I have many readers who find my books via The Posse but don’t realize the Burton connection, or they jump into The Last One and never find their way to the Cove. This is a little map to guide you through the order and the links between the two hottest and most romantic (fictional) communities on the Eastern seaboard!
We start in Crystal Cove, with The Posse. Jude Hawthorne is forty-something widow with two nearly-grown children (Meghan and Joseph) who owns The Riptide, her family’s beach-front restaurant in Crystal Cove, Florida. Her late husband’s best friends are the Posse, and they decide to help Jude find love again . . . with one of them, so that she’ll stay in the Cove. Over the course of the story, we meet Jude’s daughter Meghan, who is a college student in Savannah, Georgia, which moves us along to . . .
The Last One, wherein Meghan, as part of her work with an organization that brings art classes to underserved communities, spends a summer in the small town of Burton, Georgia, about thirty miles outside of Savannah and has a summer fling with Sam Reynolds, a local farmer, whose sister Ali still remembers . . .
The First One, Flynn Evans, her high school boyfriend who fled town after they had a terrible fight on graduation day. Turned out he left more than Ali behind when he departed Burton. Now he’s back in town, and he’s in for a big surprise. Over the course of their story, we meet Rilla Grant, a shy and sheltered young woman from a farm near the Reynolds’ place. When she decides she wants to spread her wings, she meets . . .
Mason Wallace, owner of the town’s newest bar and music club, who turns out to be The Only One for Rilla. As they navigate the delicate balance of love after loss and family snarls, they find their own happy ending. (We also meet Jenna Sutton, Rilla’s cousin, in this book. Remember her–she’ll be important later.) The final scene of this book takes us back to Crystal Cove, where Meghan and Sam are getting married on the beach. Their wedding is narrated by two Cove residents, Emmy Carter, the local pie maker who also manages Jude’s restaurant on weekends, and Abby Donavan, who runs the bed-and-breakfast in town.
Flash back to a few months before the wedding, and we’re back in Crystal Cove, at the start of The Plan. Emmy has a very hot, very unexpected one-night-stand with a member of the Posse, Cooper Davis. What happens from that night through the day of Meghan’s wedding will change their lives.
At the wedding, Emmy and Abby chat with Burton resident (and Ali Reynolds’ dear friend) Alex Nelson, who’s attending with his new boyfriend, Cal. Their story is told in The Perfect One.
During Emmy’s story, we get to know Abby Donavan a little bit better. And we learn even more about the Crystal Cove transplant in The Path. When Abby changes jobs, moving from the bed and breakfast to supervising the restoration and running of an old hotel near town, she meets restoration specialist Ryland Kent–and sparks fly.
Meanwhile, back in Burton . . .
Flynn Evans’ sister Maureen is finally striking out on her own, moving into her own house and taking over the town’s veterinarian practice. She brings on a new partner: her long-time college friend and secret crush, Smith Harrington, who moves down from Boston to join her. Always For You is their story.
It’s also where we learn that something happened between the end of The Only One and the beginning of the second Burton trilogy–something between Jenna Sutton, Rilla’s cousin, and Trent Wagoner, who up until now was simply the town man whore. What exactly happened, and the fallout afterward, shapes the next few books.
We return briefly to the Cove for Christmas, where Trent is selling Christmas trees with his uncle’s company. While there, he meets the lovely Elizabeth Hudson, a lawyer who made a brief appearance in The Path. Will these two souls find love Underneath My Christmas Tree?
A few months later, and we’re back in Burton for Always My Own. Elizabeth took over a law firm in town, and she’s moving there . . . on her own. We find out that Trent has returned to his hometown–although Elizabeth didn’t know this–and these two have a secret: they’re married, even though things are pretty rocky just now. How they find their way to happily-ever-after is a story worth reading.
Will Garth owns the town newspaper, which shares office space with Elizabeth Wagoner’s law firm. The two meet and become friends, but after Elizabeth leave town with her husband, Will meets the hot chick who’s running her aunt’s bakery temporarily. Sydney isn’t looking for love, but with Will, she just might find . . . My One and Always.
It’s in this sweet short that Jenna Sutton returns to Burton. We get a small taste of where Jenna is now, but we have to wait for Always Our Love to hear the full story and find out how she comes out on the other side to find lasting happiness with Linc, best friend and business partner of Ryland Kent (from The Path).
Back in Burton again, we’re branching out to meet Tori, a hometown girl who’s ready to find her own life–finally–when she happens to spend an evening at the Road Block and meets rising country star Hunter Jaymes. Tori might be gun shy, but Hunter’s not giving up–because Tori’s The Love Song Girl.
During the telling of their love story, we meet Tori’s best friend Ashley, who owns a hair salon in Burton. She’s got it bad for one of her clients, the sizzling hot Zane Fletcher, but is Ashley The Meant To Be Girl?
And finally, we return to Crystal Cove for a short and sweet novella that tells the sigh-inducing romance between Abby’s cousin Sierra and her best friend Blake, who show up in the Cove after a trip to Vegas leaves them just a little bit married. But do they love each other, or was this just a drunken mistake–or the influence of a very special heirloom? Find out in The Problem.
(And pssst . . . if you’d like to read about the first time these two towns were connected, don’t miss Love Me Home, a Love in a Small Town prequel that also includes some scenes in the Cove!)
What will the future hold for these two communities? I can tell you that there are more stories . . . in the Cove, we’ll meet Abby’s sister, Jessica, and Lindsay’s (Joseph’s wife) brother Graham in The Pair. We’ll also get to know Naomi, Alex and Cal’s gestational surrogate, and her unlikely new friend in The Play. After that, we’ll see what’s happening with the next generation, as Cooper’s daughter Lexie comes of age and has a chance encounter with an old friend in The Prize.
In Burton, next up we’ll get to know Jenna’s friend Lucie, introduced in Always Our Love, as well as some acquaintances at the historical society. Stay tuned for more info on this next chapter in the Burton saga.