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Even rock stars are haunted by the one that got away…
Chasing music and freedom, Shane Knox left Arbor Shores nine years ago and never looked back… until now. With his best friend, Dax, getting married, Shane is coming home to face his past as well as Avery, the girl he left behind.
The second he lays eyes on her, all of his long suppressed feelings come rushing back in a tidal wave of regret. For him, it was never truly over. But is it too late for a second chance?
Despite being bitter over Shane’s abrupt exit, Avery has bigger problems on her hands than drama with her ex. Her family’s hotel, Arbor Shores Resort, is struggling. Financial difficulties have landed the business in prime position for a real estate buyout, which would destroy all Avery and her family have built.
Putting his career on the line, Shane comes up with a plan that could save the resort. But will it be enough to redeem himself with Avery?
Or is it time for him to leave Arbor Shores for good?
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Copyright @ Nomi Summers 2019
“Is that old lighthouse still up at North Point?” he asked.
“It sure is. They closed it to the public several years back, so you can’t get to it by the main gate. You can still get out to it, but you have to park down a side road and then walk up the coast for about a quarter of a mile.”
Shane looked at her and grinned. “Take a walk with me?”
“You mean, to the lighthouse?”
“I’d love to see it.”
She thought to herself for a moment about all that needed to be done at the resort, but something about taking a walk up the shore to the abandoned lighthouse with Shane was calling out to her. Plus, she hadn’t seen it herself in years.
“Okay, up here about a mile, you’ll see a small opening. Turn left onto the dirt road, and then park anywhere on the side of the road.”
Shane followed her directions and parked the truck on the wooded road. They walked a short way to an opening that landed them on a deserted beach, then headed north up the shoreline. Shane stopped every few minutes to look for Petoskey stones, a native stone to the area that was commonly found on the shores of Lake Michigan. His excitement was infectious.
“Wow, it’s even cooler looking now that it’s abandoned,” he said as they grew closer to the lighthouse. “Can you still get inside?”
“I don’t think so. And even if you could, I don’t think it’s a good idea.”
“Chicken?” he challenged her as he started jogging toward it. The lighthouse jetted off into the water on a rocky base, and the two had to climb those rocks to reach it. Once atop, Shane tried the door, but it was locked. He disappeared around the other side, and Avery scanned the area to make sure nobody else was nearby. She was already a bit nervous that they were trespassing, and now he wanted to go inside the abandoned lighthouse that had been closed for years? She had to admit, this was the most excitement she’d felt since she was a teenager when they used to sneak around so Dax wouldn’t find out they were dating. When he finally did catch them, he wasn’t happy. But after a few months he realized he could either spend time with them together, or Shane was going to keep disappearing to spend time alone with Avery, so he dropped the protective older brother act and gave them his blessing.
“Avery, over here!” she heard him yell from the other side. She met up with him to find he had opened a side door.
“Shane! What are you doing? We can’t go in there. How did you even get that door open?”
“I pushed.” He grinned. “Go to the top with me? I bet the views are amazing from up there.”
“If we get caught, we are going to get into some serious trouble.”
“Are you always this much fun?” he teased. “What happened to that fearless girl I used to know?”
“She grew up and got responsible. At least I can say that for one of us.” But her comment fell on deaf ears as Shane disappeared inside. Avery couldn’t help but follow him. The adrenaline of sneaking into the lighthouse was exhilarating, and she didn’t mind the thought of being alone with Shane at the top.
She followed him in and closed the door behind her. A musty smell greeted her as she made her way up the creaky stairs to try to catch up to Shane, who was halfway to the top.
“Shane!” she hollered up in a soft yell as if someone would hear her. “Wait up, there are cobwebs everywhere!”
“Be careful on these stairs,” he yelled down as he waited for her, allowing her to pass him so she would be in front of him. As she passed, he put his hands on her waist to steady her, setting off a chain reaction in her body. He always had a way of making her feel safe. “Here, you go ahead of me so I can catch you if you fall.”
“I’m not going to fall.” She gave him a playful smile, but she was comforted knowing he was behind her.
When they reached the top step, both of their mouths dropped in awe. The view of Lake Michigan from the top of the watchtower was spectacular. The lake went on for what seemed like an eternity, and the 360-degree views of the area were stunning. Unable to see across, the massive lake disappeared into an abyss of blue until it melted into a different shade from the cloudless sky. The watchtower was about ten feet in diameter, with an opening for the staircase in the middle, making it a tight fit for two people. Avery clung to a brass railing near the window. She felt Shane come up behind her and wrap his arms around her waist, enveloping her in the sweetest embrace.
She turned her body around to face him, and he kept his arms around her. She could feel his warm breath as he leaned in and cupped her cheek with one hand. She leaned into it, allowing him to caress her face.
“I’ve missed you, Avery.” His voice was low. She closed her eyes, taking in the moment. She had a feeling he wanted to finish the kiss that nearly started last night outside of Ripples, and she couldn’t think of any reason to stop him.
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Author Nomi Summers:
Nomi Summers is a clean contemporary romance author with a flair for taming bad boy heroes readers swoon over.
When she’s not dreaming up her next sweet small-town romance, you’ll find her at the beach devouring the latest new release on her Kindle. Her other guilty pleasures include getting lost in mindless reality TV and spending far too much time talking to her dogs, as she’s convinced they understand every other word!
Nomi’s living her own “happily ever after” with her loving husband and their two fur babies in Tampa Bay, Florida. However, a piece of her heart will always belong in Michigan where she’s originally from–the inspiration for the settings in her novels.