How can two simple words make Dylan Bronstad’s heartache and sing at the same time?
Even seven years ago, Kelly Anne Leeson had possessed that power. Back then, all Dylan wanted to do was drink and make love to her. Really, it was no wonder she’d climbed out of his bed and walked out of his life, leaving him with nothing but a nasty hangover and the lonely memories of their time together.
Today, Dylan’s life is on track. He’s sober with the support of his family and his tight-knit group of friends. But Kelly could derail all he’s worked to accomplish. Unfortunately, he can’t seem to stay away from her.
Lured by the offer of her dream job, Kelly returns home to Crawford Falls and the friends she’d abandoned a lifetime ago. Mending those broken relationships will require some honest answers and a fair amount of forgiveness.
But facing Dylan will take a lot more—like maybe a suit of armor to protect her battle-weary heart and the secret she fears she’ll never be able to keep.
While Kelly searches for a way to maintain the safe life she’s created for her son, Dylan works to remind her of the relationship they once had.
Just as they rekindle their relationship, secrets and half-truths threaten to destroy everything.

“Isn’t that your turn?” she asked, huffing embarrassingly loud when they passed the county road and made their way up a fairly steep incline.
“I’m running you home.”
“Don’t need to. I’m a big girl, you know?” Kelly could feel his lazy perusal from her head down to her toes and back again. She was sweaty and gross, and he was checking her out. Unbelievable.
“Mmm. Yes, I know,” he said.
They ran in silence the rest of the way because it was just too damn hard for her to talk. And he knew it. When they reached the top of the hill and turned onto her street, he said, “Let’s cool down.” They slowed their pace to a casual walk. “I never get to run with anyone. That was nice.”
“But you cut your run short for me. And it’s obvious, you’re in far better shape than I am, given that you can actually talk and run at the same time.”
Dylan just laughed at her comment, clasping his hand with hers, lacing their fingers together. “Go out with me, Kelly Anne. I’ve missed you, and I really want to get to know you again.”
The feel of his hand in hers and that sweet invitation sent a familiar surge of excitement through her. Kelly’s heart squeezed and her stomach did that little flip-flop rollercoaster thing again. As always, her body seemed to respond so naturally to Dylan’s attention. Or perhaps foolishly was a more appropriate definition of her response. While he apparently had warm memories of their time together, to her their relationship had been like watching an incredible firework display—spectacular, bright, loud—and then she’d been plunged into a dark, silent night all alone.
Kelly came to a stop near the side of her mom’s house and turned to face him, sucking in a deep breath and trying to ignore the nice hum of arousal playing through her body. “Jesse’s your best friend, right?” She didn’t wait, because she knew the answer. “Do you hold his hand like this when the two of you are together?” Classic Dylan reaction. He burst into laughter and then released her hand to give her a brief hug. When he stepped back, he wore that expression that generally got him exactly what he wanted. Kelly sighed and shook her head. “No, Dylan. I’m not interested in dating.”
Dylan moved in closer, tilting her chin up with one finger so she’d be forced to meet his eyes. Why did he insist on touching her like that? It did crazy things to her brain, not to mention the fact that it all but melted her resolve. “You’re kidding me. Come on, Kelly Anne. We were great together. Why not try it again?”

Sixteen years ago their lives were ripped apart...

Whisked away from her beloved home as a child and raised by her elderly relatives on the Pacific Coast, Kendall Aasgaard has learned to roll with the punches. She’s strong, resilient, and independent. But when Kendall finds herself in more trouble than she can handle, her survival instincts tell her to run. She turns to the person she trusts the most—Ben Montgomery.

Ben has it all—a thriving construction business, all the toys a bachelor could want, and a steady stream of brunettes to warm his bed. Love, however, is something Ben has permanently relegated to his past. 

When playful, unreserved Kendall lands on his doorstep—or more accurately, in his bed—Ben realizes that his heart has no intention of following some arbitrary rule he’d instituted sixteen years ago. And if Kendall gets her way, she’d abolish that rule altogether to claim Ben’s heart for herself.

But as the threat to Kendall intensifies, Ben is faced with an adversary of his own who is determined to destroy Montgomery Construction. 

Together, they’ll fight for a future that is more than the tragedy that binds them.

Ben pointed to the pot in the corner. “I’d say make yourself at home, but from your attire, I see you already have. Breakfast is almost ready.” He turned to retrieve the toast when it popped, grumbling something about a hangover and unexpected company. She chose to ignore it.
“You’re kind of surly in the morning, Ben. That’s something I didn’t know about you,” she said when he handed her a plate with a stack of buttered toast and pointed in the general direction of the eating area.
Ben followed her with two plates heaped with scrambled eggs and two sausage links each and set one in front of her before he settled into the seat across from her. “Well, last time you saw me you were eight years old. I’d wager that there are plenty of details about me you don’t know.”
“Oh, Ben, you’d be surprised what I know.” She felt her lips curl into a knowing smile at the secret knowledge she held.
He cocked his head to the side and studied her, seeming to consider her comment. Even without his amused expression and sexy dimples, Ben was an attractive man. His dark brown hair with the slightest wave fell over his left brow, and he pushed it back in an agitated move. His cheek muscles twitched again, but the action showcased his strong jawline. His straight nose, by no means narrow or small, fits the size and shape of his oval face perfectly. Tiny lines of tension radiated from his eyes, a bit more pronounced at this exact moment, but stress had a tendency to do that.
After a moment of scrutinizing her, he said, “Kendall, I have so many questions for you, I don’t even know where to begin. So let’s start with a simple one. Don’t you have any clothes of your own?” He gestured toward the shirt she wore.
Kendall considered the pile of dirty clothes she’d left lying on the floor in his bedroom. They were so ripe that she’d offend herself if she dared to put them back on. “Obviously I didn’t show up here buck naked. I’d have frostbite on my assets.” She couldn’t help herself, so she flashed him a flirty grin that only made his harsh expression solidify into something more severe. Red. Bloated. As if he might explode. A twinge of guilt hit her in the region of her heart for teasing the poor guy before he’d eaten a good breakfast.
“I brought in my overnight bag with a change of unmentionables, but I left the bulk of my luggage out in my car. If the temperatures dipped like they predicted, it’s a solid block of ice by now.” She shook her head. “There’s no way I’m putting them on my body until they warm up.”
Now she wished she would’ve dragged in all her luggage last night, so she could’ve at least attempted to make a good first impression on Ben. Actually, naked had been the first impression, and Ben…well, he obviously hadn’t been impressed at all. So she really needed clean clothes to bring her A game.

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