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Cooper Hawke was everything I didn’t need. Rich and famous, and a high-profile actor, he lived a life of luxury while my life had always been much more simple.

Yet when he showed up at my cattle ranch in Kansas, he gave me everything I didn’t think I wanted again.

His marriage was over and he was lost.

I was still barely surviving in my grief after my husband’s sudden death.

As hard as I tried to keep him out, he slipped past my defenses, and slowly, a connection grew between us I could no longer deny.

But this time around, we were on borrowed time. Because Cooper still had his real life waiting for him back in Hollywood.


EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: This Time Around

Stacey Lynn

BOOK SERIES: 

An emotional new romance is coming tomorrow from Stacey Lynn, and I have a little sneak peek for you.

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Excerpt

“Cooper. Why are you here?”

He didn’t even blink. “Because I want to help you.”

“You can’t.”

“I can try.”

I shook my head. Words failed me.

He didn’t seem to notice. “I know you’re scared. I bet I even know why you’re scared, but I’m going to lay this out there for you. I like you, Rebecca. I like being around you. I even like working next to you all day. You’re funny and sassy when you forget to be sad. Your eyes and your smile show your love for what you do. I like that you’re smart and you’re determined to keep this land when it might just be easier to pick up and move on and do something easier. I like everything I’ve seen and learned about you since the moment I arrived.”

“Cooper—”

“I also know you’re terrified, and maybe not ready. I’ll be your friend. I could be a really good friend to you. I don’t know if there’s anything more than that to find, not with our lives, but that doesn’t mean I can’t still help you. I want that.”

“I don’t think—”

“Not asking you to think. I’m asking you to consider it. You wanted to kiss me the other night. I want to kiss you now. You can say no. I’ll respect that. I’ll wait until you’re ready if it’s not tonight, but don’t for one second think I won’t be waiting until you are.”

Was that my heart pounding or was that the thunder outside? It was hard to tell. My stomach flipped. An area that had gone unused at the tops of my thighs was pulsing. Hot. Heavy. My knees were knocking together and he was standing so close to me, eyes on me, appearing like he didn’t see the effect his words had on me at all.

“I don’t usually kiss my friends.” It was the lamest excuse I had.

He leaned in, his nose almost brushing against mine. “The kind of friends we’re going to be will.”

“I don’t have a choice?” My throat tightened and I reached up to rub it.

“Always. Choice is always yours. Like right now, you can tell me no.”

My eyes burned. My throat was clogged. I couldn’t kiss him when I could barely breathe. Darn him and his handsomeness and his body. It felt so damn good to have a man looking at me like this, as much as I didn’t want the attention.

His lips brushed against my cheek, back to my ear. The small puff of breath against that area made me shiver. My hands went to his hips and I yanked them back off quickly, flattening them against the wall behind me. God. What was wrong with me?

“You can touch me,” he whispered, and another full body shiver rolled down my spine. “Or you can tell me no. Whatever you want, Rebecca.”

He wasn’t even touching me, yet he consumed me. I closed my eyes, tried to ignore the maelstrom of emotions flooding my body. Sadness. Terror. Desire.

His lips brushed over my cheek again, trailing a path of warm deliciousness toward my mouth. He was right there.

It was time to tell him no.

I opened my mouth to say it. I swear I did.

Instead, I whispered, “Please.”

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Love in the Heartland - Recommended Reading Order

(standalone stories with interconnected characters)

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