Declan James has been Brockton Point’s most ineligible bachelor––happy with his short-term relationships and focusing on his business. But now that his closest friends have found their happily-ever-afters, he can’t help but wonder what that might be like. And then Sophia Strombi shows up on his doorstep.

Sophia’s life is––well there’s no other word for it––a mess. She’s grateful to have some work at her brother’s best friend’s bar, and a place to stay. Since she’s working hard to get her life back on track, she’s desperately trying to ignore the fact her boss makes her heart pound in a good way. Wait––no. That’s not good at all.

Besides, she has a huge secret she’s keeping from everyone––one that’s a life-changer.

“I don’t affect women.”
The smile she gave him was almost pitying and not the one he wanted to see. “Yeah. You do. But it’s not your fault so I’ll cut you some slack.”
“I don’t seem to affect you,” he muttered. He’d meant to think it, not say it, but the words left his mouth without warning. And dammit if they didn’t bring out the smile he craved. The one that lit her eyes up like a sky full of stars.
“See? Clueless,” she whispered. Her eyes darted to his lips, back up to his gaze, back to his lips.
Declan’s stomach tightened with need and his body slid closer to hers without permission. “You don’t seem all that affected to me.”
Her hair trailed over her shoulders, thick and wavy with that strawberry scented soap that was driving him fucking mad.
“I’m not allowed to be.” Her words went breathy. Declan clenched his hands into fists. Do not touch her. “After all, you don’t fu—mess around with employees. Ever.”
She said it like a dare and it fired his blood in a way he’d never experienced. And he’d experienced a hell of a lot in his life. Without thinking, because it was pretty much beyond him at this point, he tangled his hand in her hair, loving the feel of it stroking over his fingers.
“You aren’t the kind of girl a guy should mess around with anyway. Employee or not,” he said. He knew his tone was rough and his hold probably was too, but she only pushed closer until their bodies were pressed together.
“What kind of girl am I then?”
The kind who was going to teach him what it was like to have a broken heart. He wasn’t sure where the thought came from, but it felt true. And yet, it didn’t stop him from lowering his head until their lips almost touched. He could taste her breath and wanted to inhale deeply. He wanted to pull her close and drown himself in her and the scary part was, he knew, even before he took the next step, that once wouldn’t be enough. 

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When Zach Mason, former army sergeant turned veterinarian for war-wounded animals, returns home, the decision to stay is easy. But convincing the only other vet in town to hire him is a good deal harder. It doesn’t help that the beautiful, intelligent, and stubborn Stella Lane is determined to make his life hell.

Stella doesn’t take outside help easily—she’s been let down in the past, most recently by her ex, just as she’d begun to plan their wedding. Trusting Zach with her animals is one thing but trusting him with more is a hard pass. Too bad the handsome vet is nothing but temptation. And her new roommate...

Well, damn. Zach hadn’t expected his impromptu detour to take a look at his property would end with an even better view than the one he’d just spent thirty minutes staring at. Stella Lane was huffing out heavy breaths, but he honestly couldn’t tell if it was from irritation or exertion. She was going to hurt her shoulders if she kept reefing on that crowbar. He watched, waiting; knowing she’d never ask him for help. Stubborn, amazing woman. He wondered if there was anything she couldn’t do.
“Do you have to stand there?” she asked, blowing hair out of her face as she glanced up at him.
“Want me to stand in the middle of the road?” He grinned at her and to his absolute fucking delight, she grinned back. It changed her face—moving her from beautiful into breathtaking. Literally. Like switching on an actual light, his skin felt warmer.
“Not enough traffic. No point.”
He shook his head and crouched down. “I don’t doubt there’s anything you can’t do, you put your mind to it, but I’m guessing by how hard you’re trying to turn that bolt, it’s stripped.” He paused, letting the word settle in his brain and on the tip of his tongue. Her eyes widened and her nostrils flared slightly. Damn. Maybe he should rethink wanting to work with her so badly. He could be setting himself up for a lot of cold showers.
Changing the course of his thoughts, he leaned in just a little. “Let me help. I won’t tell anyone.”
Those sexy lips quirked. He wanted to know what it would take to make her laugh without restraint.
With obvious reluctance, she said, “Fine. But I can change the actual tire.”
He nodded. “Whatever you say, Doc.”
He could say, with absolute certainty, that this was the most unique fifteen minutes he’d ever spent with a woman. She let him take the bolts off—which were really damn tight—and he moved out of the way so she could swap the tires. It frustrated him to see her struggle with the weight of the flat one. He could probably bench press her, but she was so determined not to do it on her own, he didn’t even try to help her. He did, however, tighten the bolts when she was finished. She had a smudge of grease across her forehead and several spots on her hands. When they stood, he looked down at her and for about a second and a half, saw a vulnerability in her eyes that made him want to open her up and figure out why she was so wary. So guarded and opposed to leaning on anyone. You’re trying to be her partner, not her shrink.  
He stared at the small grease stain she’d given herself and without thinking, pulled up the hem of his t-shirt. Stella’s sharp intake of breath made him pause for a second, and the way she checked out his chest and abs made him rethink his idea. Her lips parted, but he focused on using the soft material of his shirt to swipe at the spot on her forehead. With one hand, he held the back of her head still and the other, he pressed his cotton covered fingers to her skin and gently removed it. Or lessened it anyway. Her hair trailed over his fingertips, making him clench his jaw to fight back the wave of attraction.
Her eyes closed and she swayed forward, her hands almost coming into contact with his stomach, which had his muscles tightening. Stella snapped back, yanked herself away from him.
“I’m not five. I don’t need someone wiping dirt off my forehead.”
“You’re welcome,” he said, letting his shirt drop back down.
Looking chastised, her cheeks going a soft shade of pink, she grimaced. “Sorry. And thank you. Really. I appreciate it. What are you doing out here, anyway?”

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