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Book 2: The Island Scandal (Getaway Bay® Romance)

Book 2: The Island Scandal (Getaway Bay® Romance)

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Escape to Getaway Bay and meet your new best friends as these women navigate their careers, their love lives, and their own dreams and desires. Each heartwarming love story shows the power of women in their own lives and the lives of their friends.

Each book can be read as a standalone, with a happily-ever-after ending, and clean, sweet-without-losing-the-heat romance!

About THE ISLAND SCANDAL: Ashley Fox has known three things since age twelve: she was an excellent seamstress, what her wedding would look like, and that she'd never leave the island of Getaway Bay. Now, at age 35, she's been right about two of them, at least. Can Burke and Ash find a way to navigate a romance when they've only ever been friends?

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Sample Chapter 1 Now!

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Burke Lawson parked his truck outside the main building at Petals and Leis, his family’s flower farm in the hills. After getting out, he drew in a deep breath of the fresh, perfumed, morning air, glad he’d beaten the sun to work this morning. As usual.

Burke rarely slept past four, and he didn’t care if his early bedtime contradicted the persona he had to maintain. Somehow, the knowledge that he hadn’t been on a second date—or even a real first date—in years got around to the right people.

And that was how he liked it.

His father pulled into the lot a few minutes later, dressed for business like normal. He’d taught Burke everything he knew about the fields, the land, the flowers. Not to mention the fertilizers, the harvesting, the reseeding. And that was just the growing side of things.

Burke had to know about sales too, and management, and hiring. He spent time in the shipping department to learn how to keep flowers fresh, how the deliveries worked, all of it.

After all, when his dad was ready to retire, Burke wanted to be ready to take over the business, keep it in the family, preserve what generations of Lawsons had built.

“Morning, Dad,” he said, drawing his father’s attention to the bench Burke liked to sit on in the morning as the sun rose over Hawaii and painted Getaway Bay in gorgeous, golden light.

His father took a few moments to find him among the foliage, and Burke lifted his hand and grinned.

“What are you doing, hiding there?”

“Dad, I sit here every morning while I wait for you to show up.” Burke stood and stretched as if he’d been out partying all night.

His dad wore an expression that expressed his disappointment at such a prospect and dug in his pocket for the keys to the building. Burke had a set too, but he liked to wait for his dad, this morning ritual of theirs something he didn’t want to give up yet.

“How’s Mom?” he asked.

“Doing a bit better.” His dad unlocked the door and stood back so Burke could enter first. He took a long look at his dad as he passed, finding that his blond hair had started to turn white. When had that happened?

Burke ran his hands through his own flop of light, sandy-colored hair and threw a smile at his dad.

“You look tired,” he said. “You getting enough sleep?”

“Yeah, Dad, when I can.” Burke didn’t tell him that the insomnia plagued him every night, no matter how much melatonin he took or how long he meditated.

“Stay out too late?”

Burke inhaled to deny it, but instead, he let the comment slide. That way, he didn’t have to admit that he spent every night with Dolly, his golden retriever who had a slobbering problem.

He walked side-by-side with his dad into the office space, but Burke bypassed his and settled in the chair across from his dad’s desk.

He’d put his keys in the top drawer, and wake up his computer. He’d read a few things, and they’d be out in the fields and orchards in thirty minutes or less.

Burke let his father go through the motions, somehow finding peace in them. Something had been seething inside him for a while now, and he hadn’t been able to name it.

But it wasn’t peaceful or soothing. He felt…unsettled. But he had no idea how to cure himself.

“Ready?” His dad stood and reached for the sun hat hanging on the hook beside his desk.

Burke stood too, glad the routine this morning had taken less than fifteen minutes. He yearned to be outside, away from walls, where he wouldn’t feel so caged. He collected a baseball cap from the top of the bookcase in his office and followed his father outside.

“Let’s go out to the plumeria orchards.” His father grabbed a set of keys from the drawer in the desk by the back door, and Burke braced himself for a hard conversation. His dad only went out to the plumeria orchards to say something that had been bothering him for a while. Burke supposed he should be grateful for his dad’s predictability, but his heart felt like a hunk of lead in his chest. He really didn’t want to have to defend himself today.

It was almost comical that his dad couldn’t see through Burke’s carefully constructed reputation. But not many could.

Ash can, he thought as he climbed into the passenger seat of the side-by-side recreation vehicle they used to get around the huge flower farm. With over a dozen varieties of flowers being grown on the property, Petals and Leis employed over sixty people year-round and required seven-days-a-week attention.

Today, as they maneuvered along the dirt road between two fields, Burke caught sight of at least half a dozen people already at work among a field of bright pink carnations.

