Far Harbor (Coldwater Cove Series #2)

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Overview

The reissue of New York Times bestselling author JoAnn Ross’s Far Harbor, the beloved second book in the Coldwater Cove series!

After her seemingly idyllic marriage turns out to be a pretty illusion, Savannah Townsend returns to her hometown of Coldwater Cove, Washington. Determined to live life on her own terms, she takes on the task of restoring the local Far Harbor lighthouse and making it the cozy inn she had always dreamed of. But she hasn’t anticipated opposition from the ...

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Overview

The reissue of New York Times bestselling author JoAnn Ross’s Far Harbor, the beloved second book in the Coldwater Cove series!

After her seemingly idyllic marriage turns out to be a pretty illusion, Savannah Townsend returns to her hometown of Coldwater Cove, Washington. Determined to live life on her own terms, she takes on the task of restoring the local Far Harbor lighthouse and making it the cozy inn she had always dreamed of. But she hasn’t anticipated opposition from the lighthouse’s owner, her grandmother’s disturbing memory losses, or the problems of an emotionally wounded teenage girl. Most of all, she hadn’t planned on having feelings for Daniel O’Halloran, a caring and passionate man from her past.

As affection moves to attraction and then to something far deeper, Savannah learns that in life nothing worth having comes easily. She also discovers that some dreams really are forever.

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Editorial Reviews

Affaire de Coeur
JoAnn Ross has the reputation for scribing some of the best contemporary romances on the market today.
Jill M. Smith
Far Harbor is the enchanting and warmhearted sequel to Ms. Ross' earlier novel Homeplace. The lives of these special people are played out beautifully on the pages of this touching and exceptional novel.
Romantic Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781476709246
  • Publisher: Pocket Books
  • Publication date: 3/26/2013
  • Series: Coldwater Cove Series , #2
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 356
  • Sales rank: 432,042
  • Product dimensions: 4.38 (w) x 6.56 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Meet the Author

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author JoAnn Ross has been published in twenty-seven countries. A member of Romance Writers of America's Honor Roll of bestselling authors, JoAnn lives with her husband and three rescued dogs — who pretty much rule the house — in the Pacific Northwest. Visit her on the web at JoAnnRoss.com.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

She was not running away. Savannah Townsend might not have a firm grasp on every little aspect of her life these days, but about this she was perfectly clear.

She may have walked away from her marriage, the career she'd worked hard to achieve, and a spectacular Malibu home with floor-to-ceiling windows that overlooked the vast blue Pacific Ocean. But what was a woman to do when her seemingly idyllic existence turned out to be little more than a pretty illusion, as ephemeral as the morning fog curling around her ankles?

"Well?" Lilith Lindstrom Ryan's smile was brimming with self-satisfaction. "Isn't it perfect?"

"For Norman Bates, perhaps," Savannah murmured as she eyed the Far Harbor lighthouse with misgiving.

Savannah remembered the lighthouse standing regally at the edge of the cliff like an empress above a forest of dark green conifers. Now it had the look of a dowager who, through no fault of her own, had somehow found herself on skid row.

Graffiti covered the graceful tower that had once gleamed like sunshine on snow; the glass of the lantern room had been broken, and the railings that had been painted to match the red top cap were not only rusted, they looked downright dangerous.

The two houses on the cliff-side property were in even worse shape. Paint was peeling off the once white clapboards, and curling red shingles suggested that the roofs would leak.

Surprisingly, the grounds hadn't been entirely ignored since the lighthouse duties had been taken over by an automated light housed in an unattractive but utilitarian concrete tower a mile away. Someone had planted the most amazing garden Savannah had ever seen. A dazzling mix of tall, stunningly beautiful lilies, irises, Shasta daisies, and spiky bright snapdragons in primary colors were bordered by snowy white clouds of baby's breath.

"It was beautiful once," Savannah's mother reminded her. "And could be again. You just need to use your imagination, darling."

