One of my FAVOURITE Devney Perry romances to date comes out this week, and I am so thrilled to share with you a little sneak peek from this unputdownable tale of new beginnings, second chances, and of a young woman searching for a place to call home.
I opened the door to let in the fresh air and did the same to the windows once they were clean. The smile on my face felt earned. Carefree. I’d worked my ass off since the day I’d run away from home at sixteen, first to simply stay alive, then to make something of myself. Accomplishment gave me satisfaction.
Or at least, it had. The past year in Boston had lacked fulfillment.
What I’d needed was a hard day of cleaning where I could see my work unfold before my eyes.
Three months here? Piece of cake.
I was one laundry room away from a sparkling cabin when I heard a truck approach. My mood tanked when I saw its driver.
“What is he doing here,” I muttered from the cabin’s porch.
Easton parked beside the Cadillac and hopped out, not sparing me a glance as he walked to the back and hefted out a huge cooler. “Where do you want this?”
“Uh, what is it?”
“Food. Mom didn’t want you running to the store, so she spent yesterday in the kitchen.”
Liddy had cooked.
My own mother hadn’t cooked for me. But his had. My heart squeezed as he walked up the porch stairs carrying the cooler.
Easton scanned me from head to toe, and like always, he frowned.
I glanced down at my jeans and the gray tank top I’d had underneath my sweater. “What?”
“Nothing.” He brushed past me and stomped inside.
“Take off your boots. I just cleaned.” I bit the inside of my cheeks to keep from laughing as he spun around and gaped. “Kidding.”
Easton didn’t find me funny.
I followed him to the kitchen, leaving the front door open, as he set the cooler beside the fridge. He bent and flipped open the lid to start unloading, but I waved him away. “I’ll take care of it.”
“’Kay.” He stood and walked outside.
“Goodbye,” I called after him, then turned my attention to the cooler. “Nice to see you too. And thanks. I did do a great job cleaning. How kind of you to notice.”
“Talking to yourself?”
I jumped at Easton’s voice. “I thought you left.”
He hefted a tote in the air. “Wine. From my grandma.”
“Carol gets me.” I stood and took the tote from him, setting it on the counter. Then I waited, assuming he’d actually leave this time unless there were more gifts in his truck.
But he didn’t leave. Easton walked into the living room and ran a hand through that thick, soft hair as he glanced around. He’d traded his normal, long-sleeved plaid shirt for a fitted thermal. The textured cotton stretched across his biceps, showcasing the strength of his arms. It molded to his torso and that flat stomach.
If he’d just smile, a little, he’d be so incredibly handsome. Gruff and stoic worked for Easton. The man was a challenge and an enigma. His serious composure gave nothing away and that was a turn-on for a woman like me who enjoyed the uphill battle.
I’d learned in my week here that he didn’t have a wife or girlfriend, but I had no doubt the local ladies swooned over his rugged, somber exterior. But a smile . . . damn, I wanted to see a smile.
I’d seen it once—eleven years ago when he’d taken me to his bed, and I hadn’t forgotten it in all this time.
Easton’s smile was unmatched. It was rare. Maybe the reason it was so special was because he gave it to so few people.
“Looks good in here.”
My hand flew to my heart and I feigned surprise. “Was that . . . a compliment? Did you actually say something nice to me?”
His lips pursed into a thin line.
“Oh, relax.” I turned to the cupboards and opened the one where I’d found glasses earlier. “Would you like to stay for a glass of wine? Or has five minutes in my presence irritated you enough to leave me alone for a week?”
“I don’t drink wine.”
“Of course, you don’t.” It probably went against the cowboy code to drink anything but milk, water, black coffee, beer and whiskey neat.