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Book 5: The Day He Let Go (Hawthorne Harbor Romance)

Book 5: The Day He Let Go (Hawthorne Harbor Romance)

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Escape to the beach today with single moms, single dads, and that one old lady that knows everyone in town...

This sweet and clean romance series is sure to have the heartfelt love stories and heartwarming women's fiction you're looking for. Travel to Hawthorne Harbor for these hometown heroes without leaving your house!


About THE DAY HE LET GO: A K9 cop, the woman he hires to build him a deck, and the magic of Christmas that could bring Trent and Lauren together this holiday season...Can Trent learn to let go of the past so he and Lauren can find love and build a family?

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Read Chapter 1 Now!

Listen to a sample here!

“Trent, party of two?”

Trent Baker stood, wondering if he could get out of this date before it really started. Kathy was a brunette—his only requirement for his friends, who had been setting him up on dates for a couple of months now—but she wasn’t anything like the kind of woman he wanted to spend more than five minutes with.

He knew, because they’d been waiting for a table at the steakhouse for twenty minutes and he’d stopped talking halfway through.

But he didn’t ask Kathy for a raincheck, because he’d never cash that in. And she didn’t act like she wanted to leave either. Maybe she just wanted ribs or the killer delicious rolls at Stan’s.

Trent thought at least he’d eat well tonight, but he wouldn’t be getting a second date.

Kathy carried the conversation, and Trent felt himself loosening up a little bit as drinks came, and then main dishes. He laughed with her when a couple on the dance floor started doing a professional swing and took a long drink from his soda, thinking maybe he just needed to open his mind to women he didn’t immediately click with.

Her phone went off, and she said, “Do you mind?”

“Go ahead.” He had his phone on the table too, because his six-year-old son, Porter, could need him at any moment.

Of course, his sister who watched the boy had never interrupted one of Trent’s dates yet. But Kathy didn’t know that, so Trent’s phone sat on the table, screen up.

Kathy twittered over something on her device, and she looked up and said, “It’s my boyfriend.”

Boyfriend.

The word echoed through Trent’s head, and he blinked at the woman across from him. Her thumbs flew across the screen and the look of joy on her face couldn’t be anything but sincere.

“Boyfriend?” Trent finally asked, employing his police officer voice. Maybe not the one he used on his four German shepherds while he worked on their K9 training, but close.

Very close.

Kathy looked up, surprise on her face. “Yeah, Bruce?”

As if Trent should know who Bruce was. Trent had been back in Hawthorne Harbor for four years, and sure, he worked for the police department. But he certainly didn’t know every citizen in town.

“How long have you and Bruce been dating?” Trent put his napkin on the table, ready to flee this disaster. Ready to simply be a single dad for the rest of his life. He could raise Porter. He could. He could find some way to ease the loneliness in his life. He could.

But he wasn’t going out with another woman from this town.

“Oh, six or seven months.” Kathy put her phone down and beamed at him.

“What did you think this was?” Trent waved between the two of them and leaned his elbows on the table.

She blinked, confusion racing through her eyes. “Oh, no.” She covered her mouth with one hand. “Did you think this was a date?”

Trent refrained from rolling his eyes by looking up at the waiter as he arrived. “We’re ready to go,” he said, already pulling out his wallet.

“So no dessert?”

Trent threw a few twenty-dollar bills on the table and stood. “No dessert.” The woman had gotten her steak and salad bar already.

“Trent,” she said, but he was already walking toward the front door. He had to drive her home—he wasn’t going to be rude or anything—but he didn’t have to stay in public for this conversation.

Embarrassment and frustration heated his face, and though autumn had arrived in Hawthorne Harbor, Trent felt hot from head to toe.

Thankfully, Kathy caught up to him and got in his truck without further incident.

“Georgia said she had a friend who needed a friend.”

Trent grunted, not sure how to respond. Friends who went out together paid for their own meals. They didn’t dress up in bright pink sundresses, wear heels, or put on as much makeup as Kathy had.

Of course, he barely knew her. Maybe she did dress like this all the time.

“It’s fine,” he said, practically jamming his foot to the floor in his haste to get this date over with. “I don’t want to talk about it.”

The drive to her house took eight minutes. Eight painfully long minutes of silence, and Trent didn’t get out to walk her to the door. After all, her boyfriend was probably waiting just inside.

“Thank you for dinner,” she said, and Trent nodded her right out of the truck. He watched to make sure she got inside, as darkness had fallen and the police officer in him wouldn’t let him just drive off.

But then he did pull out of her driveway and head down the highway toward the coast.

He didn’t want to go back to Eliza’s and explain anything to her, and the date had only lasted one hour and fifteen minutes, including that awkward drive.

His sister would ask a lot of questions and then start scrolling through her phone for more of her single friends. And Trent had already tried with three of them, and nothing had clicked.

“Maybe nothing ever will,” he said to himself and the night in front of him. “Maybe Savannah was your click.” The very thought of his wife made his heart pinch.

But he’d spent a year in complete mourning, barely alive, barely there for his toddler. And he wasn’t going back to that person. Savannah wouldn’t want him to anyway.

Maybe coming back to Hawthorne Harbor was a bad idea, he thought.

