Crestler’s Key, the sweet, sexy Littleton brothers are notorious
bachelors. But all that will change when the right woman comes along…
Littleton values more than his lifelong friendship with his buddy
Lucas, currently home from a tour in Iraq. But when he discovers that
Lucas’s younger sister, Lila, is back to assist the town’s
overburdened veterinarian, Charlie is torn. She’s no longer the
skinny, awkward kid he remembers, but a gorgeous woman—one Lucas
would never approve of him dating. When Lucas asks him to watch out
for Lila when he’s called to duty again, Charlie can’t say no—but
he can’t pretend it’s easy to ignore his feelings either.As
a teen, Lila crushed on Charlie—hard—and the man he’s grown up
to be is even more wonderful than she dreamed. Relationships are a
tricky business, though, and too much history is at stake to risk one
now. But every moment they’re together is heated by their simmering
attraction—and one day an impulsive kiss leads to much more. What’s
tangled in a matter of loyalty soon becomes a question of the kind of
love worth chasing…
“Nah-ah, boy, you better take that dog on out of here.”Charlie Littleton tightened his hold on Henry’s leash and shot
Patty a look. “You know he doesn’t bark.”The bakery owner placed a hand on her hip and cocked it for ef- fect. Like always, she wore an apron with the AJ&P Bakery yellow- and-blue logo on it, though you could scarcely see it through the flour and spices smeared across the apron.
“Right,” Patty said now. “A dog that don’t bark. Is that sort of like a man who don’t eat? Because as far as I’m concerned that’s a fic- tional being. Like the dog. But if you do find a man who will share his sandwich, you be sure to point him in my direction, okay? But seeing as how that man don’t exist, kind of like that nonbarking dog don’t exist, I don’t expect you to be introducing me to him anytime soon.” She winked at him and clucked her tongue. “Now, you take that cute bottom of yours out of here, leave the dog in your truck, then come back and I’ll make you a roast beef with extra au jus.”
Charlie peered around the bakery, the smells of fresh baked bread and toasted hot sandwiches hitting his nose. His stomach grumbled. Of course, the small bakery and sandwich shop was packed today, half the town there to witness Charlie getting put in his place. A part of him wanted to remind Patty that his family’s farm supplied most of her produce and could just as easily refuse to deliver, but he’d learned long ago to retreat slowly and carefully when dealing with the bakery owner.
“Fine, but I’m holding you to that extra au jus.”
Patty flashed him a grin. “It’ll be waiting for you, honey.” Then she waved her hand through the air in a sign that he better get mov- ing, and then she went to greet someone else. Someone without a dog.
Resigned, Charlie pushed out of the glass door and eyed his old Husky. “Sorry, boy. I’ll bring you some leftovers, though.” He un- locked his Silverado, cranked the truck, and rolled down the win- dows. It was a mild sixty out in Crestler’s Key, Kentucky, a perfect early spring day, but Henry meant more to him than most of the peo- ple in the town, and if he was going to be forced to stay in Charlie’s truck, then he’d do it with a nice breeze.
With a long glance down Main Street at the row of shops— Southern Dive, his family’s sports and outdoors shop at the very end—Charlie couldn’t help wondering if he was making the right de- cisions in his life.
He’d moved back to Crestler’s Key after living in the Florida Keys for five years. There, he’d operated a small scuba diving busi- ness, his life as much under water as above it. And he loved every moment of it. Then there were the women, too many to count, al- ways around, always eager to occupy a little bit of his time. He’d been content with that life, never asking for more and never wanting it. He was a typical twenty-something and enjoyed every bit of his young age.
Then he met Jade, and hell if he didn’t fall hook, line, and sinker. Still to this day, years later, he remembered with painful clarity her walking down the dock at the marina and stopping outside his houseboat, long sun-bleached blond hair and even longer legs. She was beautiful in that natural, God-made way—his kryptonite, when it came to women, so all it took was one look and he was gone.
romance and teen sci-fi romance, all with lots of kissing. Because
who doesn’t like kissing? She lives outside of Atlanta, GA, with her
husband and two daughters and spends most of her time writing,
reading, or fueling her coffee addiction.
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