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.

“Kelly’s back. Looks like she’s moving to town,” Brynn said in a whisper. Her considerate tone was laughable. Hearing the words all over again, even spoken at full volume, couldn’t possibly upset Dylan any further. Everyone at the table knew that Kelly Anne had been his one true love, the one—in his opinion—that had gotten away. In those first few years of missing her, he’d made a real jackass of himself more times than he could count. And each one of those times, his old pal, Jack Daniels, had ridden shotgun. The fact that these friends had witnessed it all and were still by his side spoke volumes about the loyalty of this group.
Olivia’s hand gently settled on the back of his, giving a firm squeeze. She’d never met Kelly Anne, but Olivia’s caring gesture said that Lacey and Brynn had filled her in on his and Kelly Anne’s short and disastrous relationship. “Oh, Dylan. Are you okay? What are you going to do?” That was the exact same stupid question that Jesse had asked him seconds before. What did his friends expect from him? Some instantaneous action? He bit back the angry response on the verge of exploding from his mouth.
“No idea,” he said, trying for a solemn tone. They all meant well, but for fuck’s sake. He didn’t know what he was doing. Hadn’t had time to process the news or consider the ramifications. Honestly, he hadn’t even thought about Kelly Anne, in what?—like two whole days. And no one seemed to care that it had been almost seven and a half years since she’d abruptly left town. A lot could’ve changed for her in that many years.
Actually, Dylan wouldn’t expect any less. Because he had most definitely changed.
He’d like to believe that he was a better man now than he’d been back then—one who’d learned a little humility and how to ask for forgiveness. But what would he say when he ran into Kelly Anne in town? Crawford Falls was a microscopic dot on the map. He’d definitely see her before the week was up. Would he be able to tame his tongue and keep their first meeting to the polite banter one would expect of friends who hadn’t seen each other for years? Or would he demand an explanation of why she’d left him? Why she’d never returned his calls or tried to contact him? In seven damn years?

One devastating lie set the course for Sophie Lancaster’s life. Can one earth-shattering phone call change it?

Jackson Cooper certainly hopes it won’t—at least not permanently. For the past twenty-one years, Sophie has avoided coming home and now has the nerve to show her face, purely for the reading of her grandfather’s will—that thought alone is enough to have Jackson grinding his teeth in molar-cracking frustration.

But Grandpa Ray’s final request, a life-changing challenge to save the family’s resort, pairs Jackson with this woman who makes his blood boil—in more ways than one.
With Jackson’s vow to honor his dear friend and Sophie’s promise to prove her worthiness to a grandfather she barely remembers, they set off on a yearlong adventure.
Can they learn to work and live together, forging a new bond built on respect and a common goal? Can they rely on each other without giving into their growing desires?

Just as the sizzle of attraction between them heats up, the challenge becomes a dangerous and deadly game when outside forces threaten their resort, their budding relationship, and their very lives. With their future hanging in the balance, will they survive the challenge?

Day Twenty-Six
“How many more days do I have to wait for you to kiss me?”
The words echoed to a pulsing ache and an obnoxious beeping.
“No!” she groaned. The promise of a glorious day washed the room in muted shades of orange and red, although the morning sun had yet to peek over the horizon. She rolled over, reaching for the screeching alarm clock on the bedside table.
After four nights of sex dreams about Jackson, begging him to kiss her, desperate for him to fill her, followed by four mornings waking up hot and bothered, Sophia could say without a shred of uncertainty that she was attracted to him. And given the right situation, she’d likely wake up some morning sprawled across his naked body.
How many more days, indeed.
After completing her best imitation of a stretching cat, she climbed out of bed, still thoroughly aroused and destined to spend an excruciatingly long day working next to the object of her desire. What a sad excuse for a modern woman. If Roxy found herself in a similar predicament, she’d have long since rectified the hot and bothered situation. She’d have cornered Jackson in the Main Lodge for the much-desired kiss. She’d have propositioned him over dinner. Heck, Roxy, with her daring, uninhibited nature, would’ve shown up in his bathroom, stripped off her clothes, and joined him in the shower just to hear him sing.
But not her. No, Sophia would suffer through her day and beg for Jackson to do her in her dreams.
While her physical body screamed for release, her logical mind questioned the onset of the dreams. Four nights ago she’d added the revision to her long-standing “No Casual Sex” rule to include the “No Sex with Business Partners” clause. In general, a good rule if you were a rule follower, which she was, and if your business partner was married, gay, or a complete jerk. Hers, however, was none of those things, and her subconscious knew it. Four nights had passed, filled with erotic dreams of Jackson and his naked body doing temptingly sinful things to her. And now, she hovered on the verge of breaking her own rules.
A cold shower did little to take the edge off her arousal. Probably because the dream had run on an endless loop in her mind while she’d lathered, rinsed, and repeated. Even an hour later, as she’d opened the Main Lodge for business for the day, she couldn’t quite shake the hold of those sexy images her subconscious had creatively invented.
She poured her second cup of coffee. With a firm grip on the oversized mug, she relaxed into her chair and stared at the computer monitor. For the hundredth time this morning, she mulled over the dream. Every touch, every sensation. His warm hands caressing. His hot, wet mouth teasing. His thick, steel length penetrating. None of those steamy mental images helped her current state of arousal. But she could think of little else.
Piercing shrieks ripped Sophia from her fantasy when three little girls ran past the open window. She flinched at the sound. Peace was on hiatus for the next few months and so were her tranquil mornings sipping coffee while doing paperwork.
“Seven to ten business days,” Jackson said near her ear, startling her out of her thoughts. Her face warmed. No way could he know the question that stood front and center in her mind.How many more days do I have to wait for you to kiss me?

Kate hails from the beautiful state of Minnesota where all her stories are set. She’ll admit that she took a meandering path to get to the point of being a published indie author, including a short stint in the IT world and a really long stint as a home-schooling mom. Now that her four kids are off writing their own adventures, Kate is free to drift along in her own fictional world, plotting the rise and fall of her small-town characters in Krysset and Crawford Falls.
Read more at Kate Carley’s site.

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