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The last place Sophia Lancaster wanted to return to was Poplar Falls. It’s the place that holds all the painful memories and unanswered questions she’s ever had. One phone call causes her life to take a turn, forcing her back to the town she hasn’t stepped foot in over twenty years.

And right into the path of Braxton Young.

His blue eyes, sinful smile, and rough exterior are no match for Sophia. She’s there for one reason, and it isn’t to fall in love. The sooner she can get out of this small town and back in New York City—the better.

However, fate doesn’t care for either of their desires. Instead, they’re forced to deal with each other, finding their differences aren’t as great as they thought. Each day brings them closer to friendship and the possibility of something more. The answers she seeks might not only break her and Braxton apart but also her heart.


EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: Rustic Hearts

Amber Kelly

AVAILABLE NOW

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A brand new small town contemporary romance is out now from author Amber Kelly, and I have a sneak peek for you.

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Excerpt

“I don’t know if a muddy field in a huge truck is the best place for me to learn how to drive,” I say nervously as I grip the stirring wheel so tightly that my knuckles turn white.

“Relax. It’s the perfect place. There’s no traffic out here. No one but you and me and the field.”

“And everyone else I know in Poplar Falls,” I snap.

“They’re playing in the mud. They aren’t paying us a bit of attention.”

“I don’t know about this, Braxton. I don’t even need to know how to drive.”

“Everyone should know how to drive. I taught Elle how when she was fourteen years old. You can do this.”

I take a deep breath and decide to try. “What do I do first?”

“First, adjust the seat. You want to be able to comfortably reach the pedals without being right up on the steering wheel. Then, adjust your mirrors. The button is in the door above the handle.”

I do as he instructed and nervously wait for what comes next.

“Now, the truck is in neutral, so push the clutch in. It’s on the left. Start the car and put it in first gear.”

He places his hand over mine on the gear shift and helps me move the truck into first.

“Here comes the tricky part. You want to let up off the clutch as you press the gas until you are completely off the clutch and moving forward.”

I do as he said, and the truck starts jumping under us.

“Easy. Try to do it at the same time.”

I try again, and the truck stalls.

I put my head against the steering wheel and groan, “Ugh.”

“It’s all right; no one gets it without stalling out the first time. Try again.”

He spends the next two hours patiently talking me through stall after stall. He never loses his cool. Even as I grind his clutch over and over. Finally, I get a feel for it and am able to take off and switch gears easily. Then, he spends time having me back up and stop and start on a hill.

It is fun once I get the hang of it.

“I did it!” I say excitedly as I put the truck in park. Then, I leap at him in the passenger seat and throw my arms around his neck.

“You did,” he says proudly into my hair.

“Thank you for teaching me how.” I beam at him.

“You’re welcome, Princess.”

He reaches his arms around my waist and pulls me closer to him. My arms are still around his neck, and as my excitement settles, I realize how close we are. I raise my head from his neck, and we are nose-to-nose.

“What’s next?”

“What do you want to be next, Princess?”

I stare into his eyes. Then, I nervously lick my lip. We are so close that my tongue touches his lip, and he groans.

His hand at my back presses me in closer, and my breath catches.

I thread my fingers into his hair and let him have my weight. He shifts slightly, and just as I’m about to climb across the cab of the truck and into his lap, a bang comes at the window beside his head.

Our hot breath has the window fogged up, and I hit my head on the roof as I jump back toward the driver’s side.

He rights himself and rolls the window down. A little blond head and a pair of round glasses peers up over the window at us.

“Miss Sophie, can I ride with you next?”

“I don’t feel comfortable driving with you as a passenger, but I bet, between the two of us, we could talk Braxton into slinging us around for a while.”

“Please, Mr. Braxton,” he pleads with his snaggle-toothed lisp.

“Pretty please, Mr. Braxton,” I add in my best little girl voice while batting my lashes at him.

He slings open the door, grabs Beau, and hoists him up into the truck with me.

“Hop in, little man. It’s time to get this truck good and dirty.”

“Yay!” Beau squeals as I slide over and let Braxton in the driver’s seat.

After he shuts the door, he revs the engine and starts spinning the tires.

He slams the truck in gear, and we take off like a shot as mud rains over us like a wave.

Beau cheers with delight the entire time.

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