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: A Month at the Shore by Antoinette Stockenberg
, first published by St. Martin's Press Paperbacks, 2003.
He was her childhood knight in shining armor ... but she wasn't a fairytale princess.
Kendall Barclay III was a skinny, nerdy kid when he single-handedly took on a gang of bullies assaulting Laura Shore, a thirteen-year-old girl from the town's most notorious family. The childhood trauma became one more reason for Laura to flee the small Cape Cod town for the opposite coast and make a name for herself there. But now her tyrannical father is dead, her murderous uncle as well, and her beloved sister Corinne wants Laura and their black-sheep brother to come home and restore Shore Gardens, the family nursery fallen to rack and ruin, back to its former charm.
Reluctantly, they promise Corinne one month. One month, for Laura to face down past memories which are anything but fond and to come to terms with the wild range of feelings she has for the man who is no longer either skinny or nerdy. It's a daunting assignment -- made more so when a shocking discovery is made on the nursery grounds. Have knights in shining armor gone out of fashion? Laura will soon find out.