Celia Langford loses her perfect life in the ultimate betrayal. Her cheating husband is dead, leaving a mountain of debt and her confidence in tatters. A self-taught chef, she moves to South Florida and invests in her dream café, knowing if she doesn’t make it through tourist season, she loses everything.
Dax Smith, dive shop owner, is struggling to bring in enough business to cover his dying father’s medical bills while protecting his sister from the truth. Helping the independent new café owner is not on his agenda. Burned once, he knows better than to trust someone as polished as Celia, but he can’t seem to stay away.
Dax helps heal Celia’s wounded heart, daring her to believe in love.
Hawaiian born Karma Aneko, high-end divorce attorney, is pulled from the ocean just before drowning. Officer Joe Porter is on his third transfer since an undercover drug bust nearly killed him. A hero even when off-duty, Joe fishes the woman from the angry waves, knowing he’s caught trouble as soon as she spews salt water all over him. She never planned on being so close to the sea again, but Joe challenges her to take another look at her tormented childhood from within the safe circle of his arms. She is strong enough to accept his past while seeing the man he’s become. Their undeniable attraction overcomes logic, daring them to believe in love at first touch.
Franco Silva bought the puppy store to make his daughter smile. After the drug overdose of her model mother, he would do anything to ensure her happiness. He makes their vacation condo a full time residence. The ocean view brings Franco a small peace, though nightmares keep him up at night. Sara Murphy works for Animal Control, and does her best to protect animals at risk. She’s seen the worst in human nature. She’s got a wall around her heart, but will be the first person to champion the underdog. At first glance, Franco Silva is everything she despises. Suave, gorgeous and entitled. It’s only through his daughter that she sees another side. His passionate nature challenges her belief in what is safe, daring her to accept more than just enough.
After personal tragedy, Captain Jolie Gordon begins again aboard the Masquerade, a fishing boat turned pleasure-cruiser inherited from her Gramps. Jolie dreams of owning a successful business charter, but she is one pinion away from losing everything she’s invested. She’s got the summer to come up with enough money to buy a new engine and she can’t afford any distractions.
Ex ski instructor Heath Hamilton comes aboard the Masquerade for his brother’s wedding party charter, angry at all he’s lost due to a random accident on the slopes. Excruciating pain keeps Heath from trusting that he will ever be whole again. Skiing is out of the question. Left with the pieces of who he used to be, nobody is more surprised than Heath when he accepts Jolie’s offered job as a bartender on the yacht for the summer.
Opening her heart is a risk, but Jolie recognizes in Heath a kindred spirit, forced to rebuild after circumstances changed the planned course. They spend the steamy South Florida summer daring to love again, knowing that life does not always go according to plan.
Teagan Becker comes home to save the family business, putting her dreams on hold for the holiday season. A professional video blogger, Teagan is determined to see the world without anything tying her down. No car, no apartment, and definitely no boyfriend.
Riley McSorley teaches music to fourth graders, glad for the steady job with insurance and a 401 K. Sure, he once wanted to be a rock star, but that was a childish dream. Now he wants a white picket fence by the sea.
Teagan offers him a part-time job at Becker’s Bakery over his school vacation, which saves her from getting behind on cookie orders. Side by side in the trenches, they realize that they are total opposites, but those differences create symmetry. Riley wants a girlfriend, to hang out at the beach and enjoy the tropics. She wants independence, and blisters under the sun. By New Year’s, Riley knows that Teagan is the woman for him, yet she can’t, won’t, give up her dream to travel Europe. Despite their great passion, unless they learn to compromise, their relationship will be lost.
Festival by the Sea is about Al Cooper, the chameleon ex-cop from Ambrosia by the Sea, and Darcy Smith, Dax’s little sister. This is a friends-to-lovers romance that had me laughing as I typed. Festival by the Sea is part of Summer Heat, an incredible boxed set full of new novellas.
In his wildest dreams Armand Vargas never imagines Zamira Caballero walking through the doors of his new dance studio. After a year of shared passion in Argentina, she’d chosen her ex-dancing partner instead of marriage and so Armand had returned broken-hearted to the states, leaving Zamira in the arms of another man.
Zamira realized her mistake immediately, but for two years Armand has refused any contact. She can’t heal, because he holds her heart. When she reads Armand’s advertisement for auditions to his dance company in the US, Zamira leaves everything she knows behind for a second shot at love. She knows Armand won’t want to see her, but Zamira has the talent he’s looking for. She and Armand used to set the dancing world on fire. Together, they can achieve anything.
