Where This Goes
Nicole Vance is a tough, smart businesswoman with a successful real estate brokerage. When a national franchise threatens to snap up her life’s work, Nicole is more than ready to fight them off. If only Realty World’s representative, green-eyed Peter Dalton, weren’t so attractive.
Peter is certain that Nicole’s management style will work well within the franchise, and he has charmed his way through tougher jobs than convincing Lakeview’s realtors into joining Realty World. On the personal side, Peter senses that Nicole is interested in him and he likes her, a lot, but she isn’t responding as he would prefer.
Why? Because so many complications abound for Nicole. On the darker side, there’s her alcoholic mother’s recent alarming behavior, which might signal dementia. Then there’s Nicole’s “stomach flu,” contracted after a hook-up with an old boyfriend at their twenty-year college reunion, which turns out to be something more lasting: pregnancy.
At forty-one, Nicole chooses her business, her dysfunctional family, and her new baby. She’s certain a romance with Peter will derail her reordered life as a single mother while riding herd on her wayward mother and her growing business. On the other hand, perhaps Nicole should give herself a chance to see where this goes.
Gillian Griffiths is flummoxed about what to do after she is unexpectedly fired from her job of more than twenty years. While trying to repair her professional life, she steps way out of her comfort zone and signs onto an online dating service. To her amazement, she encounters more men than she’d ever expected. She insists that any mid-life romantic encounter must include world class sparks, but thus far—even with Mo, a local doctor who is smitten with her—no sparks ignite. That is, until she seeks help from attorney Matt Gordon to set up a trust for her.
Unfortunately, Matt is married and caring for a tragically ill wife. Sparks or not, Gillian respects his dedication to his wife and doesn’t follow up on her feelings toward him. She feels deeply for his loss when his wife dies and can’t help wondering … will he act on the sparks he might feel in Gillian’s presence or will grief and guilt overwhelm him?
When Matt mistakes Gillian’s sympathy hug for something else, and he pushes her away, he realizes he needs a do-over. How can he convince Gillian he really does care for her, or has he killed his chance of finding a new love?
Single mom Amanda Gardner begins her first academic appointment at private Buckley College in northwest Washington state, eager to begin a new life, pay off her school loans and become established in her career as an English professor. Two men complicate her life: Carlton Winslow, with whom Amanda must share an office; and, Marcus Dunbar, a journalism professor, who befriends her and captivates her nine-year-old daughter Cecelia. Although Carlton is unpleasant to Amanda, he seems genuinely fond of Cecelia, who doesn’t quite know how to tell her mother why she considers Carlton “icky.” The last thing Amanda wants is a romantic entanglement with Marcus, but she can’t deny her attraction to the man, and after Cecelia is hit by a car and badly injured, Marcus’ investigation raises suspicions that Carlton may have had something to do with the accident. Amanda is no longer sure who she can or should trust. Is Marcus even beyond suspicion? Is it possible that he or Carlton, or someone else Cecelia is too frightened to name, preys upon children? Amanda must get to the truth before she can give her heart to a man who claims he loves her and will cherish and protect her child.
Change is scary, and Suzanna Wallace knows she has to take the plunge after her abusive husband’s sudden death. Her grown daughter promises to take care of her, “just like Dad,” without realizing how chilling those words sound to her mother.
Small changes–buying a dog and getting a jeep in military camouflage colors–lead to her escape on a road trip away from home and her adult children. Suzanna’s goal? Discover who she is and what she really wants to do with the rest of her life.
She becomes reacquainted with Jonathan Kingsley when she arrives in Montana, while looking for a place to stay for a while. He offers her a room in his ranch house, but she refuses to be beholden to another man, and convinces him to rent her a rundown cabin on his property. During the summer, Jonathan falls in love with Suzanna, and she with him.
When daughter Penny delivers an ultimatum to her mother, Suzanna must make choices that will alter her life forever. How can she remain devoted to her children without sacrificing her identity?
When Alexis McCord’s abusive boyfriend is arrested, she seizes the opportunity to escape with her young son. Now she and 5-year-old Chance are building a life in the tiny, remote beach town of Sandy Reach, Washington. Lexi is even acting on her dream of becoming a baker with her own shop—if only Hugh never finds her.
For Fletcher Lambert, distraught after the death of his wife and baby daughter, Sandy Reach is a handy place to escape his memories, away from his law office and his large, well-intentioned but intrusive family, who are watching and waiting for him to move on. He’s not sure that will ever happen.
Then Fletcher meets Chance. When he learned that the waitress serving him at Omar’s pub is the boy’s mother, sparks fly in in spite of his intentions never to get close to a woman again. Lexi feels them, too, but her mistrust of men forces her to ignore Chance when he declares that Fletcher would make the perfect dad. After all, who listens to a five-year-old in the midst of all this grown-up angst?
