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The Love Shack

Cover of The Love Shack

The Love Shack

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Return to USA TODAY bestselling author Christie Ridgeway's Crescent Cove, California, where the magic of summer can last forever...Globe-trotting photojournalist Gage Lowell spent carefree childhood...More
Return to USA TODAY bestselling author Christie Ridgeway's Crescent Cove, California, where the magic of summer can last forever...Globe-trotting photojournalist Gage Lowell spent carefree childhood...More
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  • Return to USA TODAY bestselling author Christie Ridgeway's Crescent Cove, California, where the magic of summer can last forever...

    Globe-trotting photojournalist Gage Lowell spent carefree childhood summers in Crescent Cove. Now that he desperately needs some R & R, he books a vacation at Beach House No. 9--ready to soak up some sun and surprise old friend and property manager Skye Alexander. Their long-distance letters got him through a dangerous time he can't otherwise talk about. But when he arrives, the tightly wound beauty isn't exactly happy to see him.

    Skye knows any red-blooded woman would be thrilled to spend time with gorgeous, sexy Gage. But she harbors secrets of her own, including that she might just be a little bit in love with him. And she's convinced the restless wanderer won't stay long enough for her to dare share her past--or dream of a future together. Luckily for them both, summer at Crescent Cove has a way of making the impossible happen....

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    For the past decade, Gage Lowell had lived on risk the way other people sucked down caffeine. It had been his morning fix, his noonday pick-me-up, his after-dinner beverage with dessert. So the anticipation building in his belly as he approached beautiful but tranquil Crescent Cove didn't make much sense.

    It was no Durand Line, that porous border between Afghanistan and Pakistan where he'd braved danger that ran the gamut from Taliban bullets to half-wild bulls. The natives were certain to be less suspicious than the Syrian rebels he'd photographed the spring before. And though the house he'd rented was situated on the sand, just steps away from the Pacific Ocean, not for a second did he suppose this vacation would end like the one he'd taken some years ago--with Gage running for his life and high ground, holding his cameras overhead.

    Of course, that tsunami had come out of the blue.

    But he really couldn't see how this holiday would hold any such surprise.

    Still, expectation continued to hum through his veins. "Stop here," he said to his twin as the car turned onto the narrow road that led off the coastal highway. They'd come straight from the airport. "I'll hoof it to the property management office for the keys. You drive my stuff to Beach House No. 9 and I'll meet you there."

    Griffin frowned over at him. "What, I'm your bellboy now?" Though the sarcasm was typical brother bullshit, there was something in his expression that tickled Gage's spine.

    "What aren't you telling me?" he asked.

    His twin braked the car but didn't answer. Up ahead were the first of the fifty or so eclectic cottages that made up the beachside community where the Lowell family had spent every summer until he'd turned fifteen. The dwellings' designs were a little bit funky and a lot colorful, nestled in lush vegetation--palm trees, hibiscus bushes and various other flowering plants--that had originally been planted so that the two-mile-long curve of sand could serve as a variety of backdrops during the silent movie era: deserted island, cannibal-infested jungle, ancient Egypt.

    It had been paradise for Gage, Griffin and the rest of their posse of kids who'd run wild every June through September.

    Rolling down his window, Gage breathed deeply of the salt-and-sun-laden air and dismissed his disquiet. He had a few weeks to rest and recharge before his next assignment overseas, and Crescent Cove was the best place in the world for that. "It's still got that ol' magic, doesn't it?" he murmured, reaching for the door handle.

    "Wait," Griffin said. "Maybe I should go with you to collect the keys."

    Uh-oh. Uneasiness kicked up again. "What's going on?"

    "Look. About Skye--"

    "Don't say any more," Gage said, already irritated. The older by eleven minutes, Griffin often acted as if he were the much-wiser sibling. "I know her as well as you. Better than you."

    "You haven't seen her since we were kids. You might be, uh, I don't know, surprised by how she looks."

    "I don't care how she looks," Gage said, aware he sounded a little angry. What? His brother thought he had some shallow set of standards when it came to female companions? Okay, he supposed it could be true when it came to a certain kind of female companion, but that didn't apply here.

    "I'm not interested in her appearance." Gage pressed his shoulder against the passenger door and pushed it open. "She's not a woman to me."

    His brother might have mumbled, "Oh, hell," but Gage was already on his way toward...

About the Author-
  • Christie Ridgway is the award-winning author of over thirty-five contemporary romances. Known for stories that make readers laugh and cry, Christie began writing romances in fifth grade. After marrying her college sweetheart and having two sons, she returned to what she loved best--telling stories of strong men and determined women finding happy ever after. She lives in Southern California. Keep up with Christie at www.christieridgway.com.

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