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Authors: Denise Hunter

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Nantucket Romance 3-in-1 Bundle

BOOK: Nantucket Romance 3-in-1 Bundle
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PRAISE FOR DENISE HUNTER’S PREVIOUS NOVELS

“No one can write a story that grips the heart like Denise Hunter . . . If you like Karen Kingsbury or Nicholas Sparks, this is an author you’ll love.”

— Colleen Coble, author of
Alaska Twilight
and
Abomination

“[
Finding Faith
] kept me in tears as the characters struggled to find truth. A captivating story that will touch every woman’s heart.”

— Diann Mills, author of sixteen books, Writing Coach

“You absolutely have to read
Mending Places
. . .”


Dancing Word

“Gritty, powerful, and thought-provoking.”

— Carol Cox, author of
To Catch a Thief


Saving Grace
kept me turning pages from the minute I opened the cover and kept me up way past my bedtime . . . A story of triumph over heartache.”

— Deborah Raney, author of
A Nest of Sparrows

“Denise Hunter handles tough subjects with a deft hand and biblical wisdom while giving readers a novel they won’t want to put down.”

— Kathryn Mackel, author of
Outriders

“In
Finding Faith
Denise Hunter once again brings me to tears with her thought-provoking story. For depth and emotion, this author always hits her mark.”

— Kristin Billerbeck, author of
What a Girl Wants
and
She’s All That


Saving Grace
grabs hold of the heart, forcing readers to think about God-challenges in their own lives. I loved it.”

— Lois Richer, author of
Shadowed Secrets

“Denise Hunter skillfully paints a story of desperate choices with dire consequences.”

— Diann Hunt, author of
Hot Flashes and Cold Cream

“It is so nice to read a romance story [like
Blind Dates
] with God at its core.”

— Jane Deskis,
heartlandreviews.com

© 2007 by Denise Hunter

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, or any other—except for brief quotation in printed reviews, without the prior permission of the publisher.

Published in Nashville, Tennessee, by Thomas Nelson. Thomas Nelson is a trademark of Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Thomas Nelson, Inc. titles may be purchased in bulk for educational, business, fund-raising, or sales promotional use. For information, please e-mail [email protected].

Scripture quotations are from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Hunter, Denise, 1968–
Surrender bay / Denise Hunter.
p. cm.
ISBN 978-1-59554-257-1 (pbk.)
1. Teenage girls—Fiction. 2. Massachusetts—Fiction. 3. Domestic fiction.
I. Title.
PS3608.U5925S87 2007
813'.6—dc22

2007032732

Printed in the United States of America
07 08 09 10 RRD 5 4 3 2 1

Contents

Prologue

One

Two

Three

Four

Five

Six

Seven

Eight

Nine

Ten

Eleven

Twelve

Thirteen

Fourteen

Fifteen

Sixteen

Seventeen

Eighteen

Nineteen

Twenty

Twenty-one

Twenty-two

Twenty-three

Twenty-four

Twenty-five

Twenty-six

Twenty-seven

Twenty-eight

Twenty-nine

Thirty

Thirty-one

Thirty-two

Thirty-three

Reading Group Guide

An Interview with Denise Hunter

Acknowledgments

The Lord your God is with you,
he is mighty
to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing.

ZEPHANIAH 3:17

Prologue

“W
hy’d you wait so long to turn on the flashlight last night?” Landon asked.

Even though evening shadows crawled over Landon’s backyard, Samantha Owens could see his eyes searching hers. He hadn’t said anything about her delay before now, but she could tell he’d been bothered all day because he didn’t once tug her ponytail.

She lifted her body out of the waist-deep Nantucket water, flipping over to land on the pier with a sodden plop. The outdoor lamp lashed to the last post spotlighted her. Her bathing suit clung to her stomach, and she pulled at the fabric just to hear the sucking sound as it left her skin.

She looked over her shoulder and saw Landon’s mom through the lit kitchen window, washing supper dishes. Mr. Reed appeared just then and pulled her against his chest. She laughed at something he said, then turned in his arms. Sam looked away.

