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The One Real Thing
Cover of The One Real Thing
The One Real Thing
Hart's Boardwalk Series, Book 1
The New York Times bestselling author of On Dublin Street is back with the first in a sexy new romance series set in a small town on the Delaware coastline.

Welcome to Hartwell, a quiet seaside escape where uncovering old secrets could lead one woman to discover the meaning of a love that lasts...

While Doctor Jessica Huntington engages with the inmates at the women's correctional facility where she works, she's always careful to avoid emotional attachments in her personal life. Loss and betrayal taught her that lesson long ago. But when she comes across a set of old love letters in the prison's library and visits the picturesque town of Hartwell to deliver them to their intended recipient, she finds herself unable to resist the town's charm—and her attraction to the sexy owner of a local bar proves equally hard to deny.

Since his divorce from his unfaithful ex-wife, Cooper Lawson has focused on what really matters: his family and the boardwalk pub they've owned for generations. But the first time Jessica steps into his bar, Cooper is beyond tempted to risk his heart on her.

Yet as their attraction grows hotter and Jessica remains stubbornly closed off, he begins to realize it will take more than just passion to convince her there's only one real thing in life worth fighting for....
The New York Times bestselling author of On Dublin Street is back with the first in a sexy new romance series set in a small town on the Delaware coastline.

Welcome to Hartwell, a quiet seaside escape where uncovering old secrets could lead one woman to discover the meaning of a love that lasts...

While Doctor Jessica Huntington engages with the inmates at the women's correctional facility where she works, she's always careful to avoid emotional attachments in her personal life. Loss and betrayal taught her that lesson long ago. But when she comes across a set of old love letters in the prison's library and visits the picturesque town of Hartwell to deliver them to their intended recipient, she finds herself unable to resist the town's charm—and her attraction to the sexy owner of a local bar proves equally hard to deny.

Since his divorce from his unfaithful ex-wife, Cooper Lawson has focused on what really matters: his family and the boardwalk pub they've owned for generations. But the first time Jessica steps into his bar, Cooper is beyond tempted to risk his heart on her.

Yet as their attraction grows hotter and Jessica remains stubbornly closed off, he begins to realize it will take more than just passion to convince her there's only one real thing in life worth fighting for....
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  • From the book One

    Jessica

    One of my favorite feelings in the whole world is that moment I step inside a hot shower after having been caught outside in cold, lashing rain. The transformation from clothes-soaked-to-the-skin misery to soothing warmth is unlike any other. I love the resultant goose bumps and the way my whole body relaxes under the stream of warm water. In that pure, simple moment all accumulated worries just wash away with the rain.

    The moment I met Cooper Lawson felt exactly like that hot shower after a very long, cold storm.

    The day hadn't started out all sunshine and clear skies. It was a little gray outside and there were definite clouds, but I still hadn't been prepared for the sudden deluge of rain that flooded from the heavens as I was walking along the boardwalk in the seaside city of Hartwell.

    My eyes darted for the closest available shelter and I dashed toward it-a closed bar that had an awning. Soaked within seconds, blinded by rain, and irritated by the icky feeling of my clothes sticking to my skin, I wasn't really paying much attention to anything else but getting to the awning. That was why I ran smack into a hard, masculine body.

    If the man's arms hadn't reached out to catch me I would have bounced right onto my ass.

    I pushed my soaked hair out of my eyes and looked up in apology at the person I had so rudely collided with.

    Warm blue eyes met mine. Blue, blue eyes. Like the Aegean Sea that surrounded Santorini. I'd vacationed there a few years back and the water there was the bluest I'd ever seen.

    Once I was able to drag my gaze from the startling color of those eyes, I took in the face they were set upon. Rugged, masculine.

    My eyes drifted over his broad shoulders and my head tipped back to take in his face because the guy was well over six feet tall. The hands that were still on my biceps, steadying me, were big, long fingered, and callused against my bare skin.

    Despite the cold, I felt my body flush with the heat of awareness and I stepped out of the stranger's hold.

    "Sorry," I said, slicking my wet hair back, grinning apologetically. "That rain came out of nowhere."

    He gave a brief nod as he pushed his wet dark hair back from his forehead. The blue flannel shirt he wore over a white T-shirt was soaked through, too, and I suddenly found myself staring at the way the T-shirt clung to his torso.

    There wasn't an ounce of fat on him.

    I thought I heard a chortle of laughter and my eyes flew to his face, startled-and horrified at the thought of being caught ogling. There was no smirk or smile on his lips, however, although there was definitely amusement in those magnificent eyes of his. Without saying a word he reached out for the door to the quaint building and pushed. The door swung open and he stepped inside what was an empty and decidedly closed bar.

    Oh.

    Okay for some, I thought, staring glumly out at the way the rain pounded the boardwalk, turning the boards slick and slippery. I wondered how long I'd be stuck there.

    "You can wait out there if you want. Or not."

    The deep voice brought my head back around. The blue-eyed, rugged, flannel guy was staring at me.

    I peered past him at the empty bar, unsure if he was allowed to be in there. "Are you sure it's alright?"

    He merely nodded, not giving me the explanation I sought for why it was alright.

    I stared back at the rain and then back into the dry bar.

    Stay out here shivering in the rain or step inside an empty bar with a strange man?

    The stranger noted my indecision and somehow he managed to laugh at me without moving his mouth.

    It was the...
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  • Publisher's Weekly

    July 25, 2016
    Unfinished business, a past crime, and the need for personal redemption all lead to Hartwell, Del., the fictitious city that provides the setting for Young’s (Moonlight on Nightingale Way) new contemporary series, Hart’s Boardwalk. When prison doctor Jessica Huntington attempts to deliver 30-year-old letters to their intended recipient, she runs into bar owner Cooper Lawson. Cooper and the other residents of Hartwell are being pressured by Ian Devlin, Cooper’s former best friend’s father, to sell their businesses. Cooper’s strong attraction to Jessica makes him believe that he can finally have the family he’s always wanted. When Ian learns a damaging secret about Jessica, he tries to use the info to blackmail her into convincing Cooper to sell. She has to decide whether to walk away and leave Cooper with good memories of her, or tell him the truth and risk his feelings for her changing irrevocably. The intricately woven subplots make up for Jessica’s frustratingly secretive nature and will make a smooth transition to the next in the series. Agent: Lauren Abramo, Dystel & Goderich Literary.

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The One Real Thing
The One Real Thing
Hart's Boardwalk Series, Book 1
Samantha Young
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