After All (Cape Harbor #1) by Heidi McLaughlin
From New York Times bestselling author Heidi McLaughlin comes a heartfelt story about overcoming great loss and forgiving past sins to find happiness again.
Brooklyn Hewett hasn’t stepped foot in Cape Harbor for fifteen years—not since an accident claimed the love of her life, Austin Woods. Desperate to move forward, Brooklyn has focused on raising her daughter for the past fourteen years. But when the opportunity comes along to renovate, and possibly buy, the old Driftwood Inn, Brooklyn knows it’s time to go home.
But it won’t be easy. For one, Austin’s best friend, Bowie Holmes, still lives in Cape Harbor. Brooklyn hasn’t quite been able to forget him: not since the night they spent together—the same night they both lost Austin. Separated by tragedy and guilt, they’re brought together by the Driftwood project. And as they rebuild the inn, they discover they’re also rebuilding something else.
Brooklyn’s always been desperate to move on, not knowing that she first needs to reconcile past transgressions. She can’t forget, but she can forgive—Austin, Bowie, and herself—on her way toward long-awaited happiness.
Excerpt After All by Heidi McLaughlin
Instead of heading straight to the Driftwood Inn, Brooklyn detoured and drove down Third Street. This was the only town she had ever lived in or visited that hadn’t had a Main Street. It was such a random thing she picked up on when she and her parents moved here years ago. She never understood why until she learned that when the town incorporated, the people counted the streets up from the harbor, numbering instead of naming, with First Street being the closest to the water.
Curiosity filled her. For years she had not asked questions about her favorite spots, mostly to avoid the feeling of being homesick, but also so she could forget. The less she knew, the better. The less she longed to return, the easier it would be to create a new life. That was what she needed to do: start over, put the past behind her, and move on.
At the red light, she closed her eyes. It only took her seconds to tell Carly she would come back, even though, deep down, it wasn’t what she wanted to do. Yet, she owed the woman and could never tell her no. Brooklyn was content with the life she was living. She was one of the most sought-after home renovators, with homeowners paying her top dollar to come to them, to transform their visions into their dream homes. Her job afforded her many luxuries, except roots. She didn’t rent a home, let alone own one. Each town became her stomping ground, until the next job came in. She traveled thousands of miles, back and forth across the country, leaving her mark everywhere she went.