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Book 6: Four Weddings and A Baby (Five Island Cove)

Book 6: Four Weddings and A Baby (Five Island Cove)

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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...

About 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.

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Eloise Hall woke when her fiancé’s alarm went off. Thankfully, the first light of day had started to seep through the curtains, and Eloise knew she wouldn’t go back to sleep.

She’d had a terrible time falling asleep too, because today marked only three days until her wedding, and her dress was completely tailored and ready to be picked up.

Robin would be by at nine-thirty to take Eloise to the dress shop, and then they needed to finalize the fruit platter with the caterer as well. 

She’d selected a seasonal fruit buffet, and the caterer now knew what they could offer.

“Getting up, sweetheart?” Aaron asked from his side of the bed.

“Yes,” she said. “I promised Billie I’d help her with her hair today, and I’ve got a call with Marge before Robin’s coming.”

“I can’t wait to see the dress,” he said, coming around to her side of the bed. He leaned over and kissed her.

“You can see it in three days,” Eloise said, feeling soft and warm inside this house, this bed, the arms of this man.

“Not a day sooner, I’m sure,” Aaron said, smiling.

“Not a day sooner,” Eloise said. “Can you imagine the scandal that would hit the Cove Chronicles if it got out that the Chief of Police had seen his bride’s dress before the wedding day?”

“If that’s the huge scandal that gets attached to my name, I’ll take it,” he said, sighing as he sat on the bed near her knees.

“Are they going to print the article about your dad?”

“He says this kind of stuff happens every election year.”

“I don’t understand what would possess someone to want to run for office.”

“It takes a special breed of human being,” Aaron agreed, his hand moving down Eloise’s leg. “You and the girls will be back in time for dinner with my parents?”

“Of course,” Eloise said, enjoying Aaron’s touch against her skin. “We’ll be on the five-twenty ferry, and we’ll be here by six.”

“Great,” he said. “The food will be delivered at six-thirty, and we’ll eat soon after that.”

“I’ll make sure the girls are at nearly their best before we leave the inn,” Eloise said.

“They’re my parents,” Aaron said. “They know what Billie and Grace are like. Right after their mother left, my mom came over. We were all a horrible mess, and I don’t think I’d brushed poor Grace’s hair for a week.”

Eloise lay in bed and listened to him talk for a few more minutes, and then he stood. “I’m going to go shower, love.”

“Okay.” Eloise rolled over and closed her eyes, letting the soothing sound of the rainfall shower head lull her back to sleep. When Aaron came back into the bedroom to put on his shoes, she woke again.

“I love you, El,” he said on his way out the door, and Eloise repeated the sentiment back to him.

A few minutes later, she got out of bed and padded down the hall in her nightgown, where she found Aaron making coffee and Billie shoving books in her backpack.

The silence in the kitchen meant they’d started this Thursday with an argument, and the way Billie looked at Eloise with such earnestness confirmed it.

“Make sure you have your math homework,” Aaron said, turning and sipping from his mug.

“I’ve got it, Dad,” Billie snapped. 

Eloise wasn’t sure what they’d argued about, and she swept into the kitchen to get a cup of coffee, her eyes on Aaron. “What’s going on?”

“Billie wants to bring a date to our wedding,” he said. 

Eloise had not yet picked up a cup, a fact she was very glad of, for she’d probably have dropped it. Her eyes flew back to Billie, who cocked her hip and put one hand on it.

She’d matured a lot this year, and Eloise loved her fiercely. The protective streak she possessed for Billie didn’t make sense to her, and she knew it was only stronger for Aaron. 

“It’s not a date, Dad.”

“When you bring a boy to a wedding, it’s a date,” Aaron said.

“He’s my friend.”

“Who is it?” Eloise asked, placing both palms against the countertop. She stood next to Aaron, and she hoped they were a united front. She’d taken Billie’s side several times in the past, and she didn’t want to undermine Aaron with his daughter.

“It’s Chris Knight.” 

“Chris Knight?” Eloise and Aaron asked together. “Oh, no,” Aaron added, shaking his head. “I know those Knight boys. They’re always in trouble, and I’ve heard enough of their name to last a lifetime.”

“First,” Billie said. “They’re his half-brothers, and much older than him, Dad. He gets his own chance, doesn’t he?”

“He should—”

“That’s what you’re always saying,” Billie said. “Don’t judge, Bills. Everyone gets their own chance.”

