Landing the interior design job at Finn McNeil’s new winery in Dogwood Cove is supposed to be my fresh start. Let’s just say things aren’t going as planned.
Finn clearly doesn’t want my help, questioning my design choices at every turn. He’s grumpy, stubborn, and annoyingly sexy. To top it all off, sharing a house together means running into each other at inopportune times, like when I accidentally see every gorgeous inch of him in the shower, naked.
In spite of all that, I’m determined to win him over with my charm and professionalism. Not only do I need this job, but the town has become more than a place to earn a living, it’s become home.
Still, I should know better than to let the lines blur between work and play. Neither of us know how to do relationships and this is bound to end in disaster. But what if it turns out to be the perfect blend for love instead?
My family’s money has never meant anything to me, and the last thing I want is a corporate desk job. Running a bookstore empire? No, thanks. I’m an inked-up adrenaline junkie who loves pushing myself to the limits under an open sky.
But when a family tragedy forces me to reconsider my priorities, I cover my tattoos with a suit and tie, and do what I must.
My job lands me in Dogwood Cove for a while, where all I want is to keep to myself and fulfill my obligation to my family. I have no intention of pretending to be someone I’m not, much less fall in love.
But then I meet Paige.
The small town book shop owner is nothing like me. She’s shy and quiet on the outside, but warm and funny once you get to know her. Her subtle beauty and charm soothe my angry, damaged heart.
The problem is, if Paige knew who I was, she’d run in the other direction.
My emotional scars run deep and the chains of guilt weigh me down, making me less of a man than someone like Paige deserves.
And when the truth comes to light, I risk losing the love that could change me forever.
We were high school best friends, nothing more.
No matter how much I wanted more.
When I walked into biology and met my new lab partner, my heart skipped a beat. Kelly Erickson was gorgeous, funny, and easy to be around. But I kept my attraction to her hidden.
She needed a friend, and nothing more, and I was happy to be just that. At sixteen, how could I have known that my future would include a failed marriage and my life in tatters? Or that Kelly would be the one to help me pick up the pieces.
The problem is I can’t tell who she’s happier to be around – me or my dog.
Oliver’s my furry best friend, and now he’s my competition for the affection of my human best friend.
I know they say dogs love their owners unconditionally, but now I need to convince Kelly that this dog and his owner love her, and that she is the best parts of my past, and the only person we want in our future.