All I Want Series Box Set
Trust in Me (Book 4): A Fake Relationship Small Town Romance
I’d never date anyone like Stella Lewis. But right now, she's exactly what I need. After all, my boss told me to socialize more if I wanted a promotion.
I need all of her tricks to seduce a crowd, and maybe, I'll seduce her in the end. It'll be a win-win.
Stay with Me (Book 5): A Second Chance Small Town Romance
Wyatt is no longer the easy-going predictable guy I fell for. An officer of the Department of
Natural Resources, he's an intriguing mix of cocky and bossy, which is almost as sexy as the way he fills out his uniform. I couldn’t resist him then, and I don’t want to now. I want to explore our chemistry but he wants a commitment—the one thing I’ve never been able to give him.
He thinks two blue lines change everything... but he’s wrong.
Take a Chance on Me (Book 6): A Single Dad Small Town Romance
His kind heart and stacked body tempted me to stay and face the rumors. But I’ve never let anyone get that close—especially a cop, with the sweetest daughter in the world, because my secrets ruined everything and everyone.
With him by my side things could be different... his love was worth taking the chance.
+ Excerpts +
Trust in Me
With all of the stops and starts, I’d barely even reached the field when someone in the crowd jostled me and I slammed into a very defined back. The person spun around, placing his large hands on my shoulders to steady me. My eyes traveled up from the sweat-soaked T-shirt to amused brown eyes partially hidden behind glasses.
“Sawyer?” I asked, breathlessly. Since when am I breathless around Sawyer?
“Stella? What are you doing on campus?” His low voice sent a shiver through my body.
I breathed in his scent, a combination of sweat, leather, and something musty from working in the historic buildings. I cleared my throat, taking a large step back, causing his hands to drop from my shoulders. We were total opposites—he was quiet and intelligent—I was loud and said whatever was on my mind. He was analytical and I was flighty.
At Sawyer’s raised brows, I knew I’d been quiet for too long. “Oh, I’m the newest advisor for the student paper. My boss didn’t want to do it anymore, so one more thing on my plate.” I smiled wide to cover my thoughts. I was always expected to be the happy, carefree person. I knew my role and played it well.
Sawyer’s eyes widened. “Wow, Stella, that’s great.”
“Is it so surprising?” I couldn’t help asking in a small voice. Of course, someone as smart and accomplished as Sawyer wasn’t impressed by me—I was voted the class clown my senior year.
“Not exactly.” He coughed into his hand and shifted on his feet.
I took a step to pass him, but his hand closed around my arm, drawing me up short. My breath caught at the contact, and my gaze paused on the long tan fingers circling my arm.
“I’m sorry, Stella. I guess it surprised me a little.”
I nodded, my lips drawn tight at his honesty.
“I’m sorry. That came out all wrong.” He sighed, clearly frustrated with himself causing my heart to clench.
This man was upset that he’d hurt my feelings? When was the last time that had happened?
Then quieter, he said, “I think it’s great you’re working with the kids on the paper. Being younger, I’m sure they’ll relate better to you.”
I smiled. “Yeah, that’s true.” The fact that he’d referred to his students as kids stuck out to me. My mind flashed back to the young co-eds on the quad wearing baby doll-size shirts and tiny shorts.
He smiled, drawing his lip between his teeth, like was uncomfortable letting loose. “I guess we’ll be seeing more of each other now—since you’re working on campus.”
“Oh yeah, for sure.” For sure? I was talking like the students now. Sawyer had reduced me to a simpering sorority girl. “Anyway!” My voice rose an octave as I tried to continue speaking in my best reporter voice, “I need to get to my meeting so I’m not late. It was great seeing you, Sawyer.” I glanced pointedly where his hand still gripped my arm firmly.
His face flushed, he dropped my arm. “Right. Sorry about that.”
It was on the tip of my tongue to say I wasn’t. That he could touch me anytime he wanted to, but I remembered what he said when our group of friends gathered at Logan and Ashley’s home for their housewarming party: “No man, she’s too much for me. She’s impulsive and loud. I need a nice, quiet—” I have no idea what else he’d said because I’d fled the party before he saw me.
