Title: Playing Her Song
Author: Kimberly Keyes
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Sometimes a fresh start means going back home…
When Julia’s carefully constructed life takes a sudden, demoralizing nose dive, she flees to the small town of her youth. She finds the perfect landing place–a furnished cottage on a private estate in the Blue Ridge foothills.Then she learns the owner-resident is Jackson Tate—her high school crush, and until recently, the source of her greatest humiliation.
Jackson, the small town boy-turned-rockstar, never forgot Julia, nor the mistake he made causing his one-time math tutor to vanish from his life. Jackson avoids all but the most superficial entanglements of the female variety. Yet one look at Julia and he’s determined to win back the friendship he lost.
Julia’s ancient grudge can’t withstand Jackson’s lethal combination of humility and charm. But what about her teenage crush? Especially one not so one-sided after all…
“Son, you go on out. I’ll finish helping Miss Julia.”
Chase jettisoned from the room. A heartbeat later, the pocket door whirred softly closed. The spacious kitchen felt suddenly small.
“He’s a sweet kid, Jacks. You’re a good dad. It shows.”
Jackson moved to stand behind her while she sliced the apple pie. He gripped the counter near her hip and peered over her shoulder, watching her work. His body didn’t so much as graze hers, but the heat radiating from him told Julia he was standing way too close, for her comfort anyway. Her nerve endings disagreed. A delicious warmth turned her insides to jelly.
“I don’t know about that last bit, but he’s for sure the best thing that ever happened to me. Pie looks good,” he murmured close to her ear.
A flush rode up her neck. Because he stood so close she could smell his cologne? Because of the rough-velvet sound of his voice curling in her ear? Who could say?
His fingertips brushed her cheek as he sifted through her hair and let it fall. “It’s as silky as it looks,” he said in a hushed voice. “Smells good, too.”
Her breath turned choppy, and her hand, holding the pie cutter, froze mid-air as all rational thought fled.
He reached around her. “Here, let me.”
“No, I can—”
He took the slicer.
Her hand, left with nothing to do, fluttered to the counter. She inched to the side to give him room—and save her sanity—and collided with his other arm as it curled loosely around her waist. The warmth of his hand resting just below her ribs burned through the thin material of the dress.
“Didn’t mean to come in here and gum up the works, Jules. Pie’s a very important food group, don’t you know. Only one thing to do, I guess. Only thing I can do.”
“What’s that?” she asked, breathless and more than a little confused.
He finished partitioning the pie, set the utensil on the counter, then stepped back, taking his heat with him.
Before she could chide herself for the disappointment swamping her, he grasped both her shoulders and turned her to face him.
He wore a serious expression—but his eyes gleamed with mischief. “I’m going to buy you a trucker cap so you can hide that wild mane of yours in it and keep me from getting any ideas about playing with it.”
She laughed, flattered, flustered, and thoroughly charmed. “You’re a scoundrel, you know that?”
He laughed right along with her and stepped back. “Beyond a shadow of a doubt, sweetheart.”
Slowly, his words penetrated her Jackson-muddled brain.
When people tell you who they are, Julia Hudson, believe them. Jackson’s casual flirtation, which had her reeling, meant nothing to him beyond harmless fun.
Lucky for her, she could learn. She sent him a jaunty grin. “Or you can keep your paws to yourself, mister.”
He barked out another laugh, and she congratulated herself on her fine read of the situation.
“Coffee’s almost ready.” She beelined for the refrigerator. “I’ll get the cream and sugar if you’ll grab mugs in the cabinet above the coffee maker.”
Back in the dining room, Julia kept her expression neutral while she set the pie and whipped cream in the center of the table and laid plates in front of each person. She marveled at her calm. No one but her need ever know of Jackson’s superhuman ability to melt her panties off with a brush of his fingers and a few skillfully chosen words. This was serious progress.
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Kimberly Keyes’ fascination with spicy romance novels began when she discovered a box filled with her mother’s Harlequins. She quickly devoured all the books in the box, and soon after decided that one day she would be a romance author herself. After earning a Master’s degree in History, Kimberly combined her passion for writing with her knowledge of the Victorian era and dove into her career as a historical romance author. In no time, she added writing contemporary romance to her resume. The result? Award winning novels featuring steamy scenes, complex relationships navigating the global stage, and story twists and turns that keep readers turning pages. Published in both Historical and Contemporary romance, Kimberly happily spends her time writing and dreaming up ways to perplex the characters living inside her head until they have no choice but to give in to the lure of true love. Her release, Playing Her Song, is a sexy and fun contemporary she can’t wait to share with her readers. Kimberly currently resides in Orlando, Florida, with her faithful canine companion, Pappillon, a rescue off the streets of Puerto Rico. It’s a gift to find the one thing you’re meant to do—a gift Kimberly never takes for granted.
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