I Wish I Knew Then (Harbor Village #1) Read Online Jessica Peterson

Categories Genre: Alpha Male, Billionaire, Contemporary, Forbidden Tags Authors: Series: Harbor Village Series by Jessica Peterson

Total pages in book: 105
Estimated words: 102719 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 514(@200wpm)___ 411(@250wpm)___ 342(@300wpm)

My grandmother has a saying: what's done in the dark always comes to light, especially in small towns with big secrets. And I was hiding the biggest secret of them all.

Every summer I spent growing up at my grandparents' coastal estate was the same. Same cousins. Same chaos. Same long golf cart rides along the beach.

But everything changed the summer I turned eighteen, when my grandparents' new housekeeper moved in with her son, Riley. With his big personality and head-turning looks, he was the local heartthrob.

We fell in love instantly. Riley was my first everything. First love. First time.

And my first heartbreak when he dumped me at the end of the summer.

Ten years later, I'm back on the island for my best friend's wedding as her maid of honor. Who's the first person I literally stumble into?

Riley Dixon. Even worse? He's the groom's best man.

Being forced to spend an entire week together for wedding festivities quickly leads to more: hot hate sex, late nights of sneaking out, and unexpected revelations. The boy I knew a decade ago is gone, and the hate becomes...something else entirely. And I begin to wonder if Riley is hiding some secrets of his own.

*************FULL BOOK START HERE*************

For the messy ones.

As Riley says, perfect and shiny ain’t real,

and it ain’t that interesting.



9 to 5

Ten Years Ago


Dolly Parton is the tits.

Correction: watching my girlfriend, Lu, make the best damn cheese straws on planet Earth while dancing to “9 to 5” in a tiny tennis skirt is the tits.

We’re in the enormous kitchen of her grandparents’ fancy beach house. Mom is the Gibbes’s housekeeper, so technically I’m helping her out by unloading and then reloading their pair of dishwashers.

In reality, I’m between shifts at my two jobs, so I’m stealing a few minutes with my girl before I head to Merman’s Restaurant. I work mornings, six to two, at the Harbour Village Marina. Then I head to Merman’s at four, where I work as a bar back until close.

The time I get to spend with Lu Wade during the day is rare. Being alone with her in the house like this is even rarer. Gotta take advantage. Next time I’m able to touch her won’t be until after midnight, when we sneak out on Old Winny, her family’s ancient golf cart, or on one of her grandaddy’s boats.

The buttery scent of the batch of cheese straws already in the oven fills my head. My stomach grumbles. I glance down the hall that leads to the front door.

No sign of anyone yet. Mr. and Mrs. Gibbes, Lu’s grandparents, are out having a late lunch at the Ocean Club with Lu’s mom and her aunt, Lady. They’re not due back for another hour, but I’m still paranoid.

No such thing as being too careful.

“Think those’ll be done before I gotta go?” I close the dishwasher and join Lu at the island. I put my hands on the marble countertop on either side of hers. Wince when the marble’s edge bites into the blister I got from a mooring line on today’s fishing charter.

Ignoring it, I lean my body into hers, my front to her back, and kiss the nape of her neck. She looks good in her tennis clothes, the white popping against her deep tan. The tiny skirt, tinier tank top. Pristine white shoes.

She smells even better, like the coconut body wash she loves.

Lu grins at me over her shoulder, the contraption she calls a cookie press still in her hand. “Are you asking if I timed them so they’ll be just the right temperature for you, right before you’re about to leave? Warm, but not too hot?”

“Can’t have ’em any other way.”

“I’ve created a monster.” She gives me a quick kiss before turning back to the rows of cheese straw dough she’s already piped onto a baking sheet.

“Not my fault you’ve spoiled the shit outta me. I can’t even eat Bojangles anymore. That fried chicken you made the other night—”

“Granny’s recipe? I know. So good. It’s the Lawry’s in the breading. And then of course the mayo.”

“And the vat of oil you fry it in, Legs.”

Lu rolls her ass into my crotch at the nickname—I call her Legs on account of her long, lean, ridiculously sexy stems—and sways said legs in time to the music. Dolly’s singing “I Will Always Love You” now. “I can’t become a southern Ina Garten if I don’t master frying things in vats of oil.”

My dick loves the friction a little too much. Mom’s going to be back any minute from grabbing a shower in the apartment above the Gibbes’s garage, where she and I have lived since the beginning of the summer.

I can’t get excited. If anyone finds out Lu and I have been dating pretty much from the moment we met back in early June, we’re fucked. Her granddaddy, James Gibbes III, is old school. If he knows I’m sleeping with his favorite granddaughter, he’ll fire Mom, no question.

Mom needs this job, the highest-paying one she’s ever had, now that Dad is out of the picture. He split in the spring, and served Mom divorce papers not long after.

Only problem? I can’t keep my hands off Lu. She’s sexy, obviously. She’s also smart as hell—heading to Wake Forest in the fall. She’s introduced me to a whole world I didn’t know existed as a small-town boy from South Port, North Carolina. Books. Ideas. Dolly Parton.

Food too. She’s an extremely talented cook. Her passion for making delicious food for the people she loves most has turned me into a foodie.

Before we met, food was fuel, pure and simple. Then Lu started sneaking me plates of whatever she, her granny, and Aunt Lady cooked. Their famous cheese straws. Grouper sandwiches with homemade slaw. Biscuits made from scratch. A southern take on poutine, which is probably my favorite dish. It’s french fries smothered in this cheesy clam chowder type stuff, which Lu and Lady make with local seafood caught by my friend Tuck.

Needless to say, I was an immediate convert to the foodie movement.