California Waves (The Davenports #2) Read Online Bella Andre

Categories Genre: Alpha Male, Contemporary Tags Authors: Series: The Davenports Series by Bella Andre

Total pages in book: 90
Estimated words: 83368 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 417(@200wpm)___ 333(@250wpm)___ 278(@300wpm)

Meet the Davenport family! Six brothers and sisters who call picturesque Carmel-by-the-Sea home. Successful, brilliant, and passionate, the only thing they all still need is the perfect partner in love and life.

When Herschel Greenfield achieved his dream of becoming an astronaut and going on space missions, he thought he knew the risks—but he never expected his splashdown would go wrong and he’d nearly drown. He tells everyone he’s fine, but if that’s true, then why can’t get into the ocean? Somehow, some way, he needs to conquer his fear so that he can continue going into space.

When pro-surfer Mila Davenport suffered a career-ending accident that almost cost her life, she had to adjust to an entirely new life where she spent more time on land than in the sea. While she loves her new career as a realtor, nothing makes her feel more alive than riding the waves. Certainly, no man has ever come close to giving her that same rush that the ocean does.

But after meeting Herschel, when she learns about his emotional fallout from his crash landing, she wants nothing more than to help him learn to love the sea as much as she does, despite his harrowing experience. The only problem is that she also thinks he’s incredibly sexy and can’t help but want him. More than she’s ever wanted anyone. And when it seems like he feels the same way about her, that’s when things suddenly feel truly dangerous. Far more dangerous than any surfing accident or crash landing. Because this time around, Mila isn’t just risking her body—she’s risking her heart.

But is Hersch willing to risk his heart, too? Or once he gets over his issues with the sea, will he be on the next spaceship out of town…and she’ll be left with nothing but the memories of being with the most incredible man she’s ever known?

*************FULL BOOK START HERE*************

Chapter One

The sun smiled down on the plein air art show at Devendorf Park in Carmel-by-the-Sea, where Herschel Greenfield couldn’t stop staring at Mila Davenport. She was tall, blonde, and fearless. A surfing goddess of the waves, and he’d just said the clumsiest thing to her, implying he wouldn’t want a painting of her on his wall precisely because of that. Truth was, he couldn’t imagine anything he’d rather look at all day than Mila, but preferably on dry land, so he wouldn’t have to look at crashing waves and be reminded that the sea had very nearly killed him.

However, she couldn’t know that was what he’d meant when he’d implied he didn’t want to buy a picture that featured her surfing. Mila was stunning. Tall, statuesque, with long sun-kissed blonde hair and sea-witch eyes that seemed to see right through him. As she walked away, Hersch felt as though the breath had been knocked out of him. Not only was Mila gorgeous, she was strong enough to ride those treacherous waves. He couldn’t imagine what it would be like to be able to walk into the water without fear.

And with that single thought, his near-death experience came rushing back, as intense and terrifying as the very day it happened, more than a year ago.

The mission to space had been successful. Everything had gone as planned, and re-entry to Earth’s atmosphere was smooth. Even the splashdown itself was textbook. But within minutes, the seas turned, the waves roaring up with a sudden squall. The capsule, tough as it was, didn’t stand a chance. Unable to orient itself upright, it was hit by a wave and knocked onto its side. Water began to gush in, freezing and frothing, swirling around their feet.

Hersch didn’t panic—there wasn’t time for that. Instead, his training kicked in, and he knew that the most important thing was to get every astronaut out safely. Hersch insisted his team exit the flooding capsule ahead of him into the flotation collar to await rescue. He was single. If he perished, he wouldn’t leave behind a spouse or kids to mourn him.

With everyone out safely, Hersch left the capsule, but as he crossed the threshold, a huge wave grabbed him and swallowed him whole.

It happened so quickly he was robbed of a last breath before he plunged into the icy water and was pulled down. Survival instincts took over, something innate in him that screamed live, live, live. He managed to kick his way to the surface, desperate for air.

When he managed to get his head above water, the relief was only momentary. He began to flounder. Despite the regimented two hours of daily exercise while in the space station for so many months, his muscles had begun to atrophy, and his legs and arms were jelly, useless against the fierce waves.

He was left struggling in the ocean for what seemed like an eternity, spluttering as salt water filled his mouth, his nose, his eyes.

Rescuers almost didn’t get to him in time, and he very nearly drowned. To make matters worse, it was filmed by media, so the whole excruciating episode was reported in minute detail worldwide. His near-death experience was viewed, discussed, written about, and retold repeatedly. He could never escape it.

Only when he heard his name spoken in a tone that suggested someone had been saying it multiple times did Hersch snap out of his dark memories. In front of him was a tall man in chinos and a polo shirt. His shaved head lent him a tough edge, but there was a warmth in his steely gray eyes that Hersch noticed immediately.

“You looked light-years away,” the man said, not unkindly.

Not a bad guess, Hersch thought, wrenching himself back into the present. Thursday afternoon, third week of May, in Carmel. His heart was still pounding, but he pieced the fractured parts of himself back together until his breathing regulated and a smile could form on his face.

“Lost in thought,” he replied.

“I’m Jay Malone,” the man said, extending his hand. “And you’re a man who needs no introduction. Herschel Greenfield, astronaut hero. I’ve been following your stellar career since the beginning.”

Hersch swallowed. Since his accident, his relationship with the media had changed. Where once he’d been happy to give interviews or take photos for the press, now he would do anything to sink into anonymity and be spared retelling his story. He began to thank Jay, asking which newspaper or magazine he wrote for, when Jay cut him off midsentence.

“I’m a Hollywood agent,” he explained. “I’ve got an eye for a story. And boy, do you have a good one. Have you ever considered turning your life story into a movie?”

Hersch was stunned. “A movie?”

Jay grinned. “When you sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to your mom on her sixtieth birthday from space, you were the most famous person on the planet for a week. That video went viral. Millions of hits. You touched people. Got them right here.” He thumped his chest.