As the engine kept him and his father flying toward the trees on the far edge of the property, Burke considered coming clean about what his life was really like. But then he’d have to delve into why, and he didn’t think he was ready to open that door quite yet.

Once again, the thought of his best friend, Ashley Fox, popped into his mind. She’d recently come out of a relationship with a guy she’d thought would propose. Six months later, and Burke could still see the heartbreak on her face whenever he asked her about it.

His failed relationship was six years old, but he thought he’d done a decent job of hiding his feelings from everyone. After all, everyone loved a good sense of humor, and he could keep the party alive with a few well-told jokes and a single well-placed smile.

Even Ash had never questioned him much about Bridgette.

His father parked the ATV and got out, a sigh leaking from his lips as the gray sky started to lighten with shades of yellow and gold. Burke pushed his hand through his hair, thinking it was probably time to get it cut, and positioned the hat low over his eyes.

If his father wanted to talk, Burke needed some sort of barrier.

His dad wouldn’t say much for the first few minutes anyway. If he did, it would be about the trees, the flowers, or their business.

Sure enough, as he moved into the trees, pushing toward the larger, more mature grove at the back, he said, “Petals and Leis has been very lucky to stay in the family for so long.”

“Mm,” Burke said noncommittally. He’d heard this before. Six generations of the family-owned business was no joke among the Lawson’s.

“It’s almost your turn,” his dad said.

“Yeah,” Burke agreed. “I want the farm, Dad. You know that, right?”

“Of course.” His father trailed his fingers along the trunk of a plumeria tree that stood about fifteen feet tall. In mid-summer, the trees were practically dripping with blooms, but Burke somehow knew he and his father weren’t there to harvest. In fact, he thought he remembered seeing the plumeria harvest on the schedule for next Monday.

“The plumeria are my favorite flowers,” his dad said. “So beautiful. So serene.”

Burke loved them too, only because on the many hikes he’d taken around Getaway Bay and the other Hawaiian islands, every time he looked up, he only saw greenery. But here, looking up through the trees brought an explosion of colors that made his soul sing with happiness.

“Burke, I’m almost ready to retire,” his dad said, turning back to him. “I want to pass the farm to you.”

Burke sensed a but, and he paused too. His muscles cinched like someone had pulled a drawstring on them. Tight. Tighter.

“You need a haircut,” his dad said, a frown in the words that was mirrored on his face.

“I can get a haircut,” Burke said.

“You need to settle down,” his father said next, his gaze even and the frown gone. “Your mother and I love you, but we want this farm to stay in the Lawson family for six more generations.”

Burke blinked at his father, unsure of the meaning of the words. “I want that too, Dad.”

His father’s head cocked to the side. “Do you?”

“Of course I do.”

“So…who do you think you’ll pass the farm to?”

“I—” Burke’s voice died, sudden understanding stealing the life from the words and the air from his lungs.

He wasn’t married.

Wasn’t even dating anyone.

Didn’t want to date anyone.

Or get married.

“The twins like working here.” His dad turned and started walking again, more of a stroll than anything else. They certainly weren’t working this morning. “But neither Kayla nor Krista wants to run the place.”

I want to run the place,” Burke said, the thought of not having his morning ritual of coming to this land choking him. “I’ve lived for this place for twenty-five years, Dad. I love this land, and these flowers, and I want to take over when you retire.” He caught up to his father, strength and bravery coursing through him now.

He put his hand on his father’s arm and got him to stop. “Dad, what are you saying? That I can’t have Petals and Leis because I don’t have a wife? A—a kid?”

Desperation raced across his father’s face. There, then gone. He squared his shoulders and said, “We’d like to see you settle down before I retire. We’d feel more comfortable if you had even a girlfriend. Someone you were even remotely serious with.”

Burke felt like someone had punched him in the throat and then the stomach. So many things churned inside, and he had no idea how to respond.

Sadness passed over his father’s weathered face now, and he shrugged. “I’m not saying you can’t have Petals and—”

“I have a girlfriend,” Burke blurted, silencing his father and causing his eyebrows to fly sky high.

“You do?”

“Sure,” Burke said, turning away so the little fib couldn’t be discovered so easily.

“Who is it?”

“Ash.” Burke said the first person that came into his mind.

“Ashley Fox?” The level of disbelief in his father’s voice soared toward the heavens, and it would be a miracle if Ash didn’t hear it all the way down the hill at her cute little beach cottage.

“Yeah,” Burke said. “We’ve been friends for a long time, and I don’t know.” He shrugged. “Started seeing each other a few months ago.” He pressed his eyes closed, needing to talk to Ash, stat. They were scheduled to run in another hour, and he’d have to figure out how to get her to play along with this ruse.

