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Hurt that Bryce Robertson, the man she loved, could not make a commitment to their relationship, Leanna Reed attempts to take control of her life by opening a gift shop in Pelican Harbor, Michigan, a sanctuary that will provide healing and a place to raise her daughter. But after an absence of five years, Bryce comes to the neighboring island to study wolves, and Leanna is forced to consider how she will deal with the fact that he is the father of her child, although he’s unaware of this.
Bryce finds more than his lost love. Who is the little girl rapidly stealing his heart? Meanwhile, Leanna has her own angst. Can she keep Bryce from finding out about their child until she’s ready to tell him in her own way?
A jeans-clad figure filled the doorway. Only one man in the whole universe looked like that, stood like that, and regarded Leanna in that half-rakish, half-respectful way. And only one person had broken her heart.
Leanna steadied herself by pressing her palms flat on the glass surface of the case. If she were lucky, she’d still be able to conceal how the sight of him affected her. So many times she’d wondered what she’d do if he wandered through the door. Now, here he stood at The Tug, where a new inventory of quartz pendants on black silk cord kept her busy this morning.
“What are you doing here, of all places?” She kept her voice low and steady, and even managed a smile, as if to say “no hard feelings.” They were two civilized people. At least, one of them was. She should be able to handle five years’ absence since the last time they had been together.
He moved closer for a second then stepped back. His glance took in her face and her cotton skirt and the near-transparent beige peasant blouse. Leanna flushed under his gaze.
“I’m here to do a study of wolves on Benedict Island. Have you forgotten what I do for a living?”
No, she hadn’t. She’d just never expected him to show up here.
He looked around the combination gift-and-supplies store with interest. Leanna concealed a grin as she took in what he saw. The pilothouse portion of it jutted out onto the lake, reminding amazed customers like him that this extraordinary structure was actually a boat. Its other end stood grounded in the sands with cement pads poured around it, the sides enveloped in walls so that it was still possible to see a clear line where they met the wall.
“Doesn’t seem high enough for a boat.”
“That’s because we had the bottom cut off with a commercial torch.” Leanna smiled at his disbelief. “The whole thing is just separate metal slabs welded together. You can cut off as many pieces of it as you want.”
She watched him absorb the whiff of fresh paint that still lingered and dart a glance at the red-and-white inside that gave the whole structure a merry ambience. The boat’s anchor hung on the wall adjacent to the door, like a huge dangling pendant on a dowager’s necklace. Behind the counter on the wall, a miniature oil painting depicted The Tug in its previous lifetime as a boat in more somber colors—gray and dark green—serenely at anchor on a placid Lake Superior.
Bryce let out a subdued breath. “Isn’t this just like you to open a store on a boat? In all the time I knew you, I never knew what you’d surprise me with next.” He stared at an arrangement of a stylized fishing net and shells hanging on another wall, and a telescope, set up on a stand in front of the window, was angled toward the lake.
“The idea wasn’t mine. It was Dad’s. He was captain of this boat. When he retired, The Tug retired with him.”
He looked around. “Small and compact.” He strolled to the far side of the store, where an addition had been built, and peered into the inner recesses.
“It extends to a studio apartment my father constructed.” She hung back and studied the man he’d become. The lanky, bleary-eyed student she’d loved had done a chameleon-like change into a muscular, well-built man. He was tanned from the outdoors and a red cotton bandana encircled his strong neck. His blond hair swept back from his forehead like an eagle’s wings in repose, and the deep tan of his lean features set off his light gray eyes. Now he’d walked back into her life. “Why here, Bryce?”
He made a sharp half-turn at her question. “I beg your pardon?”
“Out of all the places you could have gone to, why did you come here?” She busied herself with folding tissue paper at the counter. She had to calm her nerves, and at the same time, appear unconcerned.
"HIS HARBOR GIRL has received it's highest rating - five roses! His HARBOR GIRl will make a splendid addition to any book collection."
Reviewed by Natasha, A Romance Review.
"Ms. Ambardar’s novel is about second chances and opening up to love once again. Readers will enjoy reading about the paths these two strong and independent people have taken. The scene that pulls it together for me is when Bryce has Leanna come with him and his crew to trap and radio collar the wolves, because it shows she is finally seeing him in a different light."
Reviewed by: Donna, Fallen Angel Reviews, 4 Angels
"I really liked the description of the little shop The Tug. I could envision that being such an eye catcher, and what a creative idea. This story is written so lifelike and with such likable characters, and that Bryce takes matters into his own hands and makes Leanna come clean not only about why she left him, is so heart warming. A delightful story for true romantics."
Sensuality rating: Sweet
Reviewer: Glenda K. Bauerle, The Romance Studio
Book Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
No. of Pages: 200
Paper Weight (lb): 8.6
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