- Author: Lindsay Harrel
Book online «All I've Waited For Lindsay Harrel (top 10 inspirational books .txt) 📖». Author Lindsay Harrel
All I've Waited ForA Walker Beach Romance
For my GLAM Girls—
Gabrielle Meyer, Alena Tauriainen, and Melissa Tagg
Thank you for being my people.
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All You Need Is Love Sneak Peek
Books by Lindsay Harrel
About the Author
Life these days was a never-ending sprint.
Good thing Ashley Baker liked to run.
Her feet pounded the wooden boardwalk and music poured through her AirPods as she wove around people out for a leisurely stroll along the Pacific Ocean’s edge. In the distance, seagulls lazily dipped toward the water. Neighborhood children built sandcastles, their parents watching from the shade of a nearby umbrella. The seventy-degree sun and clear skies had lured townspeople of all generations out to enjoy this late-April Saturday in Walker Beach, California, the small town nestled off Highway 1 between Los Angeles and San Francisco where Ashley had lived her entire life.
How tempting it was to join them.
But Kyle Mahaney, her boss, would kill Ashley if she arrived late to their new clients’ meeting at Whimsical Weddings & More. He’d even asked her to come a few minutes earlier than usual, which had meant cutting short the planning meeting for this summer’s Baker family reunion. Thankfully it only took seven and a half minutes to jog from her parents’ house to the downtown office.
Ashley’s music halted as a call came through her phone, which was tucked in the back pocket of her jeans. Slowing to a brisk walk, she answered the call. “Ashley here.”
“Hi.” Normally, she’d love to chat with Shannon. But not right now. “Sorry, I only have like two seconds.”
“So what’s new?” An easy laugh filled the line, and Ashley pictured her cousin’s bright eyes and winsome smile. They looked more like sisters than cousins, both tan with long blonde hair—although at nearly six feet, Ashley stood a half-foot taller. And, while Ashley’s build was more athletic in nature, Shannon’s delicate features matched her artistic spirit well. “You’re always busy.”
“Yeah, yeah.” What could she say? Ashley loved planning events and she loved people, so when there was a chance to volunteer for something events related, she almost always said yes.
Staying busy also had the happy advantage of keeping her mind off of less pleasant things.
The sea lapped along the shore, sparkling under the midday Californian sun. “So, what’s up?”
“Just wondering if you’d seen him yet.”
Ashley nearly groaned at the reminder. “He’s only been back in town for a day.”
Stepping off the boardwalk, she took the intersecting sidewalk to Main Street in the North Village. This part of town had experienced damage from an earthquake nine months ago, and some businesses had never recovered. Thankfully, Kyle’s business hadn’t been one of them, and Ashley’s job had remained secure.
“What’s he waiting for? Your house should’ve been his first stop.”
“I don’t think anyone else has seen him either.” Ashley only knew Derek Campbell was back because earlier this week his dad, Jack, had informed her of his impending return. The thought still tightened her throat. “Haven’t heard anything from the Walker Beach gossips, anyway.”
“But you’re going to tell him how you feel when you see him, right?”
“It’s been over a year since he left. Things are bound to be different between us.”
“No way. You guys had something special even though neither of you ever said anything.”
A sigh filtered across the airwaves. With all of Shannon’s romantic notions, it was a wonder that she’d never had a boyfriend. Probably had something to do with feeling stuck in her older sister Quinn’s shadow—and her extreme shyness when it came to any male their age that she wasn’t related to.
“You deserve to be happy, Ash. Just promise me you’ll think about it, okay?”
Shannon was never pushy. This obviously meant a lot to her.
“Okay, okay. If he ever comes to see me.” Ashley flitted past a few shoppers and finally reached the pale pink storefront where she worked. The front window display—which Shannon had helped design a year ago when Ashley had started her job here—showed off a lovely A-line wedding dress with see-through sleeves and intricate beading on the bodice. A ladder shelf created a pretty hodgepodge of wedding-themed elements, from a large wooden Mr. & Mrs. to hurricane vases, soft pink candles, and paper lanterns. “Sorry, Shan, I’ve gotta go. I’ll see you tomorrow night at Family Dinner, right?”
“Of course. I’d never risk the wrath of the Baker Matrons.”
Ashley laughed in response as she opened the door and a bell rang overhead. “I always knew you were smart.”
They said goodbye and Ashley strode through the small showroom that exhibited scrapbooks, sample wedding invitations, and a whole wall of framed photos featuring gorgeous brides of all shapes and colors with one thing in common—their faces shone with love.
And each one had a man who loved them back.
She turned her head and kept walking until she reached Kyle’s office in the back. “Knock, knock.”
Her boss looked up from his tidy desk. “Ah, come in, Ashley, come in.” The room smelled of coconut, probably from the sunscreen Kyle wore religiously ever since his wife, Cathy, had died of skin cancer ten years ago.
“I hope I’m not late.” She slid into the overstuffed chair on the other side of the desk, sinking into the plush maroon cushions. Her muscles relaxed even if her brain couldn’t. Kyle hadn’t said why he wanted to meet early. Ashley had wracked her brain all day trying to think of something she’d missed, but other than a minor miscommunication with one of their brides that Kyle had cleaned up, she couldn’t think of anything.
“No, we have a few minutes until our appointment.” Kyle leaned back in his chair and fiddled with the end of his white handlebar mustache. With his Harley-Davidson jean vest, cowboy hat covering a bald head, and wide girth,