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Seabreeze Sunset (Summer Beach #3)

Seabreeze Sunset (Summer Beach #3)

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Untangling secrets at a historic beach inn has unimagined surprises.

 

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Book Description

Book 3, Summer Beach Series

With the high summer season underway at the Seabreeze Inn, Ivy Bay faces new challenges. She has just one season to make the inn a success to pay the tax bill her late husband left behind. And her neighbor’s lawsuit could mean an end to the Seabreeze Inn. Yet her daughter Sunny’s arrival in Summer Beach is also a chance to renew their strained relationship.

While the mayor, Bennett Dylan, develops deeper feelings for Ivy, new trials weigh on their romantic relationship. Sensing Ivy’s sadness over her sister Shelly’s departure, Bennett encourages Mitch, the Java Beach owner, to contact Shelly. And Sunny fears Bennett might be a replacement for her father.

Amid the turmoil, Ivy discovers another clue from the old house’s original owner. The woman’s story makes Ivy reflect on what the house means to her and all of Summer Beach.

Seabreeze Sunset is a sweet summer beach read. This third novel in the Summer Beach series concludes this trilogy. Book your reservation in this small beachside town of intriguing characters now.

Read A Sample

Ivy bolted awake at a crack of thunder, her heart racing at the late summer storm’s intensity, while the sprawling old house shuddered at nature’s wrath. She sat up, bracing herself against the onslaught. A few seconds later, a jagged shard of lightning flared outside her window, illuminating her room—and a shadowy reflection in the antique vanity mirror.


Blinking, Ivy drew back against her pillows, her throat constricting in alarm. Am I dreaming?


Within a few seconds, another clap of thunder shook the house. Fat raindrops splashed against vintage, wavy glass panes and obscured the outside world.

Unnerved, she squinted at the mirror, but the vision had vanished. 
Ivy snatched her robe and flung it on, and she was at her bedroom door before she remembered. 
Shelly is gone.


Gripping the knob, Ivy leaned against the door. It had been weeks since her sister had left, heartbroken over her relationship with Mitch, the owner of Java Beach. 
Ivy still couldn’t believe that Shelly meant to stay in New York, even though she had texted to say her former boss had rehired her. But then, Shelly had always been more adventurous, given to quick decisions. 
Leaning her head against the door, Ivy breathed in the fresh scent of rain and the earthy aroma it unleashed from the surrounding gardens and warm sand on the beach. She didn’t understand her sister.

Hadn’t Shelly been anxious to change her life? Hadn’t she insisted that they check out the old house Ivy had inherited in Summer Beach? Ivy had wanted nothing to do with this house at the time—except to sell it as quickly as she could.
Change wasn’t easy, even when life forced change upon you.


Ivy drew her robe sash around her waist and tied it. When her husband had died—now more than a year ago—he’d left this historic old beach house to her. He’d spent every penny of their retirement savings on it.


Without her knowledge.
Another burst of lightning, bright as the flashbulb pop of an old camera, lit the room. And again, Ivy glimpsed the shadowy silhouette, now suspended in the corner.


A woman, gazing upward. 
Amelia? 
Ivy drew flat against the wall, but in an instant, the hazy figure vanished. She wagged her head. The light had to be playing tricks on her to make her imagine the former owner.


Before she could collect herself again, thunder ripped open the sky, gripping the house in its angry clutch as rain pounded the terra cotta, barrel-tiled roof overhead. 
As thunder rumbled through the old structure, Ivy pressed her hands against the solid wood door. This house had stood for decades. Surely it would withstand nature’s latest assault. 
Poppy. Ivy flung open the door and rushed through the hallway to check on her niece.

After Shelly left, Poppy moved back into Shelly’s room. She’d been staying in the maid’s quarters behind the house that Jamir had helped renovate before he started his pre-med summer school studies at the university. Now, one family occupied those rooms, which they called the sunset suites.

The parents had two rowdy teenagers, a baby, and a nanny in tow. Poppy was happy to move into the main house for two weeks.


As Ivy turned a corner in the hall, she collided with Poppy, whose eyes were round as lollipops with fright. Her niece’s honey-blond hair stuck out of a messy topknot. 
“Did that wake you, too?” Ivy whispered, sliding her arms around Poppy’s slender, shivering shoulders. The soft, midnight rain must have been the leading edge of the rapacious storm.