Safe Beside You – On Geneva Shores, Book 5
A plane crash and dangerous hike out of the Idaho mountains cements a friendship between Carrie and Brian that neither can deny. He wants that friendship to blossom with the attraction he feels for her, but she is already engaged to be married and feels guilty that she’s attracted to Brian. Her fiancé Quentin, while continuing to see other women, becomes enraged when he suspects Carrie is cheating on him. He hires a private investigator. Damning pictures that Quentin misinterprets convince him that Carrie needs to be punished and taught a lesson. When Carrie is found badly beaten and unconscious, her neighbor is certain Quentin is the culprit. As Carrie slowly heals from her injuries, her feelings for Brian escalate. But when he is offered a job out of state and asks her to come with him, she refuses, though it breaks her heart. Leaving town would mean her cherished dream —to own the upscale dress shop in which she’s worked for years—must be set aside. How can Brian pursue his professional advancement while denying Carrie’s? Will she stand strong, even if it means losing her chance at love?
Choices – On Geneva Shores, Book 4
Melanie Holmes has her hands full when 15-year-old Ken and 13-year-old Anne, react badly to her impending divorce from their father. Only four-year-old Jeffrey is his usual sunny self. Further complicating her life is her attraction to Sam Hudson, the detective called to her home when Ken runs off, and who later rescues Anne after she is abducted from a strip club. Sam is forced to confront his own demons as he contemplates becoming deeply involved with Melanie’s family after she is seriously injured in the same car accident that kills her ex-husband. After she returns home, Melanie’s kids tell her they want to marry Sam, even though he hasn’t uttered the “M” word. How will Sam react when her kids do the proposing for him? Can the long-time bachelor commit himself to her and her children?
Just Friends – On Geneva Shores, Book 3
Life experiences mark a person. The death of Sally Hughes’ mother from breast cancer leaves Sally with a painful emotional scar, and the discovery of a lump in her own breast frightens her to her core. Sally meets Paul James when her best friend’s fiancé introduces his brother. A former Marine, Paul is recovering from injuries sustained during his last combat tour in Afghanistan. Reacting to the demons that continue to assault him in the night, he insists he doesn’t need medical intervention, even as a leg wound refuses to heal. After Sally returns home to Evergreen, Washington, with additional scars of her own, Sally and Paul begin a slow dance of attraction that blossoms into love after he convinces her that the scars each of them carry no longer define who they are. Complications arise with the return of Paul’s previous lover and discovery that Sally is pregnant with Paul’s baby. How can they resolve their fears, set aside the past, and reach beyond being just friends to make a life together?
*Fifty percent of all sales of this book are donated to the American Cancer Society. Won’t you help raise funds for this worthy cause?
Granddad’s House – On Geneva Shores, Book 2
Olivia Brown, a talented real estate broker has a simple goal: find a family to buy her grandfather’s spacious old home and move him into a more manageable place, even though her late father warned her never to represent a relative. Southern charmer Beau James, a local architect, is the last buyer Olivia wants for Granddad’s house, especially after he declares he’ll turn it into a B&B! And, in spite of their mutual attraction, a romantic relationship with a client would would violate her strictest business rule, a rule she never intended to break. Additionally worrying is a seller who continues to threaten another realtor in her office and then Olivia. Will she have to hit the panic button her father installed in the office, but never used? Life challenges Olivia in ways she never imagined when her beloved grandfather’s health begins to fail and Beau tempts her to include him in her future.
Decades after the boating accident that Trish Barton believed took the life of her unborn son’s father, she learns Denis is alive. His grown son, Chet, is just as thrilled as she is. Not so much her wealthy, controlling husband, Richard, who persists in making her life miserable, even as she sues him for divorce. Life becomes even more complicated when Eddie, her stepson, finally decides to come out of the closet, a disclosure Richard is unlikely to accept with grace. It’s almost more than Trish can handle when Eddie resigns his position in his father’s company.
After two decades in an unhappy marriage, Trish isn’t sure she’s ready to jump into marriage again. But is Denis willing to accept anything less? And even if he wants what she wants, can he ignore his bossy cousin who insists that Trish isn’t the right woman for him?
Family Bonds – On Geneva Shores, Book 1
At Jane Collins’ five-year high school reunion party in small town Evergreen, Washington, bad boy and law student wanna-be Chet Barton surprises Jane by rescuing her from a would-be rapist. Although she is intrigued by Chet, her guardian Bert doesn’t trust the young man with the bad reputation. In spite of their different upbringings–she from a working-class family and he from one of the wealthiest families in town– Jane and Chet become friends. But his parents are against their developing a serious relationship and Chet still hasn’t won over Bert. Life for Jane becomes even more challenging when Bert is diagnosed with stomach cancer. Through his long decline, Chet and Jane recognize their love for each other and begin to plan a life together, hoping for Bert’s and his parents’ blessings. But Jane finds her mother’s diary and discovers dark and disturbing secrets that shatter her dreams. How can Chet convince Jane that they can be together, despite past evils that haunt both their families?
*Fifty percent of all sales of this book are donated to the American Cancer Society. Won’t you help raise funds for this worthy cause?
