~☆Summer Reading Event☆~ Sara Richardson

 

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Sara Richardson’s Summer Reading List

During the summer, I spend a lot of time with my kids at the pool. It’s always a great way to wear out two active boys! J While they burn all of their energy I love to set myself up in the shade and read. Here are a few of the books I’m most looking forward to this summer:

Matchmaking for Beginners by Maddie Dawson – I love matchmaking stories! Throw in the twist of the main character receiving an inheritance from her ex-husband’s great aunt, and I’m hooked. Maddie is a new-to-me author and I can’t wait to dive in!

The Cottages on Silver Beach by RaeAnne Thayne RaeAnne’s books are always a one-click buy for me. Every story promises emotional depth, engaging characters, and that heartwarming charm she’s known for.

Good Luck With That by Kristan Higgins – Kristan is my go-to author for all the feels wrapped up in one fabulous story. When I have one of her books in my hands, I never fail to laugh and cry and feel everything right along with the characters.

Rainy Day Friends by Jill Shalvis  – Jill Shalvis is a master at developing relatable, three-dimensional characters. No matter what the story is about, the characters always pull me into their world and keep me engaged until the last page.

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang – Everyone seems to be talking about this book! I always love a heroine who is determined to overcome challenges, and I’m fascinated with the issues this book explores. Besides that, I’m always a sucker for a good love story.

 

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True-Blue Cowboy, part of Sara Richardson’s Rocky Mountain Rider series, is available on July 31, 2018.

Book link: https://www.hachettebookgroup.com/titles/sara-richardson/true-blue-cowboy/9781538712245/

About Sara Richardson: Sara Richardson grew up chasing adventure in Colorado’s rugged mountains. After a brief stint in the corporate writing world, she stopped ignoring the voices in her head and started writing fiction. Now she uses her experience as a mountain adventure guide to write stories that incorporate adventure with romance. Sara lives and plays in Colorado with her saint of a husband and two young sons. For more on Sara and her books, please visit sararichardson.com.

 

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~☆Summer Reading with RC Ryan☆~

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Favorite book set at the beach?

R.C: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

 

Is there a subgenre or trope that you have never written but would like to?

R.C.: Shape-shifters. I have an amazing character in mind who would make a fabulous thriller.

 

What is your all-time favorite summer tune?

R.C.: She wore an itsy bitsy, teeny weeny, yellow polka dot bikini… Oh no. Now it’s going to play through my mind all day.

 

What is your best summer memory?

R.C.: Long car trips to see my relatives in Canada. There was a log cottage on a lake with a big dormitory room for the kids. We swam in a frigid lake, climbed trees, chased chipmunks. Pure kid heaven.

 

If you could choose a vacation destination for the couple in your new book, where would it be and why?

R.C.: I’d choose their honeymoon destination – all alone on Ben’s piece of land in the hills, with just mustangs and all manner of wild animals for their nearest neighbors. Heavenly.

 

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Cowboy on My Mind by R.C. Ryan will be available on June 26, 2018.

 

Buy link:

 

https://www.forever-romance.com/titles/r-c-ryan/cowboy-on-my-mind/9781538711149/

 

About R.C. Ryan: New York Times bestselling author R.C. Ryan has written more than ninety novels, both contemporary and historical. R.C. Ryan is a pseudonym of New York Times bestselling author Ruth Ryan Langan. For more information on R.C. and her books, please visit RuthLangan.com.

 

 

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~☆New Release & Excerpt☆~Dirty Talking Cowboy by Stacey Kennedy

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DIRTY-TALKING COWBOY

by Stacey Kennedy

SMP Swerve

Publication Date: June 5, 2018

ISBN: 9781250137203 Price: $3.99

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Description

Emma Monroe has returned to River Rock, Colorado, after the death of her grandmother. Now she’s inherited a farm full of abused animals and she’s working as a waitress at the local hotspot, Kinky Spurs. The last thing Emma wants in her life is a man, as she’s still recovering from a recent heartbreak. But when a sensual and powerful cowboy, Shep Blackshaw enters her life, Emma begins to want things she shouldn’t.

