Summer Places: A Boxed Set: Three Complete Novels

Antoinette Stockenberg
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 A Note From the Author:

Nantucket. Martha's Vineyard. Newport. Magical names, all three of them, because they call forth images of ocean-swept beaches, rose-covered cottages, seafaring Captains' stately homes, and all of the laid-back charm that islands can bring. Is there anyone who hasn't wanted, if only for the length of a vacation, to live on one?

But here's the thing about islands: for all of the obvious pleasures that they offer, they have some aspects that would make any mainlander a little crazy. Take transportation. Having to take a ferry makes a quick lunch with a friend on the mainland a fantasy, and a trip to Target a major project. (Nantucket is a long ferry ride from the mainland, and Martha's Vineyard isn't much closer. Even Newport, despite its bridge to the mainland, can have cars so backed up that a ferry could easily beat them.)

Food. True islanders do not expect miles of aisles and fourteen different kinds of peanut butters; they know how to do without. Movie theaters: one seems plenty. A living wage? Only during tourist season. Housing? You can tell a local's home from a summer house because the local's house will probably need paint. That is, if the local can actually afford to keep a house on the island, the one where he was born and raised, to begin with.

The gap between the Haves and the Have Nots in such places is especially glaring. It's a running theme in the three novels featured in the boxed set, SUMMER PLACES. Three New England locales are explored in three novels -- each of them capturing the the highs and the lows of a way of living that most of us can only dream about.

In BELOVED, set on Nantucket, unemployed Boston graphic designer Jane Drew inherits a ramshackle cottage, which may or may not be haunted, from her aunt, who may or may not have been a witch. Before long, Jane is butting heads with one of the locals, Mac McKenzie. Mac is descended from generations of hard-working islanders and has very clear opinions of uppity off-islanders. He has little patience for New Age types, moneyed types, and those for whom "antiquing" is a verb. He regards spaghetti as noodles, not pasta, and he drinks water from a tap, not a bottle. Oh, and he doesn't believe in ghosts. Period. When he finds himself up against the insistent, persistent, infinitely irritating Jane Drew with her knack for complicating his life, he does what any self-respecting islander would and shrugs her off -- for a while, anyway. But Mac understands, as Jane does not, that not every force is benign ... and not every force is otherworldly.

"BELOVED is pure Magic! The love story between the hero and heroine was complex and moving; what appealing characters!"

-- Susan Elizabeth Phillips

In SAFE HARBOR, eternal optimist Holly Anderson has managed to carve a nice little niche for herself as a folk artist on Martha's Vineyard. She's not quite a local, but she's lived on the island year-round and loves everything about it. Her artistry brings her deep satisfaction. Her family summers there. She has made friends there. If she could just afford to buy the house and barn she's renting, fall in love, marry the guy and then have children as sweet as her nieces, life would be pretty much perfect -- but when is life ever perfect? Havoc arrives on the island in the guise of beautiful Eden Walker, a con-woman who's stolen the nest egg of an elderly couple and who promptly seduces Holly's sixty-something father while she's in hiding. Sam Steadman--son of the now impoverished couple -- is furious and determined to find her. After a bumpy start, Sam and Holly join forces to track down the elusive Eden and reclaim both treasure and father. But hearts and minds collide, and shipwrecked emotions are strewn along the way. Will Holly and Sam ever be able to trust one another after the not-so-merry chase?

"Great characters, a satisfying love story ... suspense to keep the story moving ... a delightfully drawn setting as the author brings Martha's Vineyard to life ... this woman can write."

-- The Romance Reader

In SAND CASTLES, Wendy Hodene is one of those people for whom just enough is plenty. She's married to a charmer, has a young son she loves, and lives close to family in a small New England house that her great-grandfather built. True, she'd love to have room for a three-cushion couch (and of course more closet space), but all in all, she's happy with her life.

Happy, until her husband Jim goes and wins a lottery, upending every reassuring aspect of Wendy's existence. The man she thought she was married to for a decade turns out to be someone else entirely; the house she thought she wanted renovated turns into a stress-inducing pile of dust and demolition; the son who once desired nothing more than a new video game now wants a big new house on the beach; and the mysterious contractor who shows up among the renovation crew on a fine June morning turns out to be a man who's both able and willing to destroy all that Wendy holds dear.

"Well-drawn, sympathetic characters, exceptional writing, and an intriguing premise ... a riveting story of selfishness, betrayal, and love that readers will find hard to put down."

-- Library Journal

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About the author

USA Today bestselling novelist Antoinette Stockenberg grew up wanting to be a cowgirl and have her own horse (her great-grandfather bred horses for the carriage trade back in the old country), but the geography just didn't work out: there weren't many ranches in Chicago. Her other, more doable dream was to write books, and after stints as secretary, programmer, teacher, grad student, boatyard hand, office manager and magazine writer (in that order), she achieved that goal, writing over a dozen novels, several of them with paranormal elements. One of them is the RITA award-winning EMILY'S GHOST.

