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Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You (Summer Lake #2)
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Sullivan fans met Christie Hayden at Summer Lake in “Now That I’ve Found You”, “Since I Fell For You” and “The Best Is Yet To Come”. Now get ready for Christie’s beautiful love story in CAN’T TAKE MY EYES OFF OF YOU.
BOOK DESCRIPTION: Christie Hayden escaped to Summer Lake to heal from heartbreak, but found so much more than that: a job she loves as an innkeeper, a close-knit community of friends, and a chance at the perfect romantic future she’s always longed for. But nothing is as it seems, especially when it comes to Liam Kane, the gorgeous millionaire who sweeps into her life from out of the blue…and instantly turns it—and her heart—upside down.
The first time Liam Kane lays eyes on Christie, he’s a total goner. He knows he should keep his distance, because he’s not capable of giving her the happily-ever-after she’s looking for. But when it comes to her smiles, her laughter, her kindness—and her sweetly sinful kisses—for the first time in his life, he can’t hang on to his self-control. Not when the love she offers him is everything he never thought he could have, but now craves with every fiber of his being.
But Liam has been keeping a secret for twenty years, one that nearly destroyed him—one that has the potential to tear his whole family apart too. When Christie can’t stop herself from trying to help out of pure love, will Liam be able to let himself heal? Or will they both end up broken, leaving her to pick up the pieces all over again?
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“You are such a beautiful bride.” Christie Hayden smoothed out the cuff of Sarah Bartow’s long-sleeved wedding gown and smiled at her friend in the full-length mirror. Summer Lake, still mostly frozen and lightly dusted with snow, was reflected through the large-paned window in the mirror.
Sarah’s eyes were full of excitement and anticipation for her wedding day. “Thank you for everything you’ve done to help us. I could never have pulled this off so quickly, or so beautifully, without you.”
Christie was pleased by how smoothly the wedding preparations had come together. Her final walk-through downstairs half an hour ago confirmed that the Summer Lake Inn had been completely transformed into a tasteful, elegant wedding venue.
“I’ve absolutely loved helping you,” Christie said, “but we both know you could have single-handedly planned a dozen weddings in the past two weeks and gotten a spread in Brides magazine while you were at it.”
Sarah grinned. “That was the old me, before I decided to start playing with yarn all day at the store.”
Christie was happy to let Sarah say whatever she wanted. After all, this was her wedding day. But both of them knew that moving back to Summer Lake and becoming engaged to Calvin Vaughn hadn’t changed the core of who Sarah was. She had always been driven. Brilliant. And on top of that, she also happened to be one of the most loving, caring people Christie had ever had the good fortune to know.
Business at Lakeside Stitch and Knit was more brisk than ever now that Sarah had taken over the store for her mother and grandmother. Not only because Sarah was a phenomenal businesswoman with a background in management consulting, but also because she was truly passionate about knitting and the women who shopped in her store.
As Sarah turned to look into the antique mirror in the inn’s wedding prep room, she seemed almost surprised by the wedding gown, the soft curls brushing against her collarbone, the pretty makeup, and the lacy knitted veil over which she couldn’t stop running her fingers in wonder.
“I never thought today would come,” Sarah said softly, “but I always wanted it.” She lifted her gaze to meet Christie’s in the mirror. “I’ve loved Calvin my whole life.”
Christie blinked quickly to push away the tears threatening to fall. “You and Calvin both deserve the love you’ve found again. Especially since this time, it’s forever.”
She smiled as she looked at Sarah’s slightly rounded stomach, and the lump in her throat was replaced by the joy of knowing there would soon be a new baby to cuddle. Her friend’s fingers spread across the growing life inside her in an instinctive gesture of protectiveness and nurturing, and a bolt of longing hit Christie so hard that she nearly stumbled back from the force of it.
“Christie?” Sarah reached for her arm. “You know you can talk to me, don’t you?”
Christie knew she’d just given too much away. She always did. Some people had poker faces, but hers would cause her to lose everything in a casino because she didn’t have the first clue how to play the game. Especially when it came to love.
Still, knowing the last thing she should do was dump her fears and hurts and baggage all over Sarah on her wedding day, Christie was intent on finding a way to deflect her friend’s concern and lighten the mood. “I always get emotional at weddings. You should have seen me at each of my sisters’ ceremonies. I cried buckets. The guests in my row were all wishing for raincoats so I wouldn’t soak them.”
But Sarah didn’t so much as crack a smile. “You don’t have to pretend with me.” Regret flashed across her face. “Ever since I got pregnant, my brain has been fuzzy and I want to sleep all the time. That’s got to be why I didn’t see it more clearly before—we never should have scheduled our wedding for this weekend.” Sarah’s words were said softly, and while there wasn’t pity behind them, Christie believed that was due only to their close friendship.
Unfortunately, there was no escaping the fact that Christie was supposed to have been the one to get married this weekend. Only, instead of wearing a long white gown and saying I do, she was going to be sitting in the audience, watching her friends make their vows of love to each other.
It hadn’t been easy walking down Main Street these past three weeks, going to the grocery store, getting a coffee at the café, knowing people were whispering about her. Sure, they all smiled and exchanged pleasantries. But either they had to be feeling sorry for her, or they were trying to figure out just what horrible thing she’d done to make Wesley Kane call off the wedding—and disappear from Summer Lake the very next day without a word to anyone.