Mon
Jun 12 2017 9:30am

Kimberly Fisk Excerpt: Boardwalk Summer

Kimberly Fisk

In the town of Tranquility Bay, summer is the season of second chances...

Single mother Hope Thompson has built a happy life for herself and her twins in beautiful Tranquility Bay, Washington. She doesn’t dwell on her painful past—especially not on the man who broke her heart all those years ago. But when Hope’s beloved son needs help, she takes a desperate chance and reaches out to her children’s father.

Nick Fortune lives life in the spotlight as a champion race car driver. He’s shocked to hear from Hope and even more surprised to learn that he’s a father. He immediately heads to the Pacific Northwest to confront the past—and the woman he once loved.

There, on the quiet lakeshore, Nick and Hope must work together to save their son—even if it means facing their complicated past—for a second chance as a family.

Get a sneak peek at Kimberly Fisk's Boardwalk Summer (available June 27, 2017) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

Twenty minutes later Nick was showered and dressed and standing in the hallway in front of Hope’s door. He hesitated before knocking, feeling as nervous as a pimply-faced teenager on his first date. When he’d left Hope earlier, she hadn’t been thrilled about his suggestion to go to dinner. Maybe suggestion wasn’t the right word. But if he hadn’t insisted, he knew her well enough to know there was no way she’d agree. She’d been cold and distant to him ever since he’d shown up at her house, and she didn’t show signs of softening.

Well, maybe there’d been a few.

Thoughts of the kiss they’d shared pressed to the forefront of his mind. That, and remembering the feel of her in his arms from earlier today had him thinking things he knew he was better off not thinking. She’d made it clear she didn’t want him in her life—or his children’s lives—but if she thought he was going to walk away, she was mistaken. And this dinner was his opportunity to enlighten her on exactly how serious he was.

He was surprised when Hope answered on his first knock. As if she’d been waiting.

He was just about to say hello when he caught sight of her and felt the words dissolve in his throat. She took his breath away, literally.

Nick had been around a lot of beautiful women. Women who knew how to use their charms, their looks, their bodies, to entice and attract. He’d taken a dip in the pool but on his terms. Always. He’d never found it impossible to walk away. But as he stood facing Hope, the one woman he didn’t know if he could ever forgive, he knew he’d met his match. Because forgiving her was a completely different thing than being able to forget her.

She wore a black dress that was tame in comparison to so many others he’d seen, though on Hope, it was anything but. The soft material clung in all the right places, emphasizing her waist and hugging her breasts. The dress was short, stopping midthigh and giving way to her long, tanned, bare legs.

Pink toenails peeked out from narrow straps that seemed too delicate to hold her high heels in place. The shoes made her already dainty feet seem even more delicate, and her legs—

Hell, he’d better stop thinking about her legs or they weren’t going anywhere tonight.

Her dress didn’t have a plunging neckline, or an up-to-there hem, and for a moment Nick wondered why he was so entranced. But then he caught a look at her face and he knew. She’d swept her hair up into some type of knot at the back of her head with a few soft curls escaping. With her hair pulled back, her high cheekbones were more prominent and so were her large eyes. Those mesmerizing green eyes that used to keep him tossing and turning on his teenage bed late at night. Her beauty was classical—timeless—and too damn alluring.

Nick cleared his throat, tore his eyes off her legs, and tried his greeting again. “Hello.”

“Hi.”

“You ready?”

She nodded. “I just need to grab my purse.”

They left the hotel in silence and Nick directed her to the rental car. As he opened her door and waited for her to get in, he wondered at her thoughts. He knew she’d be thinking about Joshua, and Susan, and Claire—just as he was. But as he caught a glimpse of her bare thigh as she slid into the car, he couldn’t help but wonder if she was also thinking about him as much as he’d been thinking about her.

Shutting her door, Nick rounded the car and slid behind the wheel.

Hope sat as far right in her seat as she could get, her hand gripping the door handle.

A smile found its way to his mouth as he checked the traffic before easing onto the road. “You know, some people think I’m a pretty good driver.”

She turned to look at him. “What?”

“Every time we’re in a vehicle together and I’m driving, you hang on for all you’re worth.”

She let go of the door handle so quickly it was almost as if it stung her. “I do not.”

He grinned. “Yes, you do.”

She wrapped both hands around the purse on her lap as if afraid she’d go for the door handle once more. “If I do, it’s only because I’ve seen you drive.”

Nick’s grin grew. He’d been a hellion when they were teenagers. Driving as fast and as far as a few bucks’ worth of gas would take them. “Give me a little credit. I’m a little smarter behind a wheel than when I was a teenager.”

She looked out the passenger window for several moments and then turned back to face him. “No, I meant I’ve seen you drive. On TV.”

“Which race?”

“Um. The one with the oval track.”

He laughed.

“Actually, I’ve watched a few races. Two. Three. Ten. Twenty.” Her smile was soft and tentative and alluring as hell. “Too many to count.”

An inexplicable emotion filled Nick. She’d watched him race. He didn’t know why that surprised him, but then again, maybe he did. She seemed to want nothing to do with him, so then why would she have watched him race? “What did you think?”

“That my first instinct to hold on tight was the right one.”

Nick laughed out loud. Slowing, he flicked on his signal and turned the car onto the highway on-ramp.

She settled in her seat and Nick was pleased to see she wasn’t still hugging the door.

They drove for several moments in silence. As he caught sight of the passing landscape, he realized he’d forgotten how beautiful this part of the country was. Wildflowers bloomed along the side of the road, seeming to frame the green trees with their color. Every once in a while, where the trees thinned, a lake shimmered in the setting sun.

“Where are we going?” Hope asked.

“There’s a restaurant in St. Paul that I thought we’d try.”

“Oh. I thought . . . I mean, I just figured we’d find a restaurant in Banning.”

“I don’t think many things have changed in Banning since we left. And if I remember right, Bubba’s Burgers was about the highest culinary experience to be had.”

“You mean you didn’t feel like eating at a greasy spoon?”

He shook his head. “But if it was ice cream we were after—”

“Aunt Patsy’s Parlour,” they both said in unison.

“Now that was some ice cream,” Nick said.

“Remember her strawberry banana shakes? And how every month she’d feature a new homemade flavor?”

“I think I tried every one.”

“No, you bought every one but then would give it to me,” she said. “Definitely not what my figure needed.”

Nick took his eyes off the road and gave her body a thorough once-over. “Your figure is still perfect.”

She fiddled with the strap of her purse. “I hope you don’t think I was fishing for a compliment.”

“Have you ever? Besides, fact is fact.”

She shifted her position, ran her hands along the handle of her purse once more. “And here I thought racecar drivers had perfect vision. You need to get your eyes checked.”

“And you, Hopeful,” he shot her a look, “need to look into a mirror a little more often.”

She cleared her throat, looked down at her lap, out the window, anywhere but at him. “So, tell me again where we’re headed?”

Nick smiled. She wasn’t immune. “You’re too beautiful for Banning. I want to show you off.”

***
Copyright © 2017 by Kimberly Fisk.
***
Learn more about or order a copy of Boardwalk Summer by Kimberly Fisk, available June 27, 2017:

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A past recipient of Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Golden Heart Award, Kimberly Fisk is the bestselling author of Lake Magic. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three children, and too many four-legged critters to count.

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