About the Book:
She’s been fooled before by sweet words and hot kisses
Kelly Turner loves being a florist, and being asked to take the lead on the new site for the town’s festival is an honor. If only she didn’t have to work closely with the town player, Tate Prentice. After being burned once by a serial cheater, her inconvenient attraction toward Tate needs to be nipped in the bud.
Tate Prentice’s focus is on ensuring his father recovers fully from his stroke and making sure the family’s peach farm continues to thrive. When his brother nominates the farm to be the satellite site for the festival, he’s less than impressed. The only good thing is he’ll be working with Kelly – even though he knows she’ll never give him a second glance, not with his reputation.
The more time Kelly spends with Tate, the more she sees the man behind the reputation. Can she trust her instincts, or will her heart be broken once again?
Outside, the sounds of summer surrounded them. Crickets trilled, calling for company. A light veil of humidity hung in the air, not quite stifling yet. Come July and August, humidity would be heavy and unpleasant. Hopefully, Mother Nature would play nice for Founders’ Day and make the days and evenings pleasant.
“Where did you park your car?” he asked.
“Behind the shop.”
“Okay.” Tate headed in that direction, aware that he still had his arm around Kelly’s shoulders. Interesting. Why hadn’t she shaken him off? Not that he was complaining. She fit snugly, and he could get used to it.
A second later, she took a step to the right and his arm slipped to his side. The universe liked to give and then take away from him pretty quickly.
“You don’t have to walk me to my car, Tate. I’m a big girl and can get there by myself. The town is safe.”
He shoved his hands in his pocket to stop from reaching for her again. “I’m aware of that, but Dad would box my ears if he knew I’d let you walk alone after spending the evening with you.”
“Ahh, the gentlemanly gestures. It’s kind of sad they’re dying out.”
“You sound like you don’t want that to happen. You do know you just told me I didn’t have to do one of those gentlemanly gestures with dinner.”
She shrugged. “I have mixed feelings. I’ve been on my own for a long time. I’m an independent business owner. I’m in charge of my own life. And I love that, but when I listen to Mom talk about the early days of her and Dad’s courtship, it kind of makes me sad that some of those traditions are being lost. Some days, I’d like to experience it, and other days I don’t.”
Tate itched to rest his arm on her lower back as they walked down the darkened alley by her shop. Would this be one of those gestures she wanted? He compromised and raised his hand to her lower back, not touching but close enough that he could if she needed it. “I’m sure in time a balance will be struck that will please everyone.”
“I hope so,” she murmured as they stopped by her car, unlocking it. The flashing lights brightened the night for a heartbeat.
Deciding to risk it, he leaned around her and opened the door for her. “I had a really nice evening tonight, Kel. Thanks for asking me to join you.”
She looked up at him, the action bringing her face closer to his. In the muted glow from the only light in the parking lot, he caught the way her tongue darted out to moisten her lips. Tate bit back a groan. Memories from earlier in the day when he’d been tempted to kiss her in his kitchen slammed into him. His blood heated and his lower body tightened in his jeans.
He didn’t miss the increase in her breathing. “Kel?” he asked, sure of what he wanted but not wanting to assume she wanted the same thing.
“Tate,” she whispered and swayed a fraction toward him.
He rested his hand on her hip and lowered his head, keeping his eyes open. If she pulled back, he would give her space. Only she raised her face and their lips met.
About the Author: When not writing, USA Today Bestselling author Nicole Flockton is busy looking after her very own hero – her wonderfully supportive husband, and two fabulous kids. She also enjoys watching sports and, of course, reading.