Landon splashed through the water and hoisted himself onto the pier beside her. His arms had filled out over the summer, and he’d shot up a good two inches. Sam wasn’t sure she liked him changing so much.

“Did you hear me?”

Landon bumped Sam’s foot under the water, and she felt him watching her. She shrugged as casually as she could. “I went to bed late. I got a book on the Red Sox. Did you know they used to be called the Boston Americans?” A breeze drifted over her wet skin, tightening it into gooseflesh.

“Your light wasn’t on.” Skepticism coated his words.

Changing the subject never worked with Landon. When would she learn? “I snuck in the bathroom to read. You know how Emmett is.” Landon didn’t know the half of it, but some things she’d never tell anyone. Not even Landon.

Sam lay back, resting her spine against the wooden planks. She closed her eyes and wished she could stay just like this all night, listening to the sound of crickets and the splash of water kissing the shoreline.

“I was worried.”

His voice sounded older, deeper than she remembered. “You worry too much.”

He shifted, and Sam opened her eyes. He was lying beside her, his body a plank-width away, his head turned toward her. The moonlight glimmered on his hair, and shadows settled between his drawn eyebrows. “Don’t forget the flashlight again.”

Sam didn’t much like being told what to do, but something in the tone of his voice touched the deepest place in her as no one ever had. “I won’t.”

He held Sam’s gaze as if testing her sincerity. After a moment, she crossed her eyes at him, watching his face blur into a double image.

“Weirdo,” he said.

“Freak.”

“Slime bucket.”

“Geek.”

A mosquito stung her neck, and she slapped at it. Her skin was already speckled with half a dozen bites, but they didn’t bother her much. She was surprised Mrs. Reed hadn’t come out yet with the can of Off!, but maybe she and Mr. Reed were too busy smooching in the kitchen.

Sam imagined the inside of her own house, just two doors down, and felt a shadow press its way into her soul. Her mom would be calling her in soon.

She turned to Landon, glad to see his face had softened. “Wanna have a sleepover at your house? We can decide what we want to put in our time capsule.”

Landon glanced away, and Sam didn’t recognize the look that passed over his face.

“We’re getting too old for that.”

Well, la-di-da
. Maybe Landon thought turning thirteen had made him all grown up. Sam suddenly felt every day of their seven-month age gap. “Time capsules aren’t just for kids, you know.”

One corner of his mouth slid upward, but not quite enough to bunch up his cheek. He pulled himself upright and splashed back into the murky water. “I wasn’t talking about the capsule.”

She wanted to ask what he meant, but she could tell he didn’t want her to by the way his head dipped low.

“Samantha!” Her mom’s voice had an edge that said she’d been calling awhile.

“Coming!” Though Sam knew she should get up and go, her body lay against the boards as heavy as a ship anchor. She should have gotten out of the water hours ago so she wouldn’t drip water across the kitchen floor. Too late now. At least Emmett wasn’t home.

“I should go in too,” Landon said, wading alongside the pier. “The mosquitoes are bad tonight.” He smacked at his arm.

Why couldn’t she just stay at Landon’s house? If he was so worried, why didn’t he invite her over?

He stopped at the shoreline, where the water licked at his feet. “You’d better go.”

He’d stand there until she left, he was just that stubborn.

Sam pulled her feet from the water and walked down the pier. They crossed paths in front of his parents’ Adirondack chairs. Landon turned and lifted his fingers. “Don’t forget the flashlight.”

“I won’t.” Her feet carried her across the Reeds’ yard, then across Miss Biddle’s. She knew by feel the moment she stepped into her own backyard. Emmett kept the grass clipped so short their lawn had turned wheat brown. It drove her mom crazy.

Sam entered the cottage through the back door, hoping she could sneak into her room and change into dry clothes before her mom saw how wet she was, but the squeak of the screen door gave her away.

“Samantha.” Her mom’s lips pinched together as she looked Sam over.

“Sorry, I forgot.” Ribbons of water dripped from the edges of her swimsuit, carving rivers between goose bumps. They trickled over her ankles as she made a mad dash past her mom to her bedroom. “I’ll clean it up,” she called.

“You bet you’ll clean it up. I don’t know why I bother cleaning around here.”

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