"So why should you look so unhappy?" Pete
grumbled, scowling from across the rented car as he
muttered the first words spoken to his mother, Jillian
Westworth, during the past twenty miles. "You aren't
the one who had to go and give up two whole weeks of
baseball just when the best part of ball season really
got going good just so you could fly way up here and
be nice to a bunch of grown ups you don't even
"Coming here also pulled you out of your last two
weeks of school," Jillian pointed out, forcing what
she could of a cheerful smile. She had to keep a brave
front. It would serve no purpose for Pete to know just
how heart wrenching it was for her to return to the
Seascape Inn, even after all these years. "If it
weren't for this trip, you would never have been
allowed to finish out your work or take your tests
"Yeah, that part was pretty neat, I guess." He shifted
away from the passenger door where he had slumped
since having left the airport an hour earlier. He
craned to get a better look at the tiny pin-pricks of
ocean flickering through the tall pines and ancient
oaks shading the narrow tar-patched road.
Despite Pete's determination to be miserable, the
rugged countryside and the quaint, colorful houses
nestled in the trees had caught his interest, coming
as no surprise to Jillian. Pete loved the outdoors and
had always yearned to live in a small town or
somewhere out in the country, but the suburbs was as
close as they've ever gotten.
Even his pouty disposition couldn't keep him from
appreciating the beautiful countryside.
"Besides, I thought you were supposed to like this
place," he continued while stretching his neck to get
a look at a fat raccoon that obviously had its days
and nights confused. It paused in its waddley trek
along a roadside path to glance at the passing car.
Pete's attention locked on the peculiar animal as they
passed at a moderate speed. Although they had raccoons
in Texas, they weren't as fat, nor as dark and shaggy
as this animal. "I thought this was one of the places
where you and Grandpa and Grandma used to come on
vacation when you were a kid like me."
"It is." Jillian glanced again at the painfully
familiar woodlands as she turned off the main highway
and headed east toward Sea Haven Village for the first
time since that fateful summer nearly nine years
earlier--returning only because Reynold insisted she
meet him there. "Your grandma and I often spent months
at a time up here during the hottest part of summer
when Dallas becomes such a broiler oven." The
afternoon sun splashed through the glass across her
bare arm and leg just below the cap sleeve of her
turquoise and pink plaid shirt and the one inch cuff
of her pink shorts. "Your grandpa would join us during
his regular two week vacation plus whatever weekends
he didn't have hospital call."
"Why'd you ever stop coming up here?"
Jillian paused, then decided on a partial truth.
"After grandma died, grandpa lost interest in this
place." No reason to divulge that she had stopped
coming even before then, or hint that Pete was in any
way connected to her last summer there...
<Final scene of Chapter One:>
Well remembering 'the couple that got away', Hattie
waited until she heard the door close upstairs before
reaching for the telephone. She had considered the
meddlesome plan for days now, ever since earing that
Jillian Westworth was about to return with friends.
But now that Hattie had seen the boy for herself, she
knew it was the thing to do.
Having memorized the telephone number, she dialed Brad
Pierce then waited for someone to pick up.
"Dr. Pierce, here," Brad answered, sounding extremely
tired for so early in the afternoon.
Hattie wondered why an assistant or nurse hadn't
answered the telephone, as busy as Brad must be taking
care of the general medical needs of two rural
counties in northern Maine. "Dr. Pierce? It's Hattie
Stillman. I hope I'm not bothering you but I have some
Because Brad returned to Sea Haven Village every year
to visit with the friends he'd made years earlier, he
had little problem recognizing the voice. Suddenly, he
didn't sound so tired. "And what good news is
Since Brad did not like to talk about Jillian, or how
the two had parted Sea Haven Village not speaking so
many years ago, Hattie did not mention her current
guest. She didn't dare. Nothing clammed him up quicker
than to mention Jillian by name. Instead, she went
right to the plan. "There's been a little prize
drawing involving the names of all the guests who
stayed here last year and guess who won?"
"That's right. You. You've just won a week at the
Seascape in addition to all the other surprises that
go with it." She pressed a hand over her mouth to keep
from giggling at that last comment, thinking herself
quite witty. 'Surprises indeed!'
"A-yuh, but there is one catch to this. I know you
usually like to come in late summer, but for this, the
week has to be taken right away, before the busy
season starts. Are you at all interested in collecting
such a nice prize?" She held her breath and awaited
After a unbearably long pause, Brad responded, "To
tell you the truth, you couldn't have called at a
better time. As it turns out, I'm just coming off a
very emotionally draining week and could really use a
little R & R. And Dr. Mack still owes me from
having covered for him a couple of weeks back in
March." Another bit of silence was followed by a deep
laugh. "And my nurse has already deserted me for the
rest of the month, having just had that baby of hers.
Yes, this is definitely doable. Unless I call you
back, expect me sometime tomorrow."
Hattie felt light as air as, seconds later, she
plopped the receiver back into its cradle. Tomorrow
was perfect. He'd be there a full day before this
Reynold Johnstone fellow arrived, whoever he was.
Glancing ceilingward with an impish grin, she wondered
what her Tony thought about all this. He had always
considered Jillian and Brad one of his few failures.
She knew that was why Tony had never tried to pair
Brad with one of the other guests at the Inn during
the nine years following. They all felt Brad had
belonged with Jilly.
Tony must be delighted to have this second shot at the
pair--and even more delighted to see that they shared
a son. Dressed the way the boy was, in a baggy white
Astros t-shirt nearly as long as his shorts, and
wearing a Rangers ball cap turned backward, the small
seven-year-old looked amazingly like his thirty-one
year-old father, though there was plenty of his mother
in him, too. Such a handsome child.
What would Brad's reaction be when he arrived that
next day and discovered not only was his lost love
there, but so was his son?
A son, Brad obviously didn't know existed.
"As in previous Seascape novels, the delightful Miss
Hattie carefully manipulates the characters while Tony
provides any necessary ghostly magic. Yet, in FOR THE
LOVE OF PETE, as the title suggests, the primary director
of events is Pete, a lonely boy who only wants a father
who can play baseball with him. This unique focus on the
child who bonds Jillian and brad together makes the book
---Gothic Journal, March 1997
"Fans of the enchanting series are in for a treat with
this sensitive and touching tale of long-lost lovers
reunited with a little ghostly help."
---Romantic Times Magazine, March issue 1997