Home Style Lovin'
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by Elizabeth Palmer
Description: A betting man ... Sometimes Ty Clayton wins; sometimes he loses. But he never, ever gives up. A failed investment has forced him to work for his domineering father at mega-corporation TexAmerica. His can't-fail assignment: the acquisition of Ike's Home-Style Bar-B-Q, a popular but in-the-red restaurant in Angel Springs, Colorado. There's just one problem, however--a big one in a size 6 package. The widowed owner of Ike's, Anna McAllister, doesn't want to sell. Not to anyone, but especially not to Ty Clayton. A woman who plays it safe ... Anna McAllister doesn't take risks: not with her business, and not with her heart. Riding herd on her all-boy son and cantankerous grandfather while fending off Ike's greedy competitor, Porky Lundgren, keeps her too busy to think about sex, love, or romance. Until Ty Clayton roars into town on his Harley, that is. Then the memory of a stolen kiss, and his blazing dark eyes, ignite a desire like none she's ever known. But will his past mistakes--and his current secrets--keep her from gambling on love?
eBook Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc./Champagne Rose, 2008
eBookwise Release Date: March 2008
5 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [261 KB]
Reading time: 169-237 min.
The moon, just a few days past full, had risen over the horizon when Anna returned to the backyard, but wasn't yet providing much illumination. When she reached the top of the ladder, she found Ty on the platform outside the treehouse, his disembodied grin floating in the air like the Cheshire cat's. He reached out his hand and pulled her down beside him onto something soft and cushiony.
"I hope you don't mind, I brought up the comforter from the apartment bed."
She leaned back gingerly, and discovered the pillows from inside were propped up against the treehouse wall. A breeze ruffled the leaves above her, and she laughed. "This must be what it's like to be inside a bird's nest."
"Except we have things the birds don't, like this bottle of champagne."
She heard the pop of a cork, then the fizz and gurgle of the wine being poured.
A moment later he pressed a plastic cup into her hand. "Fine champagne should be sipped from a crystal flute, but then again, the Angel Springs liquor store didn't have any fine champagne."
"Is this part of the treehouse dedication?"
Her eyes had adjusted to the darkness enough to she could see him shake his head. "We're drinking to our new beginning. To hope and possibilities."
Anna had to swallow hard to get the icy, bubbly liquid past the swelling in her throat. The almost-round moon climbing the clear sky made her think of Monica's pregnant belly. "To possibilities." She smiled up at Ty.
He took the cup from her hand and set it behind him. As he turned back to her, he put his arms around her and pulled her close. He bent his head and his lips met hers, at first with the softness of their earlier kiss, then with more insistent pressure. Her lips opened to admit his hot tongue into her champagne-cooled mouth, and their bodies drew closer and closer to each other.
If his past kisses had undone her, the combination of this kiss and full contact with his hot, hard body was enough to shut down all conscious thought. She only knew she wanted him, wanted all he had to give her.
When they stopped to take a breath, she spotted the first bright star of the night over Ty's shoulder. "The wishing star," she whispered.
"Can you tell me your wish?"
"That you make love to me, here and now, in this special place." She clung to him, nuzzling her face against his neck, and felt his calloused fingers slide inside the back of her T-shirt.
"A wish that's sure to come true." His voice was husky.