Sometimes the second time around
is even better than the first…
Cort Bellamy’s been avoiding his hometown of Crossroads, Georgia for too long. Who can blame him, when the small town is so thick with memories and everyone recalls that he let the love of his life slip away? However, his father’s summons for help on the family ranch can’t go unanswered much longer—and now he’s offering Cort a share. Returning to hard work is expected…but he never thought he’d see HER again.
Joss Ellis hates returning to her hometown with her tail tucked, a failure in everyone’s eyes. Her aspirations of making a place for herself in the big city have left her defeated and more than a little depressed. But the minute she sees her rugged ex, her emotions take a detour to hot and bothered. It’s impossible not to run into each other. Even the secret fishing hole is a reminder of whispers and promises that never came true.
She’s the same beauty with a big heart that he can’t keep his hands off. He’s sexier and more untamed than ever. To bring them even closer, they’re fighting similar battles in life. While Cort’s determined to show her that happiness is right here in Crossroads, Joss isn’t convinced. All she’s certain of is that sleeping with her ex is a really bad idea…and she definitely won’t fall for him this time around.
Cort’s boss is always switching his tasks and then complaining. This time though Cort’s had enough and walks off the job. Just as he’s arriving home he gets a call from his father. Short two hands and his foreman injured, his father needs him back on the Bellamy Ranch. With no other prospects Cort packs up and heads home to Crossroads, Georgia. A place he never really thought to return to after Joss broke his heart. At least she wouldn’t be there having gone to the big city to pursue her dreams.
Joss is done, she works too many hours for too little pay, her only splurge is a take out coffee once a month. It’s no way to live and working for a designer who takes all the credit for her designs is not what she envisioned. Admitting defeat is difficult but she can’t continue this way. Going home to regroup is the best thing. She just hoped she had some time before running into Cort.
Of course that doesn’t happen since one of the Bellamy’s fences had broken and an ornery steer is blocking the road. That’s when she gets her first look at the man she left behind, Cort Bellamy.
Now that may have been the first time she saw him and started to realize she still had feelings buried for him. However, a meeting at the grocery store is far more telling.
As she passed a woman, Joss dropped her gaze, hoping she didn’t recognize her and want to stop and chat. So far, she’d managed to come to terms with sharing a house with her sister, drink her bottle of wine and organize her bedroom. Though she left her sewing machine in the case in the closet. Looking at it hurt too much. All those collections she’d dreamed up in her head and thinking of how good she’d make people feel when they wore her clothes…
She issued a low sigh and continued toward the front of the supermarket.
At that moment, a big, tough cowboy came jogging through the automatic doors with a bag in his fist. In jeans, a white T-shirt and his black cowboy hat, Cort was the picture-perfect definition of cowboy. Heads whipped to watch his progress across the lot—hers included.
He ran up to an older lady. “You forgot one of your bags, ma’am.”
God, he drawled that so perfectly. Each syllable tugged at Joss, leaving her feeling as helpless as a puppet.
“Why thank you, Mr. Bellamy.” The woman smiled and reached for the bag.
“Your hands are full. Why don’t you let me help you to your car?” He took the bags from one of her hands.
Was the woman blushing? Dear God, she was. She was seventy-five if she was a day, and still at the mercy of Cort Bellamy.
As they crossed the lot, Joss realized that she stood in the open for Cort to see if he looked up. She considered dodging behind a car or sprinting for the entrance, but that would only draw more notice to herself. Besides, she wanted to see more of the man and his good deed.
She slowed her steps to watch Cort and the woman reach her car. She opened the back, and he placed all her bags inside. She patted his shoulder, and he tipped his hat. Seeing the pink roses in the woman’s cheeks, Joss realized her own felt too hot.
Lifting a hand, she touched her fingertips to her face, and sure enough felt the heat in her skin. The wind kicked up, sending the red and white striped banners on the store front flapping, and Cort made a grab for his hat.
That one masculine move awakened something long-dead in Joss. Something she hadn’t remembered until she experienced the first stirrings after seeing him the other day.
He looked up—and spotted her.
She turned for the store.
In seconds, he flanked her side, matching her steps. After only a few steps, she stopped walking and faced him like the adult she was. “Hi, Cort.”
“Joss.” He drawled her name like a lazy river made a bend. Like a slow brush of lips on a summer night.
She inflated her lungs with air. “That was nice of you to help Mrs. Greenway.”
“Actually, I was just savin’ myself a trip. If I hadn’t taken the bag to her now, I would have ended up driving it to her place later, since she lives down the road. What you saw was pure laziness on my part.”
She laughed. “I don’t believe that.”
“I’ve spent years perfecting the art of relaxation and I’ve got a minor in getting off easy.” His crooked grin overtook his rugged features.
She’d heard about his party days of college that led to him leaving school and working hard for a living. She also heard about the string of women behind him. Seeing him again left Joss with no doubt that women threw themselves at the man.
“Thought I’d grab one of those rotisserie chickens and go and eat it at the lookout.” His light blue eyes caught hers and held for two heartbeats too long. She slanted her gaze away, but damn if he didn’t lure it right back. They were like two magnets from day one, and things really hadn’t changed on that front, had they?
“I haven’t been to the lookout yet. I just settled in my sister’s place.”
“I get one free night a week.”
She arched a brow in question.
“Dad treats me like a cowpoke. I’m even shacked up in the bunkhouse.”
“I bet that’s a party every night. A bunch of cowboys drinking beer and tossing logs on a bonfire.” She noted the chiseled line of his jaw that seemed even more pronounced than in their youth and bunched her fingers into fists to keep from reaching up to stroke the stubble growing there.
He scuffed his boot heel against the asphalt. “Yeah, little bit like that. But we’re all dead asleep by eleven. Dawn comes too early for much of a party.”
Silence swelled between them. Neither moved to walk into the store. Strains of country music floated on the wind from somebody’s truck.
“You’re lookin’ fine, Joss. Those shorts…” He eyed her body, dragging his gaze up each curve nice and slow until he centered on her burning face.
Liquid heat pooled low in her belly, and she couldn’t move for fear she’d melt like an ice cream in the hot Georgia sun right there in the parking lot of Meyers’ Supermarket. How should she even respond to his comment? Her thoughts slid to the place they shouldn’t.
What she wouldn’t do to take the hunky cowboy for another test drive to see if he’d matured in all ways.
She scuffed her own boot heel on the ground and looked up at him.
Em Petrova. Bad in Boots (Kindle Locations 389-433). Kindle Edition.
The chemistry between these two is off the charts, and as they start meeting up at their favorite fishing spot things hit sizzle quickly.
Knowing her sister needs money, Jada posts a picture of one of the gowns Joss designed on the internet and it sells. Joss was surprised and pleased, but had doubts she could make a living designing here.
Plenty of sizzling heat between Cort and Joss, even as Cort’s father continues to be overly critical of everything Cort does.
Both Joss and Cort get second chances in this book and their romance sizzles off the pages.
5 Contented Purrs for Em!
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Em Petrova was raised by hippies in the wilds of Pennsylvania but told her parents at the age of four she wanted to be a gypsy when she grew up. She has a soft spot for babies, puppies and 90s Grunge music and believes in Bigfoot and aliens. She started writing at the age of twelve and prides herself on making her characters larger than life and her sex scenes hotter than hot.
She burst into the world of publishing in 2010 after having five beautiful bambinos and figuring they were old enough to get their own snacks while she pounds away at the keys. In her not-so-spare time, she is fur-mommy to a Labradoodle named Daisy Hasselhoff and works as editor with USA Today and New York Times bestselling authors.