 

Shep knows sex shouldn’t be on his mind. He’s got a world of responsibility on his shoulders. He’s attempting to save his late father’s cattle ranch, Blackshaw Cattle Company, from foreclosure. But Emma’s heated reactions to his touch make ignoring her impossible. She’s the perfect distraction to make him forget that his father’s company is a sinking ship.

 

While their nights only heat up, soon emotions become tangled into the mix. Shep’s not only giving Emma the hottest nights of her life, he’s also healing her heart. With every encounter, she forgets her heartbreak. With every naughty adventure, she stops mourning the life she left behind. And with every dirty word whispered from Shep’s mouth, she stops thinking of all the reasons why she shouldn’t fall for him. But when the past comes to claim Emma, she’ll need to choose between the life she thought she wanted and the life she’s grown to love with Shep. How will she say no to forever with a dirty-talking cowboy.

 

Author Bios

USA Today bestselling author Stacey Kennedy has written more than forty romances, including titles in her wildly hot Kinky Spurs, Club Sin, and Filthy Dirty Love series. Her books are about real people with real-life problems, searching for that special thing we call love…in a very sexy way. When she’s not burning up the pages and setting e-readers ablaze, she’s living her happily ever after with her husband and two young children in southwestern Ontario. She’s a firm believer that wine, chocolate, and sinfully sexy books can cure all of life’s problems.

 

Authors Links

Website: www.staceykennedy.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/authorstaceykennedy

Twitter: twitter.com/Stacey_Kennedy

 

Buy Links

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Dirty-Talking-Cowboy-Kinky-Spurs-Novel-ebook/dp/B079DWZ4FQ

B&N: www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dirty-talking-cowboy-stacey-kennedy/1128097344?ean=9781250168429

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/dirty-talking-cowboy/id1341741512

Kobo: www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/dirty-talking-cowboy

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=UJNJDwAAQBAJ

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✫★EXCERPT★✫

Emma spun on her heels, opened her mouth, then promptly closed it. All sadness fled in a millisecond.

Leaning against the doorframe, Shep wore only his jeans, no shirt in sight. Oh my fucking God. Dream Shep had nothing on the real thing. Anyone could tell that Shep worked hard for a living. He didn’t seem the type of man that would spend hours in the gym, indicating his job was the reason he was built for hard labor. His wide shoulders, squared chest, gloriously perfect six-pack with deep ridges made for exploring fingers—all of it was mouthwateringly hot.

His voice deepened into a low rumbly tone. “Darlin’, you really need to stop looking at me like that.”

She lifted her gaze to his potent stare. Heat rose to her cheeks. “I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be sorry.” The side of his mouth curved, like he knew the power he had over her. “I happen to enjoy watching you eye-fuck me, but you’re making it hard for me to be a gentleman.”

Her knees weakened, heart raced. How tempting it was to engulf this fiery passion burning between them, not run from it. And how confusing was that? No more casual sex, wasn’t that what she said? She knew where relationships like that ended up, nowhere good. Yet, her mouth parted, and out came, “What if I don’t want you to be a gentleman?”

Something fierce crossed his expression then, darkening his eyes. He stepped forward, bringing all that strong manly heat in close. He smelled of rain and wood and all that was perfect in this world. He dipped his head, and all she had to do was reach out and touch him. “What exactly do you want from me, Emma?” His lips were right there. His naked flesh, right there. “Do you want me to take control of you and roughly take what’s mine for the night?”

His sexy smile revealed a horrible truth. She nearly melted into the floor. “Oh, dear Lord, I told you about my dream?” Please say no. Please say no.

He lifted his hand, gently dragging his knuckles across her cheek. “Ah, but I happen to like that dream you had and shared with me.” He slid his thumb across her chin, tilting her head up to stare deeply into his gorgeous eyes. “You still haven’t answered me. Do you want me to kiss you slowly, savoring every little bit of your mouth?” His thumb brushed across the plumpest part of her bottom lip. “Or shall I punish you with my kiss, making you regret that you ever turned me down?” The heat of his body sizzled against her as he leaned in closer, his warm breath across her mouth. “Tell me, Emma, shall I tie you up with my ropes like I already have? Do you remember what that felt like? Did you like it, sweetheart?”

“You know I liked it,” she managed, breathless.

