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Emmilu Claypool has to run. Far. She has to hide in a remote corner of an obscure some place, become someone else, because if her abusive husband ever finds her, she’s dead. Or worse. With the help of a network of volunteers calling themselves the Wheat Penny Railroad, she changes her name and sneaks away to the place her cousin’s pen pal has written about in detail. A paradise on the New England coast, with neighbors who watch out for one another and care about each other.
Once she gets off the bus, Emmilu, now Emily Frost, can start over, relying only on herself and not dependent on a man ever again. Then she meets a tall, brawny guy with a compassionate smile and an easy approach. An unselfish man who changes everything, including her.
Jake Kincaid has helped his friend run the Tides Hotel since they left the army. Helping his mom raise his teenage half-brothers and finally out of debt from his lying, scheming ex-wife’s betrayal, Jake is at last out of the shifting sand and on solid ground.
It’s all good…until she walks into the hotel looking for a job. With the gray-green eyes of a stormy sea and curves in all the right places, Jake is right back in soft sand.
Being vulnerable to anyone is not part of his life plan, but it seems reality has other intentions. It doesn't help that every time she's near, his body and mind conspire against him.
Soon he's even making excuses to be around her. But Emily is more skittish then a field mouse and he has a growing suspicion that she has secrets. Big secrets. He’s got to take it slowly, earn her trust over time, help her open up her heart, even as she is opening his.
Emily knows better than to trust a man, especially her hulking steel-gazed boss with the confident stride and the unruffled demeanor. Nevertheless his gentle dogged pursuit and the warmth of a summer among the denizens of Pirate’s Nest melts Em’s anxious fearful heart, allowing her take baby steps toward trust.
But when her lies and frauds are exposed, can their burgeoning relationship and fragile trust Emily and Jake have withstand the storm? When her husband finds her, will she even come out alive?