Meet the Author:
Jody Holford is a multi-published author who has a soft spot for happily ever after. So much so, she tattooed the words on her arm. She’s a mom and a wife, a friend, sister, daughter, teacher, and book-lover. Her stories have a little heat and a lot of heart. And maybe, some swoon-worthy moments that will make you smile.
About the Book:
When Zach Mason, former army sergeant turned veterinarian for war-wounded animals, returns home, the decision to stay is easy. But convincing the only other vet in town to hire him is a good deal harder. It doesn’t help that the beautiful, intelligent, and stubborn Stella Lane is determined to make his life hell.
Stella doesn’t take outside help easily—she’s been let down in the past, most recently by her ex, just as she’d begun to plan their wedding. Trusting Zach with her animals is one thing, but trusting him with more is a hard pass. Too bad the handsome vet is nothing but temptation. And her new roommate...
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Stella Lane was unlike any woman he’d ever met. Such a combination of stubborn pride and soft kindness. Not to mention drop-to-his-knees fucking gorgeous. She was the kind of woman a man didn’t get over. Or at least, he wouldn’t.
“You going to keep staring at me or are we going to play some pool ?” Stella rubbed the end of the stick with the blue chalk, her eyes dancing in a way he hadn’t seen before. Should have known she’d be competitive.
“I like staring at you. It’s a good view,” he said, racking up the balls.
“An off-limits view,” she reminded, coming around to break.
“Remind me why that is again.”
She’d started to lean over the table but stopped. “Why what is again?”
He didn’t know why he was stirring up a conversation like this when he agreed whole-heartedly with her views. But other parts of his body strongly disagreed.
“I kind of get the whole we work together thing, so we shouldn’t, but I get the impression you keep yourself off-limits in general. Haven’t seen any suitors showing up at our door. Who broke your heart, Doc?”
A flash of hurt widened her eyes and was gone before he could be sure he saw it. But it was as if his heart recognized it. He knew she’d been hurt. But seeing it in her face made him want to smack heads together.
“Tell you what; since I have a few questions of my own, why don’t we say every time one of us makes a shot, the other has to answer a question. Honestly.”
He stepped into her space, brushed a lock of hair off her cheek. “I’m always honest.”
Stepping back, she smiled and set herself up to break. She looked over her shoulder at him, caught him checking out her ass, and smirked. “Do we have a deal?”
He was a good shot, so he nodded. He wanted to know more about her, whatever it took.
She sent the white ball blazing across the felt and the rest of the balls scattered. A striped one went into the corner pocket.
“First shot doesn’t count,” he said.
Stella glared at him and walked around the table. “Don’t cheat. I’m stripes and you owe me an answer.”
“Fine. But you know what they say about payback.”
Stella paused, looking at the table before deciding where to shoot. “That’s the second time you’ve said that with no follow through. I’m not scared. Where was your first time?”
He smirked. Cute. But, in his opinion, she’d wasted a question. “Texas. I was nineteen.”
Stretching, she set the cue so she could hit a bank shot, but missed. Unfazed, she walked over to him.
“Why didn’t you come back to Brockton sooner?”
Zach’s throat went dry. Because he’d associated “making it” with a dollar amount. Once he’d been able to sink his money into a tangible future in the place he loved, he’d set his plans in motion. . “You didn’t sink your last shot. My turn.”
He went to the end of the table and lined up a shot, then sank it. He wanted real answers. “Why’d your last relationship end?”
Even as he moved to line up his next shot, he saw her face go pale. His stomach cramped—he wanted her to open up but he didn’t want her to be uncomfortable.
Stella’s fingers tightened around her cue. “He asked me to marry him. I said yes. When I tried to make plans to move forward, he kept stalling. Then I asked him about coming back here to live and he told me he’d never wanted to marry me in the first place. I was convenient and a really good vet.
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