"I am. I'm imagining spiders the size of my fist and the hordes of mice that are undoubtedly living in the place." Savannah really hated rodents. Especially these days, when they reminded her so much of her rat of an ex-husband. "It's a good thing we're here in the daylight, because if we'd come at night, I just might start believing in the ghost."

The lighthouse was rumored to be haunted. By whom was a matter of speculation that had kept the good citizens of Coldwater Cove, Washington, arguing for nearly a century, but the most popular notion was that the ghost was a former lighthouse keeper's pregnant wife, Lucy Hyatt.

"A ghost would be wonderful publicity," Lilith said enthusiastically. "But even without it, lighthouses are incredibly romantic. And that sweet little assistant lighthouse keeper's cottage will make a perfect honeymoon getaway."

"Good idea. Are you going to call Frankenstein and his bride for the booking, or shall I?" Savannah asked dryly.

"You were always such an optimistic little girl." The silver crescent moons hanging from Savannah's mother's ears caught the stuttering morning sunlight as she shook her head. "So open to new things. Your aura used to be as bright as a morning star. These days it's distressingly muddy....

"Why, if I weren't a white witch, I'd put a spell on your horrid ex-husband for hurting you so badly. At least you had the foresight not to take his name."

"Savannah Fantana would have sounded like something from an old Gilda Radner Saturday Night Live skit." Savannah wished the subject hadn't come up. Talking about her unfaithful, amoral ex-husband definitely wasn't on today's to-do list.

Today was about finding a suitable bed-and-breakfast location. Having spent weeks searching Washington's Olympic Peninsula, Savannah had begun to despair of ever finding a suitable candidate for her post-divorce venture.

"Besides," she said, "as I told Raine when I first came home, I think my pride was a lot more wounded than my heart."

"That's why you spent all those days hiding in bed and the nights crying into your pillow."

"All right, perhaps I was more upset than I let on," Savannah reluctantly allowed. "But I've put my marriage behind me." Didn't she have the papers, stamped with the official seal of the state of California to prove it? "In fact, I honestly believe Kevin might have actually done me a favor."

Lilith arched a perfectly formed brow. "And I suppose his restraining order trying to prevent you from using any recipes you came up with while working at Las Casitas Resort was yet another favor?" Sarcasm was not her mother's usual tone. But when necessary, Lilith could wield it like a rapier. "Not to mention stealing half the equity in your beautiful house."

"Raine forced him to drop that restraining order." While Savannah had always been proud of her sister, she'd never imagined needing her legal skills. "As for the house, California's a community property state. Kevin was entitled to half the proceeds."

"By law, perhaps," Lilith allowed grudgingly. "Common decency is another matter altogether and something the man was definitely lacking. I'm still tempted to turn him into a toad. The only problem is, some other witch has obviously already done it."

Savannah certainly couldn't argue with that. She wondered how many women grew up believing in Prince Charming, only to wake up one morning to discover they'd ended up with the frog instead.

"I thought you'd given up paganism in order to sell real estate."

"A person can be both Wiccan and Realtor, dear."

While she tried to be tolerant of her mother's lifelong flighty behavior, Savannah hadn't been at all pleased to learn, upon returning home to Coldwater Cove, that Lilith had been arrested for setting illegal fires and dancing nude in Olympic National Park during Beltane. With her usual flair for making the best of a bad situation, her mother had recently married the arresting officer.

"I wonder who planted the flowers," she murmured, deciding that the time had come to change the subject.

Whoever had chosen the landscape design definitely had an artist's eye. The varying hues of the flowers swirled together like ornate patterns in a priceless Oriental carpet. Unfortunately, the riot of color and lush, shiny green leaves only made the buildings look more ramshackle by comparison.

"Oh, that'd be John."

"John?"

"John Martin. He's Daniel O'Halloran's nephew. He has a bit of a mental disability, I believe, but he's never let it get in his way. He's also the sweetest boy you'd ever want to meet and the reason Daniel came back to Coldwater Cove last year."

