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Book 10: The Bicycle Book Club (Five Island Cove)

Book 10: The Bicycle Book Club (Five Island Cove)

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The Bicycle Book Club
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Summer is upon Five Island Cove, and that means beach days with friends and family, an explosion of tourism, and summer reading programs!

Tessa Simmons has just taken a job as the Assistant Director at the library in the cove, and she’s been charged with all of the adult programming. Her ideas are big, and she brings in her new friends for focus groups to truly expand the reach of literature in the cove.

Robin and AJ have ideas and plenty of opinions, as do all of the other women. They don’t always line up, and some voices are louder than others. But as Eloise has taken a step back to spend more time with her family, she becomes instrumental in helping Tessa establish smaller library branches on all five islands in the cove.

Kelli is busy with her yoga studio and her job as a new mother, but she also brings the idea of more books and better literature to both Pearl and Bell Island. Jean suggests a “lighthouse little library,” and Tessa takes in all the ideas, trying to find the right things that will reach everyone from 18 to 80.

Robin’s daughter and Alice then come up with a brilliant idea to unite generations throughout the cove: a bicycle book club. Maddy, Julia, and Clara quickly jump on the idea, and it takes shape like nothing else has.

Then Tessa decides to look into the past to help shape the future, what she finds in the Five Island Cove library archives could bring them closer together…or splinter them forever.

Escape to the beach this summer with your new best friends! Join the women in Five Island Cove as they navigate friendships old and new, romantic relationships past and present, and bring new ideas that could last generations to the quaint island town you’ll want to visit over and over again!

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Sample Chapter 1 Now!

Tessa Simmons wished she could smile as the express ferry from Nantucket pulled up to the northwest dock on Diamond Island. She lived on Sanctuary, so she’d still have another boat ride to make before she could return home.

But the express ferry only went to Diamond Island, and Tessa had to work today anyway. She’d grab lunch somewhere—alone—and then walk herself over to the library.

She finally turned her face toward the early summer sunshine, a tickle of a smile touching her lips. She loved the island life far more than living in New Jersey, but she didn’t want to stay on Nantucket.

Rather, she couldn’t.

The brief life she’d led there had been borne in hope, but quickly marred by mystery and death. Memories of the horrors she’d lived through—waking up from a drugged state, the sound of gunshots, the red-blue of police lights… She suddenly felt cold despite the warm temperatures and the frilly sunshine.

Just as quickly as she remembered, the images, the sights, the sounds, they all faded. Tessa contained them behind a wall in her mind, the way her therapist had been teaching her.

A sigh filled her lungs and leaked out of her mouth as the ferry docked and people moved toward the steps that would lead them to dry land. As if on auto-pilot, Tessa’s legs moved too, and she joined the small swell of people who’d come to Five Island Cove from Diamond Island today.

Tessa didn’t think many of them were tourists. Most likely, they were like her. They had business on Nantucket, but they’d come home. Or, they had business here, and would return to Nantucket and their homes later that day.

A particular weariness accompanied her as she disembarked and faced the row of shops that lined the street opposite the ferry station. She could get something to eat there, as she had many times before. She adored seafood, and the cove had no shortage of it.

Sometimes, Tessa just wanted a burger, or maybe a salad, but today, she honestly didn’t know what she wanted to eat. Her stomach felt hollow, and she knew she had to have a little something before she started her shift at the library.

She only worked a few days a week, but that meant the shifts were longer, and she’d be closing tonight.

Her fingers tightened around the strap of her purse, which she wore across her body, as she thought about getting out her phone and texting someone to ask if they wanted to eat lunch with her. 

She hadn’t quite integrated herself into the friendships here in the cove the way Maddy had, but everyone still welcomed Tessa with open arms. To anything she could get to, that was.

“You need to get to more,” she muttered to herself, bypassing the taco truck and deciding then and there to get a ride downtown. She’d be closer to the library, and she could spend the next couple of hours in the sunshine, sipping tea and enjoying a slow, carefree meal at her favorite bistro here in the cove.

As she backtracked to join the RideShare line, which only had a couple of people waiting, Tessa did text Maddy. I’m on Diamond for the next few days. Lunch? 

