Welcome to the small island town of Cloud Bay, where it’s never the wrong time to find a love that’s oh-so-right in Need You Now by Emma Douglas. . .
Caleb White knows what he wants out of life—and being a star tennis player is not it. After speaking to the press about his plans to retire, Caleb decides that a trip to quaint, beautiful Cloud Bay for its legendary music festival is exactly what he needs. There will be time to figure out what to do with his life without a racket in his hand soon enough. Until then, Caleb is content to be stuck on an island with CloudFest’s gorgeous director Faith Harper. . .
The daughter of a famous rock star, Faith knows all about fame, fortune, and hot flings that aren’t meant to last longer than a few good songs. Gorgeous, built Caleb is a temptation she can’t resist, but she’s not prepared for the way he makes her feel. . .and the dreams that they both share. What begins as a carefree distraction deepens into something real. But is Caleb ready to put his celebrity behind him and give life in the slow lane with Faith a chance?
About the Author
Emma Douglas would love to live in a world where professional napping was a thing. But until then, she thinks writing books is a pretty awesome alternative. When not writing about imaginary people, she can be found reading, doing something crafty, bingewatching TV, playing her latest song crush on repeat, or singing badly in her car. She lives in Melbourne, Australia in a tiny house stuffed full of books, too many craft supplies and two cats who take up more space than you would expect.
Emma is the author of the Cloud Bay series, which includes No Place Like You, Need You Now, and Season of You.
Visit Emma's website to find out more!
Read an Excerpt
Faith Harper stared down at the bright green and red Lansing Island ferry edging up alongside Cloud Bay's long dock and tried not to fidget. The atmosphere in the streets below was starting to buzz with pre-festival crazy, like it did every year, and, like every year, that buzz made her ... itchy.
Itchy like her skin was too small and her clothes were too tight. Itchy like she needed something she'd never quite been able to describe to anyone.
Just a few more days.
A few more days. Then CloudFest would start and she could, as always, hand over the zillion and one details of running one of the country's most popular — and hardest to get tickets to — music festivals to her crew and just show up to do her intros and meet and greets and enjoy herself. And after that, she could leave Lansing for a few days.
Go to L.A. or New York, maybe. Relax.
But a few more days were still a few more days, and she had at least a million of those zillion details to nail down before Thursday.
"Spotted any talent yet?" Ivy Morito asked from behind her.
Faith shot a grin over her shoulder. Ivy sat behind her desk, typing at warp speed while watching Faith over the top of the bank of four slim black monitors that formed a wall of IT along the edge of her desk. Knowing Ivy, she was probably simultaneously working on a client's security problem, messaging at least three of her friends, and designing a website in her head. This week her hair sported blue and purple streaks flaring through a jet black bob. The colors clashed with her acid green glasses, and the overall combination gave a sort of angry mermaid impression but one that didn't distract from the curiosity in Ivy's brown eyes.
"I'm waiting for Lou." That and trying to remember whatever it was that was giving her the nagging feeling she'd forgotten to do something. But no, all the major pieces were in place. All their permits had signatures and dotted i's and crossed t's, even if Lansing's new mayor had made that process more complicated than usual. "Good daughters pick up their mothers when they come home from vacation." Seeing Lou safely home would be one more detail ticked off the list.
"You're a good daughter. Lou's a good mom. Neither of those things precludes you checking out the tourists to see if anyone cute is coming to town." Ivy mimed something that Faith assumed was meant to be a hunter stalking its prey. Which was pretty funny when you considered she was doing so while wearing an Elmer Fudd T-shirt that proclaimed that she was "hunting wabbits."
"I don't have time for cute," Faith reminded Ivy.
Ivy looked appalled. "That's just plain sad." She chewed her lip, made a gesture on the touchpad by her left hand. "How's Ricky?"
"Still getting married," Faith said drily.
"Le sigh," Ivy said. "He sounded nice."
