In a debut intended to launch a series, attractive but lovelorn Laurel Kinsgsford finds romance, adventure, a kindly grandfather and a shocking letter on the shores of Lake Ontario.
Furious to learn that a protégé has been promoted over her head, the brainy young naval engineer quits her job only to find when she gets home that her live-in boyfriend has cleaned out the closets and their checking accounts. Licking her wounds and alone in the world, Laurel retreats to the Twice Told Hotel on the southeastern shore of Lake Ontario, which she had visited several times as a child. There, she bonds with Jake Eastland, the hotel’s elderly owner, whose career arc has taken him from Prohibition-era smuggler to 21st-century multibillionaire. The reader quickly learns, though Laurel does not, that Jake is her grandfather. Long estranged from his late wife, he’s been secretly pulling strings in Laurel’s life (as revealed in interspersed flashbacks that take up half the text). Unaware of his wealth and their connection, Laurel just likes the old gaffer for his crusty self. Jake might just be ready to reveal the family tie, but first he needs to help his granddaughter recover her self-confidence. He involves Laurel, a proficient diver, in efforts to locate some jazz-age hooch he dumped when the Coast Guard got too close, and he tantalizes her with tales of a treasure-laden Revolutionary War ship that sank nearby. To assist them in their quest, Jake hires Michael Marvin McKean, a handsome former Coast Guard captain with a broken heart who is, coincidentally, a descendant of the officer who nearly caught bootlegger Eastland with the goods all those years ago. But before romance can blossom, Laurel and Mike must first weather rough seas and danger from a tough clan Jake has tangled with.
YA adventure for the older set.