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Seabreeze Inn (Summer Beach #1)

Seabreeze Inn (Summer Beach #1)

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A USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller!

A widowed artist. An old crush. One summer to get her life back.

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Book Description

Book 1, Summer Beach Series

Ivy Marin’s life implodes after discovering that her late husband had spent their life savings on a beach house. Strapped for cash as an art teacher and with nowhere to go, Ivy and her recently jilted sister head to Summer Beach to recreate their lives. If only renovating a historical home didn’t unveil a host of hidden secrets in the beachside community—and the mayor wasn’t her former high school crush.

Bennett Dylan led a campaign against Ivy’s late husband to block the rezoning of the beach house land for a high-rise resort. Although it’s been ten years since his wife’s death, Bennett is avoiding the pain of loving—and possibly losing—another woman. And then the FBI shows up… Ivy’s demands for a zoning variance for a bed-and-breakfast couldn’t come at a worse time for him.

Despite distractions, Ivy has one summer to sway the town to salvage her livelihood and the new life in Summer Beach she’s come to love.

With spellbinding intrigue and poignant self-discovery, the Seabreeze Inn is a sweet summer beach read. If you like sun-soaked beach sagas you can lose yourself in, the Seabreeze Inn and Summer Beach’s fascinating characters are for you. Start your vacation in Summer Beach now.

If you're a fan of clean women's fiction and enjoy Elin Hilderbrand, Debbie Macomber, Mary Kay Andrews, and Susan Mallery, you'll love getting to know the characters in Summer Beach.

Read A Sample

“Where is she?” Ivy muttered. Impatient to board the flight to the west coast, she stood by the boarding gate, waiting for her sister, Shelly, who had disappeared in the crowded Boston Logan airport.

A flight attendant in a crisp uniform approached her. “We need to close the gate, ma’am.”

“My sister will be here. Just another minute, please?”

The attendant pressed her perfectly outlined lips together. “One minute. That’s all. She can take a later flight, but we have a plane full of passengers and a schedule to meet.”

“I understand.” Ivy shot her sister a text, and then leaned against a wall, willing her perennially late sister to make it. She didn’t want to take this flight alone. Closing her eyes, Ivy imagined the beachside community of Summer Beach in southern California. She hadn’t been there in several years—and frankly, she hadn’t expected to be visiting now—but she could still conjure the pale gold sand squishing between her toes, the morning sunshine warming her shoulders, and the salty spray misting her face.

Even though she’d been living in Boston for more than two decades, the sound of the waves breaking on Summer Beach was an altogether different pitch to her ears than that of any shoreline along the New England coast. And the sunsets! What she coveted most of all was watching the sun set over the Pacific Ocean.

She recalled gathering on the beach with her friends to watch the sun slip beneath the horizon. Almost every evening was a spectacular show as the sun fanned golden rays into a cerulean sky. To her artist’s eye, blazes of coral and rose and cadmium yellow spilled onto indigo waves like paint across a canvas. Her friends would argue about whether the green flash actually existed. Some swore they saw it when the sun set, while others called it a beach legend.

Ivy glanced at the sweeping minute hand on her wristwatch—a reassuring analog throwback in a digital age where you were only as connected as your phone’s battery life.

Forty-five seconds.

To Ivy, no two sunsets were ever alike. Watching majestic swirls forming in the darkening sky was like witnessing an artist’s broad strokes on a masterpiece that all too soon vanished in the mild evening air. The thought of it sent shivers through her, and she remembered photographing sunsets and setting up her easel in the late afternoon.

However, this trip to Summer Beach and San Diego County would be nothing like that. She had her late husband to thank for that surprise. She pressed a finger against her throbbing temple.

Thirty seconds.

Where was she? Standing on tiptoe and craning her neck, Ivy spied Shelly—her sister was racing toward her, dodging travelers and airport trams with the nimbleness of a dancer.

Shelly thrust an arm of colorful bangles into the air. A pink shopping bag dangled from her fingers like a trophy, while her thick mane of chestnut hair looked intent on escaping from a messy bun.

