Series: Checkerberry Inn (#1)
Published: September, 2015
Genre: Sweet Adult Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 206
Sometimes it’s not the destination, but the detour…
Kayla has the perfect strategy for a broken heart: work, work, and more work. Then a storm sends her car skidding off the road, stranding her in Mount Pleasant. Fortunately, rescue comes in the form of the incredibly handsome but gruff Brent Masterson. And he’s hot enough to tempt Kayla into doing something she never thought she could do…
Brent Masterson swore he would never give into the fierce attraction that’s been sizzling between him and Kayla since they first met. He has his own demons, and he won’t risk his heart again. Not even for someone as gorgeous and amazing as Kayla. So…how exactly did he end up in Kayla’s bed last night?
But sometimes all it takes is an ice storm to show two broken hearts the way home…
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Other books in the Checkerberry Inn series:
Excerpt from Her Unexpected Detour:
Soon a mammoth structure came into view, painted a pale yellow and the size of three colonials placed end to end. The inn was two stories tall, the second level overhanging the first to create a broad, covered porch. Even shrouded by the rain and gloom, it was absolutely beautiful.
“This is your grandmother’s?” she breathed.
“It is.” Pride tinted his voice.
Brent eased the truck to a stop beside the inn and killed the engine. He cast a quick glance in the backseat, then frowned. “Guess I haven’t swapped out my ice scraper for an umbrella yet. Sit tight. I’ll run in and grab you one.”
He pushed the driver’s side door open, jumped out, and made a careful dash up to the inn’s covered porch before she had a chance to object. With a sigh, Kayla pushed her own door open and slid to the ground. What good would an umbrella do her? Keep her from getting more soaked?
Determined he not mistake her for the princess type, Kayla carefully made her way up the icy porch steps without him—no small feat in these heels of hers. But soon she was out of the pelting sleet and standing before a large, ornate oak door. A placard displaying the inn’s name hung right of the entryway just above the doorbell, giving the entrance a classy look. But much of the rest of the porch had chipped and peeling paint, making the place look a bit more tattered.
Oh, but what a little paint would do for the place. The porch itself hinted of comfort, with a variety of small hooks affixed to its ceiling for hanging porch swings and planters. And the view was nothing short of spectacular. In the distance, rolling green hills were skirted by fields on one side and a thick woods on the other. Flower beds starting to awake from their winter’s slumber lay nestled up against every inch of the inn’s frontage. And inside them, endless clusters of daffodils.
Daffodils. An all-too-familiar ache pricked at Kayla’s heart. She looked away from the ice-covered sunny yellow buds and blinked like mad, intent on keeping her composure. When would she ever get over this ridiculous reaction to some stupid flo—
“I thought I told you to wait in the truck.”
She spun around to find Brent with a red and gold golf umbrella in hand. But as he took in the look on her face, the severe angle of his furrowed brows softened, then inverted. Dang it, she hated it when people looked at her like that. Like she was hurting. Because she wasn’t, not anymore.
At least, that’s what she told herself, each and every day.
Kayla turned from him and swiped a knuckle under each eye. “Did you? I must have missed that part.”
His footsteps drew closer, and a fuzzy yellow towel settled on her shoulders. “Here. Why don’t you come inside while I try to track down Ruby?”
Again, Mr. Billy Goat Gruff provided a glimpse of his soft underbelly. She was both touched by the gesture and unsettled by it. Kayla wasn’t the needy type, and she sure as heck didn’t intend to start playing one.
“Thank you. So, who’s Ruby? Wait—you call your grandma by her first name?”
A soft chuckle greeted her ears. “Trust me, she wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Confident her moment of weakness had passed, Kayla turned and caught her hero wearing an honest-to-goodness smile. It crinkled the corners of his eyes and tugged at his hairline, bringing a softness to his features she might otherwise have thought impossible.
He looked younger, approachable. Sexy. For a moment, Kayla forgot how to breathe.
But when he met her gaze, his former stoicism returned.
“Come on,” he said. “Let’s get you inside before you catch your death.”
As she watched him walk off without another look back, Kayla wondered if he didn’t secretly wish for her to do just that.
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