Author: Kata Ĉuić
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 9, 2020
A second-chance romance set in the heart of Appalachia that will make you root for first love, forgiveness, and family.
Lenore Wheeler knows what a hard life, heartbreak, and failure tastes like. Heading home to the backwoods Appalachian town she swore she’d never return to with her young daughter in tow, she can’t imagine her future getting much bleaker.
That is until she comes face-to-face with the one man she never expected to see again.
Jesse Yates was supposed to escape the mountains, make something of himself, and attain every dream Lenore destroyed. He’s determined to wear down her resolve and win her back, but she’s got a secret to keep and
reasons to keep her old flame at arm’s length.
Lenore already broke her own heart to save Jesse, but she’ll do anything to protect her daughter from the same fate.
Except fate has a funny way of working out, especially when all roads lead to home.
A sharp rap on my open classroom door precedes the entrance of my new boss into my professional sanctuary. I can’t fault him for his dominance here and now. This is his building. I’m his employee who he’s
contractually bound to supervise.
I still haven’t come up with a new plan to circumvent that twist of fate. Mostly because my wildest dreams have no place in my current reality.
Jesse perches on the edge of the student desk closest to mine, his forest-green eyes boring into me. That’s ironic, considering he
couldn’t be bothered to make direct eye contact for the duration of our faculty meeting. He’s sure making up for it now. His gaze sweeps me from head to toe quickly, then he starts over again much, much slower.
I let him drink his fill because I’m hungry to do the same. The past five years have been so good to him. He’s removed his jacket and vest,
leaving me to feast on a white dress shirt and red tie that look like they cost a pretty penny. The hint of his physique I noticed in the auditorium is much more pronounced without added layers. Scrawny until the night I left him, his arms now look as strong as they used to feel when they were wrapped around me tight. Biceps bulge against the fabric of his shirt. A row of buttons clings to his flat stomach then disappears beneath his belt. His smooth dress pants hug muscular thighs that used to thrust against me until pleasure I never knew was possible made me feel so high I wondered if I’d ever be able to come back down.
I’m down now, all right.
His heavy gaze touches me in all the places that the years haven’t been as kind to me.
I squirm in my seat, cursing Mama and Liz’s choice of dress. There’s no way to hide the bulge of my belly or the breasts that aren’t as
perky as the last time he caressed them. At least that’s one thing going for me. He’s matured and aged like a fine wine, but any physical trait I used to possess that attracted him to me is long gone.
His voice sounds the same, even if it’s softer now than the last time I heard it. “I have imagined this moment in so many different ways over the past five years, but now that it’s here…I don’t rightly know what to say.”
I nod even though I never imagined this moment at all.
Kata Čuić lives in Pittsburgh, PA with her husband and three teens. No one told her life was gonna be this way. She holds a degree in
Linguistics with a minor in Religious Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. Her plans of becoming a pediatric neurosurgeon were foiled by OChem 1. Fortunately, she’d been making up stories in her head since the days of her imaginary friend, Choosy. Putting pen to paper, er…fingers to the keyboard…came
surprisingly naturally after her aforementioned teens decided it was time for
them to cut their respective cords.
Kata writes everything from angst-filled NA series to standalone rom-coms and has been known to dabble in a bit of paranormal on the
free stories section of her website. She believes nice guys shouldn’t have to finish last (except in the bedroom where she prefers an alpha between the sheets but a gentleman in the streets), and that the surest way to a woman’s heart is through laughter and food.
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