Olivia Davenport has finally gotten her life back together. She’s left her painful past behind, started over in a new town, and become Harmony Harbor’s most sought-after event planner. But her past catches up to her when Olivia learns that she’s now guardian of her ex’s young daughter. With her world spinning, Olivia must reconcile her old life with her new one. And she doesn’t have time for her new next door neighbor, no matter how handsome he is.
Olivia may act like she’s got everything under control, but Dr. Finn Gallagher knows a person in over her head when he sees one. He’d really like to be the shoulder she leans on, but Olivia makes it clear she doesn’t want his help. Since he’s returned to town, his waiting room has been full of single women feigning illness. Yet the one woman he’s interested in is avoiding him. But with a little help from some matchmaking widows and a precocious little girl, Finn might just win Olivia over.
“What are you two still doing in the pond? You can see that we’ve rescued Miller and George, can’t you?” his baby brother Liam asked.
Finn was about to make a smartass comeback when his other brother shouted, “Finn, on your six!”
The wedding guests and waitstaff yelled, “Run!”
Finn glanced over his shoulder. Sure enough, two swans were doing their running-on-water thing and coming toward him with their wings spread wide. “Liv, get out of here!” he yelled, turning to splash the big white birds in order to distract them so she could get to shore. It didn’t feel very manly or heroic, but he couldn’t exactly scoop Liv up and run from the pond with her in his arms. His leg wouldn’t make it. But it’s the thought that counted. Or so he was telling himself when he heard the sound of a warrior’s cry. If his brothers raced into the pond to rescue him, he was going to kill them.
Somebody brushed past him, knocking him off balance. It was Liv. Brandishing her shoes like weapons, she made a beeline for the birds. The swan on the right dipped forward and grabbed the shoe. . . and Liv’s hand. Finn launched himself at Liv, wrapping an arm around her waist and dragging her away from the posturing birds.
A piece of bread hit Finn in the side of the head. The swan dropped Liv’s shoe and joined his three pals to glide gracefully to where the guests were now throwing bread into the pond. Too bad someone hadn’t thought of that earlier.
“If I never see a swan again, it’ll be too soon,” he muttered, half-dragging Liv out of the pond after him. It wasn’t until they’d climbed out that he realized she hadn’t said a word. He slowly turned. She was pale and shaking. “Liv, what is it?”
She looked at him, stared at him really, as if she expected him to understand what was going on. And there was definitely something going on, and it had nothing to do with a lost shoe. It hit him then. It had to do with a loss of another kind, a gut-wrenching, soul-crushing, heart-breaking loss that no one should ever have to bear.
He put his hands on her shoulders and ducked to look in her glassy eyes. “She’s fine, Liv. She was never in any real danger. We were here.”
“What if we hadn’t been?” she whispered, looking to where his brothers were drying George and Miller with towels. “She wanders off all the time and won’t come when I call. She hides from me, climbs rocks and trees, runs into the woods and the ocean at high tide.” A tear rolled down her cheek. She wiped her face and looked away. “If something happened to her . . .” She slowly shook her head. “I can’t do this, Finn.”