"He is nice." Ricky was the guy Faith had been hooking up with occasionally for a few years when she went to L.A. He was nice. And good in bed. And worked for a record label, which meant they could talk shop. But neither of them had been looking for love, so other than being cut off from the good sex part, Faith had been more than happy for him when he'd told her he'd met someone — wait, had that been before Christmas? More than six months ago?
God. She needed to get off the island.
"'Nice' isn't helping you if he's marrying someone else. Thousands of people are about to invade the island. There must be a few nice ones. Who are also hot."
"The majority of them are about nineteen."
"Not all of them," Ivy objected.
True. CloudFest attracted a mixed audience. It skewed young like any music festival, but Blacklight had been huge for decades. Their fans spanned those decades as well. And those fans came to CloudFest whether any of the surviving members of the band were playing or not.
"I don't do island, you know that," Faith said. "I'll take some time off after the festival." Every year she rewarded herself for all the hard work that went into keeping the family legacy running and CloudFest happening by taking a vacation. In the past — pre-Ricky — occasionally there had been a vacation fling. A guilty pleasure.
Or really, totally nonguilty pleasure. She liked sex. She wasn't married. She didn't intend to ever be married. So she had a few flings. Flings she'd kept off-island because she learned young that privacy was hard to come by when you were (a) the daughter of a rock star and (b) lived in a community of only a few thousand people. But somehow, she'd settled into a habit with Ricky. Ricky was simple. And since Ricky, well apparently she'd forgotten about sex altogether.
Of course, she'd been neck-deep in the festival for most of that time. So what if she hadn't had time to have sex lately? That wasn't a crime.
"Tourists aren't island. They leave. Thereby fulfilling the criteria for the perfect Faith Harper man," Ivy said.
"Yeah but they leave and then they decide to sell their story to the newspapers." Faith said. "No thanks." She knew she sounded paranoid but she had no desire to become a tabloid sensation. She'd had enough of paparazzi and scandal growing up with Grey Harper as a father.
"Maybe you should try an island guy for once," Ivy said.
"I'm pretty sure if any of the guys who live here lit my fire, I would have realized it by now," she retorted. Ivy didn't share her views on island guys. She was newly moved in with her boyfriend. She had a bad dose of love cooties.
"When's Matt back?" Faith asked.
"Don't change the subject," Ivy said, shaking her head.
Busted. "I'm not," Faith protested. "You get cranky when Matt's off-island." Matt Hanlon was one of Lansing's two deputy sheriffs. He was attending some sort of police conference in L.A., taking advantage of the calm before the storm — as the locals tended to view the weeks before CloudFest.
"I'm not cranky, I just know you," Ivy said but she was smiling again now, no doubt thinking of Matt. "And Matt's catching the last ferry tonight, if everything goes to plan. How did Lou's trip go?"
"I've hardly heard from her, so I'm assuming pretty well," Faith said. Her mom also took the opportunity to flee the island for a few weeks before the festival and go soak up some peace and quiet and culture in San Francisco or Los Angeles or farther. Lou claimed it was her right as a teacher on vacation to escape for a proper holiday for at least some of the summer. Faith couldn't argue with that though she had a sneaking suspicion that Lou was mostly avoiding helping out with tying up the endless last-minute issues that went with the festival.
Her right to avoid being sucked into the insanity was also hard to argue with. Lou and Grey had been divorced for a long time before he'd died. True, she'd never truly broken away from Grey. She'd decided to stay on the island so that Faith didn't have to choose between her parents. But she had kept herself out of the circus that surrounded Grey and Blacklight as much as possible.
The only times Lou had voluntarily waded into Grey's business once she'd divorced him, was when she thought something that affected any of the three Harper kids needed to be straightened out. Even though two of them weren't technically hers.
But that was Lou. Easygoing until she turned into a ferocious mama bear. Five foot three of implacable will, not to be messed with when she wanted something for Faith or her siblings. She was one of the few people willing to tell Grey when he was being an asshole. Pity. Life might have been easier if there'd been a few more of those in her dad's life.
