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It Was Always You - Book 5 in The Water's Edge Christian Romance Series

It Was Always You - Book 5 in The Water's Edge Christian Romance Series

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 350+ 5-Star-Reviews

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It Was Always You is Book 5 in the Water’s Edge Christian Romance Series, a contemporary Christian Romance series set in the coastal fictional town of Water's Edge, south of Sydney.
Hayley O'Hara, struggling with her faith after her sister's death, harbors unrequited love for her sister's boyfriend, Jamie Benson. Together, they plan to open a hang-gliding center in Water’s Edge, facing personal and emotional challenges. As they integrate into the community and confront their feelings and past pains, they begin to question whether their close friendship could lead to love and if there's a greater plan for their lives.

She’s in love with her late sister’s boyfriend. He treats her like his kid sister…

After losing her sister April in a car accident, Hayley O'Hara distances herself from her faith and falls for April's boyfriend, Jamie Benson, with whom she forms a deep friendship. Years later, Jamie proposes they open a hang-gliding center together in Water’s Edge, complicating Hayley's unrequited love. Meanwhile, Jamie, who enjoys hang-gliding's escape from his painful past, hesitates to commit to anyone but starts to reconsider his feelings for Hayley. As they navigate their business venture and personal feelings, both are drawn into the close-knit community of Water’s Edge, where they confront their pasts and ponder their future together, questioning if this is God's plan for their lives.

Chapter One - Look Inside

Hayley glanced around the new Water’s Edge hang-gliding centre and breathed in a deep sense of accomplishment. Although they still had much to do, they’d made good progress. No doubt, the centre would be successful.
Just under an hour from where she lived with her parents in Wollongong, the little coastal town of Water’s Edge, with its soaring cliffs and seaside location, was the perfect place for a hang-gliding centre. It was her best friend, Jamie’s dream, and he’d worked hard to save the money and make that dream a reality. When he’d invited her to be his business partner, it was a no-brainer. Since graduating with her Sports Science degree two years earlier, she’d felt lost in terms of her career.
She loved sports, particularly aerial and water ones, but she’d never known where those interests would lead. She’d taken a basic job at the local leisure centre to get some experience while she figured it out, but none of the jobs she’d considered seemed to suit her.
Until now.
Although still not sure what she’d do long term, she was excited to be part of the centre and Jamie’s dream. Plus, she loved the escape hang-gliding brought. It was a lot more exciting than supervising kids in the swimming pool or teaching seniors aqua aerobic classes.
After April’s death, Hayley’s friendship with Jamie had grown, and they’d stayed in touch even when she was away at university and he was blitzing hang-gliding competitions up and down the coast. He’d become like a big brother to her, almost as though he’d stepped into April’s shoes when Hayley was so bereft after her sister’s passing.
He was a good guy.
There was just one problem.
At some point before she left for university at age eighteen, Hayley had developed a crush on him, and since returning, she’d fallen for him, big time.
And she felt horribly guilty. He was April’s ex, after all.
Which meant being his business partner was a terrible idea.
His passion for the centre was so infectious that, until now, she hadn’t considered how she could work with him every day when he had no idea of her feelings and treated her like a kid sister.
And now, it was too late. She was committed.
She glanced at the clock on the far wall. After working at the centre all morning on his own while she attended to things in Wollongong before driving down, Jamie went for a glide when she arrived, leaving her to sort out the dining area.
He didn’t know she’d hurried to get there to be with him, and she’d never let on. Instead, she’d encouraged him to go for that glide.
She wasn’t sure why.
Maybe she simply wanted to please him.
If she pleased him, maybe he’d notice her.
Refusing to let her gaze wander to the sky, she folded her arms and turned her attention to the room. Hang-gliding paraphernalia filled most of it, but one corner had been allocated for the dining area. Although their menu would be limited to drinks and sports snacks, it needed to be comfortable, modern, and welcoming.
The lighting in the kitchen area could be better. The tables were old and scratched. The ice machine didn’t work. Talk about doing things on a shoestring.
She couldn’t fix the ice machine, but she could do something about the tables. She shifted them around, arranging them to be less higgledy-piggledy, and covered them with the turquoise chequered tablecloths she’d bought that morning.
Much better.
A knock sounded on the open door.
She frowned. They weren’t open for business yet.
A tall blonde woman with a double jogging pram stood in the doorway. “I hope I’m not intruding. The door was open, so I thought I’d take a quick peek.”
They weren’t ready for customers, but Hayley waved her in. They couldn’t afford to be rude. “Not at all. We’re still setting up, but we’re hoping to open next week.”
The woman entered, picked up a leaflet from the counter, and flipped through it. “It looks interesting. I’ll have to tell my husband. It might be a while before I’m ready to go flying.” With a laugh and a flick of her long blonde hair, she gestured to her sleeping babies.
Twins, by the look of them.
How did she look so fresh and chic?
And slim?
Wearing a ragged T-shirt and fraying shorts, with her sandy-blonde hair in a haphazard ponytail and scuffed sneakers on her feet, Hayley felt dowdy. She’d never win a fashion contest, even if she tried.
But this woman could.
Tenderness filled her gaze as she smiled at her babies. “They’re not always this quiet, trust me.”
Hayley peered at the infants, baby girls with downy hair, soft skin, and rosebud mouths. “I can imagine.”
Although, she couldn’t. She’d never had much to do with babies. But these cuties melted something inside her. “What are their names?”
“Fern and Lilly.”
Without permission, Hayley’s thoughts drifted to April. They hadn’t been twins, although they could almost have been. But she wouldn’t go there. She was doing her best to move on. To live her life without her sister.
Straightening, she stuffed her hands in her shorts pockets and dragged the toe of a sneaker across smudged linoleum. “Um. Can I get you a cup of coffee?”
“That’d be nice, thanks. But only if I’m not disturbing you. I’m Willow, by the way.”
“Hayley.” She shook the woman’s offered hand. “No, you’re not disturbing me.”
Not true, but something about the woman set her at ease. Hayley wasn’t one to talk with people she didn’t know. She’d become a loner since losing April, but maybe it was time to step outside her comfort zone.
And what did ten minutes matter? Her gaze turned to the sky. Jamie was out there somewhere, enjoying himself. She could afford a few moments for coffee. Plus, he’d told her they needed to drum up business, so inviting this woman in was a start.

Main Tropes

  • Christian Romance
  • Heartwarming
  • Inspiring
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What Readers Say....

  • ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    "This writer NEVER disappoints!' The fragility of life, the depth of hurt and trauma that most people go through, is described in a way that you experience it with the character.The newness and joy, also the questions on the faith journey are all handled with so much insight, that it even answers or explains it with much clarity!" MT

  • ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    "One thing I have always loved about these books are that the author is not afraid to take on real life problems. The characters lives are not perfect. I can empathize with them and find myself thinking I’d like to be their friend." CRT reader

  • ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    "This is another great series from this author. She likes to write about "real" life. She is not one to shy away from hard subjects. And, one thing I really like about this author, is the faith that runs throughout the story. I highly recommend these books." Mary S