Read Online Books/Novels:
The Truest Thing – Hart’s Boardwalk
Author/Writer of Book/Novel:
1916174078 (ISBN13: 9781916174078)
Nine years ago, Emery Saunders moved to Hartwell to start her life over as a bookstore owner. Her inability to trust people made it hard for her to find a place in the small community until Jessica Lawson moved to town and befriended the shy beauty.
Jack Devlin has his secrets. One of them is that he fell hard for Emery the moment she appeared in Hartwell. Another is that his father blackmailed him into covering up a dark family tragedy. It forced Jack to sever his relationships to protect the people he cared about. Yet, staying away from Emery has not been easy throughout the years and he hasn’t always succeeded. When Jack’s mixed signals hurt Emery once again, she puts him out of her heart for good.
However, Emery isn’t ready to forgive and Jack’s not ready to give up.
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The nutty, smoky, caramelized smell of coffee lingered with me long past my day at work. It was a good thing I liked the scent. It made me feel content, in control, and safe. Because it usually meant I was in my favorite place.
My bookstore café.
Standing at my Mastrena high-performance espresso machine, I wasn’t feeling so content. I tried to focus on making my customer’s cappuccino and not on my immature behavior earlier.
Bailey wanted to invite Ivy Green into our friendship circle.
And because I wasn’t comfortable with the idea, the girls had decided not to.
Like we were in middle school.
I groaned under my breath, feeling my cheeks heat. As I handed over the coffee, took the money for it, and moved on to the next customer, only half of me was in the store. The other half was locked in my head and would be for a while. Whenever I did something bothersome, I’d chew on it for a long time. Even when I would finally move on, I’d never really let it go, because it would come back to annoy me months later, just for the hell of it.
Ivy Green was Iris’s daughter. Iris was one of my favorite people. She’d been the only person I was close to until Jessica Huntington—now Lawson—vacationed in Hartwell and ended up staying. There was something about Jessica I instinctively trusted, and trust was difficult for me.
I’d trusted Iris too.
And this was how I repaid her friendship? By using my influence with my friends to cut her daughter out of a pretty fantastic group of women who could help her through an arduous time?
By arduous, I meant that Ivy used to live in Hollywood as a screenwriter and was engaged to a big-time director, Oliver Frost, who sadly died of a drug overdose. Ivy returned to Hartwell a complete wreck, only for Deputy Freddie Jackson to hold her at gunpoint to extort money out of her, all after he murdered local businessman, Stu Devlin. My other good friend, Dahlia McGuire, took a bullet trying to protect Ivy. Ivy then cracked Freddie Jackson over the head with an Oscar statuette to protect Dahlia from getting shot again.
Welcome to Hartwell, folks!
We’ve had a lot going on these last few years.
Iris had worried about her daughter before Oliver died, especially after Ivy broke contact with her parents during the relationship. I’d counseled Iris about it, continually prodding her to reach out to Ivy. But the woman was stubborn. Now I knew she regretted that stubbornness.
Iris would want Ivy to have support. She needed excellent friends. I couldn’t stand in the way of that, even if I was afraid someone new might change the dynamic of our group, a group that had become my family. I was a little possessive over the girls.
That was no reason to shut someone out.
I sighed. The girls wouldn’t make a move now. Jessica said they were just going to let things work out naturally. Perhaps Ivy needed more effort than that.
It would be up to me to approach her and bring her into the fold.
The thought made my stomach knot.
I wasn’t good with giving people any kind of power over me, and what if Ivy rejected my offer of friendship?
And yet, I’d let Jess, Bailey, and Dahlia in, and it had been my best decision ever.
Now I was a part of their lives. I was a bridesmaid in Jess and Cooper’s wedding; I’d be a bridesmaid again when Bailey and Vaughn tied the knot at the end of summer. Moreover, I had a front-row seat to the reunion of Dahlia and Michael, which was magical to watch considering the painful years they’d spent apart.
The icing on the cake: Jess had recently informed us we would be aunts! She actually said the word “aunts.” I was going to be an aunt. Jess was twenty weeks along, and I’d already started shopping online for baby gifts.
There was so much goodness in my life because of these women. Who was to say Ivy wouldn’t just add more goodness? If she was anything like her adoptive mother, Iris, then she absolutely would.
A customer yelled from the raised seating area near the fireplace, asking for a clean spoon. I was a staff of one, and although I knew I should hire some help during the high season, I enjoyed keeping busy. It would be great, however, if customers would read the signs that pointed to the cutlery tray so they could help themselves. This was not a restaurant.
I excused myself from the line of customers waiting for coffee and hurried from behind the counter to grab a spoon for the guy. He didn’t even say thank you.
Not that I’d ever dare call him that to his face.
Even Bailey, the most forthright, ballsy woman I’d ever met, wouldn’t call a customer an asshat. To his face.