Meet the Author:
Charlene Sands is a USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary and western romance. She's been honored with the National Readers Choice Award, twice recipient of the Booksellers Best Award and RT Magazine's Best Harlequin Desire of 2014! Charlene knows a little something about romance. After daydreaming about the cute boy with the long blonde hair and dazzling blue eyes two lockers down from her in high school, to her amazement he asked her out on a date. And he's been continually amazing her for the past forty years. Charlene's perfect day includes reading, drinking mocha Cappuccinos over ice, walking the Pacific beaches with her hubby or playing with her four adorable granddaughters. She loves hearing from her readers. You can reach her at www.charlenesands.com or at www.facebook.com/charlenesandsbooks or Twitter.
About the Book:
Excerpt #1It's a promise she plans to keep at all costs.Taylor Preston never breaks a promise, especially to her dying mother about following her dreams to become a successful New York bridal gown designer. But when Taylor unexpectedly loses her high-profile job, she returns early to Last Stand, Texas where she happily spent childhood summers, to help with her cousin’s wedding. On Taylor’s first day back, the boy she left behind twelve years ago comes to her rescue and her sleeping heart inconveniently reawakens. All during their youth, Ryan “Coop” Cooper played Taylor’s “promise game,” and they never once broke a promise to each other, but that was years ago, and Coop, now an established contractor, isn’t the same person. Building a wedding gift she-shed brings Coop closer to Taylor. They recall their promises – silly and solemn – and realize the spark could easily once again flame.But Taylor’s life is in New York, and Coop, a single father, won’t risk his heart or his daughter’s again…
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A Kiss from the past…
His charming grin disabled her and she sat down beside him. She placed a coffee cup in front of him and took one for herself. “Well then, I have confession to make too,” he said. “I saw Julie leave just a minute ago. I came in here…to see you.”
She didn’t know how she felt about that, but her heart began to pound. And not just a little bit. “Well, that’s honest.”
“I always try to be.”
“And why all this honesty?”
“Maybe because I smelled the muffins baking and it sort of lured me in.”
“Good try. But I baked these yesterday. Last I checked, you can’t smell day old muffins.”
He gave her an innocent look. “No?”
She shook her head and smiled.
“So maybe, I came in here to check on you.” He leaned in real close, until she could see the ocean blue rim around his eyes. He braced his elbow on the table and with two fingers, brushed several strands of hair away from her face. He did this ever so gently, his touch careful and precise. As he took in her bruise, his eyes narrowed to fine slits as if he were in pain. “Nasty.”
“It looks awful, but it’s healing.”
“Does it still hurt?”
“No. Not really.”
He released a breath. “That’s good.”
He gazed into her eyes and lingered there. He held her mesmerized, so much emotion passing between them, so much desire. It was raw and scary and unexpected. And when he leaned in closer, his fingers in her hair, and glanced at her mouth she couldn’t move away, couldn’t stop what was happening. He held her face carefully, his thumb circling her cheek. And then, his lips were on hers, softly, gently, the scent of sugar and coffee mingling between them.
It was a kiss from the past, a kiss with no future, but yet she didn’t have the willpower to stop it, to put a halt to this craziness.
But Coop did. He ended the kiss and backed away, holding her gaze. “I…I shouldn’t have done that.”
His remorse put an ache in her heart. Was he remembering his dead wife? Was it guilt that pulled him away? And if she was so against letting him in again, why was she disappointed? “And yet you did.”
He shrugged. “I was worried about you.”
“Is that all it was?”
“Isn’t that enough, Taylor?” His voice elevated.
“What do you mean?”
He scratched his head, his face twisting. “Oh wait, I almost forgot, this place was never enough for you. I was never enough for you, was I? Never mind. Don’t answer that, I already know.”
His chair scrapped back, the noise echoing against the kitchen walls and then he was up, grabbing the tray for his crew. “Don’t get up, I’ll bring this to the guys.”
She rose in spite of his command. “Coop? Exactly who are you mad at? Me or yourself?”
He opened his mouth ready to let her have it, but then he clamped it shut and appeared thrown off a bit, as if he was confused. He shut his eyes for a second, shook his head and then walked off, leaving her standing there, stung by his kiss and his parting words.
She’d broken his heart, and he still resented her. And to add insult to injury, he probably felt terrible pangs of guilt about his wife.
Maybe he was mad at both of them.
And maybe, just maybe, she was mad at herself as well.
For enjoying that kiss a little too much.-->
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