Fifteen years ago, seventeen-year-old Vanessa Moran fell in love and lost her virginity but not to the same boy. Pregnant, desperate, and humiliated, she fled friends and family and Whisper Beach, New Jersey, never breathing a word about her secret to anyone. She hasn’t been back since. Now a professional Manhattan organizer, she returns to the funeral of her best friend’s husband. She intends on just paying her respects and leaving—though she can’t deny she also wants the town to see how far she’s come as a successful business woman. But her plans to make this a short visit fall by the wayside when her girlfriends have other ideas.
Dorie, the owner of the pier’s Blue Crab Restaurant where Van and her friends worked as teenagers, needs help. Dorie’s roving husband spends every penny they make and now their restaurant is failing.
Joe, the boy Van left behind without an explanation, has never stopped loving her. While he’s wary of getting hurt again, he also can’t help wondering what would happen if they took up where they left off.
As the summer progresses and the restaurant takes on a new look, trouble comes from unexpected sources. For Van, this summer will test the meaning of friendship and trust—and how far love can bend before it breaks.
Marjorie Steel is still healing from the events of the past year, and she’s happy to put her plans to study culinary arts on hold to help her best friend deal with a difficult pregnancy and two recently adopted troubled boys. The fact that Bryce Simpson spends a lot of time at the Steel Ranch is a benefit, and she’s ready to see if her attraction to him might be something more.
Bryce wants to do a hard day’s work on the ranch. Once his muscles give out and he collapses from exhaustion, maybe he’ll stop torturing himself over his late father’s horrific double life. The Steels have a different idea. They ask Bryce to take an executive position complete with a profit share. As he has a young son and widowed mother to support, it’s an offer he can’t refuse. The only catch is Marjorie. She’s beautiful, smart, feisty, and her kisses set him on fire. But he’s an empty shell with nothing to offer her, and she deserves the world.
As the sins of his father continue to haunt him, Bryce learns the horrors of the past may not yet be buried.