“She’s almost here,” Ivy told the flight attendant, whose frown had deepened into one likely specially reserved for the tardiest of passengers.

Ivy caught a reflection of herself in the glass expanse overlooking Boston’s Logan airport. Just when had her style become so outdated? Sometime between raising two children, planning college tours and family vacations, and caring for assorted dogs and cats and hamsters, she had disappeared into the safety of comfortable clothes—dark, stretchy bottoms with flowing, muffin-top coverage blouses, or trousers and untucked Oxford shirts, like today. She straightened, tightening her stomach muscles. If the forties were the new thirties, she had some work to do.

It didn’t help that the mouth-watering, sweet cinnamon scent of her devilish downfall, Cinnabon, wafted through the airport terminal, tickling her nose.

Twenty seconds.

Ivy had been putting off this visit for months. Her real estate agent in Summer Beach had been insisting that she needed to inspect the house left to her after Jeremy’s death—the only asset in his debt-ridden estate. Between private college tuition and board for their daughters and Jeremy’s love of lavish travel, they hadn’t saved much except for funding his retirement account at work. Still, she missed her husband so much—the way he’d tuck her loose hair behind her ear or wake her with coffee on the weekends. His faint French accent imbued even ordinary words with such a musical tone. When she’d complain about a birthday, he’d tell her fine wine only improved with age.

All those years, and now she wondered if she’d ever really known him.

But she couldn’t think about Jeremy, not now. She had too much to organize on this trip, and now she had to add shopping to her I-Don’t-Want-To-Do list. Ivy recalled the seashell embossed invitation her mother had sent them, along with a note, which had ultimately spurred this visit.

Just in case I don’t make it to 70, I’m throwing myself a 68th birthday bash. I want you to come. There’s something I need to share with you, but only in person, my darling. Do come. I won’t take no for an answer this time.

Her mother, Carlotta Reina Bay, had invited the extended Bay family, as well as her coterie of friends, to a party at their home, which was about half an hour south of Summer Beach. Ivy’s parents were avid globe trotters who scoured the world to import the work of undiscovered artisans—sweaters from Peru and Greece, embroidered silk from India, silver jewelry from Mexico—and share profits in an equitable manner. Ivy’s niece, Poppy, had created a website for them to sell directly to consumers.

Just in case I don’t make it to 70…Was her mother ill? Carlotta wouldn’t say, so Ivy had booked tickets immediately.

Ten seconds. The flight attendant unlatched the door, preparing to close it.

Ivy grinned as Shelly’s long legs carried her closer. Her sister exuded a bohemian New York vibe and kept her figure yoga-sleek, which meant she would fit right in with the summer crowd. What a party that will be, Ivy thought.

Maybe Shelly could help her find a party outfit at one of the ritzy boutiques in La Jolla or Del Mar, sun-drenched villages that hugged the coastline of North San Diego County.

Eight years younger and still single, Shelly was always on trend or creating the next one. Most of her friends were young hipsters, and although Shelly had a degree in horticulture, in New York she worked in a florist shop creating exotic arrangements for extravagant weddings, bar mitzvahs, charity balls, and Christmas parties. She also wrote a blog and filmed a vlog—a video blog—that together had garnered thousands of fans. What had started as a blog for gardening and floral arrangements had morphed into an emerging lifestyle brand.

Ivy’s phoned buzzed with a text from her real estate agent confirming their meeting today. The sun’s out—see you soon in Summer Beach.

She blew wisps of hair from her face in exasperation. What’s taking him so long to sell a beach house? Her real estate agent in Boston had two cash offers on her Back Bay brownstone condominium the same day it was listed. The probate attorney in Boston had referred Claire Sidwell, saying she was one of the best real estate agents in the area.

Just sell it, Ivy had texted her. She didn’t want to hear the details. Claire had obliged, until a couple of months later when she’d retired due to health problems and turned her real estate office over to Bennett Dylan.

Of all people.

Book Reviews

"The perfect blend of mystery and romance...the women in Jan's stories are always intelligent and strong. At the core of all her books is a strong, close-knit family. The story evoked a wide range of emotions but most of all love. " - Betty's Reviews

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