here’s no place to fall in love like the place you left your heart
Welcome to Honeymoon Harbor, the brand-new, long-awaited series by beloved New York Times bestselling author JoAnn Ross, where unforgettable characters come face-to-face with the kind of love that grabs your heart and never lets go.
Working as a Las Vegas concierge, Brianna Mannion is an expert at making other people’s wishes come true. It’s satisfying work, but a visit home to scenic Honeymoon Harbor turns into a permanent stay when she’s reminded of everything she’s missing: the idyllic small-town charm; the old Victorian house she’d always coveted; and Seth Harper, her best friend’s widower and the neighborhood boy she once crushed on—hard. After years spent serving others, maybe Brianna’s finally ready to chase dreams of her own.
Since losing his wife, Seth has kept busy running the Harper family’s renovation business and flying way under the social radar. But when Brianna hires him to convert her aging dream home into a romantic B and B, working together presents a heart-stopping temptation Seth never saw coming. With guilt and grief his only companions for so long, he’ll have to step out of the past long enough to recognize the beautiful life Brianna and he could build together.
The Leaf restaurant was located on Rainshadow Road in a bungalow in the center of town across from Discovery Square.
In contrast to the Victorian gingerbread exterior—which the town’s historical planning commission had refused to allow to be modernized—the owner of the restaurant, a transplanted chef from the San Francisco Bay area, had opted for a clean and simple Scandinavian look. Posters of vegetables, framed in light wood, brightened the glacier-white walls. Harper Construction had done the work, and although the furniture chosen by the Portland designer made Seth feel as if he were having dinner in an IKEA store, he was, nevertheless, pleased with how it had turned out.
He spotted the couple as soon as he came in. They were seated at a white table by the window overlooking a garden from which the chef sourced much of the restaurant’s herbs and vegetables. When Mike Mannion leaned across the table to take hold of his mom’s hand, Seth felt a very familiar twinge of loss.
There were too many reasons he’d missed Zoe two years after her death to catalog, but one of the worst was those random, impulsive moments when the two of them would get lost together in their own private world. He missed touching her. Tasting her…
No. Don’t go there. Remembering making love to his wife while having dinner with his mother and her maybe boyfriend, who she might even be having sex with (and didn’t that idea make him want to wash his mind out with bleach?), made this already awkward situation even weirder.
He cleared his throat as he approached the table. They moved apart, but easily. Naturally. Not at all as if they’d been caught in any inappropriate display of affection. Yet another possible indication that they’d moved beyond dinner dates that ended with a chaste good-night kiss at the door.
“There’s my handsome boy now!” Looking like a wood nymph in a long green suede dress and some sort of colorful stone hanging on a black velvet cord around her neck, his mother rose with a warm and welcoming smile. It had been a long time since he’d seen that smile. Having been wallowing in his own dark pit of grief for two years, Seth hadn’t paid all that much attention to gradual changes in his mother.
Seeing her now, so vibrant and joyful, as she’d been while he’d been growing up, he realized that her vibrancy had been fading away the last few years.
“I’m so glad you could join us!” Despite having lived nearly four decades in the Pacific Northwest, Caroline Harper’s Southern roots occasionally still slipped into her voice, bringing to mind mint juleps on a wide wraparound porch while a paddle-bladed fan spun lazily overhead.
About 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 www.joannross.com.