In the quaint little town of Cailkirn, Alaska, it's impossible to keep a secret, especially one as juicy as the unexpected return of Kitty Grant. Tack MacKinnon remembers her wild red curls and even wilder spirit-and still feels the sting from when she shattered his heart in college. But there's a pain in Kitty's gorgeous eyes that guts him to the core and Tack is determined to do whatever it takes to see the woman he still loves smile again-even if it means taking on her demons as his own. After fleeing an abusive ex-husband, Kitty decides that the best way to heal her broken heart is to come back home. But she gets a whole new shock when she sees how undeniably sexy Tack has become. More handsome, more muscular, more charming-more everything-he's impossible to resist. Before she knows it, they're reigniting sparks that could set the whole state of Alaska on fire. Yet trust doesn't come easy to Kitty anymore, and as things heat up between her and Tack, she can't help but wonder if one of them is going to get burned . . .
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Fighting the urge to act on his instincts, Tack cleaned up the detritus of lunch. It only took a couple of minutes to put everything back in his pack. But in that short time, Kitty didn't just maintain her distant silence, but she drew further away from him.
And she couldn't afford to do that.
He couldn't say how he knew that, he just did.
Tack's certainty growing that she'd checked out mentally in a way that was dangerous for her emotions, he put his pack aside and scooted closer to Kitty. She didn't seem to notice.
"Wildcat?" he prompted, his voice as gentle as he could make it. "You okay in there?"
"Of course." The words were right, but the vacant tone was anything but.
He slid his hand under her hair, cupping her neck, giving physical contact to draw her back to him and now. She didn't react to the touch at all and that scared him.
"Damn it, Caitlin Elizabeth Grant, look at me."
Her brows furrowed. "Don't."
"What?" he asked in a tone as gentle as he'd spoken sternly before. Come on, wildcat, tell me not to yell at you.
Her silence changed, as if she was searching for words. "Call me Caitlin." She frowned. "I don't like it."
"I thought you wanted me to." She'd said so, hadn't she?
"Why not? Why don't you like it?"
And that was it. He was done playing nice, his own misgivings not nearly as powerful as his need to stop whatever was going on inside Kitty's mind.
With careful, but inexorable pressure, he turned her head so she faced him. Her pupils were dilated like they'd been yesterday, her complexion waxy, but her lips were pink and parted invitingly.
Her breathing changed just a little bit and he took that as a victory.
"I'm going to kiss you, wildcat. Are you up for it?"
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