"Why is that?" Since her sister had become a partner in Dan O'Halloran's law practice this past spring, as well as marrying his cousin, Jack, and Dan had done some legal work for the family, Savannah had heard bits and pieces of the story. But she wasn't aware of the details.

"Oh, it's the most tragic story," Lilith said with another shake of her head. "John's parents were killed when a log truck hit their car on the coast road near Moclips. John survived the crash, but he spent months in intensive care. Worse yet, since John's grandparents on his paternal side were no longer living and the elder Mr. and Mrs. O'Halloran couldn't give up the income from their fishing charter business to care for the boy, Daniel took a leave of absence from his prosecutor's job in San Francisco and returned to Coldwater Cove so John wouldn't have to recover in some rehabilitation center among strangers.

"Needless to say, Dan's wife, who they say is from a wealthy old Bay area family, wasn't thrilled with the idea of leaving her Pacific Heights mansion to play nurse to a mentally handicapped thirteen-year-old boy in the little house in the woods, so she remained behind in California.

"By the time John was finally released from the hospital, Dan must have come to appreciate the slower-paced lifestyle of our little burg," Lilith wrapped up her story, "because he bought a lovely home on the water. In fact, you can see it from here." She pointed toward a house, constructed of native cedar logs, that overlooked the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

"It's spectacular." The two-story glass wall thrusting out from beneath the wood shake roof reminded Savannah of the prow of an ancient sailing ship. All that was missing was a painted figurehead.

"Isn't it stunning? Unfortunately, by the time it closed escrow, his high-society wife had already divorced him."

"Seems to be a lot of that going around," Savannah said dryly.

"Sad, but true," Lilith agreed. "However, in your case, you're right about it being for the best....Well, what do you think about refurbishing this place?"

Savannah had confidence in her ability to run a small inn, but she'd never considered herself a miracle worker. "Didn't you say something about a Victorian in Port Townsend that's just gone on the market?"

"Yes, but Victorian bed-and-breakfasts are so common these days. And you couldn't ask for a better location than this."

Good point. The lighthouse had, admittedly, been built on one of the most stunning sites on the peninsula. "I'm surprised a developer hasn't bought the property for a resort."

"Oh, I can't imagine the owner allowing that. Having grown up on the grounds, he's very sentimental about the lighthouse. Didn't I tell you his name?"

"No. It didn't come up."

"He's Henry Hyatt."

"Hyatt? Surely not Lucy's son?"

"The very same. He was five years old when Lucy drowned. In fact, there are some who insist that Lucy's spirit refused to leave the lighthouse as long as her child still lived there."

Although she'd never believed any of the ghost stories, Savannah couldn't resist a glance upward toward the railing surrounding the lantern room where, according to local legend, Lucy could often have been seen, weeping as she stared out toward her watery grave. Although the August sun had burned off the last of the morning fog, Savannah shivered.

After spending another three days visiting countless houses from Port Angeles to Port Gamble, Savannah found herself back at the Far Harbor lighthouse. Ever since she was a little girl, she'd been drawn to this special, romantic place.

Savannah's mother had been a flower child, a war protester, an actress usually cast as the soon-to-be-dead bimbo in low-budget horror films, and a singer with a frail but pretty voice who'd managed to stay in the business mostly because of her looks, which were still stunning. Whenever Lilith Lindstrom Cantrell Townsend Ryan's life had spun out of control, which it did with an almost predictable regularity, she'd bring her two daughters back to Coldwater Cove to live with their grandmother, Ida.

On every one of those occasions, the moment Savannah would catch sight of the tomato red cap of the lighthouse in the distance as the ferry approached the small town, she'd feel as if she was coming home. Or at least to the closest thing she'd known to a real home during her unstable childhood years.

She had to agree with Lilith that the Victorian in Port Townsend wasn't what she was looking for, yet she had seen others that had possibility.

"A lot more possibility than this place," she murmured as she walked along the path between the houses and the lighthouse. Fragrance from the remarkable garden floated on the evening breeze.

