About Back to Before:Chances Inlet, North Carolina, has an infamous power for second chances. But its charms are lost on the town’s favorite son—until she comes along...
When his father’s sudden death puts his family’s construction business in serious debt, architect Gavin McAlister is forced to put his dream career in New York on hold. Making matters worse, his fiancée calls it quits. Desperate to return to his big-city life, he discovers an opportunity to save his family, one that has him reluctantly starring in a home restoration TV show.
Former soap star Ginger Walsh hopes this job as a TV makeup artist will lead to better things. So far it’s only brought her to a hamlet full of people who don’t like her—except Gavin. After a wild night out leads to Ginger waking up in Gavin’s loft—and the rest of town talking—the two of them soon wonder if getting back to before is what they want. Because being in each other’s arms certainly feels like what they need...
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Excerpt from Back to Before:
It was Friday night and Pier Pressure was crowded with both locals and tourists. Not surprisingly, the waterfront bar was decorated in a nautical theme with captain’s chairs from salvaged ships serving as stools shoved against the mahogany bar. Tables and chairs from old ferryboats were scattered around the long narrow room. Deep into the bar, a small stage stood above an empty dance floor, a jukebox beside it blasting out a Luke Bryant song.
“Oh, my gosh, Destiny Upchurch is in my bar!” a woman wiping out some glasses yelled above the noise. “Can I get a picture for Instagram and Twitter?” she asked, snapping a photo with her cell phone before Ginger had a chance to answer. “Hey, I heard you’re going to get Savannah Rich to come to town. That’s so cool!”
Ginger shook her head in disbelief as she took her seat at the bar. At least everyone in this town was predictable if not relentless.
“What can I get you ladies?”
Audra slid into one of the captain’s chairs, carefully positioning her braced knee away from the crowd. “I’d like a big glass of Merlot, Jolene.”
“How ’bout you, Destiny?” Jolene asked.
“It’s Ginger,” she said with a sigh. “And I think I’d like to try”—she glanced at the triangular card depicting summery drinks—“this lemonade looks nice.”
Jolene gave a little whistle. “My specialty. One Lynchburg Lemonade, coming right up. Of course, I’ll need to see some ID first.” She winked at Ginger. “You played a teenager on the show. I need to make sure you’re not one in real life.”
“You do know there’s whiskey in that lemonade?” Audra asked after Jolene had studied Ginger’s driver’s license long enough to commit it to memory.
Aside from an occasional glass of wine or champagne, Ginger made it a point to stay away from alcohol. It seemed the prudent choice ever since the accident that had devastated both her and Diesel’s lives. But Destiny Upchurch wouldn’t venture into a bar without having ordered a drink, so Ginger decided to give the people of Chances Inlet what they wanted. “Sure,” she said to Audra before posing in another bar patron’s selfie. Besides, Diesel had been right. Destiny was already having a lot more fun than Ginger ever had in this town.
It was nine thirty and Gavin had to weave his way through a larger-than-usual crowd hovering at the entrance of Pier Pressure. He’d only just arrived back to his loft from his nightly walk-through of Dresden House. After a long day spent in Wilmington, he was looking forward to knocking back a cold one and finishing up some drafting, but then Audra had texted him. He bumped into Sheriff’s Deputy Hayden Lovell on his way through the crush of people.
“Oh, good,” the deputy said. “Maybe you can take care of this without me having to arrest her.”
“Arrest who?” he asked as they finally broke through the crowd. His eyes were immediately drawn to the stage at the back of the bar where the answer to that question stood and shimmied her hips with a microphone in her hands. White jeans accentuated her long legs while the rest of her was clad in a poufy sleeveless top with big pink flowers that swung provocatively from side to side with every move she made. Her hair formed a wild halo around her head and those unique eyes shone with unabashed delight. Ginger was a sensual fantasy come to life strutting around on that stage.
Until she opened her mouth.
“Whoa,” Hayden said. “I’m pretty sure I heard wailing in the mountains of Afghanistan that sounded better than that.”