His grin was pure sin. “You’re right, I do know that.” He dragged his knuckles over her flushing cheek again, seemingly touching her soul-deep. Her mouth parted, breaths became heavier when he ran the pads of his fingers slowly down her arms, the power he exuded like a wall of strength in front of her. “Tell me, Emma,” he finished.

The words nearly fell out of her mouth. She wanted to experience his brand of passion. She got the feeling if she let go with him, he’d deliver where others had failed. Almost as if he’d take away all the pain, all the confusion, and silence her fears.

Her mouth parted to say, Make me forget it all. The words died in her throat. Her fears were bigger and stronger than her desire. She’d been fooled by one man before. The icy cold reminder still splintered her heart, there and unavoidable. “I can’t,” she said softly.

“You can’t.” There was no disappointment in his voice, only firmness. “Then I can’t.”

He took her hand into the strength of his, and she slowly opened her eyes, her breath catching at the contained power in his expression.

Shep breathed sex and passion, and the danger of him presented itself to her. Causal sex was one thing, but she got the feeling Shep didn’t do causal sex. He was pure emotion, total connection, and all intimacy. He’d wrap her up emotionally and take everything she had, and when he was finished with her, he’d demand more.

With his eyes locked onto hers, he led her from the bedroom. Once in the hallway, he turned to her, leaned in, and placed a soft kiss on her forehead. “Good night, Emma.”

She could finally breathe again. “Good night, Shep.”

Then with that blazing-hot gaze pinning her to where she stood, he shut the bedroom door, leaving her, and all her thoughts, alone in the quiet hallway.

 

 

 

 

~☆Review & Excerpt☆~ Fighting for Everything by Laura Kaye

 

From New York Times bestselling author Laura Kaye, comes the first standalone title in her brand, new Warrior Fight Club series, FIGHTING FOR EVERYTHING. Join the Warrior Fight Club world today!

 

 

Loving her is the biggest fight of his life…

Home from the Marines, Noah Cortez has a secret he doesn’t want his oldest friend, Kristina Moore, to know. It kills him to push her away, especially when he’s noticing just how sexy and confident she’s become in his absence. But, angry and full of fight, he’s not the same man anymore either. Which is why Warrior Fight Club sounds so good.

Kristina loves teaching, but she wants more out of life. She wants Noah—the boy she’s crushed on and waited for. Except Noah is all man now—in ways both oh so good and troubling, too. Still, she wants who he’s become—every war-hardened inch. And when they finally stop fighting their attraction, it’s everything Kristina never dared hope for.

But Noah is secretly spiraling, and when he lashes out, it threatens what he and Kristina have found. The brotherhood of the fight club helps him confront his demons, but only Noah can convince the woman he loves that he’s finally ready to fight for everything.

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✫★REVIEW★✫

Laura Kaye’s new Warrior Fight Club series begins with a bang in Fighting for Everything.  At times this book is hard to read; it is totally wrenching.  Building on a friends to lovers trope it is really more about figuring out how to love who you are:  warts and all.  It is only when you accept yourself can you accept someone else.  I highly recommend it, but be prepared, the PTSD is strong with this one and cannot be taken lightly.

 

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✫★EXCERPT:  No Good Right Now★✫

“I’m no good right now, Kristina,” Noah said in a low voice.

She shook her head. “That’s not true. You’ve been through something horrible. And you’re still recovering. Still hurting. That’s all understandable—”

“I am fucked in the head. You saw it yourself. Twice,” he said, his voice suddenly loud, bitter. Under her hands, his muscles tensed.

“You are not fucked in the head,” she said, anger and determination gathering deep in her belly. Not anger at Noah, but irrational anger for him. She hated that things had happened to him that left him feeling this way. So out of control, so sad, so unlike himself. “Sure, you have things you’re dealing with. And you will get a handle on them—”

“No,” he said, shaking her off and pacing in the narrow space behind the door. “You don’t understand. I’m…” Noah’s hands squeezed into fists at his sides. “…so goddamned angry. All the time. It feels like I could tear the world to pieces. And I want to.” He whirled on her. “Because the perfection of everything around me makes me feel so much more wrecked inside that I can barely breathe.”

 Oh, God.

Tears pricked at the backs of her eyes, but she wouldn’t let them fall. She wouldn’t let herself fall apart. Not now. Not in front of him. Not when Noah needed to lean on her so damn badly. “The world around you is not perfect, Noah. It’s an illusion. And you are not wrecked—”

“I am.” He got right up in her face.