The sun was setting over the Olympic Mountains like a brilliant fan, turning the water to molten copper and gold. Savannah sat down on a bench in the garden and thought that Lilith was certainly right about one thing: this would make a perfect honeymoon location. That idea brought to mind the first bride who'd come to this lighthouse.

No one had ever known why Lucy Hyatt had been a passenger on the Annabelle Lee, a passenger ship bound for San Francisco that had foundered during a winter squall. There were as many stories as there were people who could still remember that so-called storm of the century, but the most popular and prevailing theory continued to be that she'd abandoned her husband and five-year-old child and was running away with her big-city lover, the dashing scion of a Bay area family who'd made their fortune in imported sugar and California land speculation.

Lucy and the sugar heir had been seen talking at the railing shortly before the ship's departure from its Seattle port, and although more than eighty decades had passed since the tragedy, rumors continued to persist that he'd paid for Lucy's ticket.

Whatever the reason for her having been aboard in the first place, survivors at the time had all agreed that Lucy had been washed overboard by the violent, storm-tossed waves. The following morning her broken body was found on the rocks below her husband's lighthouse.

When that tragic tale proved depressing, Savannah rubbed her arms to ease the goosebumps, took the heavy brass key her mother had given her from her purse, and went inside.

She strolled through the rooms, stepping over fast-food bags and empty beer bottles she suspected had been left behind by vagrants and partying teenagers and imagined lace Priscilla curtains framing sparkling windows that looked out over the water.

"Candles in the windows would be a nice touch," she decided out loud. Her voice echoed in the empty, high-ceilinged room. "But electric ones." She certainly wouldn't want to accidentally burn the historic building down.

An odd sensation teased at her mind, like the misty-edged remnants of a dream after awakening. A warmth began to flow through her blood, easing the tensions of the past months, and while she suspected her New Age mother would ascribe her feelings to some sort of fanciful past life déjà vu, Savannah couldn't quite ignore the feeling that the lighthouse was once again welcoming her home.

Instead of the odor of damp wallpaper and mold that hung on the musty air, she breathed in the imagined scent of lemon oil and pictured how the scarred heart-of-pine floor would gleam once it had been sanded and stained.

"I hope the fireplace works."

She ran her fingers over stones that didn't appear to be crumbling too badly. A crackling blaze would certainly warm rainy winter evenings. She'd recently seen a pair of andirons in Granny's Attic, an antique shop on Harbor Street across from the ferry terminal, that would prove the crowning touch.

"It really is perfect," she assured herself as she tried to decide between a seascape or a mirror over the hand-carved cedar mantel.

She crossed the floor and looked up the spiral staircase leading to the lantern room.

"Are you there, Lucy?" she called out. She didn't really expect an answer, and if Henry Hyatt's mother's ghost was actually haunting the lighthouse, she was keeping silent. "You're not going to be alone anymore, because I'm going to buy your home and clean it up."

Her words echoed around her. "It's going to be lovely again," she promised, undaunted by the lack of ghostly response. "A place you — and I — can be proud of."

Outside, the sun was sinking ever lower in the late summer sky; inside, dust motes danced in the slanting sunbeams like ballerinas wearing gilt tutus. Giddy with anticipation, Savannah began dancing herself, spinning across the scuffed and scarred floor in time to the swelling music playing inside her head as the shadows darkened and draped the Far Harbor lighthouse in a deep purple veil.

Copyright © 2000 by The Ross Family Trust created 10/23/97

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First Chapter

Chapter One

A Wild Rover

Castlelough, Ireland

There were those in the village who claimed that Michael Joyce must be mad. What else, they asked, could make a man leave the green fields of Ireland to risk life and limb all over the world?

"Besides," Mrs. Sheehan, proprietor of Sheehan and Sons Victualers, had told him just last week after he'd sold her husband a dressed hog destined for bacon and chops, "if it was trouble you were seeking, Michael James Joyce, you needn't have gone farther than just across your own country's borders."

"Aye, it's a good point you're making, Mrs. Sheehan," he'd replied through his teeth.

