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Saying Goodbye at Ocean Isle by Kimberly Hunter


Product Description

What would you do if you lost the love of your life?

What would you do when you finally had to let them go?

And what would you do if you were given a second chance at love?

For Laine Abernathy and Sean Pike, losing their lovers in tragic accidents was devastating. But over a year later, Laine has realized that holding on to the past is futile. Sean’s not ready yet to say goodbye. Deep inside, he knows he should. Unfortunately, the mind is willing but the heart isn’t.

Through grief and sadness, the two form a bond that develops into much more over the course of a month long stay at Ocean Isle Beach.

Then a night of passion sends Sean running. Thinking he’d pushed too hard, Laine returns to his life, disappointed and down. He’d shared something with Sean he never thought to have again.

Three months later, Laine receives a text. “Meet me at Ocean Isle. Need to say goodbye.”

Is his chance for happiness gone before it even begins? Or will two broken hearts finally be mended? There’s only one way to find out...


The next morning dawned cold with a light breeze coming from the Atlantic. The sun was bright, keeping it warmer than it should be. Laine dressed appropriately in a lightweight sweater though. He knew how unpredictable the weather out this way could be in the fall.

After a small breakfast of coffee and toast on the deck, Laine retrieved his keys and Derek’s dog tags. Each cottage had its own small pier, but Laine’s destination was the long communal pier between the second and third cottage. It was three times longer than the others. Perfect for what he needed to do.

Reaching the end of the pier, he leaned against the rail on his forearms. Derek’s dog tags were clutched tightly in his right hand. He stared out at the green/blue water, hearing a passing gull cry out before he spoke.

“Guess you know why I’m here,” he began. “These past thirteen months have been the hardest of my life. That first month especially. There had been a few times I thought joining you easier than dealing with you gone. Staying drunk also seemed better. But I couldn’t do it. Momma Joplin would have beaten my ass too.” He smiled sadly, nose burning with unshed tears. “And, well, I couldn’t dishonor your memory, Derek. You showed everyone your strength. But you let me see the real you. Flaws, insecurities, and all. I couldn’t take the easy way out after you gave me everything.” A small sob broke free as the tears started to fall. “I’ll always love you, Dare and a part of me will always miss you. But…I can’t keep holding on to what’s gone. I…I…” He was crying openly now, too blinded by tears and grief to notice anything. “I have to let you go. Have to move on like I know you would want me to.” He raised the dog tags to his lips, giving Derek one last kiss. “I’ll never forget you.” Then, before he lost his nerve, he drew his arm back and flung the last piece of his lover into the ocean. “G…good…bye.”

Turning quickly on his heel, he strode away before he tossed himself over the rail to get back the only part of Derek he kept. But before he could make it to the steps, the realization of what he’d just done hit him. He dropped to his knees with a broken sob, the weight of his loss finally breaking free as he screamed to the heavens.

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Product Reviews

  1. Top2Bottom Book Reviews 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 10th Nov 2012

    On the one year anniversary of the death of his partner of five years, Sean Pike is at Ocean Island trying to come to terms with his loss. He’s dozing on his couch when he hears an anguished scream outside his door. He runs outside to find a young man kneeling on the pier with tears running down his face and in shock.

    After losing his partner of three years, Lance Abernathy has come to Ocean Island to mourn on the one year anniversary of his death. He knows he needs to move on but he hasn’t quite made peace with his loss yet. He walks to the end of the pier and throws his partner’s dog tags into the ocean as a symbol of his readiness to let his past go. He collapses on the pier sobbing and in shock from the strength of his emotions.

    Sean and Laine spend the next three weeks slowly getting to know each other and find themselves becoming attracted to each other as well. One night the simmering passion comes to a head and Laine and Sean make love. Sean wakes up afterwards and feels a deep sense of guilt and leaves without a word and no explanation why.

    After three months with no contact, Laine gets a cryptic text from Sean asking him to meet him at Ocean Island to say goodbye. Laine gets there as fast as he can and finds Sean waiting for him at the same cabin that he had stayed at three months before. Sean tells Laine that he has spent the last three months feeling guilty about sleeping with him and trying to forget what had happened between them, but without success. He realizes that he is ready to say goodbye to the memory of his partner and to start a new future with Laine.

    I absolutely loved this bittersweet story of two men who are in pain and mourning the loss of their loved ones and the hard and often long process it takes to let go and start to move on with their lives. I actually cried reading about the heartbreak and pain the characters were going through and rejoiced when they were able to break through the shackles of their pasts and start thwarted healing process with each other.

  2. Rainbow Book Reviews 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 5th Nov 2012

    It is never easy to get over the loss of a lover, whether you were there when it happened, like Sean had to go through in this story, or whether the one you love died thousands of miles away, like it happened to Laine. Both men try to deal with it in their own way, and both have real issues with moving on. I was swept away by their grief in the first half of the book, and one thing was clear: if anyone could help them get over the loss while understanding the other's problem, it was these two.

    Nevertheless, as "ideal" as this seemed, it also had one inherent flaw: people move on at different speeds, and while Laine had said his final good-bye, Sean wasn't quite ready yet. The fact that he thought he was and tried to move on too early caused him to have a relapse and almost cost him everything.

    This is not a fun book to read. It deals with loss and grief, and the healing process Sean and Laine go through. But it is deeply emotional and does show how difficult it can be to move on. The small silver lining that shows up at the end of the book was just enough for me to take a deep breath and hope for the best. If you like stories that deal with serious life-changing loss, if men struggling to figure out how they can possibly go on are what you're looking for, and if you've got a huge box of tissues ready to deal with your own potentially teary-eyed response, you will probably like this book.

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