Kristina held her ground. “You’re not—”

“I am!”

“Noah—”

He grabbed her by the arms, not so much that it hurt, but with enough force that it surprised her. “Here’s your proof. I want to fuck you, Kristina. I want to bury myself in you and stay there forever. Just lose myself in you until I don’t know who I am anymore. I’ve been fantasizing about it, dreaming about it, imagining it. Having you is all I can fucking think about. Do you understand what I’m saying?”

Noah’s words unleashed a flash fire in Kristina’s blood. Her heart tripped into a sprint. Her breathing shallowed out. Heat roared across her skin. One heartbeat. Two. And Kristina knew what she had to do.

Acting on instinct, she pulled out of Noah’s grip and stepped backward. Away from his confession. Away from him.

 

 

And don’t miss the second standalone romance in the Warrior Fight Club series coming August 7, 2018, FIGHTING FOR WHAT’S HIS

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Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty books in contemporary and erotic romance and romantic suspense, including the Blasphemy, Hard Ink, and Raven Riders series. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. Laura also writes historical fiction as the NYT bestselling author, Laura Kamoie. She lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

 

 

 

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~☆Review & Excerpt☆~ Hooked on You by Kate Meader

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Book details

The Chicago Rebels series, Book 4

The eBook is on sale May 7, 2018!

The mass market is on sale May 29, 2018!

Mass Market Paperback • Price: $9.99 • ISBN: 9781501168574

eBook • Price: $5.99 • ISBN: 9781501180903

Hooked On You, book cover

Book description

Violet Vasquez never met her biological father, so learning he left his beloved hockey franchise—the Chicago Rebels—to her is, well, unexpected. Flat broke and close to homeless, Violet is determined to make the most of this sudden opportunity. Except dear old dad set conditions that require she takes part in actually running the team with the half-sisters she barely knows. Working with these two strangers and overseeing a band of hockey-playing lugs is not on her agenda…until she lays eyes on the Rebels captain and knows she has to have him.

Bren St. James has been labeled a lot of things: the Puck Prince, Lord of the Ice, Hell’s Highlander…but it’s the latest tag that’s making headlines: washed-up alcoholic has-been. This season, getting his life back on track and winning the Cup are his only goals. With no time for relationships—except the fractured ones he needs to rebuild with his beautiful daughters—he’s finding it increasingly hard to ignore sexy, all-up-in-his-beard Violet Vasquez. And when he finds himself in need of a nanny just as the playoffs are starting, he’s faced with a temptation he could so easily get hooked on.

For two lost souls, there’s more on the line than just making the best of a bad situation… there might also be a shot at the biggest prize of all: love.

✫★REVIEW★✫

Calling all fans of the Las Vegas Golden Knights and their Cinderella journey to the Stanley Cup Finals…  Kate Meader’s last installment in the Chicago Rebels series, Hooked on You should be your next read.  Filled with heart, an underdog hockey team run by women that no one took seriously, and the perfect team of misfits, this book has it all; there is even a cameo by a reader favorite couple from the Fighting Dempsey’s.  I have loved this series from the beginning and reading it during Finals was absolutely perfect.

 

Kate Meader, author photo

About the author

Originally from Ireland, Kate Meader cut her romance reader teeth on Maeve Binchy and Jilly Cooper novels, with some Harlequins thrown in for variety. Give her tales about brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron, a fire hose, or a hockey stick, and she’s there. Now based in Chicago, she writes sexy contemporary romance with alpha heroes and strong heroines (and heroes) who can match their men quip for quip. Visit her at KateMeader.com.

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✫★EXERPT★✫

She blew out a breath that was half growl, picked up a can of Italian wedding soup, and examined the ingredient list like she was studying for a test. Why wasn’t she taking this opportunity to get under his skin using those taunts that tripped off her tongue like sensual ninja knives?

“Have I offended you in some way, Violet?”

Keeping her chin dipped, she shook her head, but it was a shake of disbelief, not of disagreement with his question.

“Violet, look at me.”

Glittering eyes snapped to his, in them a flash of something—a visceral response to his demand—but it was gone so quickly that even the rewind called him a liar.

