May 19, 2020


Following the sudden death of his parents, Levi Bennett left his life in Denver to return to his hometown of Bluebell, North Carolina. There he has two critical jobs: take care of his younger sisters and turn the Bluebell Inn—their parents’ retirement dream—into a success. And things are not going well on either front. Grace is dragging her feet on her college applications, Molly is rushing headlong into another serious relationship, and the inn . . . Well, it’s not doing half as well as Levi has led his sisters to believe.

After a public breakup with her fiancé, rising star Mia Emerson has finally scored the role of her career. But when a scandal arises, falsely casting her as “the other woman” to one of Hollywood’s leading married men, Mia flees to Bluebell—the location of her would-be honeymoon—to lick her wounds.

Mia and Levi have seemingly few things in common. But when they discover that an old heirloom necklace is hidden somewhere in the inn, the search draws them together . . . and they soon find themselves falling in love.

Could they have more in common than they’d ever imagined? And can Levi handle yet one more responsibility in his already overextended life?

Harper Collins Christian Publishing

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Bonus Epilogue

They were getting close. Mia shifted in the passenger seat. Outside her window the Blue Ridge Mountains had long since given away to rolling terrain. She and Levi had opted to drive today, as Louisville was only six hours from Bluebell. She was grateful for the time to think.

The inn was doing well, and that boded well for their future. Because as soon as they had a bit of success under their belts Levi—and his siblings—could sell the business and move on to the dreams they’d each put on hold. She looked forward to the day he moved to LA.

The GPS instructed Levi to turn at the next intersection. Mia pulled in a deep breath and released it slowly.

Levi darted a glance toward her from the driver’s seat. “Nervous?”


“It’s not every day you get to meet your biological dad.”

She set her hand on his leg, giving him a grateful look. “I’m so glad you’re here.”

He lifted her hand to his lips and pressed a kiss to her palm before settling it back on his leg. “Wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

Her father had invited her to visit him in Louisville when she had a break in her schedule, and Mia was happy to take him up on the offer. She’d meet Laurel and her siblings tomorrow. But today they’d decided to keep it simple. It was time she got reacquainted with her father.

She was glad they’d had those phone conversations before meeting. It had given Mia time to settle some things in her heart. With God’s help she’d managed to shed the old resentments and anger. Even toward her mother. The past couple months had been healing ones. The timing could only have been planned on heaven’s calendar.

The GPS instructed Levi to make another turn. The roads were residential now. This was her father’s street. The houses were mostly one-story brick homes with square well-kept yards and mature trees, the tips of their leaves just beginning to turn autumnal colors.

At the GPS’s final instruction, Levi slowed and turned into a driveway. He drew to a stop, put the car in park, and turned off the ignition.

“This is it.” He turned toward her. “Are you ready?”

She looked at the house, at the cozy porch with a white swing and a welcoming pot of purple and yellow pansies.

“I’m ready.” She stepped the door and followed Levi up the short walkway and onto the porch. The scent of freshly cut grass mingled with the earthy scent of flowerbeds. Inhale. Exhale.

As they approached the door Levi let her take the lead. She ran her sweaty palms down her sides then raised her hand to knock. But before her knuckles made contact with the surface the door opened.

Mia’s breath caught. The man from her memories—plus a couple decades—stood in the doorway. His hair had gone salt and pepper, and he had a beard now. But the friendly eyes that stared back reminded Mia of her own. They filled as they drank her in.

“Mia . . .” He gave her the wobbly smile of a man overcome with emotions.

Mia knew the feeling. Tears pressed against her eyes, and her throat swelled with emotion. “Dad.”

He pulled her into his arms and held her tight for a long moment. Long enough for them both to gather themselves. It seemed surreal. She’d thought she’d come to grips with this, but apparently not. She was still in wonder that her dad was back in her life. That he wanted her, loved her.

When they pulled apart, Mia dabbed the corner of her eyes then remembered her manners. “Dad, this is my boyfriend, Levi. Levi, this is my father, Everett James.”

“Nice to meet you, sir.” They shook hands.


Her dad opened the door wider and stepped back, his smile still trained on her, that same wonder she was feeling evident on the planes of his face.

“Come on in,” he said with a teary smile. “We have a lot of catching up to do.”