Stockenberg's books have been published in a dozen languages and are often set in quaint New England harbor towns, always with a dose of humor. She writes about complex family relationships and the fallout that old, unearthed secrets can have on them. Sometimes there's an old murder. Sometimes there's an old ghost. Sometimes once-lovers find one another after half a lifetime apart.

Her work has been compared to writers as diverse as Barbara Freethy, Nora Roberts, LaVyrle Spencer and Mary Stewart by critics and authors alike, and her novels have appeared on bestseller lists in USA Today as well as the national bookstore chains. Her website features sample chapters, numerous reviews, many photos, and an enchanting Christmas section. www.antoinettestockenberg.com

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Additional Information

Publisher
Antoinette Stockenberg
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Published on
Jan 1, 102
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Pages
1200
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Language
English
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Genres
Family & Relationships / Love & Romance
Fiction / Romance / Contemporary
Fiction / Romance / Paranormal / General
Fiction / Romance / Suspense
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Available on Android devices
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In the tradition of Upstairs, Downstairs and Downton Abbey, BY THE SEA is a four-book series that sweeps from the Gilded Age through the Gatsby Era's Roaring Twenties and then on to the Great Depression, culminating nearly a century later in Newport, Rhode Island, wealthy and alluring "City by the Sea." Set against a backdrop of mansions, the glorious America's Cup Yacht Races, and new money, the series traces the passions and adventures of three families from three different classes.
 

Book One: TESS. From the wild decadence of late nineteenth-century Newport comes the tale of Tess Moran, a beautiful Irish housemaid in one of the grand summer "cottages," who makes a dark bargain with a man of commanding wealth -- and falls in love in the bargain.

Book Two: AMANDA. Marrying American money to an English title is a tradition of its own; but Amanda Fain, a brash heiress with money to burn, has a fondness for Bolsheviks and bootleg liquor that makes her an unlikely match for the reluctant, ironic, and impoverished English aristocrat Geoffrey Seton, who has been ordered to America to find someone who can pay the bills for the family estate back home.

Book Three: LAURA. While the Great Depression grinds relentlessly on, Laura Andersson, a Midwestern farm girl with an improbable love of the sea, embarks on a bold adventure that promises riches but delivers passion, one that threatens all she holds dear.

Book Four: THE HEIRS is the dramatic conclusion to the four-book series BY THE SEA. Economic hard times are a distant memory in high-flying, recent-day Newport, home of the oldest and most prestigious trophy in the world, the Holy Grail of sport--the America's Cup. Here, the descendants of Tess, Amanda and Laura play out their destinies, their paths crossing in unforeseen ways: Mavis Moran, Neil Powers, his daughter Quinta, and America's Cup skipper Alan Seton all find themselves caught in a web of mystery, sabotage, and conflicting desires.

Reviews

"A quality novel [that] contains many of those little epiphanies, those moments of recognition. [Part 1, TESS,] is what makes Stockenberg's book stand out from the rash of novels on class conflicts between Irish servants and their Yankee masters."
--Providence Journal

"A riveting saga/mystery. Ms. Stockenberg is a master of intrigue and romance ... she expertly leads readers through nearly a century of drama in the elegant, fascinating, and thrilling world of yacht racing [culminating in] a compelling mystery. This novel will provide smooth sailing for summer reading."
—Rave Reviews

Editorial Reviews

"Helen has weaved a delicately balanced story of intrigue, secrets and passion, which practically melts the pages." -Bare Naked Words

"The love story between Talon and Jade continues in Obsession. An apt title to be sure, because everyone is obsessed. Dear Ms. Helen Hardt, I toss many profanities your way for making me wait. Though I give you my deepest gratitude for building the anticipation of what I’m sure will be an epic culmination to an amazing series. " -Heroes and Heartbreakers

"Talon and Jade's chemistry sizzles and the love scenes will melt your heart and your Kindle." -The Book Sirens

"I am loving this series so freaking much… The story line is one that will have you completely engrossed…" -Wicked Babes Blog

"Helen left my head spinning and my mind racing a mile a minute. I need to know what the secrets are... " -The Book Fairy Reviews

Synopsis

Jade Roberts is in love with Talon Steel but no longer welcome in his home. While she resolves to move on, she still longs for the passion she and Talon shared…and when her boss asks her to dig up information on the Steels, she’s only too happy to comply. Talon and his brothers are hiding something, and Jade is determined to find out what it is.

The moment Talon saw Jade he wanted her, ached for her, craved her…and now his desire has become his obsession. He knows she deserves better than his broken soul, but he can’t stay away from her, and he finally confesses his love. If he and Jade are to have a future, he knows he must make peace with the dark shadows and horrors of his past.

But as Talon begins his journey of healing, Jade uncovers some startling secrets…

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