A second chance for romance…
Hidden in Graystone Manor is a book containing all the dark secrets of Harmony Harbor, and Ava DiRossi is determined to find it. No one—especially not her ex-husband, Griffin Gallagher—can ever discover what really tore her life apart all those years ago. With Griffin back in town, it’s more important than ever that she find the book before someone else does. Because her ex is still angry with her for leaving him. And he still has no idea Ava never stopped loving him…
Ava is no longer the vibrant, happy woman Griffin had once loved and married, and he would do anything to bring back the sparkle to her brilliant green eyes. But what’s never changed are the sexy sparks of attraction between Ava and Griffin, and he won’t give her up again without a fight. He knows there’s the real possibility of a future together…if the truth doesn’t burn the bridge between them forever.
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She sensed Griffin rising to his feet and heard him placing his mug on the desk. And then he was there, crouched in front of her. He took her mug, setting it on the floor before he gently smoothed the rough pads of his fingers over her cheek. “You know it kills me to see you cry.”
“Still?” she murmured without looking at him.
“Yeah, looks like,” he said, sounding as though the admission cost him.
A tiny flicker of hope ignited inside her. She smothered it, unwilling to put herself in the position of being disappointed. She didn’t think her heart could withstand another blow today.
“I know you did more than smooth the way for my father, Griffin. I don’t believe Gino’s monthly pension checks and insurance will come close to covering the cost. I need to know what I owe you. I doubt I can pay it all at once though, so maybe we could come up with a monthly payment plan?”
At her suggestion, a muscle pulsed in his clenched jaw, and his eyes narrowed. She was familiar with that look. It didn’t bode well for her repayment plan. And maybe because of that small hope that refused to be denied, she raised her hand to trace his stubbled jaw with her finger. “You know that look always annoyed me,” she said, thinking back to how long it had been since she’d touched him this way.
“Yeah, and you always knew how to get rid of it. Never could hold out against you for long.” His eyes darkened as though remembering their standoffs always ended in bed.
“What are we doing?” she whispered, the heat in his eyes weakening her resolve. She had to know if it was just her imagination. She’d deal with the consequences later.
The study door swung open, and her cousin rushed in. “Ava, are—Oh, I…” Sophie’s gaze moved from Griffin to Ava. “Am I interrupting?”
Griffin rose to his feet, and Ava didn’t know if it was relief or regret she saw on his face.
He glanced at his watch. “I better get going. I have to meet up with Sully.”
Ah, so it had been relief after all, she thought, fighting to keep the disappointment from showing on her face.
Sophie smiled, stepping in front of Griffin as he walked to the door. “Welcome home,” she said, giving him a hug. “We’re so glad you took the job.”
“Job?” Ava asked, and there it was again, hope. Only this time it came out in her voice.
Griffin turned with his hand on the doorknob. “Sully offered me a job with the Coast Guard. Thought it was about time I came home.” He held her gaze. “We’ll talk later. If you need me, call.”
Sophie stared at her, openmouthed. “He…You.” Sophie found her voice and looked from the door to Ava. “What did I just interrupt?”
“I’m not sure,” she murmured, glad she was sitting, otherwise her legs might have given out.