Despite some less-than-subtle coaxing from locals -- and wasn't the butcher's wife the worst of them? -- Michael never talked about those risk-filled years he'd spent in places where the voices of sanity had gone first hoarse, then mute. Nor had he discussed the incident that had nearly succeeded in getting him killed. Not even with his family, and certainly not with one of the biggest gossips in all of Castlelough.

Still, there were times he was willing to admit -- if only to himself -- that perhaps those who questioned his mental state might have a point. He may well have been touched with a bit of madness as he'd traveled from war zone to war zone throughout the world. Given an up-close and personal view of man's inhumanity toward man through the lenses of his cameras, Michael had begun to wonder if insanity was contagious.

Despite having grown up in a large, loving family, he'd long ago decided against bringing a child into a crazed world where innocent people could be blown up by terrorists in a Derry railway station or burned out of their homes and murdered by a political policy gone amok called ethnic cleansing.

Whatever part of him had stupidly believed he could make a difference in the world had been blown out of him, and now, like the prodigal son in his grandmother Fionna's well-worn Bible, he'd returned to hearth and home, content to spend his days working his farm and his evenings sitting in front of the warm glow of a peat fire reading the epic Irish tales that had once spurred a young west Irish lad to seek adventure.

His first few months back in Ireland, he'd been haunted by ghosts who'd show up in his bedroom nightly like mist from the sea, ethereal and always so damnably needy, wailing like a band of banshees on a moonless night. No amount of Irish whiskey could silence them; deprived of a voice during life, they seemed determined to make themselves heard through even the thickest alcoholic fog. They'd succeeded. Admirably.

Their bloodcurdling screams had caused him to wake up panicky in the black of night, bathed in acrid sweat. It was then he'd grab yet another bottle of Jameson's and go walking out along this very cliff, which, given his state of inebriation on those occasions, he now realized had been as close to suicide as he'd ever want to get.

But just as he hadn't died covering wars, nor had he died reliving them. And so, as he'd always done, Michael had moved on. In his way. And while the specters from those far distant places still visited on occasion, he'd managed to convince himself that he'd given up his dangerous ways.

Now, as the wind tore at his hair and sleet pelted his face like a shower of stones, Michael realized he'd been wrong.

It was the first day of February, celebrated throughout Ireland as St. Brigid's Day. When he'd been a child, Michael had made St. Brigid crosses with the rest of his classmates. The crosses, woven from rushes, supposedly encouraged blessings on his household, something he figured he could use about now.

Elsewhere around Ireland, devout pilgrims were visiting the numerous holy wells associated with the saint. While he himself was out in a wintry gale, trying to keep his footing on a moss-slick rocky ledge high above the storm-tossed Atlantic.

The nuns at Holy Child School had claimed that the holy well in Ardagh had been created when Brigid demonstrated prowess as a miracle worker to St. Patrick by dropping a burning coal from her apron onto the ground. There were also those, including old Tom Brennan -- who'd cut the hair of three generations of Castlelough men and boys -- who insisted that toothaches could be cured at the well at Greaghnafarna, in County Leitrim.

"If you're listening, Brigid, old girl," Michael muttered, "I wouldn't be turning away any miracles you might have in mind for the moment."

Despite being the very date his Celtic ancestors would have celebrated as the first day of spring, the day had dawned a miserable one. A gale blowing in from the sea moaned like lost souls over the rolling fields; dark clouds raced overhead, bringing with them a bone-chilling cold and snow flurries. A ghostly whiteness spread over the bramble thickets, clambered up the trunks of the few oak trees on the island that had escaped the British axes, and probed the nooks and crannies of the gray flagstone cliff.

Offshore toward the west, a last valiant stuttering of setting sun broke through the low-hanging clouds for an instant, touching the Aran Islands with a fleeting finger of gold.

He'd spent the summer of his sixteenth year in back-bending toil on Inishmaan, helping out on a second cousin's farm, working his ass off in stony fields that had been reclaimed from the icy Atlantic with tons of hand-gathered seaweed mixed with manure and sand atop naked bedrock.

