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Long Contemporary Romance

Sea Rose Lane

Sea Rose Lane (Book 2, Hope Harbor)
Revell, 2016, ISBN 978-0800727543

After a devastating layoff, attorney Eric Nash heads back to the town where he grew up--only to discover that his childhood home is being transformed into a bed & breakfast. Instead of plotting his next career move in peace, he's constantly distracted by noise, chaos--and BJ Stevens, the attractive but prickly blonde architect and construction chief who's invaded the house with her motley crew. As for BJ, her client's son might be handsome, but after a disastrous romance, dating isn't high on her agenda. Yet when they join forces to create a program for Hope Harbor seniors, might they also find healing, hope, and a new beginning themselves?

Come home to Hope Harbor—
Where hearts heal…and love blooms.

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reviews

“Summer romance doesn't get much better than this.”
                                        Examiner.com

“What a beautiful romance! Hannon has a true gift for creating real-life characters readers can connect with. The coastal Oregon setting is gorgeously rendered...and the overall theme of hope resonates through every part of the story.”
                                        RT Book Reviews

“This is a stand-alone story that welcomes first-time visitors...(it) explores how aspirations and dreams may change, or still be fulfilled, when life takes a different course than initially expected."
                                        Publishers Weekly

“Hannon’s captivating story delves into romance, broken hearts and dreams, restored hope and second chances, and what’s really important in life. This easy-to-fall-in-love-with book will whet readers’ appetites for the next installment.”
                                        CBA Retailers and Resources

“With a balance of delightful whimsy and piercing insight reminiscent of Jan Karon’s Mitford series, Irene Hannon has created an engaging community and populated it with characters whose journeys capture the imagination.”
                                        Living our Days blog

“How can one of the greatest authors of page-turning suspense stories turn off that suspense and give us such awesome, gentle romance as Sea Rose Lane? In her second Hope Harbor story Irene Hannon has shown once again that she is a master at both genres.”
                                        Southern Gal Loves to Read blog

middivider

excerpt

He was going to hit that pickup truck.

As the vehicle in front of him screeched to a halt, Eric Nash flung his cell toward the passenger seat, clenched the wheel, and jammed the BMW’s brake to the floor.

Too late.

A bone-jarring thud reverberated through his body, accompanied by the crunch of compressing metal and the explosive tinkle of shattering glass.

This was so not the way he’d envisioned his arrival in Hope Harbor.

Before his car even stopped shuddering, the driver-side door of the truck flew open. Shapely legs clad in snug denim swung out. In one smooth, lithe motion, a slender woman slid out of the cab, the coastal Oregon wind tossing her mane of blonde hair.

Nice . . . except for her stormy expression and taut posture.

Better forget her appearance and focus on an apology.

She paused to give the back of her pickup a cursory sweep, then marched to his door and glared at him through the window, fists jammed on her hips.

Oh, brother.

This was not going to be pretty.

Bracing himself, he pushed his door open and stood.

“Sorry about that.” He tipped his head toward her truck.

She slammed her arms across her chest, leaned sideways, and homed in on the phone resting on his front passenger seat. “In case you didn’t know, it’s illegal to use a cell while driving in Oregon.”

Of course he knew that. He’d know it even if he wasn’t an attorney. The controversial law had received a serious amount of press.

But he was almost at his destination, and Hope Harbor wasn’t exactly Portland. The only real traffic here was at lunchtime—if Charley’s was open and if there was a run on fish tacos.

However . . . it wasn’t yet noon and he wasn’t anywhere near the wharf-side stand.

“I’m aware of the law. But making a quick call on a quiet backstreet should have been safe.”

“It wasn’t.”

“Look, I said I was sorry. My insurance will cover any damage.”

Her eyes narrowed. “Money doesn’t fix every problem.”

Sheesh. Talk about attitude with a capital A.

“It will fix your truck.” He surveyed the muddy vehicle. “Not that it will be easy to tell what damage I caused versus what might already be under the dirt.” If she could be nasty, so could he.

She bristled, and tiny pieces of . . . something . . . drifted out of her hair. Squinting, he shaded his eyes against the late-morning sun high in the sky on this early July day. Was that . . . sawdust?

“It rains a lot here, okay? I have better uses for my time than washing a vehicle that will be muddy again tomorrow. And not that it’s any of your business, but I prefer to spend my money on more important things than a hunk of metal.”

“Obviously.” He gave the truck another dubious once-over.

“Hmph.”

With that pithy retort, she stalked back to the front of his car.

He trailed after her. “Why did you stop so suddenly, anyway?”

“A dog ran in front of me.”

“I didn’t see a dog.”

“You didn’t see me brake, either. If you’d kept a few car lengths between us—and been paying more attention to the road—you could have stopped in time.” She bent to inspect her truck again. “Lucky for me, this baby’s sturdy. I don’t see any serious damage.” She shifted her attention to his car. “Your wheels, however, are going to need some work.”

For the first time, he gave the BMW his full attention. The left front fender was crinkled, the broken glass from the headlight glinting on the pavement.

Great.

Wasn’t it enough that his career was in shambles and his future in limbo without adding a smashed-up car to his list of woes?

He wiped a hand down his face. Some homecoming this was turning out to be.

“There’s a body shop in Bandon.”

At least the woman’s tone was a shade less hostile now.

“Yeah. I know. Marv’s.”

“So . . . you want me to call the police, file an accident report? The chief can get here fast. I passed her a few blocks back.”

And have Lexie read him the riot act, maybe even cite him for using his cell while driving?

Not a chance.

“Why don’t we just exchange contact information?”

“I don’t need yours. I won’t be calling my insurance company. But ah’ll give you mine.” She rummaged through her pockets, the faint hint of a southern accent lingering in the air. “I thought I had some business cards with me . . . but this will work.” She pulled out a dog-eared receipt and scribbled on the back with the stub of a pencil.

Eric skimmed the slip after she handed it over. No name. Just a phone number—with a local area code. “I take it you live around here?”

“Yeah.” She retreated a step and tucked her fingers in her front pockets. “You want to see if your car is drivable before I leave?”

He examined the BMW again. It wasn’t listing, and the tire was holding air. “I think the damage is mostly cosmetic. I don’t have far to go. I’ll be fine.”

“Suit yourself.” She strode back to the cab of her truck, stopping at the door to skewer him with one final scowl. “And do yourself a favor. Ditch the cell while you’re driving.”

Without waiting for a response, she swung up behind the wheel, started the engine, and drove off, spewing noxious fumes in her wake.

Eric turned away from the billow of reeking exhaust, shoved the slip of paper with her number in the pocket of his jeans, and sighed. After psyching himself up during the five-hour drive from Portland to share the bad news with his father, he’d been as ready as possible for that conversation when he drove past the Welcome to Hope Harbor sign. Had even tried to call his dad seconds before the fender bender to alert him of his approach. Softening the surprise of this unexpected visit with a few minutes’ warning had seemed like the considerate thing to do.

But since his dad hadn’t answered, and since the accident had totally unpsyched him, why not take a walk on the beach, past the soaring sea stacks, before he headed home? The salt air and sea breeze had always given him a lift . . . helped clear his mind . . . calmed him . . . when he needed it most.

And he could use some calm about now.

Trudging back to the driver-side door, he tried to look on the bright side. His life might be a wreck, but the car was fixable and no one had been hurt.

There was one other plus too.

This day couldn’t get any worse.

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