Published by The Wild Rose Press Inc on November 19, 2014
Source: The Wild Rose Press Inc
The last thing Abby Mathieson wants is what she most needs: a take-care-of-the-business-end partner. Emotional and financial demons spur her dreams of self-reliance and her vow to continue her aunt's legacy of Beyond Words, a Blue Ridge Mountains book-and-gift shop.
Trey Dalton, sexy CPA with a heart of gold and backbone of steel, wants nothing more than to return to his home in sunny Florida. But he made a death-bed promise to help Abby succeed... whatever it takes.
Conflict and sexual tension intensify as they wrangle over the shop and deal with Abby's quirky best friend and the incorrigible resident parrot. Abby's sworn to trust no man, but Trey has her tangled up worse than knotted fishing line. If she can't overcome her insecurities before he unravels her finances and leaves town forever, her precious independence will cost her a love Beyond Words.
“Ready to call it a day?” Trey asked.
“And then some.” Abby yawned hugely behind her hand.
“I’ll walk you to your car.”
“I don’t have a car.”
Trey frowned. “Don’t— How do you get here?”
“Ever heard of feet?”
He looked as if she’d used a foul word. “But…I mean, everybody…”
She took pity on him. “Before you dig yourself a bigger hole, pardner, I own a car. But home’s only half a mile. I enjoy the walk.”
His expression hardened. “You’re walking. At this hour.”
“Why not?” Geez, what was the big deal?
“It’s not safe. Dark. You’ll be alone.”
“I do it all the time. Wear a luminous-striped vest.” She sniffed. “And I’m used to being alone.”
His eyes flashed, part anger, part something softer, quickly gone. “Well, tonight you’re not walking anywhere except to my truck.”
“You don’t have —”
“Yeah, I do. Don’t argue. I’m too tired to go another round with you.”
How had she missed that? His handsome face looked drawn under its golden tan, his winter-gray eyes weary.
“I’ll get my jacket.”
Trey swiped up his keys. “Meet you out front.”
Once she’d hooked her seatbelt, Abby flipped down the vent.
“Too much?” He notched the fan to low. “Sorry, I’m not used to cold.”
Cold? He hadn’t seen anything yet. But then, he wouldn’t hang around long enough….
All light vanished beneath overhanging trees when he turned off the main street. High
beams on, hands white-knuckled, he slowed on the serpentine, uphill climb. Yup, Abby thought,
a Flatlander, for sure.
“I’ll walk you up.”
“No need.” What she needed, now, was to escape. Before she did something stupid. Like sink her hands into that silky, sun-bleached hair and find out if he tasted as good as he looked.