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Last Night at the Halfmoon (Harlequin Next)

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Every important event in Aimee King's life has taken place at the Halfmoon. Her first kiss, Brad Mackey's proposal while parked under the starry sky... Even Aimee's son, Hayden, was conceived there. But as the Halfmoon Drive-In was readying to close its doors, her ex-husband was returning to the Sunshine Coast for the summer. Even though Brad could never stay in one place, he was always a welcome part of the family. It wasn't as if he and Aimee had ever stopped loving each other--and Hayden, more than ever, ...
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2007 Paperback Grade: B Catalog: Romance Harlequin General Synopsis: 279 pages. Every important event in Aimee King's life has taken place at the Halfmoon...Her first kiss, Brad ... Mackey's proposal while parked under the... Read more Show Less

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2007 Mass-market paperback Good. No dust jacket as issued. cover and binding wear and creases, A183 Mass market (rack) paperback. Glued binding. 279 p. Harlequin Next. Audience: ... General/trade. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Every important event in Aimee King's life has taken place at the Halfmoon. Her first kiss, Brad Mackey's proposal while parked under the starry sky... Even Aimee's son, Hayden, was conceived there. But as the Halfmoon Drive-In was readying to close its doors, her ex-husband was returning to the Sunshine Coast for the summer. Even though Brad could never stay in one place, he was always a welcome part of the family. It wasn't as if he and Aimee had ever stopped loving each other--and Hayden, more than ever, needed his father. But was it all enough to stop Brad's adventurous ways? Before the drive-in ran its last picture show, would Aimee discover that Hollywood endings aren't reserved solely for the silver screen?
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780373881338
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 5/28/2007
  • Series: Next
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Read an Excerpt

My name is unusual, especially here on the West Coast, where very few of us speak French, even as a second language. But I've learned to live with the bungled pronunciation, the questions and the raised eyebrows.
The story, which I've perfected over the years, is both simple and complicated at the same time.
It begins, as has every important event in my life, at the Halfmoon Drive-In in Halfmoon Bay on the Sunshine Coast, just north of Vancouver. It's a place accessible only by water even though it's on the mainland, which might account for a lot of things.
And when I say every event, I'm not kidding. My mother tells me I was conceived at the drive-in, and I believe her.
So the story begins.
I was born in April of 1962, nine months almost to the day after the drive-in opened and six months after my parents were married in the registry office on the mainland.
They're happy—happier than most I'd have to say. I still want their relationship to be dark and dramatic—a feeling left over from my teenage years—but it's not. They're romantic comedy, not drama.
While I am a foreign film, something indecipherable and gloomy, in black and white rather than color. I like to say that I'm different and I want to be.
My name is Aimee Anouk King, pronounced as "Amy" by everyone except my best friend, T.J.; my ex-husband, Brad, and my parents. I'm named after Anouk Aimee, though I suspect—based on my dad's current movie preferences—he would rather have named me Gidget.
I see my mom's fine hand in my name and I am only glad that she didn't call me Anouk.
I live down the street from the drive-in and around the corner from Momand Dad. I'm closing in on fifty, I have an eleven-year-old son, a very nice ex-husband, and the world as I know it is coming to an end.
I don't know if I can explain this to you, the way I feel about the closing of the Halfmoon. I never worked there— though almost every teenager in Halfmoon Bay did at one time or another. I'm not really a movie buff. I just see whatever—and I mean whatever—is on at the drive-in.
But I can count the number of Saturday nights I haven't been at the Halfmoon on my fingers and toes. There were a few weeks of vacation, the night Hayden was born—I followed, of course, in Mom's footprints when I named my child—and the one summer the year I turned thirty, when the drive-in was closed for renovations.
So the Halfmoon Drive-In is closing, and if I had the money to fight the developers for the land, I'd buy it and run it myself. Because I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to do with myself on Saturday nights without it.
Hayden is getting to the age where he'd probably be just as happy to play games on the computer on Saturday night. But me? I remember the years when seven or eight of ustage of the carload discount. I try to forget the years I didn't have dates but went anyway with girlfriends or my parents. I think about the years when Hayden was young enough to sleep in the back while Brad and I watched the double feature, and the few years since Brad left for the mainland. Since then, I've watched Hayden, too, come to love the drive-in. And now all of those years are coming to an end.
I'm simplifying this because I don't want to admit the reality—that the Halfmoon means so much more to me than just someplace to go on a Saturday night.
This sounds stupid coming from a woman who lives in one of the most beautiful places in the world, loves her parents, has a perfect child and a devoted following for the pottery she makes in the studio in her backyard, but the Halfmoon Drive-In feels like home to me.
And I'm not sure what I'll do without it.
On the Waterfront