The power blonde she’d met in Nantucket had gotten married about a month ago, and Tessa had been there in her flowing lavender gown, which now hung in her boyfriend’s closet in Nantucket.

The closet Abraham Sanders was nowhere near cleaning out, packing up, and moving here. He’d claimed to be passing his deli on Nantucket to his son once fall came, then the New Year, but that had been almost six months ago, and Abe still went into his meat shop every day.

Tessa had been splitting her time between working at the library here in the cove, riding the ferry back to Nantucket, and walking the beaches there while she waited for Abe to finish up working.

She had a house there, but Tessa couldn’t stay in it. Her sister lived in Nantucket too, but Tessa had a love-hate relationship with her. She loved her, because they had the same blood flowing in their veins. But Tessa didn’t particularly love spending time with Janey.

As she sank into the back seat of the sedan which had just pulled up to the curb, Tessa said, “The Harbor Bistro, please.”

“You got it.” The man smiled at her in the rear-view mirror, and Tessa guessed his age to be close to hers. She leaned back and closed her eyes, wondering what to do about Abe.

They’d been doing for almost two years now. Two years, and while she loved him, and he’d said he loved her, actions always spoke louder than words. 

He had not moved here, despite claiming to want to be here with her full-time. She’d started going to Nantucket more and more, and he hadn’t been to the cove in a couple of months now. 

Maybe it’s over, she thought. At the very least, they were horribly stalled, and one of them would have to say or do something to get things moving again. Tessa wasn’t sure if she wanted to be that person or not.

Thoughts of AvaJane Hymas ran through her mind. She didn’t know the woman all that well, but what she did know was almost enough. She’d waited and waited for men who never truly wanted her.

Was Tessa doing the same thing?

“Ma’am,” the man said, and she jerked her eyes open. 

“Sorry,” she said a bit groggily. “I think I fell asleep.” A hint of embarrassment tugged through her, and Tessa hastened to get her purse and get out of the car.

“Are you okay?” the man asked, and Tessa paused at the question. He twisted and looked at her, concern in his blue eyes.

“Do I not look okay?”

“I don’t know,” he said. “It’s just a…feeling I have. I see a lot of people with the driving.” A smile flickered across his face, there for a moment, and then gone.

Tessa wished she knew what her face looked like or what vibe she gave off to alert someone like him that she wasn’t okay. “I’m okay,” she said as firmly as she could, and she tapped her card to the RideShare pad to pay for her ride. “Thank you.”

“Sure thing,” he said. “Enjoy your lunch.” He re-positioned his ball cap on his head as the pad beeped. Tessa got out of the car and slammed the door, then stood on the sidewalk and watched it drive away.

Seconds seemed to slow, and she wasn’t even sure why. Her phone beeped and buzzed, and she startled back to the present. Back to reality. She looked at her phone and found Maddy had returned her text.

Lunch sounds amazing! Tomorrow? Should I invite Julia?

If you can tear her away from Liam, Tessa said, smiling to her screen. She lifted her face, feeling better with plans with her friends. That alone gave her enough courage and stamina to face the bistro, knowing she’d be dining alone.

* * *

“Tessa?” 

She turned away from the shelf where she’d just inserted a hardcover book to find her boss, Bonnie, standing there. “Hey, Bonnie.” 

“Do you have a minute?” She nodded back toward the offices and check-out desk in the small library. Bonnie was at least fifteen years younger than Tessa, and she’d been hired as the new library director only two months ago.

Tessa liked her a lot, because she had good ideas for the small island community library, and she was willing to work to get the programs, the funding, and the concepts in her head out into the public.

“Sure.” Tessa took the few books she had in her arms with her as she walked down the aisle between bookshelves behind Bonnie. She’d worked or volunteered in a library for many years, and there was nowhere she’d rather be than around books, books, and more books—except maybe flowers, as Tessa adored gardening too.

Bonnie led her into her office, which was lined with books, and held carts of books, and had stacks of books on her desk. “Close the door, would you?”

Tessa did, and she balanced her few books on her lap as she took the only chair across from Bonnie. The room smelled like oranges, and Tessa wasn’t at all surprised to watch a gray cat leap lightly onto the librarian’s desk and meow.

