On the flap: Violet Smith and Zach Aubrey have history…
…the kind of history he regrets and she wishes she could forget.
When a booking mistake at Deep Haven Cottage strands them together at a rental house on the Maine coast, the rocker and the writer are suddenly thrown back together after ten years apart. While Violet will do almost anything to prevent history from repeating itself, Zach wants to show her that her heart will be safe with him this time. But can Violet give him a second chance? And will Zach truly be able to change history?
Playing songs, playing for keeps…Playing for Love at Deep Haven
“I have a room at the White Swan on Tuesday," Violet explained. "This is only temporary, Zach. Just for a few nights. I’m not staying.”
His heart sank like an anchor in the harbor. He wouldn’t have much time with her, after all. The disappointment constricted his chest and he clenched his jaw, grinding once, twice. She stood watching him with wide, challenging eyes, not moving from her position against the door. He took a step toward her, brushing his thumb over his lower lip as his eyes connected with hers.
“Violet.” He took another step, then another, until he stood in her space, directly in front of her. She didn’t try to slide away, but her breathing changed and her chest lifted more rapidly. He leaned forward and she blinked at him once from behind those big old glasses that made her look so familiar, it hurt his heart. Made it ache like something bruised or sprained or sorely out of use. He reached up and tucked one stray hair back behind her ear and she broke eye contact with him, holding her breath, looking down.
“Stay,” he whispered, his finger lingering on the hot skin behind her ear. “I just want to get to know you again.”
Her mouth formed an “O” as she let out a soft, unsteady breath. When she raised her eyes, they were glassy, glistening and exhausted, and he longed to open his arms to her but he didn’t. He didn’t want to do anything to make her uncomfortable, to scare her away.
Take it slow. He could hear his sister’s voice in his head, though his whole body rebelled against it after waiting almost a decade to see Violet’s face again.
“Why? What’s the point, Zach?” Her expression tried to be nonchalant, but she couldn’t conceal the hurt and anger that flared up behind her eyes, coloring her cheeks a deep red.
And just like that, his strategy turned on a dime. To hell with scaring her away. If her face told him nothing else, it told him that she still felt something for him, too. And if he only had three days with her, taking it slow wasn’t an option, was it?
“This is the point,” he murmured, bending his head to kiss her.
He placed his palms on her cheeks as he had that night so long ago when she had returned from the bus station. He pressed his lips against hers and was shocked by the familiarity of her after so many years, as if the part of his brain wired for Violet was suddenly tripped like a circuit breaker, turned on, alive.
To his everlasting gratitude, she stepped toward him, not away, and whether it was deliberate or unintentional, he didn’t care. She flattened her hands on his chest as he parted the seam of her lips with his tongue, tasting the lip gloss he had noticed before. Cherries or strawberries or some other -erries, it was light and sweet, but the inside of her mouth tasted better. Tasted familiar, like college Violet, like the girl he’d loved. His tongue found hers, lightly touching, then swirling around it, as his hands slid from her face, over the contours of her neck to her shoulders, down her shoulder blades to the small of her back, where he locked his fingers, pulling her away from the door, closer to him.
This was exactly how it had felt that weekend, only they were both older now, more experienced, more mature. He’d been a boy kissing a girl that weekend and tonight he was a man kissing a woman. His whole body responded to having her back in his arms, tightening, hardening, wanting more from her, more from this woman who had haunted his dreams for way too long.
She moaned or sighed or whatever it was it sounded like fucking heaven in his ears – an unexpected A-flat – and he tilted his head, repositioning his mouth over hers so their lips were flush and he had full access to her, full contact, full--
He wasn’t expecting her to suddenly push him away and he was surprised by the amount of force she used. He stumbled back once, opening his eyes and touching his thumb to his lip reflexively.
Her chest heaved up and down and she covered her mouth with her hand, working her jaw. Her eyes were fierce and furious when she finally lowered her it, after swiping the backs of her fingers over her lips, rough and angry.
“Don’t. Ever.” Her nostrils flared and her eyes churned with emotion. “Do that again.”
She held his eyes until he nodded once, then she walked by him, up the stairs like a queen, leaving him hot and bewildered on the cold marble landing below.
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KATY REGNERY, winner of the 2013 NECRWA First Kiss and 2013 Maine RWA Everything But the Kitchen Sink contests, has always loved telling a good story and credits her mother with making funny, heartwarming tales come alive throughout her childhood. A lifelong devotee of all romance writing from Edwardian to present-day, it was just a matter of time before Katy tried her hand at writing a love story of her own.
As it turned out, one love story turned into a series of five Heart of Montana romances, following the love lives of the Yellowstone-based Lindstrom siblings. In addition to small-town contemporary romance, Katy is presently writing a paranormal romance that takes place in northern New England and the forests north of Quebec.
Speaking of forests, Katy lives in the relative-wilds of northern Fairfield County, Connecticut where her writing room looks out at the woods and her husband, two young children and two dogs create just enough cheerful chaos to remind her that the very best love stories of all are the messy and unexpected ones.
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