After All Read online Heidi McLaughlin (Cape Harbor #1)

Categories Genre: Contemporary, Romance Tags Authors: Series: Cape Harbor Series by Heidi McLaughlin
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Total pages in book: 122
Estimated words: 112499 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 562(@200wpm)___ 450(@250wpm)___ 375(@300wpm)
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Read Online Books/Novels:

After All (Cape Harbor #1)

Author/Writer of Book/Novel:

Heidi McLaughlin

Language:
English
ISBN/ ASIN:
1542020514 (ISBN13: 9781542020510)
Book Information:

From New York Times bestselling author Heidi McLaughlin comes a heartfelt story about overcoming great loss and forgiving past sins to find happiness again.
Brooklyn Hewett hasn’t set foot in Cape Harbor for fifteen years—not since an accident claimed the love of her life, Austin Woods. Desperate to move forward, Brooklyn has focused on raising her daughter for the past fourteen years. But when the opportunity comes along to renovate the old Driftwood Inn, Brooklyn knows it’s time to go home.
But it won’t be easy. For one, Austin’s best friend, Bowie Holmes, still lives in Cape Harbor. Brooklyn hasn’t quite been able to forget him: not since the night they spent together—the same night they both lost Austin. Separated by tragedy and guilt, they’re brought together by the Driftwood project. And as they rebuild the inn, they discover they’re also rebuilding something else.
Brooklyn’s always been desperate to move on, not knowing that she first needs to reconcile past transgressions. She can’t forget, but she can forgive—Austin, Bowie, and herself—on her way toward long-awaited happiness.
Books in Series:

Cape Harbor Series by Heidi McLaughlin

Books by Author:

Heidi McLaughlin



PROLOGUE

Each morning, before the sun even rose, men and women walked the wide planks of the docks, preparing their boats for the day. The sounds of the marina echoed throughout the harbor: the scuffing of heavy boots, the whooshing of ropes coiling, the bubbling of water as the engines roared to life. They stocked their boats full of bait, loaded the ice machines to keep their catches cold, and stored groceries for those who were leaving for longer than a day. Those boats would dock days later; then the men would drop off their catches, restock their supplies, and call home to check in with their loved ones. At home, families were always on edge, watching the sky for an unexpected storm until that first call came in. They would listen to how the trip was going, happy to hear from their loved ones, but once they hung up, the worrying started again until the next call.

To some, this was their life, the way they made a living. For many, they had followed the path laid out for them by the generations before, and several worked with their families. To others, it was how they spent their summer, coming from as far north as Canada and as far south as California. Rarely would someone from the East Coast come here to earn some summer money, but it happened, and their accents made them stick out like sore thumbs in this tight-knit community.

Under the midnight-blue sky, the Austin Woods vessel floated through the channel and by the Driftwood Inn with its crew standing starboard, waving. They did this every time they went out, without fail, and would also do it when they returned, paying homage to their boat’s namesake. No one seemed to care if anyone waved back; they knew she would be in her room that faced the water or in the inn’s ballroom, alone. The way she had been for the last fifteen years.

The three-story manor looked like a mansion straight out of the Luxury Home Magazine, with its very own moat separating Cape Harbor from its neighboring town. The A-frame structure with its wall of windows was a sight to behold. Back in the day, the locals considered the Driftwood Inn the gateway into town—still to this day many tourists yearned to stay there just to see the purple-and-pink nightly sunsets through the massive floor-to-ceiling windows, to feel the sun’s rays penetrate through the glass, and to stare at the majestic views of Mount Baker. There wasn’t another hotel that could provide such a magnificent perspective. Others tried, but no one could replicate the essence of the inn, which made it utterly devastating for the community when the doors closed.

Standing in the attic window of her granddaughter’s ocean-blue-and-white bedroom, Carly Woods held her mug of tea, guaranteeing that something occupied her hands when the fishing boat went by. She knew the boys meant well, but the pain she hid for most of the year crept back in. As much as it saddened her to watch, to see them wave, she never missed a morning nor evening. She always made sure she knew the schedule of the Austin Woods so she could keep track. Even if none of her family members were out to sea, she never gave up worrying about those who were. She glanced out to the rising sun and wondered what today would bring. They were due for a storm. The East Coast was already getting hammered, and it was only a matter of time before Mother Nature turned her attention toward the West. At this age, her heart couldn’t take much more.

When the boat was out of sight, she rested her hand against the glass and dipped her head slightly. She recited the fisherman’s prayer aloud, words she had learned from her grandfather and had recited when she stood with her mother in this very window when the men in her family set sail. Carly had sworn she would never marry a fisherman, and she had held fast until she had seen Skip Woods in a different light. They had grown up together, always hanging out in the same crowds. One day, everything changed. Their friendship quickly turned into love and marriage, and with the birth of their son, they became a family.

The warm honey concoction in her mug coated her throat as she sipped. A cough tickled her throat, and she did everything she could to push it away. The last thing she wanted was to have a coughing fit that would buckle her legs out from under her. She sat on the edge of the bed, placed her hands on her knees, closed her eyes, and focused on her breathing. She had learned the technique from the doctor she saw in Seattle to calm the spasms in her chest. She didn’t want her friend and housekeeper to feel the need to rush to her aid, when she knew how to control her breathing—at least not yet. The meditation wouldn’t always work—it was nothing more than a temporary fix—but for the moment the urge to cough seemed to subside.


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