But his sister lived here, and his parents were just a few minutes away in Bell Hill. He’d needed their help with Porter, and their support in everything after Savannah’s death.

He’d been lucky to get a spot on the police force, and his experience from the international airport in Seattle had sealed the job for him.

Cheery, yellow light caught his attention, and he realized he’d driven all the way up to Magleby Mansion. A party was clearly in full swing, and Trent felt like he was living inside a bubble.

Other people had fun. Great first dates. Boyfriends and girlfriends. But he just had his K9 dogs, his son, and his monotonous day-after-day job.

He wanted more than that, but at the same time, he was comfortable with the life he had.

Maybe that was why dating stung so much. It reminded him of how far out of his comfort zone he had to get in order to start and maintain a relationship.

He turned into the circular lane to turn around, a truck with a construction rack on it catching his attention.

“Michaels Construction,” he read to himself. He eased on the brake and stopped, snapping a quick picture of the side of the truck so he could call and get a quote on what it would take in terms of time and money to build a deck off the back of his house.

If there was anything he loved more than his son and his K9 dogs, it was his backyard. All it was missing at this point, after four years of Trent’s hard work, was a deck.

But he wasn’t going to call Michael on Friday night. He didn’t need to add insult to injury.

* * *

He called the construction company on Monday morning and got a Lauren who scheduled a time for the general contractor to come out to Trent’s house to take measurements, talk dimensions, and get the information he needed to provide a quote.

Trent had the whole day off, and with his son in school, he found himself out in the yard with all four German shepherds under his care.

He threw them a ball for about thirty minutes before all of them found the shade from the three giant Washington hawthorn trees he cultivated along the side of his backyard.

All four dogs panted, their huge tongues lolling out of their mouths while Trent pruned and weeded, hopefully for the last time before winter set in.

“Hello?” a woman called, and Trent startled away from the rose bushes. Wilson stood, and Trent held out his hand for the dog to stay.

“In the back,” he said, moving toward the fence to unlatch it.

He rounded the corner of the house and came face-to-face with the prettiest woman he’d seen in years. And years.

She had long, dark hair she’d pulled into a ponytail which draped over her shoulder, and she looked at him with sparkly, dark eyes that made his breath catch somewhere behind his lungs.

“I’m Lauren Michaels,” she said, extending her hand for him to shake over the chest-high chainlink.

Trent fumbled the latch, his heart also tossing around inside his chest.

“Lauren Michaels,” he said, understanding dawning on him as he finally got the fence open. “I’m Trent Baker.” He shook her hand, enjoying the zing as their skin met. He had so many questions for her, and none of them were about the deck.

The biggest one—and one he’d really need to know before this woman left his property—was, Do you have a boyfriend?

What Readers are Saying

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “This is another wonderful story of second chances. A K-9 officer with a little boy, a woman with a construction business and sparks flying. Both have insecurities, fears and needs. It’s a dance through the difficulties of a new relationship, learning about each other and trusting each other. I really enjoyed it!” ~Barbara

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “This Hawthorne Harbor series has had my attention from the first book. Then I opened this book and by the second page, I was laughing and knew I had another great read. When a gal accepts a “date” with Trent and then gets a call during the “date” from her boyfriend, for some reason that struck me and I laughed. This is a wonderful read and I loved it from the first page. I would love to live in this community where everyone cares, life is exciting and family life is good.” ~Marlene

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Fall in love with hometown heroes in small-beach-town Hawthorne Harbor!

Escape to the beach today with single moms, single dads, and that one old lady that knows everyone in town... This sweet and clean romance series is sure to have the heartfelt love stories and heartwarming women's fiction you're looking for. Travel to Hawthorne Harbor for these hometown heroes without leaving your house!

  • Book 1: The Day He Left Town

    He’s waiting for a promotion to come through. She’s back in her hometown after a humiliating break-up. Can Tony and Cat make their second chance stick this time?

  • Book 2: The Day He Drove By

    A widowed florist, her ten-year-old daughter, and the paramedic who delivered the girl a decade earlier... Can Drew and Gretchen find their way toward true love?

  • Book 3: The Day He Stopped In

    A widowed park ranger, her twelve-year-old son, and the Chief of Police who's secretly kept an eye on both of them... Do Adam and Janey have the courage to take their relationship out of the friend zone?

  • Book 4: The Day He Said Hello

    A firefighter and his high school sweetheart who's returned to their beachside hometown...and doesn't want to be there. Can the day he said hello start a new relationship that will last this time?

  • Book 5: The Day He Let Go

    A K9 cop, the woman he hires to build him a deck, and the magic of Christmas that could bring Trent and Lauren together this holiday season... Can Trent learn to let go of the past so he and Lauren can find love and build a family?

  • Book 6: The Day He Came Home

    A wounded Marine returns to Hawthorne Harbor years after the woman he was married to for exactly one week before she got an annulment...and then a baby nine months later. Can Hunter and Alice make a family out of past heartache?

  • Book 7: The Day He Asked Again

    A Coast Guard captain would rather spend his time on the sea...unless he's with the woman he's been crushing on for months. If Dave asks just one more time, will Brooklynn give their second chance at romance another shot?

Meet your new best friends on 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!