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Authors: Kimberly Fisk

Lake Magic

BOOK: Lake Magic
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Table of Contents
Some things were more valuable than money, and Jenny knew if she asked her parents for this loan, she’d end up paying them back with more than just money. Always before when she’d screwed up, flunked, or just plain failed, her parents had been there, bailing her out. And each time they rescued her, she could see the ever-sinking disappointment in their eyes. She was twenty-six years old. Too old to be running to her mom and daddy every time she got into trouble. It was time for her to stand on her own two feet. For no reason she could explain, a vision of Custer and his last stand flashed before her eyes. But that’s what saving Blue Sky Air felt like to Jenny. Her last stand—the last chance she’d have to prove to her family that they were wrong about her. This time she wasn’t only fighting for her self-respect, she was fighting for her and Steven’s dream.
Jared Worth might have thought he had all the answers, but he was wrong. Jenny was in the driver’s seat now, a place she intended to stay.
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Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
A Berkley Sensation Book / published by arrangement with the author
Berkley Sensation mass-market edition / January 2010
Copyright © 2010 by Kimberly Fisk.
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions. For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
eISBN : 978-1-101-19548-2
Berkley Sensation Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
BERKLEY® SENSATION and the “B” design are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

For Roger
Rachael, Brandon, and Colton
I love you all so very much
Thank you to everyone at the Jane Rotrosen Agency, especially Christina Hogrebe and Andrea Cirillo for their guidance, support, and encouragement.
And to Kelly Harms for being there at the beginning.
To Wendy McCurdy for believing and giving me what every first-time author dreams of—a chance.
To Tracy Montoya and Pipper Watkins. Friends and critique partners extraordinaire.
And to Kristin Hannah. I will never be able to thank you enough.
The drone of a single-engine plane drew Jenny Beckinsale’s attention. Hurrying to the water’s edge, she cupped her hands over her eyes and gazed upward. Bright sunshine had scrubbed the gray skies clean, and a sea of endless blue stretched before her. Her pulse quickened and her heart raced as her eyes searched the sky. Maybe . . . just maybe. . . . And then her mind remembered what her heart refused to forget: Steven was never coming home again.
She drew in a breath and let it out slowly. She was not going to fall apart. Not again.
Nearby, waves lapped against the weathered dock. Overhead, crows chattered noisily. And off in the distance, the hum of the plane continued on.
With renewed determination, she turned away from the shore, and her gaze fell on the home she’d inherited from her grandmother, then on the airplane hangar that had been built three years ago.
Sunlight glinted off the metal siding, making the green paint sparkle. A large sign, trimmed in gold, hung with prominence near the building’s peak: Blue Sky Air. Underneath those black letters were smaller ones that read: Seaplane Charter Business.
A familiar sense of pride filled her.
We did it, Steven
“You done lollygagging?”
Zeke Phillips stood in the hangar’s large opening wiping his hands on a rag. With his shoulder-length graying hair and stained mechanic’s overalls, he looked like any other grease monkey, but Jenny knew that underneath his frumpy appearance was a sharp mind and a quick wit. And also one of the best seaplane pilots on the West Coast.
“You done fiddling with that engine?” she asked, sidestepping the concern in his voice, just like she’d been doing for the last nine months.
The left side of his mouth curved into a grin. “Just ’bout.”
“Good. We have a charter at ten tomorrow.”
“Since it’s the
one on the books this week, don’t reckon I’d forget it.”
Jenny flinched and all but groaned at his emphasis of the word
. “Don’t remind me.”
“Don’t s’pose I have to. But I think I should remind you that it’s Wednesday.” He glanced at his wristwatch. “I’d say you have about twenty minutes.”
“Wednesday?” She started running toward the house. “You could have reminded me earlier.”
“And miss the fun?”
Ignoring his laughter, she ran through the front door and up the stairs. The smell of the toast she’d burned at breakfast still hung in the air.
Her clothes were already half off by the time she reached her bedroom. Dropping her shirt onto the floor, she began to tug on the cuff of one pant leg as she hopped over to her bed. Clothes, books, and God only knew what else all but obscured the faded pink chenille comforter. Without bothering to push anything off to the side, she flopped down and finished wiggling out of her jeans. If she were late again this week, she’d never hear the end of it. She started to reach for a pair of capris, then stopped. She could still hear her mother’s comment from last week: “Shorts, Jenny? Really. Couldn’t you at least try?”
There was no use arguing with her mother that capris were not shorts. When Catherine Beckinsale made up her mind, that was it.
She grabbed one of only a handful of items hanging in the closet—a pink linen sheath with a designer label given to her as a birthday gift from her mother.
The dress seemed to mock her with its feminine perfection. Before she could change her mind and grab the pants on the floor, she slipped it on. It couldn’t have fit better if it had been custom-made for her. She had to give her mother credit. Whatever Catherine did, she did to perfection. Whether it was raising her three children, running her own business, or picking out a gift for her youngest child.
Jenny glanced at her bedside clock.
Ten fifty.
Ten minutes until she was supposed to meet her mother.
Who ate lunch at eleven anyway?
Her mother, that’s who. She scheduled their luncheons at that early hour so it wouldn’t interfere with Catherine’s schedule.
For the last nine months, Jenny had dreaded their Wednesday luncheons. But today—this Wednesday—was going to be different. Blue Sky Air had two charters scheduled, and somehow she was going to find a way to work that into the conversation. She knew it wasn’t earth-shattering, but it was a start. And proof that her new advertising plan was working.
A quick search of her bedroom produced one sandal, and a few moments later, the second. She seemed to recall a delicate knit cardigan had been included with the dress, but she had no idea where it was. And there was no time to look. She also knew she didn’t have time to find a pair of run-free nylons, so she slipped on her shoes and made it downstairs without a moment to spare.
She hopped into the Corvette—a luxury to her, but a necessity to Steven.
If we’re gonna land the big accounts, baby, we need to look like money. This car is just the ticket
. She smiled as she ignited the powerful engine.
“I’ll be back in an hour,” she called to Zeke as he came out of the hangar to wave good-bye. “But if something comes up, I’ll have my cell phone.”
Zeke chuckled again and rubbed a finger across his chin. “Never have needed to call you before, don’t s’pose today’ll be any different.”
“Miracles happen.”
As she hit Lakeshore Drive, she yanked hard on the gearshift and winced as the gears collided and ground. She wasn’t sure what upset her more—knowing that Zeke’s laughter was deserved or that in only a few minutes she’d have to endure yet another hour of
Oh, Jennifer, if only
. . . from her mother. A girl could only take so many
Oh, Jennifer
s, and at twenty-six, Jenny figured she’d received her lifetime quota.
Through the tall evergreens that hugged the shoreline, Jenny caught patches of glistening blue water and the jagged tops of the Olympic Mountains. Even in these last few days of May, snow frosted their sharp, uneven peaks. In less than five minutes, she was pulling off the road and onto the paved drive that led to her mother’s restaurant—correction
—and art gallery. Sunlight filtered down through the massive firs and dappled the road as she wound her way down. Taking the final bend in the road, Hidden Lake came into view. As always, the sight of the lake made Jenny catch her breath. A lifetime of memories were in those waters.
She chose one of the angled parking spots on the far side of the building, not surprised to find several other cars already there. Even at this early hour, business was brisk.
Only her mother could open an art gallery and restaurant in a secluded bit of wilderness on the outskirts of Seattle and make it a resounding success. Catherine never failed at anything—except turning Jenny into the perfect daughter.
BOOK: Lake Magic
13.71Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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