The Summer of Secrets by Barbara Haney

The Summer of Secrets by Barbara Haney
The Summer of Secrets by Barbara Haney

Barbara Hannay is an award-winning Australian author. Author of more than 40 romance titles that have sold 12 million copies in over 35 countries worldwide. Her novels are both contemporary and historical, often set in various Australian locales. A large number of them are included in the romantic series of "Harlequin". Barbara Haney is the winner of the prestigious RITA Romance Awards and its Australian equivalent, the RUBY. It has also won the Australian Romance Novel of the Year award twice.

In 2020, her novel "Let's Meet in Venice" will be published in Bulgarian, and in 2021 - "Secrets from the Island".

Now Hermes presents her new novel - The Summer of Secrets.

  • volume: 360 pages
  • Price BGN 17.95
  • ISBN 978-954-26-2194-2
  • Translation: Pepa Stoilova
  • Publishing house "HERMES" OOD

About the book

Journalist Chloe realizes with alarm that her biological clock is starting to tick faster and faster. She pops the question to her longtime boyfriend, but he adamantly refuses to have children. Then she leaves Sydney to start a new job at a provincial newspaper in the town of Buralea.

The quiet and peaceful town is the perfect place for Khloe to recover and take the step of becoming a single mother through IVF. However, interesting acquaintances and unexpected events await her there, which will convince her that a person cannot escape from pain and unhappiness even if he goes to the end of the world. The newspaper's editor-in-chief, the reserved and withdrawn Finn Latimer, is a former international correspondent who abandoned his glamorous career after the tragic deaths of his wife and son. The owner of the newspaper, Emily, is trying to overcome the loss of her only son and the betrayal of her husband.

When the local baker disappears without a trace, the community unites in the search for him, and Chloe and Finn take up the journalistic investigation. They finally have a story that will transcend the borders of Buraleia. And unraveling it will bring back their taste for life and faith in love.


Chapter Twenty

The city art gallery was the last place Finn wanted to spend a Saturday night, surrounded by art lovers waiting for the mayor to finish his speech. It wasn't that he didn't appreciate the local talent, but he had long since fulfilled his plan to attend such events.

Even before the mayor approached the microphone, he guessed exactly what he was going to say and he was right. He also knew that the wine in the disposable plastic bottles was undrinkable and the cheese bites were tasteless. Not that he was a food and drink snob, but he wanted to sit at home with a pint of beer and a pizza with chili sauce in front of the TV watching a football game.

Standing at the back of the crowd with a camera slung over one shoulder, Finn put a hand over his mouth to cover another yawn and considered his escape strategy. As soon as he had taken a few pictures of the mayor and the requisite number of art lovers huddled in front of his favorite paintings and sculptors, he would jot down the names, bid farewell to the artists and patrons, and leave. Not for the first time he would use the false excuse of having to cover another event.

Loud applause signaled the end of the mayor's speech. Now, Adele Pennington stepped up to the microphone to summarize the art community's achievements over the past six months. Finn pulled out his phone. He preferred to write down her words instead of taking notes.

While he was looking for the recording application, a late visitor who had just arrived caught his attention. A young woman appeared in the doorway in a black outfit revealing incredibly long legs. She wore sheer black stockings, high heels and a dress with a plunging neckline that highlighted her smooth white skin and hinted at a perfectly shaped bust.

It looked stunning, but in a strange way it reminded him of…

Finn blinked and looked at her again.

Chloe? Was it possible?

Staring like a stupid teenager and no doubt with his jaw hanging down to his knees, Finn realized that the woman had turned and was looking at him. Yes, it really was Chloe. She saw him, smiled and waved at him.

In front of him was Chloe Brown in an unfamiliar light. At work, those long, perfect legs were hidden by pants and comfortable shoes, and her shirts were always sleeved and collared. Her hair looked different tonight too. It was pulled back, revealing her pale skin, and statement earrings glinted in the light. Make-up no doubt also played a role in this makeover. Her eyes, cheekbones and lips caught Finn's attention.

New thunderous applause marked the end of Adele Pennington's speech. Thank God he'd managed to hit the record button. As she pocketed the phone, Chloe crossed the gallery, making her way through the crowd.

– Good evening boss – she smiled at him as she approached.

Finn cleared his throat.

– Hello. I didn't expect to see you here tonight.

– I didn't know you were coming either, she replied. – I could cover this event for you.

He shrugged.

– I gave you the weekend off.

– Very generous of you. Chloe smiled again and looked around. – I was interested in getting a peek into the local artistic environment.

– Yes. Of course. "Up close, she was even more attractive." Finn could clearly see the tempting curve of her bare neck, the smooth skin, the dark shadows on her lids that made her eyes even more beautiful than usual. When she turned around, she noticed a small blue butterfly tattooed on the back of her head and immediately decided that it was the most charming piece of art in the gallery.

– Are you okay Finn? – Chloe asked and frowned in puzzlement.

– Absolutely. - With great effort he managed to collect his scattered thoughts and was ashamed of himself. He was a grieving widower, not a young, driven stallion. He cleared his throat again. – Allow me to introduce you to some of the visitors.

– Thanks. Would be great. Chloe laughed. – I assume this is Buraleia's elite?

– Only a part of it. He was about to grab her elbow to guide her forward, but thought better of it. "Come on," he said. – You need wine and cheese.

In the end, Finn didn't sneak out to watch the match like he planned. It turned out that Chloe knew almost no one at this event, and it was no problem for him to introduce her. In the meantime, he realized that she had studied at an art school and had a keen interest in fine art, which meant that she could give a competent assessment of the works on display. He also asked pertinent questions of the artists, and Finn, who was standing nearby, was able to glean useful information that he would otherwise have missed.

– If I had known you were such an art lover, I would have assigned you this task, he admitted.

Chloe didn't mention that he could ask her. He smiled instead.

The crowd was thinning, people were scattering, and Finn told himself he had to follow suit. But her cup was empty and he went to fill it for her. When she returned, she was talking to a man with a Ned Kelly beard and the broad shoulders of a football player. He must have told her some kind of joke because Chloe burst out laughing.

– Here's the wine, Finn told her.

When she turned around, she was still laughing.

– Oh, thanks. By the way, do you know Angus? Angus Richards?

– Nope. how is it?

– Angus, this is my boss, Finn Latimer, the editor of the Bugle.

His hand found itself in the fray of a fierce handshake, after which he was thoroughly briefed on the long-standing history of Angus Richards' family blueberry farm west of Tolga and his sister's award-winning pottery. He supposed it was only fair to apologize and let the two of them get to know each other better, but if Chloe was really looking for male company, she could find something more suitable than this bearded nuisance. His feet seemed to be nailed to the floor. Eventually, furry Angus was called by his sister. He told Chloe it was great meeting them and he hoped they would meet again. She bid him farewell with an extremely warm smile and a sparkling look.

Only a few people left in the gallery.

– Shall I drive you to your place? Finn asked.

She smiled again. In fact, she hadn't stopped since she appeared in the hall.

– Very kind of you, but the evening is lovely and I'd rather go for a walk. I live very close by.

– With those heels? He couldn't believe he asked that question. Why didn't you just say goodnight to her?

– Well…– Her brown eyes flashed with wonder, she stared at him for an uncomfortably long time, as if trying to decipher his expression. Finn couldn't blame her for her confusion. His behavior was inexplicable even to himself.

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