Nobody but Him

By: Victoria Purman

Acknowledgements


Not only does it take a village to raise a child, it takes one to write a book.

Sure, I did the typing and was forced to stare at pictures of

handsome men all in the name of research, but I feel as if I’ve had a whole mountain of people holding my hand along the way.

To all the amazing friends with whom my family has shared good times, million dollar days and wine down on the Fleurieu Peninsula, especially Peter and Debbie Oag. Here’s to many more glasses of champagne on the beach at sunset.

To my partner-in-writing Jessie Byrne. Thank you for your honesty, encouragement and friendship, but especially for the laughs.

To the Australian romance writing community and the many new friends I’ve made. What unconditional support and encouragement I’ve received from you all.

To my number one fan Emma Purman, and to my mother-in-law Vilma Halliday for your friendship and shared love of books.

To my editor Jody Lee. You made this first-time experience way less nerve-wracking than I thought it would be. I’ll always remember your words of encouragement and thank you so much for waving your magic wand over the manuscript.

To Ethan, Ned and Clancy. For putting up with me when I’m grumpy. For the title suggestions (that’s you, Clancy) and for your love, hugs and jokes. Guys, I hope Mum’s adventure has inspired you to find out what you really love and go for it.

To my husband Stephen. Over the years, whenever I’ve lamented, “Why isn’t my book on the shelves?” he would always reply, “Because you haven’t written it yet, honey.” You were right. So I did! Thank you for the gift of time that you’ve given me to pursue this dream.

Finally, I’d like to sincerely thank Haylee Nash, Cristina Lee and Lilia Kanna from Harlequin Australia for loving this book and wanting more. I’m sure you’ve all heard it more than once, but you can’t know how much that meant to me. Thank you for welcoming me to the Harlequin family.





Dear Reader

Who hasn’t harboured a secret fantasy about running away from it all to a sleepy beachside town, where summers never end and the coastal air blows the cobwebs from your mind, taking the stress and problems of city life with it? The fresh air, the long walks, the sun, the relaxed mood, that feeling that you’re on holidays all year round?

What’s not to love!

That’s something I wanted to explore in Nobody But Him. My characters are at a point in their lives where they have to make some big decisions about who they want to be, where they want to live and whether they’ll open their hearts to love.

My fictional town of Middle Point is set on the very real and stunning coastline of South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula. It’s a place I know and adore and I hope I’ve captured just what makes it so special. As you turn the pages and get to know my characters, I hope you’ll let yourself be whisked away to the beach, smell the salt in the air and feel the warming sun on your face.

This is the first book in my Boys of Summer trilogy and I hope you’ll enjoy the first story of Ry and Julia, who meet for the first time in fifteen years back in the place they found love one summer.

I may be a writer, but I’m also a reader, and I know how hard it can be to find some precious time to escape into reading, so thank you from the bottom of my heart for choosing Nobody But Him. The fact that you are holding a book in your hands with my name on the cover is still a miracle to me. The fact that you want to read it? A double bonus!

I would love to hear from readers so please find me at www.victoriapurman.com, on facebook at Victoria Purman Author or on twitter @VictoriaPurman.

Happy reading!

Victoria





To my mum Emma Purman who, if it’s possible, is more excited

about this book than I am.





Contents


About the Author

Acknowledgements

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32





CHAPTER

1


‘Excuse me waitress!’

Caught between two dining chairs with a tray of half-empty glasses perched precariously in the air, Julia Jones stopped, drew in a breath and rolled her eyes towards the ceiling. Honest to God, I might be new at this hospitality game, but if I hear that one more time. She had a vision of tipping the slurry of warm beer all over the patron’s designer-denim-clad arse.

Instead, Julia caught her temper in her throat, created a sickly smile and turned.

‘I’m so sorry to have kept you waiting.’

One look at the table of diners in front of her had her stifling a giggle. They appeared to have stepped straight out of the pages of Country Life magazine. There was lots of tweed and corduroy and was she imagining it, or was that a designer trench coat draped on the back of an empty chair? She knew their type instinctively. Adelaide people, down in the South Australian coastal town of Middle Point for the weekend, who figured a trip out of the capital meant they had to dress for the part. Unfortunately for them, they got the wrong memo.

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