My mother loves to tell the story of my conception, and you can imagine how much I hated that as a teenager. She generally saves it for anniversaries—of my conception, of her and Dad's wedding, of my birth—so, no matter what, I hear it at least three times a year. She also tells it whenever she's had a couple of glasses of wine, which means she really tells it at every special occasion—from Easter to school plays to Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Both Hayden and I have heard it so often we can tell it with Mom's voice, her slight British accent, her extremely ladylike gestures and her dockworker's disregard for the language used in polite company.
She always begins in exactly the same way. "I don't know," she simpers, waiting for us to enthusiastically respond to her query, "if I've ever told you this story."
We, including whomever happens to be in the room, jump in with a resounding, Yes, you've told us before, but she ignores us.
"It was just after Labor Day and Bill and I had been dating all summer. He was the hottest boy—" my mother watches a lot of television and is even quicker than Hayden at picking up new phrases, the meaning of some of which I don't even want to guess at "—the hottest boy I'd ever seen. Those tight jeans and white T-shirts. Just like Brando."
My dad, who generally tries to halt the story before it begins, always gives in at this point, a reminiscent smile blooming on his face. I wonder if he still sees himself as Brando? If when he looks in the mirror, instead of the slightly stooped, balding man with a face full of sun spots and laugh lines he sees a young, husky, handsome Marlon Brando look-alike?
"Built like a boxer—" Mom smiles "—and he had moves like a dancer. Or an octopus."
Dad grins back at her and lunges. She evades him with a giggle and a look that promises later.
Now they're collaborating in the story, and I settle back to hear it one more time.
I swear Mom told me this as a bedtime story before I was capable of remembering it, because it seems to be the first thing I consciously knew—my mother's voice comparing my father to Brando.
In some ways, I agree with her. My dad definitely deserves an award for the best husband, father and grandfather, the best man I know. But Brando? My dad's short and as thin as a light pole, wiry rather than muscular. He'd play Brando's funny best friend in a movie, the one who makes everyone laugh and tells the girl what a wonderful guy his friend is.
"Bill was away all week during the summer, down in the city loading cargo ships," Mom goes on. "He was making big bucks and saving most of it, except what he spent on me on the weekends. So by the time he finished work and got home, we only saw each other on Saturday nights.
"Up until the weekend, we spent those Saturday nights at the Way-Inn, eating burgers and watching everyone in Gibsons watching us. No privacy, no matter how much we wanted it."
Even after all these years it still isn't easy listening to my mother talk about sex, lust, passion. Hayden loves it, though, his eyes shining as he imagines his grandparents young and in love. Too many movies for that boy—he took them in along with his bottle.
"But I had a surprise for this weekend. The Halfmoon Drive-In had opened that very week and that's where we were going. Darkness, privacy. I couldn't wait."
She always stands up at this point in the story and heads over to the nearest window, her back to her audience, her voice pitched low enough that we all stop moving and lean forward to hear her words. I know she's learned this trick from some actress, but it doesn't make it any less effective.
"I'd decided," Mom says, her voice soft and husky, her forehead against the glass, "that Bill was The One."
Just recently she's begun to capitalize those words. She and Hayden are both overly given to dramatics—I think it's why they get along so well.
"And this was the weekend we were going to do it. I'd decided, and Bill would have done it in the Way-Inn if he could've convinced me of it."
She turns to glance at Hayden and winks, miming putting her hands over her ears. He doesn't, of course. He's heard this story so many times he could recite it along with her.
"Make love. Have sex. Do the horizontal mambo." I'm grateful when she stops there. Occasionally she'll go on for five minutes with synonyms for sex. Sometimes she cuts it short.
"I was the one who'd been putting the brakes on all summer, but once I'd made up my mind, there was no stopping me. Not that Bill tried.
"We parked in the back row, in the darkest corner. That spot was where I became a woman. And where Aimee—" my name is drawn out to three syllables "—was begun."
Hayden gets to ask the question because he's the youngest. "How do you know that?" "Because your mother was born nine months to the day after that Saturday night."
The story doesn't ever end. Not really. Depending on the day, the amount of wine consumed, the level of nostalgia and the age of the guests, Mom divulges more or fewer details. If only women are present—her friends or mine, it doesn't matter—she'll tell everything. And I'm not kidding when I say everything.
Even now I think all those details are gross. And I know that word is a throwback to my youth, but I can't help it.
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