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Book 4: The Heartwood Wedding (Carter's Cove Beach Romance)

Book 4: The Heartwood Wedding (Carter's Cove Beach Romance)

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Fall in love with The Heartwood Inn in Carter’s Cove…with 5 sweet romances, each featuring a Heartwood sister. You’ll get this complete series of heartwarming stories of sisterhood, friendship, and love that will leave you wanting to revisit Carter’s Cove over and over again. 

Each romance features a Heartwood sister navigating the potholes of romance with someone they DEFINITELY don't get along with...

About THE HEARTWOOD WEDDING: He needs a reason not to go out with a journalist. She'd like a guaranteed date for the summer. They don't get along, so keeping Brad in the not-her-real-fiancé category should be easy for Celeste. Totally easy. Will Celeste put her reputation—and her heart—on the line for the football star? Or will she end up nursing a wounded heart when the truth comes out?

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Sample Chapter 1 Now!

Bradley Keith positioned the hardhat on his head, the construction site before him like a breath of fresh air. He loved the scent of concrete dust combined with the salty air only found on the island of Carter’s Cove.

He’d been back in town for a few years now, and gratitude for this hometown project spread through him. Sometimes his jobs took him all over the South, and it was nice to have a construction site just down the road from where he lived.

The Heartwood Inn was the premier destination on the island, and they wanted another pool on the second floor for their VIP guests.

The floor was relatively quiet, as most of their conference center space sat on this floor, along with two huge ballrooms where the rich and famous booked their weddings. Brad knew, because his once-fiancée had booked their marriage-to-be right here at the inn. Thankfully, Emily had called off the wedding before Brad had had to do it.

“Where are we with the tiles?” he asked his floor supervisor.

James sighed. “They’re delayed out of Atlanta. Apparently they’ve had some thunderstorms down there.”

“Surprise, surprise,” Brad muttered. He hated Atlanta, though he’d lived there for a few years. Started his construction business there, too. Maybe that was why he held such antagonistic feelings toward the city.

Because he’d almost lost everything there too, thanks to another fiancée that hadn’t become his wife. And he had been the one to tell Tamara that the relationship wasn’t going to work out between them.

That single act had caused him to lose his biggest financial backer—Tamara’s father.

He wiped the memories from his mind as he surveyed what looked like one big hole in the cement. “Is she cured?”

“Yep,” James said. “We just need those tiles. I have the guys working on the floor today. That’ll be the second coat. We’ll do the walls while we wait. And the floor tiles are in.”

“They are? Show me those.” Brad glanced at his clipboard as he followed James through the construction site. A couple of men worked in the dressing rooms too, where the white subway tiles had gone in last week.

Brad felt like his whole life had been consumed by tiles. But when building an indoor swimming pool, that was kind of how things went.

“How was your date the other night?” James asked, stepping past a workbench filled with power tools.

“Oh, uh.” Brad heaved another sigh. “I don’t think I’m going to be seeing Carmen again.” Anyone for that matter, but especially Carmen. He didn’t date journalists, for one, and if he’d known who she was, he never would’ve agreed to go out with her. Number two, she hadn’t really seemed interested in him, but in getting a story on him. And number three, she had the power to reduce him to ashes with a few strokes on her keyboard.

No, thank you. He’d left that high-profile life—but he hadn’t been able to get out of the restaurant without a reason why he couldn’t date her. He squirmed in his own skin just thinking about what he’d told her to get out of going on a second date with her.

“Why not?”

“I’m just not into the dating scene here,” he said. “I grew up here, you know?”

“So? What does that have to do with anything?” James stopped in front of a stack of boxes. “These are the floor tiles for the pool surround.”

Brad proceeded to cut through the tape on the top box to reveal—“These are red,” he said.

“No.” James frowned. “Didn’t we order gray?”

“We sure did.” Brad pulled one of the twelve-inch square tiles out of the box. “This is definitely red.” He lifted the burnt orange tile almost above his head, wanting to smash it at his feet.

James made a sound like a leaking balloon, and he pulled his phone out of his back pocket. “I’ll call them. Do you have the form?”

Brad did…somewhere. He looked at his clipboard and started flipping the papers attached there. “What was the name of the company again?” The letters in front of him blurred and rearranged themselves into nonsensical formations.

“Castle-something,” James said.

A big C caught his attention, and he pulled that paper out of the top clasp. “I think this is it.” No one knew about his reading struggles, and he’d managed to restart his business without help from anyone. Spending seventeen years playing professional football had allowed him certain…luxuries.

