DIY is so much better with two. . .
Includes an easy do-it-yourself restoration project!
"Humor, heart, and characters you wish lived next door." –Mariah Stewart
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The morning of Brodie Monaghan's one-year anniversary as a resident in Blueberry Cove, Maine began with a hard-on and a surprise visitor. Unfortunately for him, those events occurred in exactly that order.
Living right on the wharf in Half Moon Harbor, he loved waking to the sounds of herring gulls and the guillemots calling back and forth as the tide eased up past its peak and began its rapid descent. The sun gloriously making its way over the horizon in the wee early hours, accompanied by the low, reverberating thrum of Blue's lobster boats chugging out toward Pelican Bay, was the best alarm clock known to man.
Brodie stretched fully, not minding as the linen sheets and his grandmother's old, faded quilt slid to the hand- hewn cypress floorboards in a tangle. Restless night. Again. He let the chilly May morning air ripple over his heated, bare skin, but it did little to calm down his body's morning state of affairs. He rubbed a hand over his face, felt the scratch of his morning beard, knew it was a match to the shaggy condition of his hair, then glanced down through barely open eyes. "Aye, yes, I know. I've been neglectin' ye, I have."
The part of his anatomy to which he'd directed the comment twitched as if in response, making Brodie grin, even as he sank his head back into his goose-down pillow and let his eyes drift shut. He was considering taking matters into his own hand — a poor substitute, but he was a man who believed in taking gratification where and when he could — when a loud clatter on the docks below brought the rest of his body upright, as well. Grunting, he rolled out of his bed, which was located in the newly added loft of his converted boathouse. Well, one of his boathouses. All of which happened to be situated on his docks. His privately owned docks.
Probably the ruddy pelican again, getting his claws caught up in the frayed old ropes still piled out on the back piers. Damn bird apparently hadn't found a mate this go-round so had chosen to make a summer bachelor pad out of the small boat shed at the end of the central pier. Been making a noisy nuisance out of himself since. "That's likely why the rest of yer flock gave ye the heave-ho," Brodie muttered. "Of course, we'd both likely be in better spirits if we could get ourselves well and truly laid."
Still, he didn't want the great winged beast getting hurt. He'd meant to get the old ropes hauled out the previous fall, before they'd frozen into miniature piles of ice as winter descended, but that season happened earlier in Maine than he'd realized, and then hung around quite a bit longer. It was well into spring with summer just around the bend, but the mornings still had quite the nip to them, and the water was downright frigid. However, in recent weeks the sun had returned consistently enough to fully defrost his happy little patch, and he made a mental note to give Owen a call down at the hardware store and see who might be available to help with removing the old, half-rotted heaps.
Before he could cross the narrow space to spy out the porthole window and see exactly what had happened on the docks below, there was a louder thud, followed by some very inventive swearing. As far as Brodie knew, Auld Eán, as he'd taken to calling the pelican, could grumble like an old man, but hadn't as yet managed that particular feat
His grin returned. Partly because, as an Irishman, he respected anyone who was as passionate in their cussing as he was, but more so because he was fairly certain the colorful curser in question was a woman.
It was respect for the fairer sex more than any modesty on his part that had him grabbing and pulling on the pair of faded green-and-blue plaid pajama bottoms he'd dropped beside the bed before climbing between the sheets. "Down, boy-o," he said to his still invigorated manhood, which also apparently approved of passionate, swearing women. "I promise I'll end the drought and soon enough. But for now, behave. We've company."
He climbed down the circular iron stairs to the open area below. He'd had the main floor converted into kitchen and living space. The corner area, where the picture windows in the east and south walls came together, was dedicated to his drafting table and work desk.
Normally he grinned every time he looked over the newly finished space, sending silent thanks to fellow new Blueberry Cove resident Alex MacFarland for her fine craftsmanship and dedicated work ethic, but for once, his thoughts were mercifully on another woman.
Perhaps I'll get lucky and this one won't already be spoken for.
He flipped up the oversized iron latch, slid open the large plank door that was original to the boathouse, and stepped out onto the docks. And immediately wished he'd also grabbed a sweatshirt. And his wellies. The steady breeze coming off the water was quite brisk. His nipples went stiff, but that was the only thing interested in staying that way. Folding his arms and rubbing his warm palms over his chest, he jogged down the pier and around to the docks on the far side where the noise had come from.
"I should have left you in the car," he heard as he neared the back corner of the boathouse.
Definitely a woman. One with a decent bark, too. Despite the gooseflesh covering his bare torso, his morning mood grew decidedly cheerier.
"Pants are ruined, heel busted. And I'm pretty sure I'll need some help getting these splinters out. Ouch! Damn, that one's deep. Seriously, how does someone your size cause so much trouble?"
