Wind Chime Café by Sophie Moss
Publication Date: February 4, 2014
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Synopsis: When single mother Annie Malone purchases a quirky Main Street café on Heron Island, she thinks she’s finally turned her dream of opening her own restaurant into a reality. Hearing rumors that a developer is about to build a five-star resort on the sleepy Chesapeake Bay island, she plans to transform the café into a premier upscale bistro. But Navy SEAL, Will Dozier, has no intention of selling his grandparents’ property to a developer. Back on Heron Island for the first time in ten years and secretly struggling with PTSD, Will decides that a fling with the new girl is the perfect way to help him “get his head straight.” The last thing Will expects is to fall in love…with his hometown and with Annie. But Will’s life and career are in San Diego with the SEALs. Can Annie’s love and the healing magic of the island be enough to convince him to stay?
About the Author:
It was after dark when Will walked out of Rusty’s. He’d waited around for a few hours in case Chase or Spencer showed up. He’d wanted to let them know exactly what was going to happen to them if Chase didn’t approve Annie’s loan.
The bank could afford to cut her some slack. And if Chase disagreed, Will had a few persuasion techniques he was happy to use on Annie’s behalf.
Opening the door to the SUV, he climbed into the driver’s seat. The last thing he wanted was to put a single mother out of business. He’d been so wrapped up in his own problems he hadn’t considered how his decision might affect her.
Turning the key, he started the engine and rolled down the window. Inside the bar, Carrie Underwood was belting out a song about revenge and some of the women were starting to dance. It would be so easy to get one of them to come home with him tonight.
Part of him was tempted, and if this was San Diego, he would. But this wasn’t San Diego. This was Heron Island. And he knew those women. He’d grown up with them. He’d gone fishing with their dads and uncles. He’d played sports with their brothers.
He wasn’t going to use one of them to help him get his head straight.
He switched on the headlights and backed out of the spot. In the past, taking a woman home had always been the fastest route to get past the nightmares and the insomnia. But he’d had a flashback in a bar tonight, in a public place.
He’d never had a flashback in public before. They usually only happened at night, when he was alone. The tires crunched over gravel as he drove out of the lot. They were getting worse.
What the hell was he going to do if he couldn’t find a way to control them?
He drove down the road in silence, not bothering to turn on the radio. When he got to the stop sign, his headlights shone over the two-story house with the purple shutters. He could see Annie through the downstairs windows, unpacking boxes.
Pulling over to the side of the road, he cut the engine and climbed out. He owed her an apology. Crickets chirped in the tall grasses as he crossed the street and walked up the steps to her porch.
She glanced up when he got to the doorway, and met his gaze through the glass. Sending him a look that said, you have got to be kidding me, she walked to the door and opened it. “I don’t have anything for you to eat.”
“I know. I wasn’t…” He trailed off, gazing down at her. She’d taken a shower recently and her long red hair hung like fire-colored ropes over her shoulders. Her eyes, the color of wet leaves, looked haunted and tired. She was wearing a black wrap shirt over black yoga pants and no makeup.
He wanted to pull her into his arms and not let go for the rest of the night. “I thought you might need a hand.”
He nodded toward the row of boxes against the wall.
Annie crossed her arms over her chest. “I’m not going to go out with you because you offered to unload a few boxes.”
His lips twitched. He couldn’t help it. “I’m hurt that you’d think I have an ulterior motive.”
Annie rolled her eyes. “Fine,” she said, turning and pointing to a box on the floor. “You can unload those dishes onto the racks behind the counter.”
Will walked over to the box and picked it up. What was he doing? He should apologize and get the hell out of here. Annie didn’t need any more baggage to add to the load she was already carrying. He should leave her alone and let her be.
But when he passed her on the way to the counter, she smelled like vanilla and apple pie. And the only place he wanted to be was right here, helping her unpack.
About the Author:
Sophie Moss is an award-winning author of four full-length romance novels. Known for her captivating Irish fantasy romances and heartwarming contemporary romances with realistic characters and unique island settings, her books have appeared twice in USA Today. As a former journalist, Sophie has been writing professionally for over ten years. She currently lives in San Diego, California, where she's working on her next novel. When she's not writing, she's walking the beach, testing out a new dessert recipe, or fiddling in her garden. Sophie loves to hear from readers. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website sophiemossauthor.com to sign up for her newsletter.