The Wanderer by Robyn Carr - Romance>Romantic Literature
From Robyn Carr, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the popular Virgin River novels, comes THUNDER POINT--the highly anticipated new series that will make you laugh, make you sigh, and make you fall in love with a small town filled with people you'll never forget.
Nestled on the Oregon Coast is a small town of rocky beaches and rugged charm. Locals love the land's unspoiled beauty. Developers see it as a potential gold mine. When newcomer Hank Cooper learns he's been left an old friend's entire beachfront property, he finds himself with a community's destiny in his hands.
Cooper has never been a man to settle in one place, and Thunder Point was supposed to be just another quick stop. But Cooper finds himself getting involved with the town. And with Sarah Dupre, a woman as complicated as she is beautiful.
With the whole town watching for his next move, Cooper has to choose between his old life and a place full of new possibilities. A place that just might be home.
It took Hank Cooper almost eight hours to get from Virgin River to Thunder Point, Oregon, because he was towing his fifth wheel, a toy hauler. He pulled to the side of the road frequently to let long strings of motorists pass. Just prior to crossing the California/Oregon border, he stopped at a redwood tourist trap featuring gardens, souvenirs, wood carvings, a lunch counter and restrooms. Skipping the garden tour, he bought a sandwich and drink and headed out of the monument-size trees to the open road, which very soon revealed the rocky Oregon Coast.
Cooper stopped at the first outlook over the ocean and parked. His phone showed five bars and he dialed up the Coos County Sheriff's Department. "Hello," he said to the receptionist. "My name is Hank Cooper and I'm on my way to Thunder Point following a call from someone saying my friend, Ben Bailey, is dead. Apparently he left something for me, but that's not why I'm headed your way. The message I got was that Ben was killed, but there were no details. I want to talk to the sheriff. I need some answers."
"Hold, please," she said.
Well, that wasn't what he expected. He'd figured he'd leave a number and eat his lunch while he waited.
"Deputy McCain," said the new voice on the line.
"Hank Cooper here, Deputy," he said, and in spite of himself, he straightened and squared his shoulders. He'd always been resistant to authority, yet he also responded to it. "I was hoping to speak with the sheriff."
"I'm the deputy sheriff. The county sheriff's office is in Coquille. This is a satellite office with a few deputies assigned. Thunder Point is small—there's a constable but no other local law enforcement. The constable handles small disputes, evictions, that sort of thing. The county jail is in Coquille. How can I help you, Mr. Cooper?"
"I'm a friend of Ben Bailey and I'm on my way into town to find out what happened to him."
"Mr. Cooper, Ben Bailey's been deceased for more than a couple of weeks."
"I gather that. I just found out. Some old guy— Rawley someone—found a phone number and called me. He was killed, Rawley said. Dead and buried. I want to know what happened to him. He was my friend."
"I can give you the details in about ninety seconds."
But Cooper wanted to look him in the eye when he heard the tale. "If you'll give me directions, I'll come to the Sheriff's Department."
"Well, that's not necessary. I can meet you at the bar," the deputy said.
"Ben's. I guess you weren't a close friend."
"We go back fifteen years but this is my first trip up here. We were supposed to meet with a third buddy from the Army in Virgin River for some hunting. Ben always said he had a bait shop."
"I'd say he sold a lot more Wild Turkey than bait. You know where Ben's place is?"
"Only sort of," Cooper said.
"Take 101 to Gibbons Road, head west. After about four miles, look for a homemade sign that says Cheap Drinks. Turn left onto Bailey Pass. It curves down the hill. You'll run right into Bailey's. When do you think you'll get there?"
"I just crossed into Oregon from California," he said. "I'm pulling a fifth wheel. Couple of hours?"
"More like three. I'll meet you there if nothing interferes. Is this your cell number?"
"It is," he said.
"You'll have good reception on the coast. I'll give you a call if I'm held up."
"Thanks, Deputy...what was...