He’d been clear that night. He saw me as this flighty airhead who didn’t take anything seriously. Not that I’d ever seen him for more than what he was, the brother of a friend in my tight circle of friends. I couldn’t blame him. He didn’t know me. No one did. But I couldn’t get his softly spoken words out of my head. It cut to the core of my insecurities—wishing I could be more like other women—not someone so easily dismissed and discarded.
I managed to walk away without tripping, but I swore I felt his gaze on my back as I continued across the quad, dodging Frisbees. A lightness filled me as I replayed the interaction with him—the first time I’d noticed Sawyer as a man and not an acquaintance—his defined chest and chiseled abs. Who knew sweat looked so good on a man? I’d told him before he was Clark Kent sexy with his glasses before and it was so true.
Stay with Me
The crowd, which had been watching Jack and Samantha, dispersed so I ran my fingers down the skirt to smooth out the wrinkles and drew in a shaky breath, worried I’d finally have to face everything and everyone I’d left behind.
I approached Samantha to wish her well. “Congratulations!” They’d gotten engaged before Christmas, but I hadn’t been home yet to see her ring. She held out her hand for me to inspect. “It’s beautiful.” I hugged her and whispered. “I’m so glad you’re going to be my sister.”
“Thank you,” she murmured.
I turned to Jack who said, “I’m so glad you could make it.” He pulled me in for a hug—one I needed desperately. I relaxed into his embrace trying to remember the last time he’d hugged me. Was it when he left for college? I held onto him for a long time then too, hoping he’d change his mind about leaving. He was the eternal peacemaker in our family and when he left things weren’t the same. Back then, I couldn’t wait to get away from my family, this small town, and— I pulled back from Jack, seeing him. The one I left behind. Wyatt Carter.
This was the first time I’d seen him in seven years. My pulse pounded in my ears as I took in his gray suit, his reddish-brown hair trimmed close to his head on the back and sides, left slightly longer on the top, and a scruff bordering on a full beard covering his chin. So different from the unruly curly hair and smooth face he’d kept when we were kids.
My arms hung loosely at my sides as I tried to keep my shoulders back, my face devoid of emotion. But inside, my stomach was churning and my heart was beating out of my chest. He wasn’t the reason I left, but he was the reason I’d stayed away. “Wyatt. I’m surprised to see you here.”
The fitted suit, his stylish hair, and the jacket straining around his biceps made me swallow hard. He was a man now. So different from the boy I’d walked away from.
“Why is that?” Wyatt’s eyebrow raised, standing feet shoulder-width apart, arms crossed over his chest. His voice was deeper and raspier than I remembered. Everything about his posture and tone screamed that I was the one who didn’t belong, even if it was my brother’s engagement party.
His light blue eyes, which once looked at me with love and affection, now sparked with irritation. I couldn’t blame him. I hadn’t expected to see him here either.
“I didn’t know you were even friends with Jack.” I’d left for college and visited occasionally—enough to keep my parents happy. I’d wanted to escape my family’s bickering and the family business which, if I’d stayed, threatened to consume my life. Every time I returned, I couldn’t wait to get in my car and head back over the bridge to the city.
I’d been friends with Wyatt since we were kids, but after Jack went to college, he was more. He represented safety and an escape from my family, but it wasn’t enough. When I accepted a full ride to college, I thought I’d go without anything or anyone holding me back. I hadn’t expected the break-up to be so hard. I’d managed to avoid seeing Wyatt on those visits because I was ashamed of the way I had ended things and I was scared of my reaction if I saw him.
“There’s a lot you don’t know,” Wyatt said, his voice was tight, and a muscle ticked in his jaw. “We work together.”
I looked to Jack who watched our exchange, and his eyes were concerned. Why hadn’t he warned me Wyatt would be here? I’d dated Wyatt after Jack left for school so maybe he didn’t realize how close we’d been. And over the years, I’d never asked about him. I’d pretended he didn’t exist. Like there wasn’t anything between us but young love. That’s what I told myself so I could move on.
