The Lifeguard, the Abandoned Heiress, & Frozen Custard
The Lifeguard, the Abandoned Heiress, & Frozen Custard
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About the Book
Adam Wilkerson is a lifeguard at the Serenity Landing Aquatic Center, and looking forward to a summer of fun and freedom before settling into adult life. The sudden appearance of a young woman with secrets, but who somehow manages to stir in Adam emotions long dormant, threatens to change his summer plans.
Gwendolyn Cranston-Schmidt is looking for a fresh start, and her one hope at help – her cousin – is unavailable. Time to find a job and a place to live. For a girl who’s never worked a day in her life, the struggle is real. Plus, her secrets are going to find her out, sooner rather than later. What she didn’t plan on was a cute guy who easily finds his way past her protective barriers.
Adam and Gwendolyn find themselves spending more and more time together – and sharing their secrets. Can they find a way to get beyond both of their pasts – or will their pasts come back to haunt them before they can move forward together?
May 5-July 6, 2017
Alexander, Duke of Testudines
Prince Nicklaus of Ravenzario
Queen Adeline of Montevaro
Princess Anastasia of Montevaro
Dr. Jonah Fontaine
Prince Richard of Montevaro
Serenity Landing Community Center (SLCC)
Serenity Landing Aquatic Center (SLAC)
Serenity Landing Comedy Club
Andy’s Frozen Custard
Serenity Landing University
Adam Wilkerson is sitting at the front desk of SLCC when a well-to-do young woman demands a job. Alivia Collins, head of SLAC, overhears and tells the young woman they need someone for the front desk. Adam sends the woman to the first meeting of the year.
Gwendolyn Cranston-Schmidt is desperate for a job and a way to take care of herself after being disowned by her family. Her very wealthy cousin, Jonathan Langley-Cranston, is out of the country indefinitely leaving her to fend for herself. After the employee meeting, she talks with Alivia who insists Gwendolyn go back to Jamison Manor with her. Josh Wilson offers Gwendolyn a place to stay for the time being, as well as a lead on a waitressing job.
A week later, Adam and his best friend, Hoppy are at So Cheeeeezy, a New York style pizzaria. Hoppy refuses to talk about why his relationship with his fiance has ended or why he’s back in Serenity Landing after moving to Kansas City the summer before. They are waited on by Gwendolyn, who gets their order wrong. They assure her it’s all right and eat the wrong pizza. Adam leaves her a large tip.
The next Saturday, a week before the pool opens, there’s a cleaning session at the pool. Gwendolyn is completely unprepared, but ends up cleaning lounge chairs with Adam. The pool opens the next week. Gwendolyn has the front desk more organized than it’s ever been and is offered a promotion. She doesn’t like it when Adam recruits several young children for the swim team, telling their parents they just have to “not drown” from one end to the other. Adam and Alivia assure her it’s just a saying and the children will do well. Gwendolyn is impressed when Adam tells one mother, Kenzie Davidson, that there are scholarships available if she needs to apply for one. Gwendolyn rightly guesses there really isn’t but Adam would have paid it himself.
Gwendolyn has a new “job” of sorts driving Alyssa Wilson and Lorelai Davidson to swim team practice in the mornings and home after evening practice most nights. She’s being paid by Josh Wilson in health insurance. Adam gets in the pool with the young children in his group – Alyssa, Lorelai, Katie Parmiggiano, and twins Audra and Isabella Sheer-Parmiggiano. Gwendolyn is impressed with how well Adam works with them and how they want to do their best for him.
Wednesday, Adam offers to take Gwendolyn out for BBQ. They go to Pork-n-Stuff then Andy’s Frozen Custard.
The next Wednesday, Adam offers to make Gwendolyn dinner, but she doesn’t eat much. She tells him that she’s nearly three months pregnant, and he takes her to the emergency room. He tells her about Lily, his late wife, who was pregnant with his child when she died in a car accident. No one but Hoppy knows they eloped. Lily’s parents don’t believe Adam, who can’t find their marriage license. They donate her organs and never let him say goodbye. When Gwendolyn wonders aloud how she’s going to manage, Adam offers to marry her. She turns him down. Adam receives a call from an unknown number, but whoever it is leaves no message. She tells him the father is her ex-boyfriend, who she had a one night stand with after which he told her he was engaged.
Once released, Adam takes Gwendolyn back to the Jamison Manor, where she’s living in the apartment over the extra garage. She asks Adam to stay with her until she falls asleep. He falls asleep on her couch and his phone dies. The next morning, he scares her as she comes out of the bathroom after taking a shower. She didn’t realize he was still there. After she’s ready for work, Adam kisses her. They discuss whether she’s considering adoption. Gwendolyn officially meets Kenzie Davidson, and they hit it off.
They spend time together, mostly at work. Two weeks later, Gwendolyn finally hears from Jonathan, who invites her to dinner the next day. She convinces Adam to go with her. They talk to Jonathan who offers Gwendolyn the apartment in his house. He talks about how he wants a family but, despite trying, hasn’t found the right woman yet.
The next Monday, Adam can’t shake an uneasy feeling as he watches the lap lanes. He tries to get Alivia to call pool check/adult swim a few minutes early. The pool is mostly empty, but he’s on high alert. Almost before he realizes he’s seen anything, he’s sounded an alarm and is swimming across the pool. He pulls one of an older swim team kid off the bottom. Hoppy helps him get Tim out of the pool, and they begin CPR. Someone arrives with the automatic defibrillator, and they shock him. Paramedics arrive and take over.
Adam escapes to the storage room, where Gwendolyn finds him sobbing over the loss. Hoppy comes in, and tells him there was a heartbeat before Tim was loaded into the ambulance. Adam is relieved. The next day, Adam and Gwendolyn visit Tim in the hospital. Tim’s mostly-absentee father rips into Adam for not getting to Tim sooner. Tim’s mother and sister thank him. Tim tells him he has hypertropic cardiomyopathy, a previously undetected heart defect. Adam gets a call from the same unknown number. This time, his former father-in-law leaves a voice mail.
On Friday, Adam gets two crowns put on his teeth. They’re causing him pain, so he goes home early. Gwendolyn stops to get soup and takes it over. By the time she gets there, she’s not feeling great either. They fall asleep watching the Willis Family on television. Adam convinces her to sleep in his room while he sleeps on the couch.
The next morning, Gwendolyn feels worse and is running a fever. She takes a cool shower, and Adam takes her to urgent care. She’s diagnosed with strep throat. He takes her back to Jonathan’s, where he stays for a couple of days, too, as he’s still in pain but also wants to help take care of Gwendolyn.
Adam talks to Jonathan and confesses he’s not sure he’s ready for a relationship. Gwendolyn overhears, but doesn’t hear him say he’s falling for Gwendolyn anyway. They both skip church the next day. Gwendolyn and Jonathan talk about her options. He says he’ll support her.
Tuesday, Adam goes back to work. Gwendolyn goes back on Thursday. When they arrive home, her parents are there along with Royce Kensington who is the father of her baby. She refuses to marry Royce because she’s going to marry Adam. Jonathan offers to adopt her baby. She begins having what she thinks are contractions and Adam takes her to the emergency room. It turns out to be bad Braxton-Hicks. Her parents arrive to apologize. Adam gets another call from his former father-in-law and leaves to take it.
Gwendolyn’s parents tell her about the baby her mother gave up for adoption and about their relationship. Adam tells her that Lily’s father apologized and wants to talk, including that he’s heard from one of the people who received one of Lily’s organs. They decide to wait until after the baby is born to get married, and will continue to discuss adoption.
The week before Christmas, Adam and Gwendolyn get married.