He’d returned to Carter’s Cove, as there always seemed to be some sort of development going on here, and he’d managed to make a decent living the past few years.

“So you don’t want to go out with Kelly,” James said, looking at the paper.

“No,” Brad said. “I’m not going out with anyone anymore.” He’d been engaged twice, and he was thinking maybe he’d just stay married to his business, the way Tamara had claimed he already was.

Plus, at age forty-seven, he wasn’t exactly in the prime years of his life for swimming in the dating pool. James had been the one to set him up with Emily here on the island, and in fact, every date Brad had been on once he’d re-established himself here in Carter’s Cove had been set up by James.

“You could be missing out,” James said, turning away a moment later with, “Yes, this is James Long with Keith Construction. We ordered….” His voice faded out, and Brad let him go.

He wandered out of the dressing room and back into the main pool area, where a few other people worked. He didn’t have a huge construction firm, but he knew plenty of people, and when he got hired on a big job, he could bring the manpower.

He loved the beach, but he had a sudden longing to travel to Lexington, where he’d spent summers growing up on his grandfather’s horse farm.

He’d lived a good life for his forty-seven years, even if he didn’t have a wife and kids to show for it.

You might be missing out rang in his ears, but he scoffed them away. James didn’t know what he was talking about. He couldn’t even set Brad up with someone even remotely compatible with him, and they’d been friends for five years.

A feminine form moved past the plastic separating the construction site from the rest of the hotel, and Brad turned away from the woman. Instant heat shot to his face, reminding him that even forty-seven-year-olds had hormones.

But Celeste Heartwood was one thousand percent off-limits. Not only was she completely out of his league, what with her pencil skirts and professionally pressed blouses—and those heels. Wow, Brad liked those heels that woman wore—but she knew she was out of his league.

“Did you hear me?”

“What?” Brad spun away from the plastic, where Celeste had been. She wasn’t even there anymore, and foolishness hit Brad right between his ribs.

“They’re putting a rush on the right tile,” James said. “It should be here by the end of the week.”

“Great,” Brad said. “Great.” He took a deep breath, wondering where he’d been on his to-do list for that morning before thoughts of Celeste had distracted him.

“Are you going down to South Port today?” James asked.

“Yes,” Brad said, seizing onto the topic. “I do need to go down there.”

“Okay, so—” He cut off so suddenly that Brad looked at him only to find him staring at something straight ahead. He followed his gaze to see Carmen Lunt standing there.

His stomach dropped to his boots, and whatever James said didn’t register in Brad’s ears. All he could see was that fiery Latina stalking toward him. She said something in rapid Spanish that Brad knew enough to translate into something bad, and then she arrived in front of him.

“You said you were engaged?” The words echoed throughout the entire construction site, as it was mostly cement and very open.

“You said what?” James asked.

“I am,” Brad said, his voice a little weaker than he’d like it to be.

“To who?” Carmen folded her arms and cocked one hip. Her head bobbled like one of those dolls, daring him to lie to her again.

He could see the headlines now…. He felt like he was falling for a moment, and his own name left his mind. Celeste walked by the plastic again, causing it to flutter, and he seized onto the idea. “Celeste Heartwood,” he said. “There she is. Excuse me.” He ducked around Carmen and jogged toward the plastic.

He’d known Celeste’s family growing up, though he was quite a bit older than the woman herself. Olympia, her older sister, was probably five years younger than him, and Brad had competed in the surfing championship right here at the inn before he’d been drafted into professional football and shipped all over the country.

He’d spent the most time down in Florida, playing for the Falcons, where he’d ended his career after eight years there.

“Celeste,” he called after her once he’d freed himself from the construction site. She turned back, surprise in those gorgeous eyes as she paused right outside her office door.

Gorgeous eyes? Where had that come from?

“Hey.” He chuckled as he jogged up to her. “Can I talk to you? For a minute?” He glanced over his shoulder and back toward the construction site. James and Carmen hadn’t emerged yet. She was his next-door neighbor, so maybe he was trying to calm her down.

Brad could hope and pray, and he needed a solution—fast.

“I suppose,” Celeste said, confusion on her face.

“Great.” He reached past her and twisted her doorknob, pushing the door in so she’d enter. Another quick look over his shoulder told him that he had maybe thirty seconds inside this office, as Carmen stood there, watching them now.

