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My Beautiful Neighbor

Piper Rayne

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

© 2021 by Piper Rayne

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever.

Cover Photo: Wander Aguiar Photography

Cover Design: By Hang Le

1st Line Editor: Joy Editing

2nd Line Editor: My Brother’s Editor

Proofreader: My Brother’s Editor

My Beautiful Neighbor

Who’s the mystery woman who just walked into my brewery?

I’m not the only one from my Alaskan small town asking themselves that question. But I’m positive, I’m the only one in Sunrise Bay undressing the pretty blonde in my head. Everything about her, from her make-up to her high heels says she’s a fish out of water.

Whispers and speculations run rampant until the secret of who she is gets uncovered. Then the rumor mill goes into overdrive when she announces she’s staying to open a bookstore in the building next to mine—throwing a big wrench into my plans to buy that empty building.

I quickly find myself in a tug-of-war since my business partner/brother is upset she’s ruined the opportunity to expand our business. I try to keep my distance, but I’ve got one sister with a gossip column on the local radio station and two meddling grandmas setting me up as a tour director.

And now I kind of like the idea of our new neighbor staying. But small-town life isn’t for the weak—time will tell if she has what it takes to be one of us.

Contents

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The Greenes

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Epilogue

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The Greenes

Hank’s Kids

Cade Greene (30)

Co-owner Truth or Dare Brewery

Fisher Greene (28)

Sheriff

Xavier Greene (26)

Pro Football Player

Adam Greene (24)

Forest Ranger

Chevelle Greene (23)

Water Boat Tourist

Marla’s Kids

Jed Greene (30)

Co-owner of Truth or Dare Brewery

Nikki Greene (27)

Radio Host

Mandi Greene (25)

Owner of SunBay Inn

Posey Greene (21)

Owner of Fringe

“Sure, I’ll just jump over the casket, interrupting the entire service, and say, ‘Hey, sorry about your mom, but her store? How much do you want for it?’” I whisper to my stepbrother, Jed.

“I meant after the service is done. I’m not a complete asshole.”

I cock my eyebrow, and he snickers. My dad turns around and gives us his classic glare. The one that says, “shut the hell up.” We both shove our hands in the pockets of our slacks and bow our heads.

Once the prayer is over, the preacher says, “Amen.”

Everyone stands straighter, and low whispers from the population of Sunrise Bay sound on the light breeze, all directed to Clara Harrison over the loss of her mother.

Jed and I walk down the hill from the cemetery together because Clara decided to hold her mother’s wake at our brewery for some reason, which means we have to get over there to open it and make sure everything is ready to go.

“I’m simply suggesting you ask a question,” he says, climbing into his truck.

“Then you do it,” I say.

“Why would I ask when she’s your brother’s best friend?”

“Don’t forget, she’s your stepbrother’s best friend.”

Jed always uses the whole “your brother” or “your sister” thing when he doesn’t want to do something. I don’t see him saying he’s not his brother when he uses the fact that Xavier is a pro football player to try to pick up women. And I didn’t see him decline the tickets to watch a game from a box suite when Xavier offered them.

“You’ve known her your entire life,” he argues, then pulls away from the curb.

“Which makes it all that much more insensitive.” He is not going to win this argument.

We wave to the rest of our family coming down the hill to reach their vehicles. Xavier’s arm is wound tightly around Clara’s shoulders. I feel her pain. Hell, my gaze lingers as we pass my mother’s burial plot, and I get that stabbing sensation in my heart like I do every time I see it—even if it has been eighteen years. The healing process can be long and difficult, but she’ll get through it like I did at the age of twelve.

“You realize that Chuck on the other side wants to expand as well. We have to use any advantage we have.”

Jed’s not wrong. It’s one of the reasons why our partnership in Truth or Dare Brewery has worked. In business, Jed thinks long-term while I think short term. I plan fun trivia nights and I’m concerned about the customers we have now enjoying themselves, while his goal is for our beer to be in every grocery store and bar in the nation. It works for us.

I know he’s right, that I need to get to Clara first. I don’t think she’ll want to do anything with her mom’s old sewing store next door to our brewery, but who can say for sure? I have to persuade her to sell us the space so we can knock down the wall and expand the brewery. And I will talk to her—just not on Jed’s timeline.

But Jed also isn’t a Sunrise Bay lifer, so maybe that’s why we see things differently. Sure, he’s been here since he was seventeen when his mom fell in love with my dad, blending our two families together, but then we went off to college. Jed forgets that Sunrise Bay is a small Alaskan town that takes care of their own. If I approach Clara today, gossip will spread that I’m an insensitive asshole. And it’d be right.

“I know. Don’t worry, I’ll talk

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