Presley McDaniel lives her life from moment to moment.
Making permanent decisions means obligation, and that would force her to stop being the family disappointment. Waitress, fitness instructor, dog walker … you name the hourly job and she’s probably held the position.
But when her grandmother can no longer run her book shop in Fawn Hill, a town so small it barely has its own zip code, Presley steps up to help.
The move from bustling city to green pastures may be exactly what she needs to sort out her life. But she didn’t ask for that happy ending to include a gorgeous veterinarian with an all-American smile and a penchant for snuggling puppies. The good doctor is reliable, responsible, and just the kind of man Presley has always avoided.
Love and commitment are predictable.
So why, the moment she lays eyes on him, are they all she wants?
Keaton Nash has never questioned his steady path.
His brothers may tease him about settling into his father’s passed-down role of small town veterinarian, but Keaton has never minded his rural roots. And after tragedy struck two years ago, he has a duty as the eldest Nash man to look after his family.
What he doesn’t need is the sexy, flighty stranger who shows up in town and gets his broken heart beating again. Presley McDaniel is a distraction, a red-headed temptation that is the definition of a bad idea.
He’s barely recovered from the love who left him to chase bigger dreams, and this woman is bound to do the same.
Except for the first time ever, he wants to abandon stability.
She makes him want to be reckless.
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“Well, Dr. Nash, how adventurous of you.”
I look up at the water tower in front of us, and the butterflies that have taken up residence in my gut flutter madly. When he said he had something else in mind, I didn’t imagine it would be so …
This is exactly the kind of spontaneous that speaks to my soul, and the fact that the man who just kissed the pants off me has brought us here is exciting.
I’m tempted to stay down here just to kiss him more. Climbing will delay us, and, my lord, I’ve delayed too much with this man for too long. If I’d known Keaton Nash could kiss that way, that it would be so toe-curlingly amazing … I would have done it sooner.
My fingers itch to touch my lips or to dive back into his hair. Ever since we left his office, I’ve had to physically restrain myself from jumping him. The only thing that stopped me from asking him to come up to my bedroom when we dropped Chance off at home was my grandmother sleeping in the next room.
But he’d been the one to suggest this mystery rendezvous, instead of going to the town bar. Or a mattress. I had to appreciate that. He’s taking things slow, which was great because lord knew I was weak enough to have sex with him right there in his exam room. At least one of us was trying to control ourselves. And I also kind of preferred not to air our connection yet. Since we’d gone to dinner, random people would stop me on the street and ask how Keaton and I were doing.
The residents of Fawn Hill were nosy as shit, and I wanted to stay in the bliss bubble for a while.
“Always wanted to do this … but was too chickenshit. Being with you makes me feel like I can be a badass even if I’m home before midnight.” He chuckles.
I bring out the crazy in him … I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing. “Let’s go up.”
Keaton follows me up the rickety, long ladder. It didn’t look like much of a climb from the bottom, but as I reach the top and shimmy onto the platform, I gulp as my eyes search the darkness for the ground.
“Didn’t think it would be such a long fall.” The railing suddenly seems very unsafe.
“Don’t tell me you’re afraid of heights. You come from the city with the tallest buildings in the country.”
Keaton finds my hand and when his fingers lace through mine, I feel marginally better. “Those buildings also have air-conditioning and Starbucks on the middle level cafe floor. This is completely different.”
“But beautiful.” Keaton points up.
And I’m met with the biggest tapestry of stars I’ve ever seen. It’s like they all got together and knitted a quilt of bursting light in the sky.
“And if you still don’t feel steady, how about a drink?” I can make out his grin in the dark.
He unscrews the bottle and holds it to his lips, his head tipping back to invite the liquor. I think he’s going to swallow and hand me the bottle, but he bypasses that completely and goes straight for my mouth.
This kiss is more insistent, spicy with the liquor burning between our tongues. I’m intoxicated, and it has nothing to do with the alcohol sliding down my throat. Keaton goes to pull back, but I keep a tight hold to his face, the scruff of his well past five-o’clock shadow scraping against my palms. He chuckles into my mouth, a hoarse, manly sound that has me feasting on his lips.
Arousal sneaks over me slowly, like an all-consuming fog, wrapping its luscious tendrils around my arms, legs, belly, and down to my core. I have to lean against Keaton for support, my legs are threatening to liquefy. The spark that has started inside me, where that hot nub of sensation burns, is begging to be satisfied.
“I feel like a teenager, sneaking out to meet a boy.” I break off our make-out session and giggle.
I’m too wound up already … and the humid summer night air is doing nothing to help. If I don’t put the brakes on, we’re going to be doing a lot racier things than I was doing as a seventeen-year-old.
“Well, I have already seen your underwear, and bra might I add, so I think we’re a little more advanced than teenagers.”
“I don’t know what you were doing as a teenager, but nowadays, I’m pretty sure second base is akin to being prude. Get with it, old man.”
About The Author: Carrie Aarons
Author of romance novels such as Red Card and Privileged, Carrie Aarons writes books that are just as swoon-worthy as they are sarcastic. A former journalist, she prefers the stories she dreams up, and the yoga pant dress code, much better.
When she isn't writing, Carrie is busy binging reality TV, having a love/hate relationship with cardio, and trying not to burn dinner. She lives in the suburbs of New Jersey with her husband, daughter and dog.
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