She’d sworn off love. But can he heal her battered heart?
To heal from the wounds of her abusive marriage, Veronica James returns to her grandmother’s bookshop in small-town Butterscotch Ridge. The first thing she does is transform the dusty old shop into a cozy bakery/café. The second? Steel her heart against the charms of her first love, sexy rancher Mark Stirling. He’s never stopped longing for a second chance with the girl who got away—and he’s willing to accept whatever Roni is willing to give. But when their “friends with benefits” deal reveals emotions that run deep, maybe Mark can convince her that together they’re the perfect blend.
From Harlequin Special Edition: Believe in love. Overcome obstacles. Find happiness.
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He closed her door, jogged around to the driver’s side, heaved in and tried to catch her gaze before he started the truck. Just a smile, nothing much, but she wasn’t paying attention to him.
She pulled out her shopping list and silence reigned until they reached the end of the long driveway. It was kind of awkward, because they’d never experienced a lack of things to say to one another. She probably had a lot on her mind, given the impending grand opening and all, but he sensed a tension in her that made him uneasy. He wished he could figure out what it was.
“Thanks so much for driving me,” she said, at long last.
“Sure.” Was that all he could think of to say?
“Your truck is so much bigger than my car.”
He shot her a grin. “Well, that’s what friends are for.” Because they were friends. Even though he had to occasionally remind himself.
Something in her tone caught his attention. Something twanged in his solar plexus. He tried not to stare at her, on account of the fact he was driving and all. “Hmm?” Yeah. Pretty much all he could manage.
“I mean I’ve been wondering… Oh, I don’t know how to say this.”
“Just say it.” What on earth was bothering her? Why was it so hard to get it out? “We’re friends, right? There’s nothing we can’t talk about.”
She turned to him, her eyes wide. “You mean that?”
“Of course, I mean it.” He wasn’t sure why, but his pulse pounded like a big bass drum.
“Maybe you’d better pull over.”
Well, that didn’t sound good. He eased the truck to the side of the highway and shifted so he could see her better without cricking his neck. “What is it, Roni?”
Yikes. She was twisting her fingers and everything. A sure sign she was really bothered. She took a deep breath before she spoke. “Well, you know how I told you I wasn’t interested in romance?”
His heart hiccupped. “Yeah?”
“Well, I’m still not. But…”
She met his gaze. A flush rose on her cheeks. “Do you think it’s possible for friends to have sex and stay friends?”
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- Harper Collins: https://www.harpercollins.co.nz/9781867240846/recipe-for-a-homecoming/
The Stirling Ranch Series
Book 1: Accidental Homecoming–Available now!
Book 2: Recipe for a Homecoming–September 28
Book 3: The Marine’s Reluctant Return–February!
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