– NYT and USA Today bestselling Lauren Blakely“Sexy, sweet, and swoon-worthy.”
– NYT Bestselling Emily Snow, author of the Devoured series.
“My dearest grand-daughter, Listen to your heart, believe in a brighter tomorrow, and always, always leave room for dessert.”
Noelle Olsen has never been impulsive, but when she inherits the old family bed and breakfast, she surprises everyone by quitting her corporate job and starting over in Beachwood Bay: the sleepy coastal town that’s home to old memories, new friends — and the one man she never saw coming.
Ash Callahan isn’t looking for love. He’s built his real-estate empire out of discipline, control, and cool logic — so why does one kiss from a carefree stranger send his world tilting off its axis?
Their connection is undeniable; the chemistry, impossible to ignore. But just as Noelle considers opening her heart again, the pair find themselves facing off over the town’s future — and their own. With so much as stake, will they find a way to bridge the divide, and build a love that’s unforgettable?
The packed crowd in Jimmy’s bar suddenly shifts, and I go slamming into someone.
“Sorry!” I put my hands out to keep from falling, and a pair of strong arms grip me tightly, keeping me on my feet. “I didn’t see you—”
I look up, and the words fade on my lips. The room disappears—all the noise and jostling crowd blurring into background static.
Ash. The man from the masquerade party. The one who led me on a wild night of adventure—and never called me the next morning. He should be five hundred miles away, but he’s here, in the middle of the crowded bar in Beachwood Bay, looking at me like I’m a ghost.
I know how he feels. It’s impossible, it has to be. But I can feel his hands, gripping me tightly; feel the warm, solid muscle of his body against mine.
I know those hands. I’ve explored that body. There would be no mistaking them, even if I wasn’t gazing into his piercing dark eyes, the ones branded on my memory.
Oh my God.
The moment stretches, electric. Then someone slams into me again, and Ash yanks me back. Suddenly, the world rushes in again.
“What are you…?” I whisper, still not able to believe it. “I mean…”
I fight to collect myself, but before I can form a coherent sentence, Ash grabs my hand and pulls me across the room. He’s moving so fast, I can barely keep up: I hurry after him, through the crowd and down a back hallway.
“Where are we going?” I gulp, my heart racing. “Slow down. Ash!”
He ignores me, pulling me after him, up a flight of stairs, and through another door. We emerge on the rooftop, a flat expanse decorated with string lights and a view of the whole bay. I barely have time to catch my breath before Ash brings his hands to my face, pushes me back against the wall and kisses me so hard I forget my own name.
Just like before, the chemical reaction is instant: a flare of heat surging through me, so bright it blots the world, like staring straight into the sun. I part my lips, greedy for the taste of him, loving the sensual caress of his tongue as he slides it deep into my mouth.
Ash groans against me, and I arch up, wrapping my arms around his neck to pull him closer. He’s gripping me so tightly, my body is crushed against him; my back hard against the wall. He threads the fingers on one hand roughly through my hair, pinning me in place as his mouth continues its devastating exploration.
There’s no way to explain it, how my body responds to his touch. Touch-paper to a flame; igniting like never before. I run my hands through his dark hair, slide across the muscular contours of his back, gripping at his shirt and kissing him with everything I have. I can’t think, I can’t breathe, I just fall deeper into the kiss, our passion obliterating every last thought from my mind.
It’s a rush of glitter in my veins, of soaring fever and a low, aching need. Desire consumes me, hot and demanding, until suddenly, Ash wrenches free.
I gasp for air, sinking back against the wall. My legs go weak as his eyes rake over me, blazing darkly with lust. “What are you doing here?” he whispers harshly.
“I…” I can’t find the words, I’m still reeling with shock—and desire.
A shadow crosses his face. He shakes his head, looking dazed. “No,” he mutters, cutting me off. “This isn’t happening.” Before I can say another word, he turns and strides away from me, slamming the exit door with a crash. I’m left alone on the rooftop with nothing but the sound of my own beating heart.
Beachwood Bay series. A small-town girl turned SoCal beach lover, after
spending her life with her nose in a book, she decided it was time she wrote
one herself. She loves steamy romance novels, happily-ever-afters, and lusting
after fictional menfolk. She lives in LA with her two kittens, Bucky Barnes and