When Bluestar’s hometown celebrity unexpectedly returns to the island, there’s a heartbreaking scandal following her…
Country singer Emma Bell is finally making headlines—just not the right ones. Before she has time to heal her broken heart, her assistance is desperately needed. Bluestar’s Concert on the Beach Summer Spectacular is in trouble, and her soon-to-be sister-in-law’s job is on the line.
Financial investor turned carpenter, Noah Sullivan, has retired from his high-stress job due to health issues. He’s moved to Bluestar Island for a quiet, healthy life, but when Emma blows into town, his days are anything but serene.
Everyone in the small town counting on them, Noah and Emma must work past their conflicts to keep a promise to someone special to both of them. Will the summer’s sun soothe their tension and the sea breeze lull them into a peaceful surrender of their hearts?
Includes a recipe for Emma’s Heavenly Angel Food Cake!
The Bell Family of Bluestar Island series:
Book 1 – Love Blooms (Hannah & Ethan)
Book 2 – Harvest Dance (Aster & Sam)
Book 3 – A Lighthouse Café Christmas (Darla & Will)
Book 4 – Rising Star (Emma & Noah)
Book 5 – Summer by the Beach (Summer & Greg)
Chapter One – cont’d
Meghan Saunders, their tour manager, sat down next to her. “Are you okay?”
Emma turned to her. Meghan’s brown bob always looked sleek. Her face was perfectly made up, as though she hadn’t gotten to bed late or up early. Meghan was always poised and handled any situation with grace.
Though she was twelve years older than Emma, they still hit it off. It didn’t hurt that they were the only two women on this particular tour. Meghan kept a close eye on Emma, and though at times it felt like she was being a mother hen, Emma appreciated the support.
“Do I look that bad?” Emma resisted the urge to pull the cap lower on her forehead.
“Let’s just say I saw the photo this morning.”
“Did everyone see it?” She glanced around to see if anyone on the shuttle was staring at her.
Meghan sighed. “Yes. I’m so sorry. Do you know the woman in the photo?”
Emma shook her head. “I’ve never seen her before.”
“Is there anything I can do?”
Emma once more shook her head. “This is my problem.”
“Just keep in mind that I’m here if you need anything.”
“Thank you. I really appreciate it.”
“By the way, the tour ended on a great note. You sounded awesome.”
“If only I hadn’t woken up to a photo of my fiancé kissing another woman splattered all over the gossip sites. Even some legitimate news sites are picking up the story.” She just wanted to find a dark hole and climb into it until this nightmare ended.
“I know it hurts. And I’m so sorry. But you know what they say.”
“No publicity is bad publicity.”
She frowned at Meghan. Surely she wasn’t serious. “I definitely could have lived without this publicity.”
“Have you talked to JT?”
She shook her head as her gaze settled on the five-carat diamond ring still on her finger. “No. I think the picture of him kissing someone else said everything.”
Meghan briefly squeezed her arm. “Pizza and a gallon of ice cream work wonders for me.”
“I’ll keep that in mind.” At the moment, she had no appetite whatsoever. In fact, she was feeling a bit nauseous. She just wanted to get to her apartment, curl up on the couch, and hide from the world.
Luckily, she didn’t have any other obligations in the immediate future because she wasn’t sure she could muster up that energy. As addictive as it was to perform, this revelation had leached away her enthusiasm.
She’d trusted JT. How could he do this to her? She’d been such a total fool.
And yet another text message. She pulled her phone out of her pocket to turn it off. Before she could power it down, her gaze caught the name of her brother as the contact.
Hi, Auntie Em. It’s Nikki. Guess what?
Emma smiled at seeing a message from her seven-year-old niece. Nikki obviously had borrowed her father’s phone.
It felt so good to be distracted from the implosion of her life. Her fingers moved rapidly over the keyboard.
Dash got loose again. Dad chased him around the yard.
Emma remembered the little goat that was born at her brother’s farm a year or so ago. He was certainly a character.
Did your dad catch him?
We bribed Dash with cookies.
Emma smiled even though her heart was broken. For just a moment, she focused all of her attention on Nikki.
When are U coming to visit?
Emma paused. She didn’t know what to tell her niece. The last time she’d been home was at Christmastime for her mother’s wedding to fire chief, Walter Campbell. It had been such a beautiful wedding.
And now it was already June. How had so much time passed so quickly?
She stared at her niece’s words and then she typed… Soon.
Love U 2!
“Everything okay?” Meghan was lounged back, checking the messages on her own phone.
Emma slipped her phone back into her jean pocket. “Yep. The pet goat got lose again.”
“Seems like he gets loose a lot.”
“He does. My brother is always trying to outsmart Dash, but that goat is forever finding a way to escape.”
Meghan smiled. “Your family sounds great.”
“They really are.” And she missed them a lot.
“Well, I just wanted to check in with you. And now I better go round up the rest of the crew so we don’t end up missing our flight.”
And then Emma was left alone with her thoughts—thoughts of home and her niece, her brother, her sister and mother, and that little goat. They all seemed so far away, which was probably because they were literally on the other side of the country.
Emma glanced at her ringing phone, hoping it was her niece again. It wasn’t. It was her agent, Stan Morris. Her finger hovered over the red decline button. He’d want to discuss the picture and how they needed to make a statement. She hadn’t even wrapped her mind around the image in that photo. How was she supposed to explain it to anyone else?
Still, Stan was a great guy. He was always in her corner, trying to get her more promotions while working to land her a recording contract. He had faith in her, even when she didn’t have faith in herself.
She pressed the accept button and held the phone to her ear. “Hey, Stan.”
“I’ve been trying to reach you.” His voice was higher pitched than normal, and his words were rushed. “Did you see Razzled?”
“Yes.” She slouched down in her seat. She didn’t want to have this conversation.
“You’re the headline!” He sounded so happy.
“Stan, I can’t talk about it.”
“Em, I have big news.”
Was it possible he had news about her career rather than the dumpster fire otherwise known as her love life? She hoped so. She needed something positive to latch onto while she dealt with her broken heart.
She sat up a little straighter. “Good news?”
About the Author
Award-winning author, Jennifer Fayepens fun, heartwarming contemporary romances with rugged cowboys, sexy billionaires and enchanting royalty. Internationally published with books translated into nine languages. She is a two-time winner of the RT Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award, the CataRomance Reviewers’ Choice Award, named a TOP PICK author, and been nominated for numerous other awards.
Ends May 18, 2022