The elderly cousin was a typical, taciturn -- at least to outsiders -- islander. He rose before the sun, worked like the devil, spoke an arcane Gaelic Michael could barely comprehend, and went to bed before dark. Michael had never been more lonely.

Until he met Nell O'Brien, the widow of a fisherman who'd perished in a squall two years earlier, and was even lonelier than Michael. Originally from County Clare, her speech was more easily understood than many on Inishmaan, yet they hadn't passed a great deal of time talking. They'd not confided ideas or hopes or dreams; rather, they'd shared a narrow feather bed and their bodies, about which Michael had learned a great deal, and after the harvest, when it was time for him to move on, neither had suggested he stay.

That youthful summer affair had set the pattern for other relationships. Lacking a driving need to take any woman to wife, he always made a point to steer clear of those seeking a future, and with the exception of one hot-tempered red-haired Belfast lass, who'd cursed him roundly with words she definitely hadn't learned in convent school, he and his lovers had parted friends.

"You realize, of course, we could easily die out here," he scolded the woolly object of all his vexation. "One slip of the boot and we're both bobbing in the water headed for Greenland or America."

The ewe's coat had been marked with a fluorescent red paint to designate her as part of his flock. Her frantic bawling baas told Michael that she wasn't any more pleased with this latest adventure than he was.

Atop the cliff, now safe in a cart attached to the rusting green tractor he'd bought used from Devlin Doyle, her lamb from last year's birthday answered with an ear-aching bleat.

"I should have just let you drown," he muttered as he wrapped the thick hemp rope which was attached to a winch on the front of the tractor around her belly. A sheep was not the most pleasant-smelling animal at the best of times. A wet sheep was a great deal worse.

"You're certainly not the only bloody goddamn ewe in Ireland." When he tugged to ensure the knot would hold, she began to teeter on her spindly black legs. He caught her just in time to keep her from tumbling off the ledge. "Only the most stupid."

Instructing her to stay put while he went to start the winch, Michael gingerly made his way back up the steep, impossibly narrow path slick with moss and seagull droppings, keeping one booted foot in front of the other. Far, far below, he could hear the roiling surf crashing against the cliff, carving out new curves in ancient stone.

In the distance, a bit to the south and east, Lough Caislean was draped in a silvery fog. A lough beastie was rumored to reside in the mist-shrouded glaciated lake that had given the town its name, a huge green creature with scales that allegedly gleamed like polished emeralds.

He'd never actually seen the beast himself, yet both his father and nephew claimed to have spoken with her. Having witnessed far more implausible things in his thirty-three years, Michael was not one to doubt their veracity.

The ewe's increasingly frantic bleats rode upward on the salt-tinged wind. He told himself that the fact that she was the first animal he'd bought when he'd returned home was not the reason he was out here. Only a ridiculously sentimental man would risk his life for livestock, especially a stupid, smelly sheep he was sorely tempted to turn into mutton stew.

Still lying to himself, he insisted that neither did he care that she was a good mother, which, he suspected, was how she'd landed in this fool predicament in the first place. He guessed that her equally dim-witted lamb, in search of a bit of green growing over the cliff, had been the first to fall, followed by its mother, who, amazingly, must have heard the plaintive cries over the howl of the wind and stupidly gone to its rescue.

Of course, none of this would have happened if Fail had been herding the sheep, but in a bit of bad luck, the border collie -- named for Failinis, the mythical Celtic "hound of mightiest deeds" -- was undergoing surgery in Galway after having been hit by a German tourist who'd come around a blind corner too fast in his rental car.

The vet had not been encouraging, but knowing that Fail had not just the name, but also the heart of the legendary mythical dog, Michael refused to give up hope.

Thirty minutes later, after a great deal more cursing, the two lamebrained smelly animals were back in the pasture where they belonged. The sight of his farmhouse eased Michael's aggravation, giving him a quick, private stab of pride, as it always did, and making him appreciate those same roots he'd wanted so to escape when he'd been younger.