Brodie slowed his pace. Ah, so she had wee ones. Or a wee one, at least. Those usually came with a father of some sort. Present company excepted. And doesn't that just figure?
"I have one moment of weakness — one — and this is what happens. I get you."
Just like that, Brodie's smile faded, as did every ounce of his respect. No child should be talked to that way, made to feel unwanted — as if they'd had a choice in the matter — even in the heat of the moment. Especially in the heat of the moment.
He rounded the back corner intent on ... well, he wasn't sure, exactly, but no one was going to shout down a tiny tot on his docks, or anywhere else in his presence. "Excuse me, miss," he said, taking the short ladder up to the higher pier in a single hop. "This is private property and you'll be wantin' to watch your tone with the wee one if ye don't wish to make a direct exit, seaside."
She hadn't heard him. "Aw, come on now, there's no need for — cut it out with the look, okay? That's what got me into this mess in the first place. You're killing me here. Oh, no. No! I didn't mean — don't you even think about — augh!"
Brodie took one look at the woman sprawled all over his dock, tangled up in a pile of ropes — and the small, scruffy mutt presently planted on her chest, tail wagging like mad, giving lots of wet, slobbery doggie kisses to his owner, and his goodwill was instantly restored.
"You tell her, laddie," he said with a chuckle. "That's a good boy."
At the sound of Brodie's voice, the wee bit of scruff looked up, spied him, and set off down the dock in a dead dash toward him, barking the whole way.
"Whomper! No! Stop! Down! Something! Hell, what's the right command? He's friendly!" she called out as the dog increased his speed. "But be careful, because he can jump really —"
At that exact moment Whomper launched himself from the dock, and in an amazing display of vertical prowess that would make any of those lads in the NBA quite envious, he landed squarely against Brodie's chest.
"High," she finished, limply.
Brodie instinctively caught and clutched the tiny terror, staggering back a step, but remaining upright in the end. He simultaneously realized two things. One, he still wasn't wearing a shirt, and two, the dog's claws were remarkably sharp. Then he got a whiff of Whomper and realized a third thing. The tiny rascal had apparently found a dead fish he liked ... and had gotten quite cozy with it.
In danger only of being asphyxiated by the smell of wet canine mixed with fish guts and possibly licked to death, Brodie immediately held the thing away from his body. "Whomper, me boy." He shook his head and grimaced at the stench. "Not even the tide would take you out, mate."
"I'm so sorry," the woman called out. "He's kind of ... exuberant."
"She's being kind to ye now that ye've gone and made a scene."
His pronouncement was met by bright dark eyes and a lolling tongue, along with a still wagging stub of a tail. Part terrier, part harbor doxy, most likely. His white scruffy fur was marked with the occasional splash of black and brown, yet the wee bit still managed to be quite the dashing rascal. One pointed ear and one with a rakish tilt at the tip didn't hurt matters any, either.
Brodie felt a certain kinship to the mutt, despite being half frozen and smelling like a fishing net left out in the hot sun. "Aye, 'tis a charmer you are, born and bred. Gets you out of a lot of scrapes, does it?" He grinned and gave the little fellow a fast wink when the dog yipped in response. "Yes, I know. Comes in handy, that, eh?" The dog wriggled with renewed adoration.
Still holding him at arm's length, Brodie strode down the dock toward the pup's entangled owner, who was still cussing under her breath as she tried — and failed — to extricate her feet and heeled shoes from the frayed edges of the heavy ropes.
"Might take both of our charms combined to get you out of this one," he murmured to the dog. "That and a hot shower. With lots of something exceedingly sweet- smelling." He shuddered. Their commingled fishiness was impossible not to breathe in. "Good Lord, but we reek."
"I'm really sorry," the woman said, teeth gritted as she worked to get the strap on her shoes free. "He's very well behaved, but only when he wants to be." She glanced up at the dog and gave him an arch look. "Like when luring unsuspecting women into taking him home."
Brodie grinned at the wriggling dog. "Well, mate, I'm finding you more interesting by the moment."
She eyed both dog and man. "Perhaps he'd be happier with a fellow hound to room with, then."
Brodie barked a laugh at that. "I can see why you picked her from the crowd," he told the dog. "Women who know their own minds and aren't afraid to speak them are infinitely more interesting." He bent down and set the pup on the docks. "Now, be a good lad and don't run off whilst I free your mistress here. You've a bit of making up to do, I'd say, but we'll get ourselves cleaned up first, aye?"
Whomper planted his butt on the dock, tail going in a furious spin, panting happily as he looked up at Brodie like he'd caused the sun to rise all by himself. Laughing, Brodie glanced from dog to owner. "You had no chance," he told her as he crouched down beside her. "You realize that." He swiftly pulled the knotted rope fibers free from the buckles on the side of her heels.
