A second chance for romance...
Hidden in Graystone Manor is a book containing all the dark secrets of Harmony Harbor, and Ava DiRossi is determined to find it. No one-especially not her ex-husband, Griffin Gallagher-can ever discover what really tore her life apart all those years ago. With Griffin back in town, it's more important than ever that she find the book before someone else does. Because her ex is still angry with her for leaving him. And he still has no idea Ava never stopped loving him...
Ava is no longer the vibrant, happy woman Griffin had once loved and married, and he would do anything to bring back the sparkle to her brilliant green eyes. But what's never changed are the sexy sparks of attraction between Ava and Griffin, and he won't give her up again without a fight. He knows there's the real possibility of a future together... if the truth doesn't burn the bridge between them forever.
Simon meowed and padded into the fireplace. He sat on the logs and looked up. Ava stuck her head inside and did the same. It was too dark to see much of anything. She was typically prepared for whatever might come up on the job, but she didn’t carry a flashlight, and she didn’t have her cell phone. Her father had broken it two weeks before in another fit of temper.
She skimmed her right hand up and down the wall where Simon was staring. Two of the bricks were loose. She pushed her finger between them, touching what felt like soft leather. She held her breath as she tried to lift it and the edges of paper brushed against her finger. It was a book. Her pulse kicked up with excitement, her shoulders sagging with relief.
Her relief was short-lived. No matter how hard she tugged on the upper brick with her uninjured arm, it refused to budge. Gritting her teeth, she tried using both hands. Her bruised arm protested the movement, but she refused to give up and breathed through the pain.
Fifteen minutes later, she stopped to regroup. There had to be another way. Her hands were blackened with soot, the tips of her fingers raw, and the bricks had barely moved. She looked around the room for something to wedge between them and spied the poker.
“We’re in business, Simon. This should do—”
“Tell Grams I’ll see her in a bit.”
Her gaze shot to the door. She’d recognize that voice anywhere. Griffin was here. Now. Outside the door. She shot to her feet, shoving the candelabra in front of the fireplace. Meow.
She’d trapped Simon. She grabbed the cat, put him on the floor, and scooped up the bucket and sponges while frantically searching for somewhere to hide. The balcony. She didn’t care if she froze to death; she couldn’t let Griffin find her here.
As she turned to run, Ava heard the beep of the passkey. She wouldn’t make it. She spun around and ran the short distance to the bathroom. Her breath coming in panicked puffs, she stepped inside the bathtub and carefully inched the crimson and gold shower curtain across the rod. She sagged against the tile wall, praying his in a bit meant he’d drop his bags off and leave.
If it had been anyone other than Griffin, she’d pretend to be cleaning the room. But she remembered all too clearly the humiliation of being discovered by Griffin and his ex-wife the last time they’d stayed at the manor. He’d looked at Ava like he hadn’t known who she was, and his wife had asked for fresh towels, acting as though Ava hadn’t done her job.
And then there was the book. She couldn’t leave without it.
Debbie Mason is the USA Today bestselling author of the Christmas, Colorado series and the Harmony Harbor series. Her books have been praised for their "likable characters, clever dialogue and juicy plots" (RT Book Reviews). When she isn't writing or reading, Debbie enjoys spending time with her very own real-life hero, their three wonderful children and son-in-law, two adorable grandbabies, and a yappy Yorkie named Bella.