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Cross My Heart

The Calloway Series, Book 1

I broke my promise to her once. I won’t make that mistake again. Cross my heart…

Fiona was my first love. She was everything to me.  And I broke her heart.

But that was a long time ago. Now, my military career is over. I’m back in our small town, running my family’s inn, hoping for a second chance with the one that got away.

Too bad Fiona no longer believes in second chances. Or love.

Getting snowed in together only made everything more complicated. Because our chemistry?

Hotter than ever.

I’m falling deeper in love with her by the day, and I have no idea where she stands.

I have one last shot to win back the love of my life, to prove to her that I’m in this for the happily ever after.

All I have to do is not screw it all up. Again…

+ Excerpt +

When I’d agreed to come home for the holidays, I hadn’t wanted to stay on my family’s farm, so I’d booked a room at a nearby inn. The same one where my high school sweetheart and ex, Aiden, used to live with his parents in a trailer on the property. The trailer had since been removed, and his sister, Marley, ran the inn. I didn’t expect to run into Aiden because he was usually deployed somewhere else.

By the time I drove down tree-lined driveway with white lights wrapped around the trunks, my eyes burned from exhaustion. My back and neck were stiff from the long day of travel between the flight and the drive.

The historic inn’s columns were wrapped in more white lights. Each window held a wreath with a red bow. I grabbed my suitcases and carried them up the stairs, admiring the tree on the porch that was decorated with red velvet ribbon and gold ornaments. I opened the heavy wooden door to the sound of holiday music drifting down the grand staircase.

A man in a suit rushed forward to take the suitcases from my hands and set them next to the counter.

“Fiona? What are you doing here?” my sister, Daphne, asked, and my attention was diverted to her.

“I came for a visit.” That much was the truth.

Daphne’s forehead wrinkled. “You didn’t say anything to anyone.”

My gaze darted away from her. “It was a last-minute kind of thing.

The man behind the counter cleared his throat. “I don’t have reservations for you.”

When his gaze met mine, it was like all the air had been sucked out of me. Aiden Matthews was standing in front of me. Instead of asking why he was here working at the inn, I said, “I called earlier, and a woman said she had a room for me.”

She might have said something about a holiday party in the ballroom, but I didn’t think that would affect me. I was here to visit with my family and figure out my life. I wasn’t here to take part in the inn’s holiday festivities.

Aiden turned his attention to his computer screen at the same time Daphne stepped forward. “Fiona, this is Cole Monroe, my boyfriend.”

The name Monroe caught my attention. The family owned a competing Christmas tree farm. Recently, I’d heard my brothers complain that they were eating into our farm’s profits.

Cole held his hand out to me. “It’s nice to meet you.”

I smiled at Cole and said to Fiona, “I didn’t realize you were dating anyone.”

Daphne smiled up at Cole. “You’ve missed a lot.” Then she shifted her attention to me. “We were just stepping out. Cole has something he wanted to show me. Can we catch up later?”

Even though I hadn’t announced my visit to anyone other than my dad, I was a little surprised that Daphne had dismissed me so easily. But then again, I hadn’t been a part of my family’s life for a long time. I couldn’t expect them to drop everything just because I’d come for a visit. The familiar guilt wrapped around my heart and squeezed. “I’m in town for a few weeks, so we’ll have plenty of time.”

Daphne wrapped a hand around Cole’s arm, then frowned. “Are you sure you’re okay? Do you want me to stay?”

I tried to smile even though it felt forced. “I’m here for a holiday visit. Dad insisted I come.”

Daphne’s shoulders lowered. “I’m happy you’re here. It would be perfect if Axel and Ryder could visit too.”

“That would be lovely. You two enjoy your evening, and we’ll catch up later.” My smile fell when Fiona and Cole stepped outside, leaving me alone with Aiden.

There was a buzzing in my ears. The last time I saw Aiden, he told me he’d enlisted, and when I reminded him of his promises to wait for me to graduate from college, he’d apologized but remained steadfast. I couldn’t think of everything that followed. It hurt too much. He’d ripped my heart out of my chest that day, and I’d never recovered. I’d been young and stupid. Now I knew better than to get close to anyone.

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