Camryn Singer never imagined that she would return to the place where she lost everything. To grant a dying wish, she and her young son make the move back to the small Jersey beach town where she grew up, hoping to somehow find the missing pieces of her life. Determined to keep her heart guarded, the last thing she needs is the force that is sexy surfer, Cole Stevens, literally slamming into her life.
Struggling against growing feelings for Cole, Camryn tries to focus on life with her son. But when Cole picks the lock to her heart, Camryn knows he might be the one to change everything. Just when Camryn thinks she’s finally finding her happiness, a ghost from the past comes back to haunt her.
Camryn must now decide between letting Cole stand with her in the fight for her life, or staying lost in the pain of the past.
I pull his mouth back to mine and run my hands through his hair, weaving the ends through my fingers. Although lust is pumping through my veins, I set it aside, taking this moment to just enjoy his lips and feel the brush of his tongue against mine. We stay in each other’s arms for a long while as we watch the waves ripple across the rocks and the seagulls touch down to peck the water for fish. I can feel our bodies finally surrender to a sense of calm. Although we still have so much to learn about each other and many more fears to face, we find a way to take that first step and will journey the rest of the way together.
Cole interrupts my thoughts as he shifts his body out of my arms. “As much as I wish you could stay in my arms like this, I think we need to get back. I’m sure Gavin will be home soon, and I owe him pizza and ice cream.”
“How’d he rope you into that? Did Batman finally beat out Spiderman?”
Cole shrugs his shoulder and laughs. “Yeah right. Like that would ever happen. Actually, he bet on you … said your heart would let me in.”
I give him a playful smack in his ribs, and he pretends to hold his hand over them in pain. “You bet against me? You know, that’s grounds for dismissal.”
“If you would have seen the way you left the bar last night, even you’d bet against yourself.”
I pause for a moment, thinking about how I had rushed out of the bar, thinking the worst about Cole, “Good point … let’s not keep the little prince waiting!”
We laugh and simultaneously reach for each other’s hand. The beach that is so familiar and full of past heartache suddenly takes on a new life. Cole has given me a reason to look forward.
The walk home is spent talking about the normal things: work, surfing, summer plans. As we approach the end of our walk, three crazy people waving and yelling our names block the entrance to our houses. Gavin bolts toward us, jumps into Cole’s arms, and reaches one arm out for me to pull me in for a group hug. The change in his demeanor from yesterday is astounding, and I know the sight of Cole and me together is part of that. Surely Carter also helped by pumping him with junk food all night at their sleepover. Lila and Carter join the hug seconds later, making me feel like I can call this home again.
We break apart from our embrace with Lila begging for the scoop, Carter complaining of hunger, and Gavin bragging about winning his bet with Cole. Before I can answer anyone, Cole puts his arm around me and looks at Gavin.
“Gavin, I want to make sure that you’re okay with your Mommy and me spending a lot of time together.”
Gavin looks from me to Cole and replies, “Does it mean you’re gonna kiss each other a lot now? Because that’s kinda gross.”
“Well, I think you better get used to that.” Cole leans over and whispers to him, “Because your mom’s way too pretty not to kiss.”
With a disgusted look, Gavin yells out, “Eww, gross!” He then reaches around Cole’s neck again and says, “But it’s okay if you and Mommy see each other. Even if you have to kiss.”
“Aww, thanks, buddy.” Cole reaches his fist up to Gavin.
Gavin taps his fist back to Cole’s and replies, “You’re welcome, buddy.”
Watching the two of them interact like this creates a feeling of contentment and satisfaction that is so new and refreshing. Everyone starts walking toward the back deck while I take one more look out toward the vast stretch of sand. This beach town holds the reason for my nightmares and heartache. But today, it represents the birth of my new life, one that includes Cole. However, looking toward the water’s edge, my elation is quickly stripped from me as I stand staring into the aqua-colored eyes of my biggest fear.