With: Lea Hart
Congratulations to "Taurus", the winner in Lea's giveaway. Please contact JUST CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE to claim your prize!
So happy to join y’all today and share Rick and Emily’s story. I enjoyed writing this small town, romance and hope this enemy to lovers tale will give you a bit of happy in this crazy time were living in. I’ve filled this second-chance love story with laughter, high-stake shenanigans and enough slow-burning love to make you swoon.
Are you ready for a little preview? Settle in because this alpha hero and sassy heroine are going to keep you entertained.
Rick Blakely is enjoying being back on the family’s Texan ranch. After ten years in the Navy SEALs—and another one working through the damage they caused—he’s grateful his days are no longer filled with chaos and danger.
His peace and quiet ends the second the new vet pulls up to the ranch. Emily Conner has driven him up a wall since grade school, and their fights are legendary in these parts. Fate must be laughing at his expense—something he’ll be discussing with the man upstairs just as soon as he can tear his eyes away from Em’s very fine ass...
When Emily agreed to go out to the Blakely Ranch, she prayed fervently that her former nemesis was: A) not in residence, B) mute, or C) ugly as sin. Rick, of course, is none of these things, and she’s torn between wanting to throttle him and tear off his clothes to see whether what’s underneath is just as hot. Which will not happen. The man is nothing but trouble.
The town is taking bets. Rick and Em are either going to end up in jail or in bed. Likely both. How many bottles of tequila, visits from the sheriff, and family meddling it takes to get there is a whole other question...
Ready for a little excerpt…
More weight disappeared, and he let out a laugh. “Missed the hell out of you Stitches.”
“That’s hard to believe since I haven’t heard a word from you since you left for college.”
“I knew if I kept in touch, I never would’ve been able to stay way.”
Confusion clouded her eyes and he knew the sooner he could manage the overdue explanation he owed her, the better.
“Now that were going to be around one another from time to time, I hope we have a chance to get reacquainted and talk about what happened all those years ago.”
Emily stroked the horse’s nose and then wrinkled her own. “I’m more than happy to leave the past where it is. I also don’t know that I’m interested in keeping company with someone who used to tug my pigtails.” She pulled her long braid over her shoulder and twirled the end. “You also insulted me within a minute of meeting and told me I looked like a horse.”
“I can’t believe you remember that.”
“It would be impossible not to, since it was the first thing you ever said to me. My sweet little-innocent heart was all but crushed by your mean words.” Emily pressed her hands to her chest and sighed. “It’s a miracle that I survived the experience.”
He rocked back on the heel of his boot and let out a chuckle. “You hauled off and punched me in the stomach and then told everyone I smelled like a stinky cow, so you weren’t crushed for long.” He lifted her silky braid. “I thought your honey blond hair was the prettiest thing I’d ever seen, and my horse was my favorite thing, so...”
She blinked. “You trying to tell me you were being nice?”
“No, since I hated your know-it-all attitude and prissy ways and wanted nothing more than to put you in your place.” Sensing a shift in the energy, he leaned in and heard her sharp intake of breath. “Do you still know best, Emily?”
Her eyes widened…and darkened. Yes. Countless things had changed in the years they spent apart, but the current of energy they’d always seemed to share was the same. Maybe even a bit more potent, if he wasn’t mistaken.
After a long, tense moment during which Rick seriously contemplated kissing the hell out of that sweet mouth, Emily smoothed out his shirt and stepped back. “Not as often as I used to.”
“Well, that’s good news.” Maybe he’d finally get the chance to prove to her that he knew best. About them. He let her braid slip through his fingers and then traced the small scar on her chin. “I never thought you’d follow me into that fallen down shack to see if the ghost sightings were true.”
She lifted her chin. “You suggested I wasn’t brave enough to confront the apparitions.
Had I known the floor was all but rotted, I would’ve kept my big mouth shut and stayed home.” She tagged the lead rope off the tie bar and held it out.
“Live and learn, that’s all we can do.” He took the rope she offered and felt the mare press her head into his hand. “Patience, girl. All the good things in life take time.”
Emily gave him a world-class eyeroll and he threw her a cocksure smile in response, knowing the time he’d spent getting his mind and soul back together had been worth it. They were two hard surfaces that ground against each other, creating the type of resistance that produced a spark capable of ignition.
Sometimes it worked in their favor and other times, not so much.
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