Release Date: September 5, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance
After eighteen years of living in her shadow, I couldn’t wait to escape—to finally be my own person. Yet here I am, I’m back in my hometown, once again in Valorie’s shadow. Only now, it’s eternal.
I had life all planned out: join the force, marry Valorie Parsons, and start a family of our own. I have the job, but the girl and all my dreams died before my very eyes.
Finally ready to move on, I agree to a blind date. Imagine my shock when I arrive and find, Valorie’s twin sister, waiting across the table from me. Mallory should be a reminder of all that I’ve lost, but instead, she feels like my redemption . . . like maybe life’s giving me a second chance.
But, how can I be enough for her when I’ve already given her sister the best of me?
Excerpt:I fly through the rest of my routine, wanting to finish before Duke wakes. Except, when I step out of the bathroom wrapped in only my towel, there’s six-feet-plus of man muscle leaned back against the sliding glass door, coffee in hand, looking at me like he wants nothing more than to show me just how much more enjoyable showers for two are.
“Hi.” I greet him shyly, acutely aware of the fact that I’m completely naked beneath this rectangle of terrycloth.
His eyes eat me up. “Damn, Cricket. You’re so beautiful.”
I avert my gaze; I’ve been called a lot of things in my life, but beautiful has never been one of them.
Duke places his still-steaming coffee down on the little hammered bronze side table I have and steps toward me, a predatory look in his mossy green eyes. He advances, completely uncaring that I’m still slightly damp from my shower, until we stand flush. He spears his fingers into my tangled, wet hair, forcing me to look up at him. “I need you to listen to me, okay?”
“You are so damn beautiful. Inside and out. You’re stunning, Mallory. You’re one of those few people whose insides are just as pretty as their outsides. You’re so fucking smart. You have this drive and passion that radiates out of you. You have so much heart that your kindness overflows. Your laugh is so infectious that everyone in hearing distance can’t help but smile. Your body—mmm—don’t even get me started. Your eyes are like smelted gold, precious and shining. And your lips, Cricket, they’re the most inviting, kissable lips I’ve ever seen. I daydream about claiming them far more often than I’d like to admit.”
My heart beats so furiously in my chest I swear it knocks against my ribcage. The way he’s looking at me, his face sincere and honest, tells me he meant every word. I push up on to my tiptoes and wrap my arms around his neck. “Then do it,” I whisper just before he seals his lips to mine.
Duke kisses me completely and totally senseless until his phone chirps in his pocket. He breaks away with great reluctance. “That’s my alarm.” He speaks the words against my lips before claiming them once more. His kiss is bruising, full of want and need and longing. His phone goes off again and he groans, stepping back from me. “Let me see you again tonight?”
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