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Book 9: The Glass Dolphin (Five Island Cove)

Book 9: The Glass Dolphin (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 THE GLASS DOLPHN: Welcome back to the warm embrace of Five Island Cove, where old bonds are tested, new alliances are formed, and a historic treasure threatens to unravel the peace these friends have fought so hard to establish. Discover what lies ahead for the dynamic women of Five Island Cove in THE GLASS DOLPHIN — a tale of love, betrayal, and the healing power of friendship.

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Julia Harper couldn’t keep herself from glancing over to Liam Coldwater every few seconds. She told herself to stop at least a dozen times before Laurel leaned over and whispered, “What is with you and him?”

Julia couldn’t answer, so she stuffed another piece of bruschetta into her mouth. She’d eat the whole platter if she had to. She wasn’t going to answer any questions about Liam tonight. It would be great if she could stop looking at him.

She focused on a conversation Alice was having with Kristen, but she knew few of the players in the conversation, and it didn’t hold her interest. She felt the weight of a gaze on her face, and she once again looked across the living room, past the dining room table, and into the kitchen, where Liam stood. 

He’d been talking to Arthur Rice and Duke Grover, but they’d both dispersed. Liam stood there alone, and their eyes met. The entire Appetizer Hour fell away, and while Julia felt certain someone very nearby was talking to her, she couldn’t hear them. She couldn’t look away from the handsome Liam Coldwater.

At the same time, shame burned through her chest, and the embarrassment of their encounter late last week forced her to drop her head and break the connection.

The conversations surrounding her continued, and she looked up as Alice’s son joined the table. They all started adjusting to make room for the extra chair, and Julia smiled at the young man. He was a good-looking kid, and he reminded Julia so much of her own sons. 

“May I speak to you for a moment?” The man’s voice in her ear hummed, lighting Julia with a fire that burst into a white-hot inferno. She didn’t have to turn to see who it was, but her chin dropped in Liam’s direction. The scent of his breath—like raspberry jam and mint—and the warmth of his skin filled her from head to toe in a single inhale.

She took the napkin from her lap and put it on her plate, though she’d only eaten half of her food. “I’ll be right back,” she managed to say.

“I’ll save your spot,” Laurel said. Julia bore the weight of several pairs of eyes as she faced first the kitchen. Liam stood in the direction of the front door, and he made the choice for them by taking her hand and tugging her in that direction.

She sucked in a breath at the electricity flowing from his arm and into hers, and she wasn’t sure if she wanted him to feel that too or not. Her track record with dating the past couple of years hadn’t been good, and she’d come to terms with healing herself before bringing someone new into her life. If she ever did.

Liam said nothing, and the party continued behind them as they went outside. It had been raining when Julia had arrived with Tessa and Maddy, and a steady drizzle still covered Five Island Cove. 

He released her hand as the door closed behind them, and Julia wrapped her arms around herself. She wanted him to speak first, because he needed to explain why she’d caught him in a lie.

Liam continued down the four steps to the sidewalk, but Julia stayed on the porch, under the eaves and out of the rain. He paced to the end of the sidewalk before he turned back to her. “I’m sorry,” he called across the distance to her. 

Part of her wanted him to lower his voice. Alice’s neighbors would surely come investigate the source of the thing disturbing their holiday dinners. She glanced around, a sense of romanticism entering her bloodstream. What woman didn’t want a man to proclaim his love for her to the world?

He’s not doing that, she told herself. They’d been on one date—a fantastic, amazing date. Julia had even given herself permission to kiss him should he make the move when he dropped her off.

He hadn’t, but they’d had another evening planned for a few days later.

“He’s my son,” Liam yelled now. “His name is Ian, and he’s the best thing in my life. I don’t tell women about him until things are more serious, because it’s a lot.” He threw his arms out to the side. “I’m a lot for them to take in. The job. The badge. The insane hours!” He yelled into the storm now, his head tipped back to the angry, gray sky.

Julia found him downright adorable. Strong, tall, sexy, and utterly charming. All adjectives she’d use for Liam Coldwater. 

He looked at her, the ends of his longer, curly, blond hair dripping with the drizzle now. He looked absolutely tormented, and Julia wanted to erase all of that for him.

“So I didn’t say anything. When you ran into us in the market, I froze. I didn’t mean to lie, and I’ve hated myself every hour since.” His arms dropped to his side, and that was almost the permission Julia needed to move. Like he was an air traffic controller, holding her at bay with his arms up, and now that they’d gone down, she could go to him.

She went down the steps deliberately, not looking at them. Only him. She walked toward him slowly, the way she’d approach a scared dog she desperately wanted to get closer to. He let her come all the way to him, the silence between them only punctuated by rain.

Julia took his face in her hands, the warmth of his skin infusing into her chilled fingers. “I would’ve kissed you after our first date,” she said.

Liam searched her face, those bright blue eyes filled with hope and sorrow at the same time. “I wanted to,” he said, his voice scratching in his throat now. Probably because of the way he yelled everything else. “I was scared.”

Julia pressed into him, and he finally put his hands on her waist, one of them moving up her back. “You?” she teased. “The tough, gruff police officer?” She studied his collar for a few moments before looking up into his face again. “I didn’t think men like you got scared.”

“Only of gorgeous women,” he said. “After an amazing date which I never wanted to end.”

“I have three sons,” she said. “You could’ve told me.”

