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From New York Times bestselling author Heidi McLaughlin comes a heartfelt story about overcoming great loss and forgiving past sins to find happiness again.
Brooklyn Hewett hasn’t set foot in Cape Harbor for fifteen years—not since an accident claimed the love of her life, Austin Woods. Desperate to move forward, Brooklyn has focused on raising her daughter for the past fourteen years. But when the opportunity comes along to renovate the old Driftwood Inn, Brooklyn knows it’s time to go home.
But it won’t be easy. For one, Austin’s best friend, Bowie Holmes, still lives in Cape Harbor. Brooklyn hasn’t quite been able to forget him: not since the night they spent together—the same night they both lost Austin. Separated by tragedy and guilt, they’re brought together by the Driftwood project. And as they rebuild the inn, they discover they’re also rebuilding something else.
Brooklyn’s always been desperate to move on, not knowing that she first needs to reconcile past transgressions. She can’t forget, but she can forgive—Austin, Bowie, and herself—on her way toward long-awaited happiness.
Imagine living in a community where everyone knew all of the comings and goings in your life. Living in Cape Harbor for fifteen years, Brooklyn knew all too well how your past followed you into the present. While growing up, Brooklyn was the girlfriend of Austin Woods. Then tragedy struck and life would never be the same for this small town.
Determined to leave the stigma of her past behind, Brooklyn left Cape Harbor as soon as they said their ‘goodbyes’ to Austin. There were so many secrets about the reasons behind Austin’s choice to take his boat out in a storm. Keeping her own secrets about that night, Brooklyn chose to raise her daughter far away from the place that she once called home.
Over the years, the inn that Austin’s family once kept open to travelers was now a bit run down by age. Austin’s mother has convinced Brooklyn to come back to town and restore the inn to its former glory. In order to do that, old friends will come back into the picture to pull off this huge project. The largest construction company in Cape Harbor answers the summons to work on this project, a job that will keep Bowie’s business out of the red for another season.
Brooklyn knows that she needs Bowie to help her finish the project, but wasn’t prepared for the lingering feelings from their past. Fifteen years may have passed, but the duo certainly felt the same effects of their attraction that existed long ago. With so many secrets swirling about the past, Brooklyn knows she has to make peace with the gravity of the life she left behind.
What an amazing palate cleanse I found when turning the pages of After All by Heidi McLaughlin. There are times as a reader that I find myself wanting to delve into a romance that pulls at your heartstrings. Brooklyn and Bowie provided a backdrop to a romance that definitely left me smiling when I turned the last page. There are secrets the residents of Cape Harbor are keeping that will unfold as the story progresses. Some will lead you to solving a little mystery that wasn’t really hidden that well, but definitely doesn’t spoil the end result.
After All is a wonderful and sweet romance that gives you faith in overcoming the hardest days in your life. Life in Cape Harbor is definitely worth the ‘drive’.