A former crofter's cottage, which had first been built on this piece of Joyce land five hundred years ago, he'd enlarged it with stones dug and carried from his own land with his own hands. The old-fashioned thatched roof kept his home warm in winter and cool in summer, but he hadn't chosen it for its insulating superiority over slate. The truth was, the rounded roof appealed to his aesthetic tastes, and since he had no one but himself to answer to, he'd chosen to please himself.

Now it was a generously sized home with modern plumbing that included a horrendously hedonistic whirlpool tub he'd had shipped from a supply warehouse in Dublin, which had caused quite a buzz in the village.

There had been bets made at the Irish Rose pub regarding just how many women a man with Michael Joyce's international reputation as a lady-killer could fit in such a bathtub. More bets were laid down as to what type of women they'd be, George Early putting down five pounds on a certain Danish supermodel who'd won herself a top spot on the front page of the normally staid Irish Times after having been arrested for splashing "in the nip" in the cascading fountains of the Anna Livia statue while on a photo shoot in Dublin.

"I tell you," George insisted, "it'll be that blond model."

"I'll match your five pounds and double it," Hugh Browne said, slapping the bills down on the bar stained with circles from centuries of pints. "It'll be that French redheaded actress filming down Waterford way. The one with the tattoo of a flame-breathing dragon on her bum."

More women known for breast size rather than brains or depth of character were added to the list. Then betting began as to when these ideals of female pulchritude might begin arriving.

After a few weeks, when not a single woman had shown up at the Joyce farm, the talk about supermodels and actresses began to lose its appeal and people went back to discussing crops, sheep, and -- always a good topic for conversation -- the weather.

But still, secretly, they waited.

And still the women didn't come.

Living his solitary life, building his house, reading all the great books he'd never had time for while soaking muscles sore from rehabilitation exercises in his hedonistic bathtub, the object of all the villagers' conjecture paid scant attention to their speculation.

Last summer, after he'd given the weathered gray stone a coat of whitewash that had made it gleam like sunshine on sea foam, a rich American tourist had come to his door and offered him a staggering sum of money. Michael hadn't been the slightest bit tempted to sell off his heritage.

He left his muddy boots on the back stoop and entered by the kitchen door. The aroma of the vegetable soup he'd left simmering on the stove offered a warm and comforting welcome.

He hung his jacket on a hook beside the door and pulled his wool sweater, which had gotten wet as well in the rescue effort, over his head. He'd grabbed a linen dish towel from a ring beside the sink and begun rubbing his shaggy hair dry when he suddenly realized that he was not alone.

A knee-jerk instinct had him stiffen, on some distant level expecting shrapnel to come crashing through his flesh as it had during that hellish time in Sarajevo.

Reminding himself that he was not in a war zone but in his own kitchen, which was unlikely to harbor a sniper, he slowly turned around.

The woman seated at the wooden kitchen table was as solidly built as a keg of Murphy's stout, with a face that looked as if it had been chiseled from stone. Her hair was a great deal grayer than he remembered, but a few auburn strands wove through the tight bun like defiant flames sparking through smoke. Her eyes were as steely gray and cold as the wintry Atlantic, and her mouth was set in a grim, disapproving line he recalled all too well.

First the German who'd mistaken the narrow, hedge-bordered road for the autobahn, then the bloody fool sheep, now Deidre McDougall invading his kitchen. What next?

Although he'd stopped believing in God a very long time ago, as he faced the female who could make Lady Macbeth appear saintly by comparison, Michael found himself bracing for plague and pestilence.

Copyright © 2000 by The Ross Family Trust created 10/23/97

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 4 of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2013

    Book Two of Far Harbor Series

    Excellent story which brings to live all of the people from book one in an extension of the original tale... Loved the characters and the very real story of the family about whom it is written... Lots of joys and lots of sorrows but believable and very interesting... Well written...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2011

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    Posted January 9, 2011

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    Posted January 10, 2010

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