For four of the best summers of his young life, Luke Harris was in love with Sydney Donovan, a wealthy seasonal visitor to Gansett Island. Then Sydney went off to college and never came back. She married another man and had two children while Luke remained on the island, working at McCarthy's Gansett Marina and wondering what had gone wrong between him and the only woman he ever loved. Fifteen months after Sydney suffers the tragic loss of her husband and children, she's returned to Gansett to figure out what's next, and that may very well be a rekindled love affair with the one man from her past she's never forgotten. But is she ready for a second chance at love?
The McCarthys of Gansett Island Series
Book 1: Maid for Love
Book 2: Fool for Love
Book 3: Ready for Love
Book 4: Falling for Love
Book 5: Hoping for Love
Book 6: Season for Love
Book 7: Longing for Love
Book 8: Waiting for Love
Book 9: Time for Love
Book 10: Meant for Love
Book 10.5: Chance for Love, A Gansett Island Novella
Book 11: Gansett After Dark
Book 12: Kisses After Dark
Book 13: Love After Dark
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“Are you ever going to say anything?”
Her familiar voice electrified Luke, startling him as he squatted in the dark beside her parents’ porch.
The peal of laughter that followed her question reminded him of the happiest time in his life, when she’d laughed at all his corny jokes, before she’d gone away to college and met someone she liked better.
He stood slowly, not sure if he was more relieved or mortified to have been caught watching her. “How long have you known?”
“Since the first time you came last summer.”
Okay, mortified. Definitely mortified. Luke released an unsteady laugh. “And here I thought I was being so sly.”
“As if I could ever forget the sound of your boat scraping against the beach. I used to listen for it every night.”
The reminder of those unforgettable summer nights made his heart race. When he’d heard through the island grapevine that she’d arrived on a ferry earlier in the day, he’d told himself to stay home, to leave her alone. But knowing she was here, knowing she was just across the pond… Like the summer before, he’d been unable to stay away.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “You must think I’m some sort of creep. I swear I’m not. It’s just when I heard about what happened… to your family… I had to come. To make sure you were okay. Well, of course you weren’t okay…” He ran his fingers through his hair. “Jesus, I’m screwing this all up.”
She smiled, and he was relieved to see it reach her expressive eyes the way it used to, back when she smiled at him every day. He took it as a sign that she’d recovered, somewhatas much as anyone ever couldsince he last “visited” her a year ago.
“Do you want to come up?” she asked.
“Oh, I don’t want to bother you or your parents”
“They’re off-island for a few weeks. Family reunion in Wisconsin.”
“You didn’t want to go?”
She wrinkled her nose. “I’d rather be here in the summer than anywhere else.”
Somehow he worked up the fortitude to climb the five steps to the porch, his heart pounding so hard he wondered if it would burst through his chest. Keeping his hands in his pockets so she wouldn’t see them tremble, he was unable to remember the last time he’d been so nervous. Speaking with the love of his life for the first time in seventeen years would make any man nervous, he supposed. “You always did love it here.”