Mia Zabrinski‘s lost enough– her marriage. Her job. Her body image. Mia is ready to rebuild her life in her hometown of Marietta,Montana, and she’s damned if she’ll let some stranger camp on her land and claim squatter’s rights.
Ryker Bensen doesn’t have much– and that suits him fine. Less than a year ago, he had everything: a beautiful girlfriend, a baby on the way, a career that earned him fame and a very comfortable living…until he didn’t. When beautiful Mia shows up and orders him off what she says is her land, Ryker realizes she might be the spark he needed to jumpstart his interest in living again.
They waddled quite gracelessly through the wet yard to the patio, which provided enough protection for Ryker to shake out the umbrella and stash it in a dry corner. He pulled a key from his pocket. “Side door,” he said, drawing her with him. “The slider is very sticky.”
Mia had been to Bailey’s workshop several times, but never at night. They kicked off their shoes and boots on a wide woven mat. “My socks are wet.”
“Mine, too. We can dry them on the register in my room.”
His hand was warm and comforting. “Want some tea or cocoa? Won’t be as good as Sage Carrigan’s.”
She squeezed his fingers. “Nothing right now.”
Was that signal clear enough? She wanted something that had nothing to do with food. She wanted him, God help her. She even brought along a couple of the condoms she bought in Bozeman the last time she was there. Not for fear of pregnancy, but because she hadn’t taken him up on his offer of a doctor’s report.
Her lack of female plumbing was another reason why this fling with Ryker could never go any further than a little temporary fun. He wasn’t even thirty. He’d want children at some point. He deserved a family of his own. She wasn’t the right woman for him…long-term, but for tonight? She wasn’t a sex fiend, but she felt fairly confident they’d both enjoy what was about to happen.
“What’s it like living in a jewelry store?” she asked as they passed the new showroom.
He shrugged. “Ask me in a week. When I was doing school pictures, I left in the morning before the ladies got here and they were gone by the time I got back.” He paused, his smile a bit mischievous. “But they’re really nice. They think I’m too thin so they leave plates of goodies for me. One of the ladies–I don’t know which–makes the best brownies on the planet. Do you want one?”
She did. “I cut sugar out of my diet because somebody told me or I read somewhere that sugar feeds cancer cells.”
He pulled her close. “But you got rid of the cancer cells.”
“I did, didn’t I?” What was her excuse for cutting pleasure from her diet? As a punishment for getting sick in the first place? “Okay. Give me a brownie.”
His smile triggered something silly, bright and magical inside her. She applauded when he danced like some crazy hipster down the hallway to the kitchen. He was a young Tom Cruise in white socks and blue jeans, with a mop of curls and laughing eyes.
He returned a second later in serious waiter mode–a yellow plate resting on his uplifted hand. “Madam,” he said with a phony French accent. “If you weel follow me. Your table..or should I say…bed…is waiting.”
Bed. The b-word. God, I’m really going to do this, aren’t I?
His bow was her answer. Tonight was about having fun.
Exactly what he made her want to feel again. Ryker Bensen was the right man to remind her she was still alive.
End of Excerpt
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