Faith turned back to the window, humming under her breath. The second-floor office that Ivy ran her IT empire from was the perfect vantage point. The view to the long dock where the ferry came in was unimpeded. It meant Ivy had to put up with being blasted by the ferry horns signaling arrivals and departures eight times a day, but that never seemed to bother her. The ferries were ingrained into the noise of Cloud Bay, being the only means on or off the island unless you had a boat or could afford to charter a small plane or helicopter. Not many of the locals bothered with any of those options though the skies would be busier than usual over the next few days, bringing CloudFest attendees who had money to burn to Lansing. The marina's spare moorings were already full.
The ferry was just starting to lower the car ramp, which meant the passengers would begin to disembark any moment. So she should really head down and find Lou.
Normally she wouldn't have been shy about waiting down at the dock but for some reason this year she wasn't quite ready to put on her public Faith Harper- famous-daughter-of-dead-rock-star face just yet.
Lansing Island and Cloud Bay — the island's one real town — attracted a steady stream of Grey Harper and Blacklight fans making a pilgrimage to one of the pivotal places in the band's history all through the year.
And Faith was the face of the Harper clan on Lansing, given her older brother Zach hadn't been home for more than a day or two in years and her little sister Mina had made a career out of avoiding being recognizable as one of Grey's kids. So Faith was used to dealing with fans, but the CloudFest crowd could sometimes take Blacklight hysteria to a whole other level. She needed to be ready for that level of hyperenthusiasm to deal with them. With her famous girl clothes and attitude firmly in place.
And today she just wasn't feeling it.
She glanced back at Ivy, who was still typing away madly. "I should go."
Ivy nodded, fingers pausing. "Estimated chance of us getting to hang out for more than ten minutes before the madness starts?"
Faith made an apologetic face. "Low maybes? Let me see how today goes."
Ivy shrugged. "Figured. You know, one of these days you can let someone else take up a bit more of the work of this whole circus." She looked back at her screen, frowned, and starting typing again with finger-blurring speed.
"I will if you will," Faith said. Ivy looked up and grinned. Faith grinned back. People didn't get why she and Ivy clicked sometimes. And they rarely understood when they heard the story of how the two had met. Ivy — who'd run away to CloudFest — had tried to pick Faith's pocket in the festival crowd when they'd both been fifteen. Or why Faith had dragged Ivy off to her house to stay for the week instead of taking her down to see Sheriff Lee. Sometimes like just called to like.
The sound of a honking horn — there was always one idiot in the line of cars who couldn't wait — blared through the open window, and Faith twisted around to see what was happening. Sure enough, the first car was easing down the ramp from the ferry. "That's my cue," she said. "I'll drop your passes off tomorrow."
She blew Ivy a kiss and left the office. Taking the old wooden stairs two at a time, she popped out the door beside the boutique below Ivy's office before the second car had even reached the road. As she stepped onto the pavement she pulled her straw cowboy hat — snitched from one of the festival crew as camouflage — more firmly over her hair. Despite the hat, the heat made her head start to sweat almost immediately and she shoved her sunglasses into place and craned her neck looking for Lou. Who, being sensible, would probably wait for the hordes to disembark while she sat and chatted to Magda, who operated the tiny coffee concession on the ferry, before making her own way down onto dry land.
Sure enough, there was no sign of Lou's close-cropped silver hair in the steady stream of people making their way, so Faith faded back against the building, out of the way of the new arrivals, and entertained herself by watching the cars easing their way off the ferry and trying to navigate through the crowd of pedestrians. So far none of the drivers of the mostly shiny and expensive vehicles had lost their cool. Though all it would take would be some tourist whacking an overpriced side mirror with a backpack for someone to crack.
Most of the cars had their tinted windows up, which, given how hot it was even in the shade where she stood, she kind of envied. Air-conditioning would be nice right about now. The old truck she was driving today, tucked neatly into the lone parking space behind Ivy's building, was no doubt getting hotter by the second under the midday sun. Maybe she should text Lou. Tell her she was waiting for her. But that would spoil the surprise of coming to meet her.