He nodded as he held her close, close, close. Alice’s neighbors sure were getting a show this morning. “I keep him close to the vest,” he said. “He’s an amazing kid, but I don’t want him getting hurt again.”

Julia noted the “again,” and she’d like that story. Maybe not in the rain, with the whole neighborhood watching, but sometime. “Take me to dinner this weekend? Or are you working?”

“I’m off on Sunday until three,” he said, his schedule right there in his mind. Julia had liked his intelligence when they’d first met, and again on their first date. 

“So not dinner.” She smoothed his collar down flat. 

“Breakfast? Brunch? Lunch?” He listed them off, and Julia liked that it seemed like he wanted to see her. “All three?” 

A smile touched her mouth, and Liam finally cracked too. He allowed a tame grin to spread his lips, and Julia fantasized about kissing him. Straightening that smile and really being able to taste the mint and raspberry jam on his lips.

“You can keep him to yourself for a while,” Julia said. “Okay? I won’t ask you to introduce me to him formally until you’re ready.” She regretted how quickly she’d reacted to the lies he’d told. She had a reason for that—a good reason—but he didn’t know it. She hadn’t told him about her cheating ex or the way she felt unworthy of the pure, undivided attention from others.

“Okay,” he murmured. “Can I kiss you now?”

Julia put a couple of inches between them and looked him right in the eyes. “Out here? On the street in front of my friend’s house?” She shook her head. “Mm, I don’t think so, Liam.”

He smiled again. “Not good enough for you?”

Julia had no doubt it would be the best kiss of her life. She didn’t want to say that, though, so she shook her head. “I want to enjoy it,” she whispered. “And I can’t do that if I think everyone’s watching us.”

He looked over her shoulder to the house. “I think the curtains just fluttered, so you’re probably right.”

Julia backed up again, the idea of her friends watching her stand in this man’s arms overwhelming for her. They separated, and she said, “I didn’t block your number.” Enough rain had accumulated in her hair that it ran down the side of her face. She brushed the droplet away, gave him a smile, and turned back to the house.

She ran on her tiptoes to the porch and out of the rain. Upon re-entering Alice’s house, she caught Maddy herding several others back into the living room and dining room areas, and they’d definitely been spying on her.

A smile stuck in her chest, and she decided she didn’t care. She still wasn’t going to answer any questions about Liam Coldwater tonight.

She paused at the end of the hall, trying to decide if she should simply return to her seat at the table or try to get a little dryer in the bathroom. The living room had carpet, and Julia wiped another drop of water from her face as she took in the crowd there.

Alice wasn’t in the living room anymore, and she came around the corner and into the kitchen. She held up a pale blue towel, effectively eliminating another decision Julia had to make. She went toward her, and Alice bustled her into the master bedroom.

“Thank you,” Julia said. She took the towel and buried her face in it. Alice didn’t ask any questions, but Maddy would. Tessa would. Eloise would. 

She wiped her hair back and met Alice’s eyes. “Did everyone run into your office?”

“Pretty much, yeah,” she said with a smile. “Maddy yelled at all of them when you started backing up.” She wore pure curiosity in her eyes, and Julia wanted to tell her. Maybe if she could get some other opinions, she’d know what to do about Liam.

At the same time, she knew what to do about Liam—keep seeing him. She didn’t know if they’d work out, because her last relationship had ended when she’d left Nantucket. She wasn’t like Tessa and Abe, who’d stayed together and then made plans to both settle in the cove. Maddy and Ben had done the same thing.

Julia hadn’t been so lucky.

She actually did count herself as lucky, because she didn’t want a man who wouldn’t move heaven and earth to be with her. Liam had texted her seventeen times since their encounter in the food mart. He’d called three times, until she’d finally texted to tell him she didn’t want to see him again.

Her phone buzzed now, and Julia finished drying her hair before she checked it. Breakfast on Sunday. Nine o’clock. Too early? I think we could try this place. He’d included a link to the cutest little bistro she’d ever seen, and she smiled as she looked at the image that had populated with the text.

“Have you been here?” She showed Alice the phone, and she didn’t mind that the woman took a few moments to obviously read the previous texts. 

“Yeah.” She grinned at Julia. “They have amazing breakfast. Fast too. Tell him to get a reservation if you’re going on Sunday. They’re busy on the weekends.” She took Julia’s towel and left her alone in the bedroom to confirm her date with Liam Coldwater.

What Readers are Saying

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “I love the friendships these ladies have as a group and individually. Happiness, sadness, a wedding, a baby, loss in many ways as well as a new mystery to solve are just a few of the emotions as well as life that these women experience. The author does a great job of making me feel what they feel as well as think I am right there with them and a part of their group. I love this series and can’t wait for the next book. One of those series that you don’t want to end.” ~Renee

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Five Island Cove, a wonderful small holiday town that from all the descriptions, you just want to be able to visit. This is a fantastic addition to the series as we get to catch up with some old friends and see how they are doing and along the way make a few new ones as well. There’s lots happening in this latest addition and it really tests the bonds of family and friendship. This made me laugh, it also made me cry but I absolutely loved every minute of it!” ~Debbie

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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 1 review
Kathleen S.
Awesome series!!

Just finished reading Five Island Cove (bks 6-7-8-9) and can not get enough of these girls. Love the stories and how all their lives are interconnected. Looking forward to reading the other books in this series as well as other books by this author.