“Billie,” Aaron said, his voice soft but powerful. Eloise glanced at him, hating that he and his daughter argued so much. 

They didn’t really, usually only when it came to Billie and the fact that she was growing up. 

“He’s just my friend,” Billie said.

“I thought we liked a boy named Alex,” Eloise said.

“I do,” Billie said. “That’s why it’s not a date if Chris comes with me to the wedding. You said there’d be dancing, and we’re in the same dance class. I told my teacher about the dancing at the wedding, and she said anyone who dances outside of class gets extra-credit.”

She shoved another notebook in her bag and zipped it closed. “He asked if he could come, because he’s not a great dancer, and he needs the extra-credit.”

“So you didn’t invite him,” Eloise said.

“No.” Billie stepped into the kitchen. “Will you braid my hair now?”

“Yes, dear, get the stuff.”

Billie went to get the comb and hair ties, and Eloise got out her coffee mug. She said nothing, because Aaron needed to make this decision himself.

“I suppose the boy can come to the wedding.”

“He’ll probably step on her feet and cause a scene,” Eloise said dryly. “They’ll trip into the cake or something.”

Such a thing would be a disaster, what with all the press that would be at the wedding. Eloise reminded herself that Aaron was only Five Island Cove royalty, and that literally no one outside of these five tiny islands in the middle of the sea would know about their wedding, whether someone tripped into a cake or not.

She braided Billie’s hair and kissed Aaron good-bye, hurried Grace through eating and getting her shoes on, and sent the girls out the door to school.

She retrieved her phone from the bedroom, where she kept it plugged in overnight, and checked it on her way to the shower.

She had three missed calls from Robin. Shock and fear struck her as one giant lightning bolt.

No matter what, three calls from Robin before eight o’clock in the morning was not good. Eloise’s fingers fumbled as she dialed her friend and wedding planner.

“Eloise, I don’t want you to freak out,” Robin said when she answered the phone.

“I’m already freaking out,” Eloise said. “You called three times.”

“There’s been an accident at the dress shop,” Robin said, and she sounded breathless, as if she’d run from her house to Beachfront Avenue, where the dress shop sat. 

“What kind of accident?”

“Emma called,” Robin said. “I haven’t seen the dress yet, but El…” She blew out her breath. “I’m on the way right now, and I’ll let you know. I just wanted you to be prepared.”

“What happened?” Eloise asked again. “Just tell me, Robin. Then I can be prepared for what I might find.”

The dress had taken the longest for her to find and tailor. She had a love-hate relationship with it as it was, but in the end, she truly did love the dress, and she felt strong and sexy in it at the same time. She knew Aaron would love it, and Eloise felt the first hot tears enter her eyes as she waited for Robin to explain further.

“There was a burst pipe,” Robin said, sighing again. “Overnight. It apparently gushed for hours, and some of their dresses got wet.”

“No,” Eloise gasped.

“I don’t even know if one of them was yours,” Robin said. “And things dry out, El.”

“I’ll change and meet you there,” Eloise said. She could reschedule her call, as she understood the nature of emergencies better than most. 

“Okay,” Robin agreed readily. “I’m leaving now.”

* * *

Eloise clutched her purse, as if the tightness in her knuckles would keep all of her emotions in check. Before she’d returned to the cove only a short nine months ago, Eloise had lived a fairly mundane life. She taught college students about biology, and she’d enjoyed it. Her life had been predictable, and she’d never gotten calls like the kind she’d had with Robin a half-hour ago.

She hadn’t dared to call Aaron, because she couldn’t stand the thought of postponing the wedding. They’d been waiting long enough as it was. Absolutely everything was in place, and Eloise just wanted to walk down the aisle and pledge herself to Aaron. 

She’d packed everything in her tiny house on Sanctuary. All she needed to do was move it, something she and Aaron were planning to do after their honeymoon. He’d taken time off work, a feat not easily achieved for the Chief of Police.

“Looks like the street is closed, ma’am,” the RideShare driver said. 

Eloise pulled her attention from the side window where she’d been looking and toward his voice. He peered through the windshield. “I think this is as far as I can get you.”

“Here is great,” Eloise said, her voice steady and strong. She was not going to break down over this. It was a dress, not her health. Aaron hadn’t abandoned her at the altar. Everything else would still be flawless. “Thank you.” She swiped her payment card and got out of the car.

