It’s a valid question. But Claire Bronstad—a tenth-grade biology teacher and aspiring fiction author— doesn’t have time to analyze it. Her flight home to Crawford Falls is in a few hours, and there is no way she’s missing her brother’s wedding. Her roommate, Greyson Westcott, apparently isn’t feeling that same time crunch, announcing he’d like to take their platonic relationship to the next level. “I’ve been thinking it’s time we start exploring us.”
Exploring us? Is that code for sex?
Another solid question. One Greyson answers with a passionate, toe-curling kiss. Oh, yes! Exploring the possibilities could be simply scrumptious.
But is having sex with her closest friend a good idea?
Not without jeopardizing their friendship—a risk Claire refuses to take. Reeling with uncertainty, she meets sexy groomsman, Jesse Morland, and after a night of slow dancing, he has a question of his own:
“Come home with me tonight?”
As her feelings for Jesse grow, her friendship with Greyson unravels, leaving her grasping at threads and questioning Greyson’s kiss and the authenticity of their relationship.
In the picturesque river town of Crawford Falls, Claire discovers that some memories are best left in the past. And some dreams were never meant for her future.

“I do too date.” Jesse scowled across the table at Hawk, hoping for a little help fending off Claire’s rather pissed off big brother. But from the expression on Hawk’s face, it looked as if he agreed with Dylan’s assessment and that Jesse was on his own here. He wished the girls were sitting with them in their big corner booth at the coffee shop—certainly, Lacey, Brynn, and Olivia would side with him—but they were all deep in some conversation near the cash register. They kept giving him sidelong glances from where they stood. So maybe they wouldn’t be on his side after all.
“No, dude, you don’t,” Hawk said with a firm shake of his head.
Jesse glared at the big guy, letting his scowl deepen. “You could help me out here.”
Hawk’s glare was just as intense, but it matched his badass attitude—one that Jesse knew he could never pull off. “Look, I am helping. Let me translate for you, huh? Dylan is just worried about Claire.”
“Yeah, I fucking got that, friend.” Jesse picked up his coffee cup, shooting Hawk a dirty look before chugging the last sludge of coffee. Lukewarm but still filled with a blessed amount of caffeine that couldn’t be put to waste.
Hawk cocked his head to the side. “You know, if I had a sister and you started looking at her, I’d be worried, too.”
“Really?” Jesse asked, not bothering to hide his sarcasm.
“No. I’d bypass worry and kill you straight out.” Hawk broke out into a loud booming laugh—a rarity these days—before he retracted his statement. “Seriously, guys? Jesse, don’t get all upset before Dylan makes his point. And Dylan, get on with, would ya?” Hawk rolled his eyes and eased back into the booth, taking his mug of coffee along with him, obviously checking out as a mediator of this conversation.
“Think about it, Jess,” Dylan said. “You haven’t dated since Robin. It’s like you’re worried that someone is going to hurt you if you get too close.”
Jesse let out a slow breath and leaned back in his seat, watching as Lacey and Brynn made their way over to the table. “So, what’s your point?” he asked, sliding so that the girls would have a place to sit.
“You just pick up women, sleep with them, dump them, and break their hearts.” Dylan’s words cut deep, but just about summed up the past three years of Jesse’s sexual history. It sounded kind of bad when Dylan put it like that, and now Jesse wished Dylan would have chosen a more private place to have this conversation.
Jesse leaned forward, knowing he should somehow refute his friend’s recap. “That’s not all true.”
Dylan snorted. “Yeah, which part?”
“I’m honest right up front, so no one’s heart gets broken.” Now all his friends were staring at him. Did that make him a bad person? Obviously, his friends didn’t approve. “Claire and I had fun together over the weekend, and we’ve talked on the phone for a couple hours every night. We’re just getting to know each other. Nothing wrong with that.”
“Hurt my sister, and I’ll mess you up.”
“Duly noted.”

How Kate Carley went from majoring in mathematics and computer science in college to writing steamy contemporary romance still remains a mystery. She broke out into the indie publishing scene in 2016 with her debut novel, Challenged, a 2017 RONE award winner. Two more books completed her romantic suspense trilogy, Changing Krysset. In March of this year, Kate launched her new contemporary romance series. Just like her first novels, the Crawford Falls series is set in a small town in Kate’s home state of Minnesota. When Kate isn’t busy at her desk writing, you’ll find her dreaming up new characters and plotting perfect ways to make their lives miserable before giving them their happily ever after.

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