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On the first day she arrives in Hilton Head Island, she meets Grant Turner, the man whose house she’s renting for her fabulous beach vacation. He’s just there to make sure she settles in properly and has enough towels. But when Bea asks for recommendations around the island, Grant quickly becomes her tour guide and then a friend and then…more than friends. Bea turns to her lists when things get confusing and her love list morphs once again… Can she add fall in love at age 45 to the list and check it off?
Grant knew everyone on the island it seemed, and Bea had met a steady parade of people. She’d smiled and chatted, something she was very good at doing from her previous life. The one before she’d come to Hilton Head to begin living her love list.
“You’re dancing alone,” Grant said, and he tossed his bottle in the oversized, outdoor trashcan. He took her into his arms as she moved her body right, and she melted into his embrace easily.
He smelled like freedom and fun, smoke and plenty of smolder. She wasn’t sure how she’d caught his attention, as she hadn’t felt beautiful or desirable for so long. But the way Grant looked at her… It wasn’t a trick of the dancing fire, or the wine she’d consumed.
He said nothing, but friendship and acceptance radiated from him, seeping into her and once again making her feel safe and cherished in a way she’d only felt with her friends this year.
Perhaps it was that sense of safety that tipped her forward. Perhaps it was the wine. Perhaps it was the fact that they danced in uneven sand, barefoot, with pure romanticism surrounding them in the form of the beach and the bonfire.
No matter what it was, Bea reached up and trailed her fingertips along Grant’s jawline, which held that beautiful beard. “I really like you, Grant,” she whispered, and as he lowered his head toward hers, she let her eyes drift closed despite the screaming warning her brain sent through her body in pulses.
Grant took his sweet Southern time, but his lips finally touched hers, igniting a passion inside her that she’d thought had long grown ice cold.
She sucked in a breath through her nose, moved her other hand to his face, and urged him to kiss her like he meant it, like he liked her too, like he didn’t want her to leave Hilton Head for longer than it took to visit her children in Texas.
And he did just that.
As Bea kissed him back, she had no idea who she’d become. She wasn’t a woman who danced barefoot on the beach this late at night. She only drank during her Thursday Night Supper Club, and she’d never dreamed she’d ever find another man who would light her up like this.
In fact, with every stroke of Grant’s mouth against hers, she was quite sure she’d never felt so alive and so vibrant, even with her husband, even when they’d first started dating.
Grant bent his head further, breaking the kiss and leaving her wanting more. They breathed in together, and he pulled away enough to look at her. She gazed back at him, unembarrassed about kissing him. She probably had crawfish breath, but he hadn’t seemed to mind.
He reached up, removing his hand from her lower back and leaving that spot on her body cold. She didn’t have a lot of hair to move, but he brushed his fingers through her longer bangs, the emotion in his eyes as strong as that raging through Bea’s whole body.
“Will you come back to Hilton Head after you go to Austin?” he whispered, and Bea didn’t hesitate to nod.
“I’ll think about it,” she said, and Grant only smiled briefly before kissing her again. She wasn’t sure why she couldn’t just commit, but she did need more time to think. And kiss Grant. Yes, kissing Grant was definitely working for her right now.