Single father Owen Haskins is worried about his emotionally troubled 7-year-old son, Ian. The brilliant little boy is placed in Faith Russell’s second-grade class after they move to East Shore on Cedar Island. Although Owen is attracted to her, he isn’t sure Faith is the right teacher for his son.
Faith’s lack of trust in men slowly recedes when, against her better judgment, she begins to date Owen. Over the coming weeks, their relationship deepens, although they agree that it can’t become serious.
Too bad Faith’s heart refuses to listen. Owen proposes marriage, but instead of telling her he loves her, he explains that he wants Ian to have a mother. Deeply hurt, Faith breaks off their relationship. She regrets that she’s allowed herself to fall for both Ian and his handsome father.
Too late, Owen realizes his mistake. But how can he change Faith’s mind about him and prove that he’s more than a cold-hearted lawyer who doesn’t need love?
Her Daughter’s Father, A Cedar Island Tale, Book 3
Gretchen Martindale, a former foster child herself, steps up when Laine, 12, and Nettie, 5, need a home after they run away from their foster home to stop the foster dad from molesting Nettie. Gretchen’s heart becomes entwined with the girls and she decides to adopt them, creating the family she thought she’d never have. But Laine aches to find her birth mother. When school counselor, Craig, offers to pay for a DNA search, no one is more surprised than he with the results. Laine is Craig’s daughter, the result of a long-ago hook-up. Since Gretchen is already falling for the handsome counselor, and he for her, things might work out well. Or maybe not… Laine says she doesn’t want a dad, just a mom. And Craig? He’s a dedicated commitment-phobe. Does this family stand a chance of getting together?
Heartstrings – A Cedar Island Tale, Book 2
Veterinarian Joel Taylor has been in love with his wife, Angela Wright, a family physician, since they met in college. At a conference, he has a drunken one-night fling with an old girlfriend–the biggest mistake of his life when . Ridden with guilt, he is desperate to preserve their marriage, begs for forgiveness and insists Angela can trust him to remain faithful. But months later, when she discovers that she’s pregnant again—at 45!—she continues to wrestle with her doubts. Will Joel be tempted to cheat again, perhaps with one of the customers at his vet clinic? Is Roxy really out of the picture, now that her brother owns a llama farm on Cedar Island and enlists Joel to care for his animals? And does Joel really love Angela, or does he simply want to stay married for the sake of their children, whom he adores? Angela no longer feels she can control her own body, much less her relationship with Joel. An emergency cesarean birth saves the baby but spins her deeper into depression. Joel enlists the assistance of her obstetrician and a pair of marriage counselors. But have they reached Angela in time?
Concealed Attractions – A Cedar Island Tale, Book 1
Dannilynn Kelly may have been date-raped, but she sets aside how badly her first year at college ended, eager to work at Joel Taylor’s veterinary clinic on Cedar Island in Washington state. There she meets Ben Edwards, a veterinary extern. His friendship becomes her key support when she discovers she’s pregnant. Determined to keep her pregnancy a secret from her parents, she returns to college, but her worst fears are realized when her father pays her a surprise visit at private Buckley College. Convinced that Ben is the baby’s father, he demands that Danni give up the baby. Unwilling to do so, she moves into a little cabin in the woods and Ben is present when she gives birth and the two of them revel in parenting Danni’s child. Then the unthinkable happens. Although each is in love with the other, neither Ben nor Dannilynn acknowledge their feelings for each other until a final crisis, precipitated by Danni’s former boyfriend, threatens Ben’s externship and his future career as a veterinarian.
Destiny’s Second Chance
Bella Campbell, at sixteen, is forced to give up her newborn daughter. Twenty-plus years later, Destiny gets the surprise of her life when her birth mother, now a librarian in Evergreen, Washington, contacts her.
Destiny’s adoptive mother is distrustful and suspects Bella’s motives. But, despite her mother’s misgivings, Destiny accepts Bella’s invitation to visit so that each can get to know each other. While Bella learns the joys of motherhood, Destiny begins working in a local bookstore with Bella’s friend, Henry, whose nephew, Gavin Cambridge who’s all about business, is temporarily overseeing the store. He doesn’t think the struggling bookstore is worth saving and, frankly, is more interested in pursuing Bella. A crisis at the bookstore binds these characters together in ways none of them anticipated.
See Night Owl Reviews for a review of this book.
Kate talks about identifying with her characters.
The Christmas Car (A Short Story)
A short story that explores what happens when Anita Rayburn is introduced to Brian Skolnick by his sister. But Brian is not interested in making a new female friend; he still grieves the death of his spouse.
When his sister invites Anita to come with them on a ferry ride, Brian inadvertently offends Anita and she feels guilty that she went along with Brian’s sister’s clumsy matchmaking efforts.
As Christmas approaches, Brian calls Anita to apologize. She invites him to join her at the Space Needle for dinner, a retirement gift from her former boss.
After dinner, Brian invites her for a spin in his new sports car. She can’t imagine riding in such a vehicle. Is it true that a car reflects the man? And if so, where might such a ride lead? Will she step out of her comfort zone and accept his invitation?