“Has something happened?”

“Look, St. James, you and I have never meshed, so we don’t need to pretend to get along. We just ran into each other at the store and you ‘saved’ me from the unseemly interest of a fellow shopper. ¡Maravilloso! ¡Gracias! Now you can take your steel buns and your sexy scowl off in the opposite direction.”

Color flagged her cheeks, making her olive skin glow. She was furious, and he still didn’t know why. He was also furious, and he had a better idea of the reason.

She’d changed the social contract. They’d been moseying along with her teasing and taunting and flirting, and him acting like it was the worst thing ever to happen to him. Like Violet’s attention was a fresh slice of hell, because in a way it was. She reminded him of everything he couldn’t have. She reminded him of the man he used to be. His body came alive around her, and alive was dangerous. Alive was the opposite of numb, and numb was his best defense against the demons whispering in his ear.

One drink won’t hurt. Thirst like yours can’t be quenched with anything but whiskey.

If he allowed himself to want her, it was a slippery slope to succumbing to the demons at the door. Of course he couldn’t tell her this, so instead he latched on to her words.

“Steel buns?” There was also “sexy scowl,” but he figured he’d start with the ass stuff.

She rolled her eyes, then coasted those same eyes down his body, half hidden by the grocery cart. “As if you don’t know.”

“That I have an ass you could bounce a puck off of?” He twisted to check himself out. “S’pose I do, lass.”

She burst out laughing and muttered something in Spanish.

“What’s that?”

“Not for your ears, Scot.”

One day she’d tell him. One day, he’d get it out of her, preferably while her body arched into his and his body drove into hers.

 

~☆Release Day☆~ Chef Sugarlips by Tawna Fenske

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Get Chef Sugarlips on Amazon:  https://amzn.to/2r8s0WO
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Sean Bracelyn can whip up a saffron-laced lobster risotto in his sleep, but relationships? That’s one recipe he hasn’t nailed. Not that he has time, between launching a new restaurant and building a luxury resort with his awkwardly-blended family. But when his dream girl nearly knocks him unconscious with a dead turkey, it’s all Sean can do to keep his eyes on the gazpacho and off Amber King’s perfect curves.

Amber’s done with guys propping her on a pedestal. Transforming her family’s reindeer ranch into a country chic wedding venue is consuming enough, and the last thing she needs is an extra serving of love drama. So what is it about the stupid-sexy chef that gets her desires bubbling like a pot of hot spaghetti?

Keeping their distance is tough enough before Sean and Amber get tossed together by wacky weddings, lingerie mishaps, and a surly three-legged cat. When Sean’s mom shows up to dish out huge helpings of family drama, a big secret threatens to spread faster than a kitchen fire.

Can Sean and Amber find the right blend of sugar and spice, or will love fall flat as a burnt soufflé?

~☆Review & Excerpt☆~ Caught Up in a Cowboy by Jennie Marts

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 CVR Caught Up in a Cowboy

Title: Caught Up in a Cowboy

Author: Jennie Marts

Series: Cowboys of Creedence, #1

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

Genre: Contemporary Western

 

This cowboy plays to win

 

Rockford James was raised as a tried-and-true cowboy in a town crazy about ice hockey. Rock is as hot on the ice as he is on a horse, and the NHL snapped him up. Now, injuries have permanently benched him. Body and pride wounded, he returns to his hometown ranch to find that a lot has changed. The one thing that hasn’t? His feelings for high school sweetheart and girl-next-door Quinn Rivers.

 

Quinn had no choice but to get over Rock after he left. Teenaged and heartbroken, she had a rebound one night stand that ended in single motherhood. Now that Rock’s back—and clamoring for a second chance—Quinn will do anything to avoid getting caught up in this oh-so-tempting cowboy…

 

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | IndieBound

 

✫★REVIEW★✫

I think that Rockford James is my new favorite hockey player.  While he is pictured as a cowboy on the cover, I fell in love with his hockey side fast.  Marts easy writing style had me captured from the first page.  Rock and Quinn are a fun, second chance couple that kept me turning pages.  There were a couple points that I wanted Quinn and Rock just to talk to each other, but Marts doesn’t draw those moments out.  I am completely hooked on this series and can’t wait for the next installment.