In front of her, the street had been closed, and a pair of police officers worked the scene, along with five or six people dressed in dark blue polo shirts with the Five Island Cove utility logo on them.

“Ma’am,” someone said as she took her first step down the sidewalk. “You can’t come this way. It’s closed.”

“My dress,” she said, glancing around for Robin. If she couldn’t get down the street, maybe Robin couldn’t either. “I got a call from Judy’s Bridal about my dress.”

“They’re down on the other end of the street,” he said. 

“Okay,” Eloise said. “I can go around?” She could walk a block over and then down.


She turned toward the sound of a familiar voice. “Paul,” she said. “The dress shop called about my dress.”

He wore a sympathetic look as he approached. “I’ll take you.” He nodded to the utility worker. “She’s okay. I’ll get her down there.” He reached for her, and Eloise let him put his arm around her. 

“How bad is it?” she asked as they navigated past the yellow caution tape. The left side of the street had been dug into, and Eloise wished the smell didn’t remind her of the sewer. An image of her dirty and stained dress flashed through her mind, but she quickly pushed it away.

“They’ve called the mainland for new pipes,” Paul said. “This street is going to be shut down for at least two days.”

“Mm.” Eloise didn’t own any of the shops here, but going into a weekend with good weather, she wouldn’t be happy to be shut down. 

“Watch your step here,” Paul said, taking her onto a board that went over the hollowed-out street.

She followed him carefully, watching where she put her feet until she stepped back onto cement. Paul delivered her to the end of the street and past another barrier keeping people out. Eloise spotted the white tent where a few women had crowded, and in the next moment, she saw Robin.

“Thank you, Paul,” she said, pausing to look up at him. She put her hand on his arm. “Please…don’t tell Aaron anything. I’ll talk to him as soon as I know what’s going on.”

Paul looked from the tent where dresses hung on portable racks to her. “Good luck, Eloise.” He bent down and hugged her, and Eloise clung to him a little bit. 

She cleared her throat as she stepped away, and Robin took the last two steps to her. She grabbed her in a hug and said, “Come see. It’s not so bad.”

“Really?” Eloise asked as she started walking with Robin. They arrived at the tent, where Eloise picked out her dress instantly. “Not so bad?” She took in the once-white lace that now held a shade of gray no one wanted on their wedding dress. 

There was no way that would come clean. The strongest bleach couldn’t take out sludge.

The bottom of the dress looked like someone had dipped it into a vat of dye the color of mud, and it seeped up the skirt until it finally petered out. Only the middle of the dress—from about the knees to the wide sash around her waist and into a few inches of the lace that covered the bodice—remained clean.

She reached out and touched the wide straps that went over her shoulders. They too had the look like someone had dropped gray ashes on them and then rubbed them into the fabric. 

“This is terrible. There’s no way I can get this cleaned.”

“Yes,” Robin said, hooking her arm through Eloise’s. “We can. I’ve already called Mike, and he’s waiting for us.” She tightened her hold on Eloise’s arm. “It’s just mud. He can clean it.”

“This isn’t mud,” Eloise said, drawing back her fingers from the sooty substance. “What is that?”

“It’s debris from the ceiling,” Robin said in a miserable voice. “Mike is a miracle worker, El. Let’s get this over to him.” She released Eloise’s arm and picked up the dress. “I’ve got my van.”

She seemed so positive and so sure, and Eloise grabbed onto her optimism as she went with Robin. That was all she could do. Oh, and pray. She could do that too, and Eloise kept up a stream of pleading as Robin put the ruined wedding dress in the back of her van.

“Do we have a back-up plan?” Eloise asked as she got in the passenger seat. 

Robin looked at Eloise, pure nerves in her expression. “Let’s go shopping as soon as the stores open,” she said. “Just in case.”

What Readers are Saying

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “I have read in order all the books in this series so far. They have all been a "feel good" kind of reading experience. Each character has their own unique personality and different ways of handling their problems, but close friendships among them, and the support they give each other, always comes out the winner. This series really lets the reader know what true friendship is about even with the passing of many years. Love and loyalty go hand in hand.” ~Kindle Customer

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “I've read all the books in this series and can't say anything bad about them. I enjoyed each book! They tell the story of each couple and you can believe they're all true stories even though it's fiction! I love the way she writes !!!” ~Sara. R

View full details

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