Armand wants to send Zamira packing, but unfortunately, she’s the best. Armand’s rivals claim that he’s a two-minute celebrity with no talent and doomed to failure. He has more at stake than anyone knows, and must hire only the top talent for DanceFusion. Hanging up his dancing shoes, his goal is to create a legacy his family would be proud of. He tells himself that so long as he keeps Zamira at arm’s length, and remembers she can’t be trusted, his heart will be safe. But he’s never stopped loving her, and each moment they are together in the dance studio is torture.
Zamira claims to want another chance to be with him—Armand does not believe in second chances. And yet, for all his talk of trust, Armand is the one keeping a secret.
Zamira doesn’t give up on Armand, despite injuries, slander and sabotage. When she discovers he’s been hiding a one-year-old child from her, Zamira waves the white flag of surrender.
After planning the Wedding of the Year, Sinead Monroe faints and hits her head before she can walk down the aisle to marry Christian Sharp. They try again 3 months later and Sinead is a much calmer bride–until Christian and his car get hijacked and he’s a no-show, his life in danger. They decide to stop talking about wedding plans, which puts the family Christian wants on hold. A third opportunity arises for them to tie the knot at the prestigious Breakers hotel–but only if they can step in and be ready in two weeks. Sinead and Christian rally and nervously agree to try again. So what if summer in South Florida is hurricane season? The ceremony is cancelled and the two lovers wonder if they are cursed. Will the marriage they both want so much be the end of their relationship–or will the trials create a love to last forever?
Librarian/waitress Tamsyn Lee is all about accepting change, while Evan Hawke must do everything just the same in order to find his muse. He hopes the seaside grill he wrote his first mystery masterpiece in will kick-start his third book before his publisher drops him. Tamsyn has zero tolerance for divas, but she’s read Evan’s novel and knows he has the talent. Besides, helping him takes the focus off of spending Christmas without her family. Evan realizes he needs a miracle—could feisty Tamsyn be an angel in sneakers and a ponytail?
Six years ago, Zoe Clark married a military man for love, certain that Brayden Hamilton was her soul mate. Now he wants a divorce and feisty Zoe is not ready to give it to him, especially since she knows he still cares for her. She’s got the fight of her life to keep him.
Army Captain Brayden Hamilton has spent much of his six years overseas and he’s seen and done things that have changed him from the man Zoe fell in love with. Her smile keeps the desolation of the desert away but he fears his darkness will destroy her.
After an attack on the compound near Mosul, Brayden is injured and almost dies. He does not tell Zoe until he is back in the United States, deciding for her what he feels she needs to know. Zoe is furious—she knew what she was getting into when she married a man in the military. Zoe has managed the family Electric business, keeping them together after her dad passed away and she is capable of running her own life without Brayden’s direction. She wants to be a team but he is used to taking the lead. If they can’t find a way to compromise, love might not be enough to keep them together.
Leif Hendricks–property investor—is looking at the small seaside town with an eye to buy and flip some of the businesses. Through his business partner and friend, he’s heard that the flower shop might be up for grabs. What starts as a quest for profit soon changes as Leif realizes all the money in the world can’t buy love.
Evelyn Banner—florist—is unapologetically not a risk taker, preferring the path of least resistance. At 32, she’s got one marriage and one divorce under her belt. A hyper eight-year-old. An ex that has popped up like ragweed. A cranky cat that sneaks outside and brings her dead things in the morning. Her single mother and main emotional support is sick. Evelyn can’t take on One More Thing.
In the height of wedding mania, Leif enters the flower shop like a demi-god, complete with dark gold hair, broad shoulders and aqua blue eyes. Too handsome to be trusted, too rich to be real—yet something in his intense gaze dares her to believe there is more to his smooth smile.
Stakes are upped as Leif makes an offer for the property. Evelyn asks if he will keep the flower shop, and he says no, he plans to tear it down. She questions him about the other businesses on the block, but he has learned to ignore the little guy or he’d never make a profit. He offers her a position managing his adventure business, and she tells him where to stick his job offer. Suddenly, Evelyn must decide whether or not to buy the established flower shop from her retiring boss or be unemployed. Leif has to choose between the “right” thing, and his peek at happiness. Will their paths join, or lead them separate ways?