“Not now, Dusky,” Bonnie said briskly. She’d inherited the cat with the library, as it lived here. The first librarian who showed up in the morning fed her, and there were no less than three beds for the feline around the library, all of them on top of bookshelves, so the cat could look down condescendingly on all the patrons who dared to look for something to read.

Dusky meowed again, then sat down and looked at Tessa. She smiled at the cat, as she owned two of her own. She’d adopted them from the local shelter here, and her neighbor took care of them while she went to Nantucket.

“All right.” Bonnie sighed like an older woman and folded her arms in front of her. She looked past the cat and all the books and beamed at Tessa. “We need an assistant library director to help run all the programs starting up this summer.”

Tessa’s heart began to pound. An assistant library director was a full-time position. She wouldn’t be resolving books from the return cart, and she’d be expected to work every day. 

“I want to offer it to you,” Bonnie said, her smile growing. “I think you’re perfect for it, because we have programs I want to get off the ground for men and women your age. It’s not just summer reading for kids and teens anymore.”

“I know.” The words scratched on the way out of Tessa’s mouth. She attended all staff meetings, and she’d heard and seen all of Bonnie’s ideas. She’d voted on some of them, and she liked how the director didn’t take offense when her ideas got shot down.

She simply moved onto the next one, or she went back to the drawing board to refine the idea before she brought it up again. 

“The Book Club,” Tessa said, her voice only slightly stronger. 

“For young moms, moms of teens, and those beyond.”

Tessa smiled, because she knew she was in the “those beyond” category, and no one wanted to label people her age as old. Bonnie had never used the word, and she gently corrected anyone who said anything like, “older generation.” 

The truth was, Tessa was part of the older generation who didn’t think of the library when it came to their hobbies or how to spend their afternoons. Tessa worked here, so it was completely different for her.

“It’s a full-time position,” Bonnie said, plucking a yellow file folder from somewhere on the other side of the stack of books between her and the library director. “Monday through Friday, with some Saturday work. I want you to work on all of our adult programming, including the Book Clubs, because you’re perfect for it. Everyone here respects you, and—”

She stopped when Tessa held up her hand. “You don’t have to flatter me.” She smiled at Bonnie. “I’m honored that you thought of me.”

Bonnie’s eyebrows went up, and she casually pushed her strawberry blonde hair over her shoulder. “But?”

Tessa paused, because she didn’t know what came behind that word. If she lived here full-time, she could go to lunch with her friends any time she wanted. She could become better friends with Robin, Alice, and Eloise. Heck, she might even learn the whole story behind AJ, Kelli, Jean, and Clara’s lives. 

She wanted relationship with those women, but she’d been choosing Abe over and over…when he hadn’t been choosing her.

Her throat narrowed, the walls of it nearly sticking together as she weighed her options in mere nanoseconds. The human mind was so amazing, and Tessa blinked, the answer to this job offer right in front of her.

“I’d be honored,” she said, her own smile finally reaching way down deep inside her and touching a hidden spot of happiness. 

Bonnie squealed and clapped her hands together. “Perfect. I still want you to take this.” She got to her feet and rounded the desk. “It goes over your salary and your benefits. Ask me or the city lawyer any questions. I had to work hard to get this position.” 

She grinned and ran the last few steps to Tessa. “I’m so happy you said yes.”

Tessa hugged Bonnie back, a bit awkwardly because she still sat and Bonnie stood. She even managed to laugh a little. She stood and took the yellow folder from her boss, looking at it with eyes that felt like they could see for the first time.

“Thank you,” she said again.

“If you accept everything,” Bonnie said. “You could start as early as June first.”

“June first,” Tessa echoed. “That’s next week.”

“Yes,” Bonnie said. “And I’d love to sit down with you as soon as possible to talk about a focus group for your age group, to find out what would get them to utilize the library more.”

“My age,” Tessa said, her mind starting to work again. “I know just the women.”

Bonnie hadn’t stopped grinning, but her smile sure seemed to somehow get brighter and bigger. “I knew you would.”

Tessa looked up from the folder, so much to suddenly do before then. 

And the top item on her list: Talk to Abe and find out if he was ever going to leave Nantucket…or if things between them should just be done.

