09/25/2017

EXCERPT: The Lucky Heart

The third book in the Jamison Valley series, The Lucky Heart, is available on all retailers. This is Silas and Felicity’s story and can be read as a standalone. Enjoy this excerpt from the first chapter in The Lucky Heart.

CHAPTER 1

“Uh, thanks.”

“Thanks?” I asked. He said it like I’d just opened the door for him or let him cut in front of me at the bank.

“Yeah, thanks. That was, uh, nice.” Silas was buttoning up his shirt like he couldn’t get out of here fast enough.

Nice? How could he say that? It had been incredible. Phenomenal even. It ranked in my top five best sexual experiences, even beating our hookup after Wes’s funeral two years ago. Top five was not nice. And I knew that he’d enjoyed it. He couldn’t fake that level of satisfaction to save his horse’s life.

I slid out of bed and pulled the sheet around my naked body. Moments ago, I had been enjoying some post-coital relaxation. Now I was getting angry.

The last thing I wanted was for any man, especially this man, to think that I was an easy lay. Is that why he’d come over? Had he been expecting me to put out?

I certainly hadn’t planned on having sex with him tonight, but when I’d opened the door, one thing had led to another and, well, Silas Grant was hard to resist. That chiseled jaw. Those brown eyes the color of warm maple syrup. A body perfectly sculpted from honest work. What had started as an awkward hug had soon turned electric and neither one of us had been able to stop after that first kiss.

“Is that why you came over tonight? For something ‘nice’?”

Please say no.

“No,” he said, buckling his belt. My shoulders sagged for the briefest second until he kept talking. “Maybe. I don’t know. I’m not sure why I came over but it was a mistake.”

“A mistake?” Every muscle in my face tightened.

“Yeah. A mistake.”

“Then it’s a good thing you’re leaving.”

He shook his head. “There she is.”

“What does that mean?”

He sat on the bed and pulled on his brown cowboy boots. “Just surprised it took over an hour for that attitude of yours to finally show.”

My lip curled. “Get. Out.”

He stood from the bed and pulled on his baseball hat, trapping his dark blond hair beneath. Just minutes ago, I’d been running my fingers through those silky strands. Now I wanted to yank some of them out.

“Welcome home, Felicity,” he clipped before walking out the door and slamming it behind him.

I let the sheet fall from my body as I snagged a pillow from the floor. With all the force I could summon, I threw it at the closed door. My breath was coming in angry pants as I stomped to my suitcase and tugged on a sleep shirt and panties.

“That man!” I pulled my long, honey-blond hair into a ponytail.

Silas could ignite my fiery spirit like no one else. In bed, it was amazing. Elsewhere, things could get dicey. We were either perfectly in sync or at each other’s throats.

I picked up the sheet off the floor and shook it out over the bed. Then I did the same with the white down comforter. The clock on the nightstand read 12:09 a.m. I’d been in town less than twelve hours and had already managed to piss someone off.

I had hoped that by moving home I could repair some of the relationships I had broken when I’d left sixteen years ago. That I could get to know my niece and nephew better and strengthen my relationships with my family. That maybe, just maybe, Silas and I could put the past behind us and start over.

“If you wanted to start over, maybe you shouldn’t have had sex with him. Brilliant move as ever, Felicity. Next time, keep your damn clothes on.”

The empty room didn’t have a response.

Felicity’s Journey Home, as I had deemed this new chapter in my life, wasn’t just about relocating back to my small hometown of Prescott, Montana. It was about making amends. It was about setting aside my mask and revealing the real me. For too long, I had hidden behind layers of false confidence and snide comments. I had disguised my vulnerabilities and insecurities with “attitude.”

It was time to do better. Be nicer. It was time to show people that I had changed.

I wasn’t the immature girl that had left Prescott after high school. Time and age had softened my rough edges. So had the love of my best friend, Sabrina. She had always seen through my sharp exterior, and thanks to her encouragement over the last sixteen years, my forked tongue came out less and less.

This new journey was about finding the courage to let others discover the version of myself that she had always seen. The version of myself that might, for once, be able to have a healthy long-term relationship.

I let out a dry laugh. “So far, you’re off to a great start.”

I walked to the door and picked up my pillow. Pressing it against my face, I let it muffle a frustrated scream.

Why had I snapped at Silas and told him to get out? He hadn’t meant to be a jerk, it wasn’t his style. He was probably just as confused about me as I was about him and hadn’t known what to say. But instead of being honest about my feelings, I’d let my armor snap back in place and released the snark.

I tossed the pillow against the headboard before curling into a ball beneath my covers. With my nose pressed into the sheet, I inhaled a deep breath. Silas’s rich and soothing scent still lingered on the cotton.

God, that smell. I drew in a few more breaths, memorizing the new leather smell, because I doubted I’d ever have it on my sheets again.
Okay. New rule. No more sex with Silas.
In the last two years, Silas and I had hooked up each time I’d visited Prescott. First, at Wes’s funeral, then again at my brother’s wedding, and every time after that except for last summer because I’d been dating someone in Seattle.

The casual sex had worked because, after each tryst, I could run back to Washington and hide. But now that I was living here, we couldn’t continue with the hookups. Here, I couldn’t have secret sex with Silas and pretend I didn’t want more.

Decision made. “No more sex with Silas.”

And no more attitude.

The next time I saw him, I would apologize for my behavior and tell him I’d like to build a friendship. We could put tonight, and all the other nights, behind us and move forward.

As friends.

Because this crazy idea that he’d ever love me back was just that.

Crazy.

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