Just off the coast of Cornwall lies the most gorgeous, welcoming holiday destination you’ve probably never heard of: the Isles of Scilly, a place of puffins and palm trees, flower fields and harbor seals. The North Atlantic Current bathes the islands in such warmth that it rarely snows there. Designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the islands are famous for flowers, bird watching, stargazing, and hospitality.
What better place to fall in love?
Not that Michelle Cole was looking for love when she went there. Her trip to the island of St. Mary’s was mostly a favor to her best friend, who’d just inherited a bed and breakfast called Valhalla’s Rest. As a former B and B owner, Michelle went there to survey the property and the island, to see if Vicky should keep the property or sell it. Really, it was supposed to be a quiet two-week vacation…
Until ex-Royal Marine Ray Powell showed up on her doorstep, battered and bruised from a rescue mission in the desert, seeking a refuge from the stresses of his job as a military security consultant. Valhalla’s Rest had been his haven since childhood, the place where he could go to recover and remind himself how to relax. The last thing he expected was to find the B and B closed down, with an American in charge.
All her life, Michelle had prided herself on being sensible and practical—in other words, plain and boring. Her past boyfriends had all been quiet, intelligent, and artistic. She has no idea what to do with a soldier like Ray, with his charming smile and seductive voice. She never would have had the courage to even smile at him at a bar or party, much less talk to him, and here he was, the sole guest at the B and B.
And she’s not Ray’s usual one-night-stand. A committed bachelor, Ray normally wouldn’t look twice at a sweet, shy woman like Michelle, thinking she deserved better than someone like him—someone who had to drop everything to go on mission at a moment’s notice, who had never had a relationship longer than a month, and who still lived out of boxes in his month-to-month apartment. In Ray’s eyes, Michelle deserved someone who would cherish her and offer stability, companionship, and a lifelong commitment.
Love strikes where it’s least expected, without asking permission of those involved. The question is, will Michelle and Ray find the courage to follow their hearts?