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When life is too much, and you can’t hack it, what do you do?
Go back home, right?
It’s just the logical thing to do.
At a young age, I learned that Kentbury is kind of magical—and great at maple syrup.
I packed my things, drove to my parents’ house and …

I found Sinclair McFolley— irresistibly brooding, and dangerously handsome.
He and his siblings took possession of my childhood home.
What the f. . . obviously it’s a mistake.
It wasn’t.
So now my plans are to either go back home or stay in Kentbury helping the McFolleys with their summer camp.

It’s all fun and games until feelings start getting in the way.
Challenges turn into opportunities.
And suddenly the summer fling I never planned on might become the romance of a lifetime.

Maybe Kentbury isn’t just a place to escape to—it’s where I was meant to find myself all along.


EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: Summer in Kentbury

Claudia Burgoa

Expected Release Date: 10 July 2024

Book Series: 

Claudia Burgoa takes us back to Kentbury this week with a brand new summer romance, and I have a little sneak peek for you.

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Excerpt

Growing up in a small town, trust came naturally to me. It was almost expected that you would know everyone and anyone, which is why I didn’t hesitate to accept the McFolleys’ invitation for dinner.

As I sat at their table, surrounded by the warmth of family and the delicious smells of home-cooking, I learned that they were actually Genie’s grandchildren. The same Genie who owned Kneady Kentbury Bakes, my favorite place in town. Memories flooded back of spending summers there, learning how to decorate cookies and indulging in their mouth-watering pastries.

I discovered that they were six siblings who had only recently found out about their grandmother. Three of them—McKay, Lou, and Paul—had already made the move to Kentbury while Sinclair had just arrived the day before. Though he didn’t plan on staying long.

I was bursting with questions for all of them but held back, not wanting to intrude on their family reunion. Perhaps I would have a chance to ask them later on, after figuring out my own plans that don’t involve help from the McFolleys. Surely someone in town would be kind enough to let me stay in their guest room until I could return to my apartment.

After dinner, the McFolleys kindly dropped me off at the Bed and Breakfast where I had made reservations. It was slightly unsettling how much they knew about me and my family, but it seemed par for the course in a small town like Kentbury.

I wonder if Ruby knows about them.

Are Knightly Harris and her still close?

I remember her coming to Lee’s wedding and sending her a present when her little boy was born. There are so many questions, but maybe I’ll ask her tomorrow.

Even though I know it’s late and I should head to sleep after my shower, I can’t resist the urge to go downstairs to the cozy living room. As soon as I step into the space, a warm and comforting scent of freshly baked cookies greets me, enveloping me in its delicious aroma.

The living room feels like a big, cozy hug. The fireplace crackles and dances, casting flickering golden light over the armchairs and sofa, making them look even more inviting. It’s as if they’re beckoning me to come closer, relax, and forget about my worries for a while. The whole room exudes charm, with its eclectic mix of old-timey photos and funky local artwork that add character and warmth to the space. I can practically imagine myself grabbing a mug of hot cocoa and curling up on the couch with a good book.

My eyes are drawn to the tray of cookies displayed on the coffee table, showcasing an array of flavors like chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, and what appears to be snickerdoodles. My hand automatically reaches for a perfectly golden chocolate chip cookie, its edges slightly crisp but with a soft center that melts in your mouth. Just as I’m about to take a bite, my gaze lands on him—Sinclair McFolley.

He’s leaning casually against the doorway with a mug of steaming coffee in his hand, watching me with an amused yet unreadable expression on his face. My heart skips a beat and I feel a rush of heat flood my cheeks.

“Good choice,” he remarks, nodding toward the cookie in my hand with a hint of a smirk playing on his lips.

I can’t help but take a moment to really look at him. This is the first time I’ve seen him without his guard up. Sinclair is undeniably attractive, with an intense and smoldering look that seems to simmer just beneath the surface. His dark hair is effortlessly styled, as if he’s just run his fingers through it, and his chiseled jawline could probably cut glass. Underneath his tight black t-shirt, I can see defined muscles and an impressive set of abs. I swallow hard, trying to push away the fluttery feeling in my stomach as I meet his piercing gaze.

But it’s his eyes that truly capture my attention. A deep, mesmerizing blue, they seem to have a life of their own—seeing through the façade and walls I have carefully constructed. I can feel myself getting lost in them for just a moment, before snapping back to reality with a mental scolding.

“My apologies, I didn’t mean to stare,” I say, trying to regain composure. But his presence is unsettling in a way I can’t quite define. His tall form fills the room, emanating an aura of confidence and mystery.

“I guess I needed a little sweetness after everything,” I confess, my voice betraying me as it softens. Taking a bite of the cookie, the warmth of gooey chocolate and buttery goodness spreads in my mouth, eliciting a small moan of pleasure.

Sinclair’s response is equally breathy, his voice low and rough around the edges. “Sometimes, a little indulgence is exactly what you need to get through the tough times.”

I nod in agreement, unable to trust myself to speak further. There’s something about his words—a hint of understanding and shared experience—that makes me wonder if there’s more to this man than meets the eye. But I quickly banish those thoughts from my mind; men are off-limits for now, especially after my recent breakup.

As if sensing my inner turmoil, Sinclair speaks up again, his tone hinting at a deeper meaning behind his words. “I know what it’s like to need a little escape from reality.” My curiosity piqued, as I take another bite of my cookie, raising an eyebrow at Sinclair. “I thought you were going to stay in the lake house,” I say, observing him with a curious gaze.

A sheepish smile forms on his lips as he admits, “Well, we moved the mattress into the house so I could sleep there tonight. But we didn’t have time to clean it because something—or someone—unexpected happened.” He shakes his head, a wry smile playing on his lips.

The thought of Sinclair sleeping in a strange new place even if it was my childhood home brings a sense of comfort to my mind, but I quickly push it away. I can’t afford to let my guard down, not with such a complicated and intriguing man as Sinclair.

“Why not stay with your brother then?” I inquire, my eyes never leaving his face.

Sinclair’s gaze narrows and he presses his lips together before responding. “Honestly, I think he’s dating someone and didn’t want me there to notice.” He takes a sip of his coffee before continuing, “And before you ask why I didn’t ask my sisters, it’s pretty simple. McKay is in the honeymoon stage and I don’t want to know anything about her sex life—or accidentally catch a live show. And Lou’s children are a little too inquisitive for my taste. I can only take so many hours of their questions.”

I smack my lips and let out a laugh. “That’s impossible.”

“Believe me, they’re that curious,” he insists.

“No, I mean your brother Paul dating someone and keeping it low key,” I clarify. “If he was indeed seeing someone, the entire town would know. We’re experts at figuring out situationships and spreading rumors.” I give him a conspiratorial wink, feeling more comfortable with him now.

“Right, you’re part of the town,” he acknowledges with a nod. “But you still haven’t told us why you left—” His eyes wander over my figure, lingering a little too long on my curves. “Better yet, what brought you back?

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Kentbury Tales - Recommended Reading Order

(standalone duets with interconnected characters)

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NBJ WEEKLY RECAP – 9 Jul 2024

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