She sighed. "I never thought of myself as a sucker for strays, but I guess there's always that exception."
She glanced up just then, and with the angle of his head blocking the bright beams of the rising sun, looked directly into his eyes for the first time.
Suddenly, he was the one all tangled up — only he wasn't quite sure why.
There was nothing extraordinary about her eyes. They were hazel, in fact, not quite distinctly green or blue, and possibly leaning a bit toward brown. Or gray. She was pretty enough in that her features were all lined up just right. Her hair was a shiny sable brown and long enough to likely do justice to a man's pillow when spread across it, but being as all those lovely strands were presently pulled back tightly against her head in a way that took them out of the equation entirely, collectively there wasn't really anything about her that would turn a man's head in a crowd.
And yet, in that singular moment, he couldn't quite look away. Without breaking their gaze, he deftly slipped her shoe with the dangling heel from her hose-clad foot.
"Thank you," she said, and if there was a hint of breathlessness in her tone, he was quite certain he'd imagined it. "I should have worn something more sensible, I guess. I didn't think I'd be encountering any particularly tricky terrain this morning."
He said nothing to that and their gazes continued to hold tight. Then she completely and quite surprisingly dazzled him by flashing a full-on smile. "I guess I was wrong about that. In more ways than one."
His smile spread more slowly, but ended just as broadly as her own.
"I'm Grace Maddox, by the way. Aren't you cold?"
"I passed cold several minutes ago. I would have said I was numb ... only that smile of yours is like a blast straight from the sun, so that can't be the case now, can it?" He eased up from his crouched position, offering his hand to pull her up next to him. Her fingers were slender, but her grip was quite strong, and there were calluses on her palms. He'd barely registered the surprise of that before she slipped her hand from his and began brushing at her long black coat and crisp linen slacks that now sported a greasy black stain on one knee.
She gave up as quickly as she began, with a roll of her eyes and a wry slant to her mouth. "Given it smells like rotting fish now, the state of my good coat is kind of irrelevant, isn't it?"
He'd taken a step back, telling himself it was to save her from having to smell the fish on him, then realized she was right. She'd been equally tainted. Yet a bit of distance seemed wise, at least until his equilibrium returned.
"I should let you get back to ... wherever it is you came from," she was saying, "and get warmed up. And cleaned up. I'm really sorry about that. Thank you for the rescue. Please accept my — and Whomper's — apologies for disturbing your sleep."
Brodie ran a hand through his tousled hair, realizing that between the bed head, the morning beard, and pajama pants, he presented quite the rumpled picture. "It's not often I'm awakened by a damsel in distress, but I can't say I minded it." His lips curved. "Your smile was payment enough. Glad I could be of service."
"It just rolls off your tongue, doesn't it? The charm," she added, still smiling when he raised a brow in question. "You're probably not even aware of it, second nature." Her gaze shifted from him to the still perfectly seated dog, that wry arch returning to her brow. "I can definitely see why the two of you bonded."
Brodie chuckled at that, not even trying to refute the assessment, self-aware enough to know the truth in it. He folded his arms and tucked his hands under them as his awareness of the morning chill returned to the point of being beyond ignorable, the action having the unintentional result of pulling her gaze to his chest and arms, and on down over the rest of him, where it appeared she got a bit hung up as well. He grinned, liking that she wasn't as impervious to him as she pretended to be. Fair's fair, he thought. And just like that, he wasn't in quite so much of a hurry to find the nearest shower. Not alone, anyway. "What brings you down to my docks?"
Her gaze jerked up to his and the smile blinked away as if it had never been. "Your — ?" She looked momentarily confused; then her expression cleared. "Oh, do you live on one of the boats in the harbor here?"
"At one point, I did, indeed. Now I reside in my boathouse. Converted boathouse," he amended, though not sure why it mattered that she know that.
The confusion returned with a frown for added measure. "Your boathouse? Which would be ...?"
"All of them, actually, but I live in that one." He nodded to the building he'd just come around at the far end of the lower pier, the smallest of the four main boathouses. His grin began to fade as her frown continued to deepen. "What is it, exactly, that brings you to my docks this fine spring morning?"
"Who are you?" she countered.
"Brodie Monaghan." He sketched a quick, formal bow, despite being half naked and smelling of dead fish, then grinned once more when Whomper barked in approval. "Seventh-generation builder of boats and current owner of Monaghan's Shipbuilders. Such as it is." He nodded to the largest of the boathouses, built by his ancestors' own hands, stationed several piers down, hugging the gentle slope of the land that curved up behind it and the heavy pilings that marched out into the water in front. It had been the first of what had gone on to become the Monaghan family heritage in the Americas.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Half Moon Harbor"
Copyright © 2014 Donna Kauffman.
Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Very good book - enjoyedall 282 pages.
This is 200 pages and nothing happens. The opening scene spans 4 chapters. The 'love' scene another 3. The brother sub-plot doesn't even begin until more than halfway through the book. There is very little interaction with other characters and no resolution. Feels half-baked. Could use a good editor and more ACTION. Very disappointing.
The apprentkce fumbles in and says hello to firedusk then pads out
Curled up next to foxfur.
Starts forming a nest in the way back
this really drags on and on - descriptions and descriptions and more "words". This could of been a 100 page book and much better - did lot of skip over page by page - boring.......
REVIEW PROVIDED BY: Kelly NUMBER OF HEARTS: 3 REVIEW: Half Moon Harbor is book 2 in the Bachelors of Blueberry Cove. I liked this story but didn’t fell head over heels in love with it. I really liked how Brodie & Grace met. I like their courting. I liked how Grace kicked some serious butt at the end of the book. But there was something a little disconnected for me. I can’t really put my finger on it. I enjoyed the book over all and glad that I read. Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley & Kensington Books in exchange for an honest review. This review is my own opinion and not a paid review.
Grace is an Estate lawyer who quit her job and bought an old boathouse which she plans to turn into an inn. She bought the property in a small town near where her estranged brother lives, hoping they can re-connect. The boathouse belonged to Brodie but he didn't know it was being sold by the town for back taxes until he meets Grace at the boathouse. Not a good start to their relationship but they are attracted to each other right away. Brodie is an Irish hunk who is very kind and would do anything for anybody, even Grace. Brodie is a great guy and I really like how honest and open he is. His relaxed manner of accepting everything that happens without worrying about it is refreshing. On the other hand, Grace is too obsessed with Brodie's looks and wanting sex with him in the first half of the book. It makes her look none too smart. Also, I don't like Grace because of the way she handles her life. Who would buy an old boathouse in a small fishing town to turn it into an inn? Just because her estranged brother lives in the town - somewhere, especially when she doesn't even know if he will see her. Cami is a great addition to the cast. She is so mean, and wants revenge on Brodie, that you just have to hate her. I thought a lot of the descriptions went on much longer than necessary for the story. The ending didn't wrap everything up as clearly as I would have liked so I still had questions at the end. I am glad to see that many others enjoyed this book and this author but wonder what I missed since I didn't love this book. Please note, I won Half Moon Harbor in a Goodreads Firstreads giveaway.
That ok, just port wherever you can
So how are things like at this camp what do i need to put in bio? ~jean
Because thats a result that was at a camp calles half bloods. I got locked out of everyplace i ever posted
Oh Really, Why? ~maddie
Donna has once again returned her readers to Half Moon Harbor, in the wonderful state of Maine with its serenity and beauty. But things are not aways serene especially for Brodie Monaghan one of the bachelors of Blueberry Cove - Even with all his Irish charm he was unable to capture the attention of Alex McFarland introduced to us in Pelican Point - Unfortunately his charm has attracted Cami Weathersby, who has raked havoc with his best laid plans for restoring his famly's shipbuilding business - However, Brodie soon learns that good can come out of anothers revenge - When Grace enters Brodie's life good does overcome evil - Donna has showed the importance of family, friends and following one's dream not matter how hard it may seem at times - Donna has given this readers laughter, a few tears, and a very strong desire to build boats by hand or open an inn - The supporting characters are devine - You wish there was more time for them as well - Thank you again, Donna for a wonderful story and cannot wait for the next Blueberry Cove Series -
Pads in to check on the kit. Who ever adopts her should name her. I would say she is about five moons old.
This is a very nice book. Brodie and Grace are very easy to like, so you want them get there HEA. The thing that was lacking, was the actual sub plot. It started off well, we see Brodie's ship building business being impacted by some of this past history and some power hungry towns people. We get to read a very strong interaction where he is dealing with Mr. Weathersby but the resolution is still TBD, then a few pages from the end "the men go off to solve the problem", the "women talk about love and feelings" then then we find out "Weathersby won't be an issue". What a cop out by the writer, editor and publisher! We get to see the build up and the resolution to the business issue is one off page.
Where is camp?
Such a heartwarming story, between Brodie, with his sexy Irish brogue, and Grace, who just wants to reunite with her brother and start over. This story pulls you in from the start, and any story that includes a dog is a winner in my eyes.
Back in Pelican Pointe and the ever charming Brodie is about to have his world rocked!! Grace arrives in Pelican Pointe having completely giving up everything hoping to reunite with her brother. These two are a beautiful pair and their story is heartwarming and entertaining. I highly recommend this book.