Love and Loss
July 2, 2013
Life can change in the blink of an eye. This blink came when a cop car cruised up The Seacrest’s white shell driveway on a hot Saturday in July.
I’ll never forget the moment. You know how folks remember where they were when John Lennon died? Or when President Kennedy was assassinated? It was like that, every detail engrained in my brain, forever.
A fresh breeze laden with the scent of the sea rustled heavy-headed blue flowers in the nearby hydrangea hedge. I’d soaked through my tee shirt, having just weed-wacked in the blazing sun around the fence posts circling the horse paddock. Unfortunately, said weed wacker had spooked Libby Vanderhorn’s favorite mare, causing her to buck three times and knock down some fence boards. Libby was a good rider, but this time she’d landed in a sprawling heap on the soft dirt, swearing at me.
The boss’s gorgeous, stuck-up daughter didn’t mince words, and the sting of her accusations still sounded in my head. How stupid can you be, Finn? What’s wrong with you?
Libby’s father held great power on Cape Cod. Rudolph Vanderhorn sat on so many boards, I’d lost count. His father’s fish canning company made a fortune back in the eighties, and he and his daughter enjoyed the proceeds of that enterprise ever since.
The Brewster Police car circled the long drive, heading toward the mansion. The local authorities stopped by every few days to discuss town matters with my boss. But the blue light was flashing, which didn’t look like a casual visit.
A shudder went through me, and I turned cold. Something bad had happened. I sensed it.
The front door opened, and Rudy watched them approach, hands on his hips and white hair blowing in the sea breeze.
Libby stopped hosing down her big white mare, who thankfully hadn’t hurt herself in the crazy fit she’d thrown earlier. Dark hair blew around the girl’s face and she stared with open curiosity at the cruiser.
I stood still with a hammer in my hand, having just fixed the boards the mare dislodged in her spooky fit.
The patrol car drove past the front porch with the impressive columns and portico, past the six-car garage, along the driveway to the barn, and rolled to a stop ten feet from me.
Police Chief Kramer and Deputy Addison Lowell got out and ambled toward me, their eyes somber.
I dropped the hammer. It thudded to the grass at my feet.
“Finn?” Kramer said. “I’m afraid we have bad news.”
There is nothing worse than hearing that bad news was about to be delivered. My brain went wild, imagining the worst scenarios. But somehow I didn’t quite picture what he was about to tell me, which frankly, was unimaginable.
“There’s been an accident,” Kramer said.
Lowell kicked the dirt on the edge of the path. “Car went over the cliffs,” he added, avoiding my eyes.
I looked from Kramer to Lowell. “For God’s sake, guys.”
Kramer pulled out a piece of paper. “Sorry. I regret to inform you that your wife, Cora Mae McGraw, and your brother, Jackson Robert McGraw, have been killed in a vehicular accident.”
Deputy Lowell added, “We’re real sorry, Finn.”
“Car went into the ocean,” Kramer added. “They were dead on impact.”
I stared at them, numbness creeping up my spine. “What?”
“Er, look, if there’s anything we can do...” Lowell did look remorseful, and he offered a hand when I lost my balance and grabbed for the fence.
Libby and her father appeared at my side in seconds, but in the dreamlike state of denial and shock, I caught only brief snatches of their words, as if the wind had grabbed them and teased me with them.
“Who was with her?”
And so on.
Libby took my arm and guided me into the big house, where I leaned woodenly against the refrigerator while Fritzi bustled her big, ample self about the kitchen making tea and pushing fresh blueberry muffins at the officers.
Someone guided me into a chair. I sat, dazed and unmoving. The voices warbled around me and now my brain began to pick through the new knowledge, still not comprehending.
It wasn’t real. Couldn’t be real.
Jax is dead?
I hadn’t seen my brother in ten years.
Ten years since I’d even talked to him. I sometimes drove by the blueberry farm, thinking of my old life. But I never stopped.
Ten years since my parents died in that fire. Since I lost my little sister, Eva. Ten years since my family burned because of that cigarette smoldering in the couch.
Ten freaking years.
I didn’t even know what Jax looked like anymore. Had he lost hair? Gained weight? Turned prematurely gray like our father did at age thirty?
A shudder passed through me. A great gulping sound sputtered from my throat. I think I started to hyperventilate.
I locked eyes with Libby, whose mouth was moving. I couldn’t hear her.
Cora is dead.
Jax is dead.
I lay my head on my arms, convulsing silently.
One thought roamed around the edges of the inner shouts of denial and disbelief. One thought refused to go away, in spite of the enormity of what was happening to me.
What the hell was Jax doing with Cora?
Aaron Paul Lazar writes to soothe his soul. An award-winning, bestselling Kindle author of three addictive mystery series, writing books, and a new love story, Aaron enjoys the Genesee Valley countryside in upstate New York, where his characters embrace life, play with their dogs and grandkids, grow sumptuous gardens, and chase bad guys. Visit his website at http://www.lazarbooks.com and watch for his upcoming releases THE SEACREST (2013), SANCTUARY (2014), and VIRTUOSO (2014).
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FACEBOOK Nov 14th LOTS OF GIVEAWAYS
Quote from bestselling author Victoria Howard
"A poignant love story that will have you reaching for the tissues...Every woman needs her own Finn MGraw..."
They say it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
Finn McGraw disagrees.
He was just seventeen when he had a torrid summer affair with the girl who stole his heart—and then inexplicably turned on him. Finn may have moved on with his life, but he’s never forgotten her.
Now, ten years later, he’s got more than his lost love to worry about. A horrific accident turns his life upside down, resurrecting the ghosts of his long-dead family and taking the lives of the few people he has left.
Finn always believed his estranged brother was responsible for the fire that killed their family—but an unexpected inheritance with a mystery attached throws everything he knows into doubt.
And on top of that, the beguiling daughter of his wealthy employer has secrets of her own. But the closer he gets, the harder she pushes him away.
The Seacrest is a story of intrigue and betrayal, of secrets and second chances—and above all, of a love that never dies.
The Seacrest by Aaron Paul Lazar
Finn McGraw grows up on the cape in MA where his family runs the blueberry farm during the summer months.
I feel like this is two books in one because each chapter tells of a different age of the characters.
The chapters alternate in time and that is sometimes confusing. There are mainly two people-when they first meet on the beach and spend time to get to know one another. First love and sex scenes.
And the present day where the woman has died along with his brother and he now owns everything his brother had.
He is living and working at the manor of Seacrest and Libby is the one that gets him up and moving rather than just lying around the cottage on the estate after he learns of his wife's passing.
Through each of the time frames we learn of the family's past and how the others had died...
So much pain when he finds out what his brother did that broke he and Sassy up from dating.
Love the location of the sea and the cape and journeys throughout the book. Love the story line but not all the sex scenes-was a bit much.
I received this book from Vickie Dold I.O. Book Tours via the author for my honest review.