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Forced to leave Iceland, Rowan O'Reilly takes over Buccaneer, a B&B in P.E.I. As the weeks fly by amid the visitors wreaking havoc at Buccaneer, she loses hope her Icelandic lover Bjorn will chase after her.

Her heart in shambles, she struggles with an inexplicable attraction toward the reclusive guest renting the attic and her lack of interest toward the local doctor vying for her attention.

Haunted by a fatal decision, Avery Stone escapes his past in Buccaneer's attic, but the previous owner’s peculiar death, the strange bones buried under the gazebo, and the feelings Rowan stirs in him slowly draw him back into his old life.

When Rowan exhumes the bones, she stumbles onto deadly secrets, unknowingly unearthing a murderer who threatens her existence. Can Avery shake the guilt shackling his mind, and Bjorn break free of Icelandic traditions, in time to prevent Rowan from meeting her predecessor’s fate?

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Awoken from his midafternoon nap by loud clatters and bangs, Avery left the bench near the stream and trekked through the garden in search of the disturbance.

As he peered around the corner of the house, he spotted a stranger in a fancy suit rushing across the lawn. The unidentified male headed toward the gazebo where—

At the sight of O’Reilly perched on the roof like a reckless rooster waiting to be gunned down, Avery’s jaw dropped.

“Rowan?” The blond stranger yelled her name. “Have you lost your mind?”

The hammer slipped from her hand. She leaped back as if she had been hit by the tool and lost her footing.

An invisible blow knocked the wind out of Avery. Too far to intervene, he squeezed his cane, but he couldn’t tear his gaze away from the body sliding down the roof.

Arms outstretched, O’Reilly reached up. Whatever she managed to grip near the edge halted her deadly descent.

“Rowan? Are you all right?” The brainless fool who had startled her stood where the hammer had fallen.

Looking haggard, she struggled to sit away from the void.

“Does she look all right?” Avery muttered under his breath, his stomach reeling from the near-tragedy.

O’Reilly swayed her head, blood running down her face. “Doctor...Chris?”

The fool is a doctor?His dubious tactic to recruit new patients didn’t impress Avery.

“You shouldn’t be alone on a roof, Rowan.” The doctor crossed his arms. “It’s dangerous.”

How dare this Chris character admonish her after scaring her half to death?Tempted to have a word or two with the unsolicited doctor, Avery tapped the ground with his cane.

“Are you trying to kill me?” she snapped before wiping her forehead with the back of her hand. “In case you didn’t notice, I was doing fine until you yelled at me.”

The doctor dug his hands into his pockets. “I’m sorry, but when I saw you, I pictured Mattie falling down and breaking her neck.”

Avery had never heard of a Mattie. Maybe Gail would know about the mysterious woman who had broken her neck.

O’Reilly crawled toward the ladder. “I’m not Mattie.”

“I know. You’re much more beautiful.”

Smooth-talker.Wrinkling his nose in distaste, Avery backtracked into the garden. If O’Reilly fell for the guy, she might as well drop dead.

* * *

As soon as Rowan’s feet touched solid ground, Chris led her from the gazebo to the terrace, where he coaxed her into sitting on a lawn chair. “You’re bleeding. Let me have a look.”

“It’s nothing...really.”

Despite her objections, he knelt by her side and gently ran his fingers over her forehead. “The skin is bruised, but the cut is superficial. Just keep it clean.”

She could have told him that. “What brought you here?”

“I’m hurt, Rowan.” In an exaggerated motion, he placed his hand over his heart. “Do I need an excuse to come visit a beautiful woman?”

The term beautiful couldn’t possibly describe a bleeding girl with bright red curls and huge cucumber eyes like her. Besides, his previous visits had been strictly business-related. “I wasn’t aware that doctors made social calls.”

A disarming smile brightened his boyish face. “I didn’t come as a doctor. I’m off on Wednesday afternoons.”

Gail had hinted the doctor was interested, but Chris hadn’t given her any reason to believe it might be true. “You are?”

His blue eyes sparkled like the ocean. “You’re an intriguing woman.”

Another adjective that had never been used in her presence until now. “I am?”

“Yes.” From his pocket, he pulled a hankie and dabbed her wound. “Would you have dinner with me tonight?”

“Me?” Guilt over the incident had incited him to ask her out. It was the only logical explanation. “I—” The Jensens would be arriving, but she could always ask Gail to welcome them. “Are you sure?”

He slowly lowered his hand along her cheek, leaving a feathery caress in its wake. “I’ll pick you up at 7:00 p.m. Don’t be late.”

AuthorJS Marlo

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