Choosing to remain with her dad in Seattle, Lexi had planned to spend her first summer since the divorce hanging out with her boyfriend, Matt, and her best friend, Robin. But her dad had other plans, insisting she spend the summer visiting her mom and stepdad at his ranch called Paradise Ranch in Wailuku, in west Maui.
Lexi goes there with an attitude. Then she meet a cute Hawaiian guy named Mitsuo, is thrown into a love triangle, becomes friends with a teen girl named April who lives on a ranch next door; rides her first horse--an Arabian mare named Poppy--learns to hula dance and surf, and finds herself embroiled in a dangerous rescue mission when Poppy and another horse named Casper are stolen from her stepfather’s ranch.
By the time her tropical summer adventure comes to an end, Lexi hates to leave Maui and say goodbye to Mitsuo. But can she stay when Matt is waiting for her back at home to pick up where they left off? Or will he lose her to a summer romance?
The notion of being an ocean way from Matt for an entire summer annoyed Lexi. But she had no choice in the matter.
It didn't set well with Matt either. "That sucks!" he complained as she broke the news to him, gazing down at her with deep blue eyes.
"I know, right," Lexi told him, flipping her long brown hair over her shoulder.
"What am I going to do without my best friend?" Robin complained, her forehead creasing above thin brows.
Dirk rolled his eyes. "Are you kidding me? Who wouldn't want to go to Hawaii for an all-expense paid trip to paradise?"
"Uh me," Lexi said. "Especially when my life is right here."
"And it'll be here when you get back," he said. "But going to Maui...wow. Maybe my mom should try to hook up with someone there. My dad probably wouldn't care too much, since she's always complaining that he never pays attention to her anyway."
Robin frowned. "That's not very nice."
Dirk shrugged. "Hey, I'm just saying."
"Maybe I should give you the ticket then," Lexi suggested. "You can go in my place and I'll stay at your house, with my dad totally clueless."
Dirk laughed. "I think Matt would probably have a problem with that."
Matt ran a hand through his thick brown hair. "I'd have more of a problem if she met some surfer dude in Hawaii and decided to kick me to the curb and never come back."
Lexi met his eyes in earnest. "That's not going to happen," she promised. "No surfer dude could ever take your place with me."
"You sure about that?"
"Positive. I'll just be going through the motions and putting up with my mom until the summer ends and then I'm back here where I belong."
That seemed to pacify him. "Cool," he said, grinning, before giving her a kiss.
Lexi was only too happy to kiss him back, loving the feel of his lips on hers. Besides, she wanted the kiss to be enough for both of them to last through the entire summer.
"Get a room," Robin joked.
Blushing, Lexi broke the lip lock. "We'll pick it up later," she promised Matt.
"Sounds good to me," he said.
"I just hope that in between all that fun in the sun you find the time to text your best friend and boyfriend—like every day!" Robin said.
"Definitely," Lexi promised, even though the last thing she expected was much fun while on the island, where she was headed against her wishes.
R. Barri Flowers is an award winning, bestselling author of mystery, thriller, suspense, young adult, and romance novels, along with true crime and criminology books.
Thrillers by the author include MURDER IN MAUI, MURDER IN HONOLULU, DARK STREETS OF WHITECHAPEL, STATE'S EVIDENCE, JUSTICE SERVED, and PERSUASIVE EVIDENCE. Flowers is the editor of several anthologies, including MASTERS OF TRUE CRIME, and mysteries, MURDER HERE, MURDER THERE and MURDER PAST, MURDER PRESENT.
Bestselling young adult fiction includes GHOST GIRL IN SHADOW BAY and DANGER IN TIME.
As an award winning criminologist, the author's latest true crime and criminology books include THE DYNAMICS OF MURDER, THE SEX SLAVE MURDERS, SERIAL KILLER COUPLES, PROSTITUTION IN THE DIGITAL AGE.
Under the pseudonym, Devon Vaughn Archer, the author has also penned several bestselling mainstream and romance novels, including FOREVER SWEETHEARTS, ALOHA FANTASY, THE SECRETS OF PARADISE BAY, CHRISTMAS HEAT, and THE HITMAN'S WOMAN.
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