 

✫★ABOUT★✫

Jennie Marts is the USA Today bestselling author of award-winning books filled with love, laughter, and always a happily ever after. She is living her own happily ever after in the mountains of Colorado with her husband, two dogs, and a parakeet that loves to tweet to the oldies. She’s addicted to Diet Coke, adores Cheetos, and believes you can’t have too many books, shoes, or friends. Find her online at jenniemarts.com.

 

Find Jennie Online:

Website: http://www.jenniemarts.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JennieMartsBooks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JennieMarts

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6876233.Jennie_Marts

 

 

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Caught Up in a Cowboy_ Rockford James

 

✫★EXCERPT★✫

He snuck a glance at her as he drove past the barn. Her wavy hair was pulled back in a ponytail, but wisps of it had come loose and fell across her neck in little curls. She looked good—really good. A thick chunk of regret settled in his gut, and he knew letting her go had been the biggest mistake of his life.

It wasn’t the first time he’d thought it. Images of Quinn haunted his dreams, and he often wondered what it would be like now if only he’d brought her with him instead of leaving her behind. If he had her to wave to in the stands at his games or to come home to at night instead of an empty house. But he’d screwed that up, and he felt the remorse every time he returned to Rivers Gulch.

He’d been young and arrogant—thought he had the world by the tail. Scouts had come sniffing around when he was in high school, inflating his head and his own self-importance. And once he started playing in the big leagues, everything about this small town—including Quinn—had just seemed…well…small. Too small for a big shot like him.

He was just a kid—and an idiot. But by the time he’d realized his mistake and come back for her, it was too late.

Hindsight was a mother.

And so was Quinn.

Easing the car up in front of the house, he took in the festive balloons and streamers tied to the railings along the porch. So much of the house looked the same, the long porch that ran the length of the house, the wooden rocking chairs, and the swing hanging from the end.

They’d spent a lot of time on that swing, his arm around her, talking and laughing, as his foot slowly pushed them back and forth.

She opened the car door, but he put a hand on her arm and offered her one of his most charming smiles. “It’s good to see you, Quinn. You look great. Even in a pirate outfit.”

Her eyes widened and she blinked at him, for once not having a sarcastic reply. He watched her throat shift as she swallowed, and he yearned to reach out and run his fingers along her slender neck.

“Well, thanks for the lift.” She turned away and stepped out of the car.

Pushing open his door, he got out and reached for the bicycle, lifting it out of the back seat before she had a chance. He carried it around and set it on the ground in front of her. “I’d like to meet him. You know, Max. If that’s okay.”

“You would?” Her voice was soft, almost hopeful, but still held a note of suspicion. “Why?”

He ran a hand through his hair and let out a sigh. He’d been rehearsing what he was going to say as they drove up to the ranch, but now his mouth had gone dry. The collar of his cotton T-shirt clung to his neck, and he didn’t know what to do with his hands.

Dang—he hadn’t had sweaty palms since he was in high school. He wiped them on his jeans. He was known for his charm and usually had a way with women, but not this woman. This one had him tongue-tied and nervous as a teenager.

He shoved his hands in his pockets. “Listen Quinn, I know I screwed up. I was young and stupid and a damn fool. And I’m sorrier than I could ever say. But I can’t go back and fix it. All I can do is move forward. I miss this place. I miss having you in my life. I’d like to at least be your friend.”

She opened her mouth, and he steeled himself for her to tell him to go jump in the lake. Or worse. But she didn’t. She looked up at him, her eyes searching his face, as if trying to decide if he was serious or not. “Why now? After all these years?”

He shrugged, his gaze drifting as he stared off at the distant green pastures. He’d let this go on too long, let the hurt fester. It was time to make amends—to at least try. He looked back at her, trying to express his sincerity. “Why not? Isn’t it about time?”

She swallowed again and gave a small nod of her head. A tiny flicker of hope lit in his gut as he waited for her response.

He could practically see her thinking—watch the emotions cross her face in the furrow of her brow and the way she chewed on her bottom lip. Oh man, he loved it when she did that—the way she sucked her bottom lip under her front teeth always did crazy things to his insides.

“Okay. We can try being friends.” She gave him a sidelong glance, the hint of a smile tugging at the corner of her mouth. “On one condition.”

Uh oh. Conditions were never good.