ONE LITTLE LIE. A WHOLE LOTTA TROUBLE.
Moments after meeting the most gorgeous guy ever, Gabby Winters promptly gets stung by a zillion yellowjackets and falls-not gracefully-into a stream. Yup, Ethan Hunter is trouble with a capital "hot," and Gabby definitely needs to keep her distance. Except in the small town of Haven, there's nowhere to hide from Ethan's sexy, infectious grin . . . and all the residents are conspiring against her.
At the center of the town's matchmaking is Ethan's grandmother, who's convinced their relationship is a done deal. Rather than break her heart, Gabby and Ethan find themselves cornered into pretending to be falling in love. The problem: there's serious sizzling attraction between them. And if this charade continues, they won't fool just the entire town - they might fool themselves too . . .
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Rachel Lacey lives in North Carolina, with her husband, son, and their own rescued pup. She volunteers her spare time with Carolina Boxer Rescue and truly has a passion for helping our furry friends. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America as well as her local Heart of Carolina RWA chapter.
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“I’m glad you brought me out here.” Gabby stepped over a tree root, lifting her skirt with her free hand so that she didn’t trip.
Ethan squeezed her left hand. “Me, too. The rock face is right up this way.”
They came around a corner and the path opened up to a big rock looming at least thirty feet into the air. There were some creases and cracks in it, but how anyone could scale it with only their bare hands—or why they would want to—was completely beyond her. “You can seriously climb that?”
“I can climb it. Ryan can kick its ass, though.”
“Okay then. Show me.”
With a cocky grin, he reached up and hooked his hand into a crack in the rock. He pulled himself up, his biceps flexing most impressively as he climbed. Holy shit, that was sexy. Soon she was left with nothing but a view of his very fine ass. And by the time he’d reached the top, she was so turned on, she could hardly stand it.
“So?” he called from the top. “You going to join me or what?”
“Not a chance. But I will enjoy watching you climb back down.”
“Gotta give the lady what she wants.” His fine ass reappeared over the edge as he started back down. He took his time on the descent, and if she wasn’t mistaken, he might have reached for a few hand and footholds that made him flex his muscles a little more than was strictly necessary.
“You’re a show-off,” she said when his feet were back on solid ground.
He was a bit out of breath, his bronzed skin glistening with sweat, trademark smile still in place. “No clue what you’re talking about.”
“No? You really needed to reach all the way to that notch?” She gestured above them. “Instead of the one closer to your shoulder that maybe wouldn’t have shown off your lovely biceps quite as well?”
He flexed for her. “What, these old things? And for the record, I totally needed the leverage.”
“Mm-hmm.” For some reason, she put her hand on his biceps, and oh crap, that was a mistake. His skin was hot beneath her fingers, and his blue eyes blazed into hers.
“Killing me, Gabby,” he murmured. “Killing me.”
His words sent a bolt of red-hot desire right through her, and she must have made a sound because Ethan sucked in a breath, his gaze locked on her lips. His hands settled on her hips, burning into her skin through the thin fabric of her skirt.
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