But now that he was here, standing in front of me, I knew I hadn’t moved on at all. All those emotions were flooding back to me—regret for how I ended it and a crushing feeling of loss. Less than a minute in his presence and it was like no time had passed—nothing had changed. When you’re a teenager, you think there’s always something better out there. How wrong I’d been.
Take a Chance on Me
“I’m Rylan’s father, Tanner Green.” A man’s large hand engulfed mine with a firm grip.
My eyes were drawn to the scruff lining his jaw. Then to his blue eyes brought out by the soft blue-checked flannel shirt he wore rolled up, revealing strong forearms with a light dusting of hair. His shirt hung open over a gray Henley he paired with dark wash jeans. His clothes did nothing to hide his defined chest, straining biceps, and muscular thighs. Everything about this man was large and sexy. I swallowed, trying to focus on his words and not the fact that I was drawn to this man physically. Rylan … right. The latest addition to the six-thirty p.m. ballet class—the sweet blonde who wore black instead of a pink leotard and no tutu. “Sadie Cole. Nice to meet you, Mr. Green.”
It wasn’t my imagination that he stiffened when I’d said my name. For the first time in a long time, I was attracted to someone, but it was always the same—my reputation in this town preceded me. He knew how I was fired from my last job, about that incident in high school, or that our family was trouble in general.
Tanner squatted down to be level with Rylan. “Can you play with Zoe for a minute so I can talk to your teacher?”
My heart squeezed at the sweet way he’d gone to his daughter’s level to speak to her at the same time my stomach dropped. Here it is. He was going to tell me how he couldn’t trust me around his daughter or some other nonsense. No one had told me that to my face, but I’d heard comments in the waiting room—what was Kristen thinking allowing Sadie to work with little kids? As if what happened when I was a younger meant I was bad influence.
“Okay, Daddy.” Rylan smiled before running over to Zoe.
Tanner rose to his full height. “Sorry, I don’t want to keep you.”
When his warm blue eyes settled on me, I burned hot wondering if he’d ask for a refund or to transfer Rylan to another class—one where I wasn’t the teacher.
“It’s fine.” But I was hungry and wanted to go home, even though home wasn’t much of a sanctuary for me.
“Rylan’s mother signed her up for these classes.” He paused and I knew there was a bigger issue when his forehead wrinkled. “But Rylan doesn’t like them.”
“She seemed okay in class.” I racked my brain to determine if I’d missed something. I tried hard to engage the girls and I was pretty good at figuring out which ones were shy, reluctant, outgoing, or didn’t want to be there.
“On the way here, she complained that she didn’t want to come.” He looked around presumably to make sure no one was listening and lowered his voice. “She hates princesses and those fluffy skirt things the other girls wear.”
I smiled at this large masculine man trying to describe pink tulle. “You mean, tutus?”
Tanner nodded. “Her mother, Bree, wants her to be a dancer because she was.”
That wasn’t uncommon. Lots of moms signed their daughters up for dance because they’d enjoyed it as a child. “This isn’t a princess class, but there’s usually an element of princesses in all of the beginner classes. Most girls enjoy it.”
I chewed my lip looking at Rylan in her black leotard and thought about how she’d closed her eyes when the music started and moved her body to the beat. “Maybe she’d be happier in the hip-hop class? She seemed to enjoy music and dancing to the beat.”
His lips curled up. “I’d be willing to try it out.”
My heart fluttered from the combination of his smile and his desire to ensure his daughter was happy. “Let me check the schedule.” I moved over to the front counter pulling up the computer calendar Kristen kept, happy to discover there was one spot available. “The only opening is on Tuesdays.”
“Does someone else teach it?”
I stiffened. “I’m the only hip-hop teacher.”
Tanner studied me carefully as if he was uncertain about something. He glanced over at Rylan who was still playing with Zoe. “Okay.”
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