Celeste either didn’t care or didn’t see her, because she entered her office, one hand on the door while he followed. She closed the door and asked, “What’s going on? Is there a problem with the construction? I can get the manager—”

“There’s no problem with the construction.” Brad pulled himself out of the situation and put himself on the football field. Sure, he’d retired from the league eight years ago, but he’d never focused better than when playing football.

And he needed to focus now, on the right things. Not Celeste’s very feminine form, with all these curves and swells in the right place. Not her very pink lips that called to his male side. Not the pale blue eyes and the softly curled blonde hair that begged him to run his hands through it moments before he kissed her so completely that he’d forget the look of disdain on her face.

He really needed to get control of his thoughts, because he would never be with this woman.

“I said,” she said. “What’s the problem?”

“Oh, uh.” He glanced behind him. “I need a favor, and I’m afraid I need it right now.”

Carmen knocked on the door, a string of muffled Spanish following.

“What in the world?” Celeste asked, stepping one of those deliciously heeled feet toward the door.

Brad jumped in front of her. “I need you to say you’re my fiancée.”

Her eyes flew to his, wide and scared. Scared? Was that right?

Alarmed, for sure. Surprised. And yes, a little scared.

“Just tell her,” he said. “Please, Celeste. It’ll just be for the next ten minutes, and I just—” His voice got covered by louder knocking.

Pure desperation pulled through him, and he had no idea what he’d do if she said no.

She jumped as the door rattled in the frame as Carmen beat on it. She looked from it to him and tugged on the bottom of her blouse. It was pure white, with tiny pink palm trees on it, and Brad had a brief flash of the two of them lying on the sand, under some palm trees together.

“I’ll take care of this,” Celeste said, reaching for the door handle.

But that hadn’t exactly answered Brad’s plea, and he had no idea what she was going to say to the very angry woman on the other side of the door.

What Readers are Saying

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “I love Brad. He’s open, honest, humble, and willing to admit when he makes a mistake, intentional or not. I was surprised and intrigued when Brad and Celeste said they were engaged. Celeste is professional and uptight. But she’s fun and flirty when she’s relaxed and having a good time. I liked that the characters were honest and forgiving. And the ending was the perfect touch!” ~J. Archibald

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “I really enjoyed reading your book it was wonderful as usual I loved all the characters in your book you have such wonderful men in your books I would recommend this book to all my friends and family members.” ~Ruby M.

View full details

Fall in love with The Heartwood Inn in Carter’s Cove…with 5 sweet romances, each featuring a Heartwood sister. You’ll get this complete series of heartwarming stories of sisterhood, friendship, and love that will leave you wanting to revisit Carter’s Cove over and over again.

Visit the South Carolina coast and The Heartwood Inn in these clean and wholesome beach romances. Each romance features a Heartwood sister navigating the potholes of romance with someone they DEFINITELY don’t get along with…

  • Book 1: The Heartwood Sea

    She owns The Heartwood Inn. He needs the land the inn sits on to impress his boss. Neither one of them will give an inch. But will they give each other their hearts?

  • Book 2: The Heartwood Inn

    She’s excited to have a neighbor across the hall. He’s got secrets he can never tell her. Will Olympia find a way to leave her past where it belongs so she can have a future with Chet?

  • Book 3: The Heartwood Beach

    She’s got a stalker. He’s ex-military with a loud bark. Can Sheryl tame her bodyguard Gage into a boyfriend?

  • Book 4: The Heartwood Wedding

    He needs a reason not to go out with a journalist. She’d like a guaranteed date for the summer. They don’t get along, so keeping Brad in the not-her-real-fiancé category should be easy for Celeste. Totally easy.

  • Book 5: The Heartwood Chef

    They’ve been out before, and now they work in the same kitchen at The Heartwood Inn. Gwen isn’t interested in getting anything filleted but fish, because Teagan’s broken her heart before… Can Teagan and Gwen manage their professional relationship without letting feelings get in the way?

This series spins off to Hilton Head Island!

Escape to the beaches of South Carolina with this Supper Club of ladies, each of whom is starting over in some way in their 40s. New loves, new lives, new businesses - and they're waiting for YOU, their new best friend!

Read this series if you like: 

✔ Second chance romance

✔ Later in life romance

✔ Pristine beach setting

✔ Island life

✔ He falls for her first!

✔ Walks on the beach

✔ Beach bonfire kisses

✔ Enemies to lovers

✔ Friends to lovers

✔ Single parent romance

✔ Women's friendship fiction

✔ Supper Clubs!

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