The car now opposite her — a screaming red Porsche — blasted its horn, snapping her attention back to the traffic. The driver accelerated, and she shook her head at his impatience. Lansing Island was only a couple of miles long. Nowhere took very long to get to, so a few seconds of waiting for a pedestrian to cross his path was hardly going to ruin his day.
She was tempted to give his taillights the finger, but that wasn't going to magically transform him into a non-moron. Life was too short and she had too many things to do to worry about jerks whose actions weren't affecting any of those things. She started to turn her head back toward the ferry and as she did, she caught the gaze of the passenger in the black SUV behind the idiot's Porsche. He was apparently the exception to the rule of not winding your window down.
Blue. That was all she could think for a moment. His eyes were stupidly blue.
Her heart gave a little bump at the sensation that he was looking right at her despite the sunglasses and the fact that she was half in shadow under an awning and there were people walking between them.
She blinked, feeling an involuntary smile spring into life.
He started to smile, which made her realize that the rest of the face was pretty good too. He had a cap on, which meant she couldn't tell what color his hair was — the stubbled beard outlining his square jaw was lightish brown — but his skin was tanned and the teeth flashing in that smile were very white. An odd sense of déjà vu tugged at her, like she'd seen him somewhere before, but then the car was moving on and she turned to watch it go.
Apparently Ivy had been right. There were cute tourists. Beyond cute. The Jeep had a CloudFest permit sticker on its back windshield, so presumably he was going to the festival.
She shook her head. He might be going to the festival, but she didn't have time for cute or beyond cute, even if she'd felt inclined to break her keep-it-off-island rule.
"Faith? What are you doing here?" Lou's voice came from behind her and Faith whirled around to hug her mom, forgetting all about blue eyes and hot smiles. For now.
In retrospect, a small island crowded with thousands of people for a music festival probably wasn't the best place to hide out.
Caleb White tugged his baseball cap further down his head as he looked at the throngs of people already crowding the streets. Cloud Bay was apparently the island's only proper town or village or whatever the term was for somewhere where the population was only a few thousand people for most of the year, but right now it looked more like downtown San Francisco or Los Angeles. Too many people.
Despite the crowd, he had to fight to resist the urge to lean out the window to try and catch a better glimpse of the girl in the battered straw cowboy hat.
The one whose smile had just sucker-punched him.
Damn. She gave good mouth. Her eyes had been hidden behind huge mirrored sunglasses, and the hat pulled low on her head made it hard to see much of her face through the crowd. But that mouth had been killer. Full lips curving into a delighted smile that was somehow sexy as hell. He'd thought she'd been looking at him but it was hard to tell with the glasses.
No way of knowing now that they were slowly making their way down the street, leaving her behind. Beside him, Liam was focused on the road ahead, his fingers drumming the steering wheel as he paused every so often to let a pedestrian cut across their path. Feeling vaguely disappointed, Caleb leaned back in his seat and hit the button to roll up the window. The tinted glass was a barrier between him and the rest of the world that he was happy to exploit for now.
He was under no illusions that he could make it through the whole festival incognito, but surely he could just hole up and relax at the place Liam had borrowed until CloudFest actually started.
Excerpted from "Need You Now"
Copyright © 2017 Emma Douglas.