“And our guests.” Poppy nodded toward a glimmer of light under a nearby door to a guestroom. “Gilda’s awake.”


“Pixie must be a nervous wreck. Fairly early for them.” Gilda’s Chihuahua often suffered from anxiety.

Gilda, who wrote articles for magazines, usually worked late into the night. The Ridgetop Fire had demolished her house, which would take months to rebuild.


Ivy rubbed the back of her neck. She still had an odd, prickly sensation she couldn’t explain. The sound of the rain intensified, and Ivy gazed up at the ceiling.

“We should watch for leaks. This is the first torrential downpour we’ve had.” 
Summer Beach rarely had rain in the summer, so sunshine was practically a guarantee for their guests. Yet, Ivy recalled from her childhood that late August rains weren’t unusual in Southern California. Heavy summer rain often spurred flocks of doves and ducks and other migratory birds toward Mexico for winter. Nature, like life, had its seasons.


“We should have umbrellas for guests,” Poppy said. “May I spend petty cash today? I can get a few cheap ones.”


“No need to skimp,” Ivy replied. “Get good quality.” Poppy knew their budget constraints, but the cost of a few umbrellas wouldn’t sink them. She glanced up again. “Considering this old structure, we’d better get buckets and towels ready.”
Ivy hurried to her room to change clothes. After flinging off her short summer gown, she shimmied into a loose, cotton beach dress. With the rain, the muggy air felt damp on her neck. This weather was more like the east coast summers that she’d grown accustomed to these last few decades.


Glancing from her window, she saw a light flick on in Bennett’s apartment over the garage. She exhaled a sigh of relief. Just knowing he was awake and nearby was comforting. Bennett was always up early for a run on the beach before reporting in at City Hall. She glanced at the clock. Six a.m. Guests would be up early today. 
As Ivy pulled her hair into a ponytail, thunder rolled across the beach, and lightning exploded almost instantaneously. Overhead, the lights blinked. 
Once, twice, three times.


Ivy paused, holding her breath. The storm was right upon them, carrying with it even more subtropical humidity from Mexico. She slid her feet in flip-flops and grabbed a flashlight she kept by the bed. 
Before Shelly left, they had purchased flashlights for every guest room in case of emergencies. Poppy had created a fire-and-earthquake exit plan and laminated it to hang on the back of each door. Though she hoped guests wouldn’t need to follow the precautions, Ivy was glad they’d provided them. 


Hesitating, she raised her eyes to the spot near the ceiling where some sort of shadow—not that she believed in spirits—had appeared. She flipped her ponytail to one side. Merely a trick of the light. Shelly might believe in ghosts, but Ivy certainly did not. 
She paused, listening.
The steady drip, drip, drip was not her imagination. There, in the corner near the window, water splashed onto the intricate, parquet wood floor. 
Ivy lifted a large antique water basin from a dresser and placed it under the leak. Drops tinkled against the white porcelain festooned with delicate pink roses.


“That will have to do for now,” Ivy said to herself, craning her neck toward the ceiling. Her heart sank as she stared above. Repairing a roof of this size wouldn’t be cheap. 
Considering that reservations for the autumn season were already slacking off, she worried about paying the overdue tax bill that Jeremy had let lapse. Unless she paid it soon, authorities would auction the house for back taxes. From her careful calculations, she’d figured she could scrape together the money, but just barely. Less the cost of a few umbrellas to keep the paying guests dry.


How she missed Shelly. Her sister would have laughed and dreamed up another idea to bring in funds.


And now, Ivy could hardly get through to her. 


Book Reviews

“A wonderful story… Will make you feel like the sea breeze is streaming through your hair.” – Laura Bradbury, Bestselling Author

“A novel that gives fans of romantic sagas a compelling voice to follow.” – Booklist 

“An entertaining beach read with multi-generational context and humor.” – InD’Tale Magazine
 
“Wonderful characters and a sweet story.” – Kellie Coates Gilbert, Bestselling Author
 
“A fun read that grabs you at the start.” – Tina Sloan, Author and Award-Winning Actress
 
“Jan Moran is the queen of the epic romance.” —Rebecca Forster, USA Today Bestselling Author

“The women are intelligent and strong. At the core is a strong, close-knit family.” — Betty’s Reviews

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