Seizing his one chance to escape, Ethan Hosking leaves his violent ex-boyfriend, leaves his entire life, and walks into the path of a raging bushfire. Desperate to start over, a new man named Aubrey Hobbs walks out of the fire-ravaged forest, alive and alone. With no ID and no money, nothing but his grandfather’s telescope, he goes where the Southern Cross leads him.
Patrick Carney is the resident lighthouse keeper in Hadley Cove, a small town on the remote Kangaroo Island off the coast of South Australia. After the tragic death of his lover four years ago, he lives a solitary life; just him, a tabby cat, the Indian and Southern Oceans, and a whole lot of loneliness. He’s content with his life until a stranger shows up in town and turns Patrick’s head.
Patrick never expected to be interested in anyone else.
Aubrey never expected to be happy.
Between Aubrey’s love of the stars and Patrick’s love of the ocean, these two fragile hearts must navigate new waters. If they can weather the storm of their pasts, they could very well have a love that eclipses everything.
Patrick had put out two bowls of minestrone-style soup and what looked like home-baked bread. “Do you make your own bread?” I asked.
Patrick sat down quietly opposite me. “Only when I make soup.”
“Well, this looks incredible.” It really did. Being cold and hungry, it didn’t get any better than homemade soup and bread. I tasted a small spoonful of the soup. “Okay, wow.”
He finally smiled and relaxed. “Thanks.”
“You’re a really good cook.”
“Just for the homely stuff. I’m not much good at that fancy kind of cooking.”
“This,” I gestured to the food he’d put on the table, “is better than any of that fine dining crap I’ve ever had.”
He had some soup and a mouthful of bread and pretended like it was no big deal when he asked, “Eat a lot of fine dining food?”
Oh crap. “Uh, yeah. A lifetime ago.”
He nodded thoughtfully and tucked that little sliver of information away before he changed the subject. “So, about old Frank’s garden, need a hand with it tomorrow? I have a mattock you could borrow. That soil’s going to be like concrete.”
“Nah, the soil’s okay, but I could use a hand lifting one of the old washing machines. It’s one of those real old types, and it weighs a tonne.”
“Sure thing. After lunch okay?”
“Perfect. I don’t know what’s wrong with it. He just said it hasn’t worked in years.”
“Like most things there, I suppose.” He smiled. “Frank’s a funny old guy.”
“He is. I think he pretends to be cranky so people leave him alone, but he’s not really.” I bit into the homemade bread and proceeded to moan like a bad porno. “Oh my God, this is so good.”
Patrick stared at me with darkened eyes before he looked at his bowl and shifted in his seat. “It’s been a long time since I’ve cooked for anyone.”
I tucked that little bit of information away, tit for tat. I could have asked why or how long, but we had some kind of agreement not to push for information. “Well, they don’t know what they’re missing out on,” I said, instead. Then, for reasons I’ll never know, I followed up with, “Because this is better than sex.”
His gaze shot to mine, heated and all too brief. He swallowed thickly, and his tongue swept across his bottom lip. “I don’t think it’s quite that good.”
I took another spoonful of soup, surprised my hand didn’t shake. “Well, it’s been a long time in that regard too.”
His voice was husky and barely above a whisper. “Or maybe you just weren’t doing it right.”
And like a bolt of lightning that earths too close to home, memories of Anton doing unwanted things to me flashed through my mind. My stomach squeezed and I swallowed down the urge to vomit. Hoping Patrick couldn’t see the change in me, I picked up the bread. “So maybe my memory’s a little fuzzy, but this bread is delicious.”
He put his spoon down and frowned, and I knew that whatever emotions flittered across my face didn’t go unnoticed. “You don’t have to tell me anything, but I assume whatever happened to you wasn’t good.”
I put my spoon down as quietly as I could and put my hands in my lap. I couldn’t bring myself to speak, so I gave him a small nod of my head. This game of tit for tat had swayed in his favour, I’d given him more information than I’d meant to, and I felt off-kilter because of it. There was something about Patrick that made me want to tell him everything. I wanted to crawl into his lap where he’d keep me safe, he’d rock me back and forth with my head on his chest, and I’d tell him all my secrets, then he’d say magical words that would fix the mess my life had become.
“I don’t know what brought you to Hadley or why you chose to come here,” he said. “But I have a feeling you’ve come to the right place.” I looked into his eyes then, not sure what to say to that, and found his eyes were glassy. “The knots we get ourselves tied into,” he murmured, “seem to unravel here.”
“Did it work for you?” I asked.
He stared right back at me like he wasn’t sure if he should tell me the truth, if this game of tit for tat was worth the heartache. “Two weeks ago, I would’ve said no. But now, I’m not so sure.”
4 of 5 Stars
Oh, this woman and the words she writes! I love that some of her stories are sweet and sappy and low angst because sometimes I just need that. This book is surprisingly just that despite the heavy emotions and amount of healing both characters going through after meeting each other.
I loved watching Aubrey become slowly himself again as he became more comfortable with Patrick. I loved watching Aubrey bringing Patrick back to life. Aubrey’s story is heartbreaking at best. What he’s endured to survive is humbling and surprising.
Not everyone will love this book. The romance builds slowly, the characters moving from skittish friends to hesitant lovers. The romance is sticky sweet. The story is a bit predictable. The deceased lover plays a significant role. But I loved and needed this book right now and highly recommend it.
And Collin is getting a book, right? RIGHT?!?!?!
About the Author
She is many things; a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who she gives them life with words.
She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things…but likes it even more when they fall in love. She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal.
She’s been writing ever since…