Authors: Rosemary Cottage
“Coble’s atmospheric and suspenseful series launch should appeal to fans of Tracie Peterson and other authors of Christian romantic suspense.”
“Romantically tense, but with just the right touch of danger, this cowboy love story is surprisingly clever—and pleasingly sweet.”
“Colleen Coble will keep you glued to each page as she shows you the beauty of God’s most primitive land and the dangers it hides.”
“[An] outstanding, completely engaging tale that will have you on the edge of your seat . . . A must have for all fans of romantic suspense!”
“Colleen Coble lays an intricate trail in
Without a Trace
and draws the reader on like a hound with a scent.”
“Coble’s historical series just keeps getting better with each entry.”
“Don’t ever mistake [Coble’s] for the fluffy romances with a little bit of suspense. She writes solid suspense, and she ties it all together beautifully with a wonderful message.”
“This book has everything I enjoy: mystery, romance, and suspense. The characters are likable, understandable, and I can relate to them.”
“[M]ystery, danger and intrigue as well as romance, love and subtle inspiration.
The Lightkeeper’s Daughter
is a ‘keeper.’”
“Colleen is a master storyteller.”
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© 2013 by Colleen Coble
All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, scanning, or other—except for brief quotations in critical reviews or articles, without the prior written permission of the publisher.
Published in Nashville, Tennessee, by Thomas Nelson. Thomas Nelson is a registered trademark of Thomas Nelson, Inc.
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Publisher’s Note: This novel is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. All characters are fictional, and any similarity to people living or dead is purely coincidental.
Unless otherwise noted, Scripture quotations are taken from the King James Version.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Rosemary cottage : a Hope Beach novel / Colleen Coble.
ISBN 978-1-59554-782-8 (trade paper)
13 14 15 16 17 RRD 6 5 4 3 2 1
For my aunt Edith Phillips.
While she doesn’t surf cold water, every
child gravitates toward her.
You’ve always been my role model, Ede. Love you!
he Atlantic water rushed past her limbs in a silken caress. Gina Ireland loved the water, the busy fishermen boating to and fro, and the blue bowl of sky overhead. She was the first to hit the water every spring in her new bikini. This might be her last swim of the season, and she intended to milk every second from the October sun overhead.
She waved to her brother on the beach where he sat on the blanket with her tiny daughter. He was as crazy about their Outer Banks island as she was, and when he wasn’t working on the water, he was plopped on the beach. Seven-month-old Raine squawked, objecting to being corralled off the sand. She already had her Uncle Curtis wrapped around her finger. Gina too, for that matter. The baby had changed everything.
Curtis waved in return, then squatted on the blanket with the baby. Other beachgoers splashed in the waves, and the distant roar of Jet Skis disrupted the serenity of her beloved Hope Island.
Gina flipped to her back and closed her eyes as the waves carried her on the whitecaps. She was different now, new and clean. The future looked bright. The water held no fear for her. Once she’d entertained dreams of winning an Olympic gold medal in swimming until life intervened, but contentment curled
along her spine. No need for a medal when she had everything right here.
The island had receded in the distance when she opened her eyes and turned to her stomach again. She started back toward the beach with long, sure strokes. When the shore was no nearer five minutes later, she paused and trod water in the riptide that had seized her. She experienced only a momentary stab of disquiet. The boating lane was near, and if the current didn’t release her, she could hail a passing fishing boat. She swam parallel to the shore, then tried again, only to be thrust back by the strong tide.
The rumble of an approaching ski boat wasn’t nearly as annoying as usual as it zoomed toward her. She waved and shouted. The man’s eyes narrowed as he looked at her and nodded. Good, he’d seen her. She waved again so he didn’t lose her in the waves.
The boat’s engine roared to a higher pitch as the man aimed the craft toward her. The nose on the thing rose in the air as he forced it even faster. Sea spray foamed around the boat.
“Slow down!” She made a cutting motion with her hand, but the man merely smiled and stared at her.
When he grew closer, she frowned. What was
doing out here and why wasn’t he pulling back on the throttle? She tried to dive to escape the big boat barreling down on her, but her head was only a foot under the waves when the great blades came at her. If only she’d had one last glimpse of her baby girl.
he distant sound of the sea blended with the hum of bees seeking the spring flowers. The clumps of blue-green vegetation gave off a spicy fragrance Amy Lang recognized as rosemary.
. She stood on the stone walk beside her friend Libby and stared at the house with memories washing over her.