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
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
There’s something to be said of reading a book at just the right time, and I read Need You Now exactly when I needed to. Y’all know how I feel about contemporary romances. I’ve come around to them but they’ve always been hit or miss. The first in a new series, Need You Now covers the events of a big music festival in a small town with a rockstar’s daughter and a famous tennis player. Talk about an interesting combo. And this book had a few good points (and few not-so-great). Faith could have been an interesting character but her entire personality, her entire world, revolved around the music festival her father started and her refusal to get attached to anyone. Caleb was a bit more open to possibilities and, in general, I thought there was more to his story than Faith’s (he was just more interesting). For the first part of the story, Faith and Caleb have a lot of instant attraction going on that leads to a few hook-ups and an attachment builds from there. But there wasn’t a lot of emotion for most of the book but rather it all came together at the end. And the there’s that ending. Well, roughly the last quarter of the book. First off, Faith makes a really stupid decision and then it ultimately leads to. . . nothing. There aren’t any real consequences. They salvage their entire relationship which got pretty smashed up in a matter of pages. I kind of lost respect for Caleb a bit for letting her off the hook so easily. It would seem that I had a lot of issues with this book but in the end I really liked it. Crazy how that works. Honestly Need You Now is light, fun, a fling that turns into something more and you want to see the character get together because everything is there. While the ending wasn’t as satisfying as I would have liked and could definitely have been longer, it was nice to see that they weren’t jumping into some extreme commitment right away like I’ve seen in other books. Their resolution is to give a real relationship a try (versus just hooking up here and there) and I liked that they started/ended slower. Need You Now is a promising start to a series and the author’s writing style is easy to fall into. I could definitely see myself picking up future installments when I need something quick and light to break up the rest of the heavy fantasies I gravitate toward. A decent contemporary romance and I think I could definitely recommend it regardless of my more critical comments.
3.5 Stars What a good start to a new series – I really like the whole concept of Cloud Bay, from the small town/island setting to the cast of characters. The music festival was such an interesting and unique backdrop to this story. It really helps tell Faith’s story – it’s clear that this festival is part of who she is and helps keep her connected to the memory of her father. It’s also clear that growing up as Grey Harper’s daughter and seeing the destruction that fame and the need to be in the spotlight can bring has shaped her outlook on love. I also really liked the background to Caleb’s character. He’s at a crossroads and needs to figure out what is next, and hanging out with his friend and attending the Cloudfest music festival is just the diversion he needs…especially when he meets Faith. I do wish we got to see a bit more of who Caleb was. I don’t think his character was developed as well as it could have been and I ended up feeling that I never really knew who Caleb was or what made him tick. There was a lot of great potential for him and I really wanted to learn more. As far as chemistry, Faith and Caleb had it in spades. These two were definitely burning up the sheets. And I really liked the fact that it was also apparent that on top of the attraction these two genuinely liked one another. They had an easy banter between them and I liked that neither seemed to take themselves too seriously and their fame and success didn’t keep them from being down to earth. I enjoyed the author’s writing style and the pacing of the story was good, but there were a few times that I felt I got bogged down with too many details or extraneous information and it slowed me down a bit. And I do have to say I was also a little disappointed with the ending – it seemed to wrap up a bit too quickly and we were left hanging a bit…so I hope that we get to see more of Faith and Caleb as the series continues so we can find out more about their HEA. Overall, I really liked this story and think it had a lot of great elements that will lead to a very interesting series. We got to meet and learn a bit about the rest of Faith’s family as well as many of the islanders and there seems to be great potential for some very interesting stories. This one is definitely worth checking out and I can't wait for the next installment. I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book I received from NetGalley.
