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Bayside Destinies

What do a fifteen-year-old pact, a fake engagement, and a stalker have in common? Audrey Hughes.

Audrey’s ex-boyfriend won’t take ‘no’ for an answer. A master manipulator and a violently selfish man, he’s decided Audrey is his property. And he’s determined to get her back. Forcibly, if necessary.

She flees to the one place she ever found ‘family’—to Enchantment Bay. More precisely, to Logan Hunter.

Logan is a successful attorney and consummate bachelor. His work is his wife, and that’s the only long-term relationship he sees for himself. Until a childhood sweetheart shows up and reminds him of the pact they made years earlier—to get married.

It surprises him that she remembered, stuns him that he’s intrigued, and shocks him to discover her reason for returning. He uses all his influence and connections to protect her, only to be the one who causes her unbearable pain and drives her away.

Can Logan find a way to keep Audrey safe, make things right, and mend both their broken hearts?

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Excerpt

Logan Hunter slid on his sunglasses and made himself comfortable on the porch swing. He closed his eyes and allowed the warm, Oregon morning sun to warm him from the outside in. It had been a few years since he’d taken a real vacation from the firm, and though the two-month break hadn’t been his idea—it was a use-it-or-lose-it situation—he was settling into the idea rather quickly now that it had started.

The plan was to spend most of the summer working on his house and car, then at some point, have a guys’ camping trip with his brothers and some cousins, maybe even his dad and uncle.

Music played from his shorts pocket. The tune told him it was the office.

He pulled out the phone and accepted the call, still keeping his eyes closed. “Logan here. I thought you guys wanted me to take the time off.”

“Do you know where the file is for the Davidson case?” His assistant Carly’s voice was more on edge than usual.

Logan readjusted himself on the seat and kicked up his feet onto the top of the railing. “I passed all my cases onto the others. I think Howe has that one.”

“He’s yelling at me because he doesn’t!”

“Tell him it’s there with all the others. Oh, and tell him he’s smart enough to figure these things out himself. I’m on vacation.

“Sorry to bother you, but he’s throwing a real fit.”

That didn’t surprise Logan. Howe had no patience and a short fuse. “Want me to chew him out for you?”

“Well, I…” Her voice trailed away. “That isn’t why I called. I was just hoping you knew where the file is.”

“Like I said, with all the others. He probably just missed it. Details aren’t his strong suit.”

Carly sighed. “That’s what I told him. Well, not about him missing details. You’re the most organized person I know. You keep this place afloat.”

Logan couldn’t deny that much. Everyone in the firm relied on him heavily, which was part of the reason he could never bring himself to take more than a few days off at a time—and then only around major holidays. If he was honest with himself, he loved being needed, so he played into the cycle as much as anyone else.

His life was his job. Logan Hunter was the best attorney in town and he had no intention of letting anything hold him back from being the most sought-after lawyer in Enchantment Bay. Friends and family joked about him being married to work, but it wasn’t far from the truth. He certainly wasn’t going to have an actual wife. Not when previous dating relationships had gotten in the way of his job. The last time he’d had a girlfriend, Logan had been so distracted he’d nearly lost a huge case.

It was the wakeup call he’d needed, and he hadn’t forgotten the lesson. No more dating.

He hadn’t realized Carly was still talking on the phone.

“Logan?”

“Can you repeat the last part?” he asked.

“Do you want me to tell the others you’re unreachable until Labor Day?”

“That would probably be for the best. If they have questions about the cases that aren’t in my notes—and I left meticulous notes in each file—they can ask the clients themselves.”

“Got it. Marked you DNC.”

“DNC?”

“Do not call. This’ll be the last you hear from the firm, Logan. I promise. Sorry to bother you.”

“It’s no problem. Just tell Howe to breathe and maybe take up yoga.”

Carly laughed. “That I’d love to see. Well, have a great summer.”

“Thanks, Carly. You too. Be sure to take some time off for yourself.”

“I will.”

Logan cracked open one eye and ended the call. The real question was if he could stay away from the firm for two whole months. Handing off his cases to the other lawyers had been one of the hardest things he’d done in a long time.

Not going in to the office would be just as challenging. He definitely wasn’t a Mr. Fix-It type, so working on the house would be an interesting adventure, to say the least.

But before he started on any projects, he just wanted to sit on his front deck and enjoy the morning. Birds sang all around the yard. A lawn mower roared to life down the street. Dogs barked in the distance. Sweet aromas from flowers next door wafted his way and mixed nicely with the scent of fresh-cut grass.

It was the perfect day. Once the shade covered this side of the house, he’d have to head over to the beach to catch some more rays. Maybe stop by Mom and Dad’s coffee stand. They loved nothing more than when their kids stopped by to say hi.

In the meantime, Logan had at least an hour of solitude to enjoy.

“Logan? Logan Hunter?” An excited feminine voice pulled him from his thoughts.

He held back a groan and forced his eyes open. A tall, slender brunette with cascading waves grinned at him. Logan pulled off the sunglasses and studied her. She was gorgeous, and he’d never seen her before. He would have remembered her face, that much was certain.

She bounced up the walkway, stopped at the foot of the steps, and beamed. “It’s so good to see you again, Logan! You look great.”

So much for never having seen her before. He strolled over to the top of the steps and tilted his head, studying her some more. She had striking green eyes and a light sprinkling of freckles across her nose.

Where would they have met? She still didn’t seem familiar. He was certain he’d remember that face. “You look great, too.”

Her smile faded. “You don’t remember me, do you?”

Guilt stung, but he shook his head. “Sorry, no. I wish I did. Care to help me out?”

“Audrey Hughes.” Her pretty eyes widened in expectation.

His mind raced. The name sounded familiar, although he couldn’t remember where he’d heard it before. A client, maybe?

“The summer of our junior year.” Her bright green eyes widened more, obviously in hopes that he’d remember.

Logan’s mouth dropped. “Audrey? Audrey Hughes?”

She nodded and clutched her hands together. “You remember?”

A flurry of fifteen-year-old memories raced through his mind. Audrey had been in Enchantment Bay with her family for just one summer. She’d been a part of his social group all season long, and they had become good friends. More than friends, actually. But after she had returned home, they’d lost contact with each other.

And now that he had a free summer, she was back. Interesting timing.

“I hope your silence is a good thing.” The pleading in her expression made his heart skip a beat. She was a lot prettier than he remembered.

He cleared his throat. “Yeah, of course. I’m just surprised to see you. It’s been a long time.”

“Fifteen years. Hard to believe how fast time flies by.”

Logan laughed. “You sure know how to make a guy feel old.”

Pink colored her cheeks. “Sorry, but if you’re old, then that makes two of us.”

He shook his head. “Definitely not. So, what brings you back to Enchantment Bay?”

Audrey’s expression darkened for a moment, but then brightened so quickly that Logan had to question if it had changed at all. She smiled sweetly. “Actually, I came to see you.”

“Me?” She couldn’t have surprised him more than by saying that. “You came all the way here to see me?”

“I don’t suppose you remember our deal?”

Logan pressed his palm against the railing. His mind spun. “We made a deal?”

She nodded toward the porch swing. “Mind if we talk?”

“Uh, sure.” He stumbled back.

What had he agreed to?

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