What Readers are Saying

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Take a vacation any time of year in the seaside town of Five Island Cove!

Meet five best friends as they reunite after years apart and rekindle their strong bond with one another, weather storms, and uncover secrets that have been lying dormant for decades...

This series is best read IN ORDER, as each book builds on the other and there are open storylines throughout. Each book features these amazing friends as they reunite and bring others into their fold, addresses the woman's journey later in life, and shows sweet, closed-door romance!

  • Book 1: The Lighthouse

    After the death of a childhood loved one, 5 best friends reunite in the small coastal town of Five Island Cove. One doesn't expect to find love with a high school crush. Another isn't prepared to find the strength she needs to take control of her life. And none of them are ready for the secrets they'll uncover at the lighthouse...

  • Book 2: The Summer Sand Pact

    Get ready for more secrets to come to light in Five Island Cove, and for these five women to show each other what it means to love and support someone through thick and thin.

  • Book 3: The Cliffside Inn

    With their different personalities and in their different states of mind, none of these best friends are prepared for the secret contained within the walls of The Cliffside Inn. They've survived tough situations before, but this might be the thing that tears them apart for good...

  • Book 4: Christmas at the Cove

    Secrets are never discovered during the holidays, right? That's what these five best friends are banking on as they gather once again to Five Island Cove for what they hope will be a Christmas to remember.

  • Book 5: The House on Seabreeze Shore

    Join best friends, old and new, Robin, Alice, Eloise, Kelli, Laurel, and AJ as they learn about themselves, strengthen their bonds of friendship, and learn what it truly means to thrive.

  • Book 6: Four Weddings and a Baby

    Four weddings and a baby are on their way to Five Island Cove! Join Alice, AJ, Kelli, Robin, Kristen, Eloise, and Laurel as they learn how strong they really are, and the great power they hold as women, and as friends, in any circumstance.

  • Book 7: The Seafaring Girls

    When someone returns to the Cove no one ever expected to see again, old wounds open just as they'd started to heal. This group of women will be tested again, both on land and at sea, just as they once were as teens.

  • Book 8: Rebuilding Friendship Inn

    A single phone call changes everything.

    Will these women in Five Island Cove rally around one another as they've been doing? Or will this finally be the thing that breaks them?

  • Book 9: The Glass Dolphin

    With fresh challenges and ever-deepening bonds, these incredible women remind each other, and themselves, of the enduring power of friendship, love, and the resilience of the human spirit. As the truth unravels, the limits of their courage and the strength of their sisterhood will be tested in ways they never imagined.

  • Book 10: The Bicycle Book Club

    When Tessa decides to look into the past to help shape the future, what she finds in the Five Island Cove library archives could bring them closer together…or splinter them forever.

Get more romance & women's fiction in Getaway Bay!

Join the wedding planners, billionaires, and hometown heroes that live in small-town Getaway Bay! It's the perfect blend of sun, sand, beaches, and sweet romance.

Read this series if you like:

✔ Beach reads

✔ Forced proximity

✔ Billionaires

✔ Military heroes

✔ Fake dating tropes

✔ Friends to lovers

✔ Rockstar romance

✔ Single dads

✔ Perfect small town beach settings

✔ Sweet & Steamy kisses

Customer Reviews

Based on 3 reviews
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Tracey W.
Five Island Cove

I just love the depth of the books in this series! The characters are so well fleshed out and the community seems like one I should be able to visit and meet all the people we're introduced to. The storyline of this particular book is so original, and I enjoyed how it connected different communities together. Another wonderful addition to an incredible series!

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Ann F.
Loved this book!!

This book is so good! It's a wonderful heartwarming story about a group of women who stick together through thick and thin. This book is a great addition to the Five Island Cove series. I highly recommend this book and the entire series.
I received a complimentary copy and was not required to write a review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Paula B.
The Bicycle Book Club

I love the ladies of Five Island Cove. Jessie Newton has created such a wonderful community of women who live life together, supporting one another with encouragement, unconditional love and a well-timed kick in the backside when needed. We should all have such a sisterhood to help us through life’s challenges. Get this book - no, get this series - you won’t be disappointed! I’m an ARC reader, and I am honored to leave my voluntary review for this amazing book.