Need You Now by Emma Douglas Cloud Bay #1 An island off the California coast is home to Faith Harper, daughter of legendary Rock Star Gray Harper. She is one week from putting on a huge music festival – Cloud Fest – when she meets recently retired tennis pro, Caleb White. The two are drawn to one another from the beginning but neither is really in the market for more than just a summer fling… But, as with many such stories, more than a fling is definitely a possibility. This is the introduction to a new series that has a cozy small town feel to it with wonderful characters filling the pages. Each and every one of them deserves to eventually meet their mate and have their HEA as the series progresses. I was drawn in, enjoyed the interactions between Faith and Caleb and was glad that there was not a cliffhanger ending. I found Faith smart, strong, open minded, caring and eventually willing to do the work necessary to reach the deserved HEA. Caleb was a great match for Faith – warm, caring, great lover, strong and emotionally open – he, too, had a few things to work through before the HEA he deserved could happen. I am eagerly looking forward to the next book in the series and just found out that at this moment in time there are two more books in the series that will deal with Faith’s her half siblings Mina and Zach. That means there is room for a spin-off series OR further books in the series as there are more than just Mina and Zach that caught my eye while reading Need You Now. Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the ARC – This is my honest review. 4 Stars
Faith Harper is the daughter of the late great rocker Gray Harper. Years after his death and she still hosts the music fest he and his band founded in the 90s. After growing up around rockers, Faith’s dedication is to her family and her job. She never saw any good come out of relationships. That is until she meets Caleb White, a retired tennis star that she just can’t get out of her mind from the first moment she saw his eyes. This was a quick and cute contemporary story with lots of steamy scenes. Right from the beginning you get a good feel for what kind of character Faith is as well as how growing up with the father she had has shaped her entire life and not necessarily in a good way. Up until now, she’s always been able to abide by her own personal rules. However, once she meets Caleb, something about her makes her shoot her rules out the window. The author did a great job of setting up the meet-cute. The book was pretty straight-forward. There wasn’t a whole lot of drama so if you’re looking for something pretty upbeat then this will definitely work. I recommend. **I voluntarily read and reviewed this book
'Need You Now' by Emma Douglas is The First Book in The "Cloud Bay" series. This is the story of Caleb White and Faith Harper. Caleb is retiring from Tennis and wondering what the next chapter will be for him. During this time Caleb thinks to take a trip to Cloud Bay to see the famous music festival. There he finds Faith. Faith knows allot about famous people because her Dad was a famous Rock Star. So when they meet their is a instant attraction. But neither really was looking for anything permanent but Love can't be stopped. This was a slow build up to a sweet romance story. "My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read."
My Rating: 3.5 Favorite Quotes: Ivy didn’t share her views on island guys. She was newly moved in with her boyfriend. She had a bad dose of love cooties. That man is worth a squee or two. “Are you training to be a ninja or something?” she said, trying to calm her heartbeat and look innocent at the same time. “I think I’m going to buy you some clothes that aren’t black. At least that way I’ll see you coming.” Because every night this week, I’ve fallen asleep wishing the day was just a little longer so I could have some more time with you. Because I want to be with you. My Review: Need You Now had an interesting premise and chunks of fun and entertaining threads. I enjoyed and welcomed the author’s use of humor and quirky characters, and while the story had promise, the narrative appeared to miss the mark and became overly ambitious in setting up the rest of the series as there were flurries of background data, reams of detailed event planning and logistics, and other unresolved secondary story threads. Not to say the story was bad, it wasn’t. I enjoyed the humor, sizzle, and fun of the couple losing themselves in their blossoming relationship, but I had trouble maintaining my interest and attention with too much minutia of her organizational efforts and difficulties in setting up her musical festival, although other readers may enjoy those types of details. Just a bit of paring down those aspects would have greatly enhanced my level of engagement and rating.
This book is the first one in Ms Douglas’s series titled Cloud Bay. Life on an island is different. Having lived in one, I know it can be isolating, but the people in it is what makes it worth living there. The island is quaint and is unique in that they have a rock festival. Both characters are interesting, each one with their own agenda and neither wanting a long term relationship. But life has a sense of humor and things don’t go as planned. On the downside, I felt that Caleb fell a little short and I didn’t feel invested in him. At times I felt it dragged, but rushed at the end. The plot could have been a little more developed. Still , I would read another book in this promising series. I was gifted this copy by Netgalley and the publisher. The opinions expressed are solely my own.
i really enjoyed this one. Caleb and Faith were both great characters and the author did a great job helping us get to know them. Caleb has known the spotlight. He's a world famous tennis player who just announced his retirement. Faith has lived in the enormous shadow of her famous father. These two are drawn to each other but the last thing Faith has time for is a man. Sometimes though love finds you when you least expect it. This is one I highly recommend!