“Well, great,” his dad said. “You should bring her to the company barbecue in a couple of weeks.”

“Yeah, sure.” He felt like he’d swallowed a whole bag of jumping beans, and now they were pinging around inside his stomach, screaming things like This is a bad idea!

You need to call her right now!

There’s no way you can pull this off!

Ash will never agree to this.

He tried to silence them, but they stuck with him for the rest of the hour, and when he showed up at the beach to meet Ash, he barely knew his own name.

Burke managed to stretch, his calves protesting at the long hold until he finally stood. Ash was late, and that only increased Burke’s anxiety.

Dolly barked from near the shoreline, and Burke turned toward the golden retriever. The sun glinting off the bay blinded him, but he thought he saw a woman jogging toward him.

Finally. He could talk to Ash and they could make a plan.

He couldn’t lose Petals and Leis. Not over something like this. He’d buy himself some time with Ash, and then he’d figure out how to move past Bridgette and find a real girlfriend.

He had to.

“Ash,” he called as he started toward her. But Dolly whimpered and darted right at him, bashing into his shins before Burke could avoid the canine.

He grunted and found himself sprawling toward the sand. A moment later, the grittiness of sand filled his mouth and stung his eyes and squished between his fingers. Pain flared in his legs and back, and his whole face felt aflame with embarrassment.

“Burke?” Ash arrived with a mouthful of giggles and bent over him. “Really graceful,” she said, offering him her hand to help him stand.

He gazed up at her, realizing in that moment how pretty she was haloed by the early morning light. Since her break up just before Christmas last year, she’d let her hair grow out, and only the bottom few inches were still bleached and silvery.

She sobered the longer he stared at her. “You okay?” She sat back on her heels. “What’s with Dolly?” She glanced over her shoulder toward the water while Burke got control of his emotions—and his hormones.

This was Ash. Ashley Fox. A girl he’d known since he was fifteen years old and she was thirteen. His running partner for the last decade.

Not his girlfriend, no matter what he’d told his father only an hour ago.

Burke pushed himself up and started brushing the sand off his body. “I don’t know, but I have something to ask you.”

What Readers are Saying

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐  “If you love a love story then you need to read this series. Elana Johnson is one of the best writers I have read. Her books will make you laugh, cry, and put a smile in your heart.” ~Tracey E.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “I love Elana's style of writing. The storyline is light and fun to keep up, the characters are real and believable. Twists and turns, keep you reading. A good summer read series.” ~M.

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Escape to Getaway Bay with these beachy wedding planners...who are waiting to be YOUR new best friend!

Escape to Getaway Bay and meet your new best friends as these women navigate their careers, their love lives, and their own dreams and desires. Each heartwarming love story shows the power of women in their own lives and the lives of their friends.

Each book can be read as a standalone, with a happily-ever-after ending, and clean, sweet-without-losing-the-heat romance!

  • Book 1: The Island House

    A helicopter pilot, the woman whose house he’s squatting in, and their journey toward their own beach wedding…

  • Book 2: The Island Scandal

    Two best friends, their hasty agreement, and the fake engagement that has the island of Getaway Bay in a tailspin…

  • Book 3: The Island Hideaway

    She’s a synchronized swimmer looking to make some extra cash. He’s a prince in hiding. When they meet in the “empty” mansion she’s supposed to be housesitting, sparks fly. Can Noah and Zara stop arguing long enough to realize their feelings for each other might be romantic?

  • Book 4: The Island Retreat

    A doctor, a wedding planner, and a flat tire… Can Shannon and Jeremiah make a love connection when they work next door to each other?

  • Book 5: The Island Escape

    A rockstar, a woman who helps plan weddings and their journey toward happily-ever-after on the beaches of Hawaii!

  • Book 6: The Island Storm

    A wedding planner, a single dad, and a tsunami that brings them together. Can Cal and Lisa overcome the odds stacked against them?

  • Book 7: The Island Wedding

    A widower, a wedding consultant, and plenty of secrets that are bound to be discovered!

Get another does of Getaway Bay...with billionaires!

Ooooh, get ready for some billionaire beach romance! Join the members of the Nine-0 Club at the Sweet Breeze Resort - and they're not all men! 

The Getaway Bay Resort Romance series is exactly what you need in your life. It's sunshine, sand, and sexy billionaires - and all sweet-without-losing-the-heat romance!

Read this series if you like:

✔ Beach reads

✔ Hidden identity

✔ Billionaire romance

✔ Gender flip stories

✔ Friends to lovers

✔ Rivals to lovers

✔ Workplace romance

✔ Single dads

✔ Perfect small town beach settings

✔ Sweet & Steamy kisses