By Lily Malone
Jennifer Gates has loved Brayden Culhane since he stopped the class bully from teasing her on the school bus. She’s loved him since he and his sister Emmy used to collect bucket after bucket of golf balls she’d hit after school in the practice range her dad built at the back of her house.
He’s the only person in the world with whom she would share Turkish Delights, because those are his favourite chocolates, too.
Brayden is big, and broad, and strong to go with it, but not ripped the way blokes get if they work out at the gym. He works in the West Australian mining industry, working fly in-fly out, in tough jobs where a bloke gets his hands dirty. As Jenn says when she sees him at the top of the beach house steps at the Culhane family’s beach shack in Busselton: “there’s so much of Brayden to go round. It’s a bit like watching Thor, but without the hammer.”
I don’t know if it’s unique that Brayden is a Corona man? He has the t-shirt to prove it, and he’s the kind of bloke who can get a bottletop off a Corona bottle with no flip-top opener in sight. This is
lucky, because at one stage they’re out catching squid on the Busselton Jetty, and they discover nobody remembered the bottle-opener.
And Brayden is my kind of hunky hero because he knows what Jenn needs when she can’t see past her own phobias and failings. Jenn needs golf in her life, and her Golf Pro ex-boyfriend almost killed her love for the game. Brayden is the man who gets a club back in Jenn’s hands and helps her strike the sweet spot again.
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It’s golf, but not as we know it.
When Jennifer Gates drives to Sea Breeze Golf Club to kick off date-night with her boyfriend, the last
thing she expects is to find Golf-Pro Jack giving one of his lady students a private—and very personal—lesson in bunker-play.
Lucky for Jenn, her best friend gives her the keys to the Culhane family’s beach shack on the shores of
beautiful Geographe Bay. Jenn hopes a weekend on the coast with her young son will give her the breathing-space she needs to rebuild her confidence after Jack’s betrayal.
But she’s not the only person seeking sanctuary by the sea. Brayden Culhane is there too, and Jenn
can’t look at Brayden without remembering the tequila-flavoured kiss they shared on the shack steps years ago.
As long-buried feelings are rekindled, and a friendship is renewed, Jenn knows it is more than proximity to the ocean that’s bringing her mojo back. Romantic sunsets, ice-cold beers and
the odd round of golf can only go so far, because this time, trusting Brayden with her heart isn’t enough, Jenn has to learn to trust her body again.
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