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If Storm Willow wants to save her family’s seaside cottage, she’ll have to keep her boss happy—which means taking Kenna’s place and marrying Zane when Kenna is detained out of the country. As long as Storm acts her part, no one will know that she’s an imposter. But when she falls for the handsome Marine, Storm begins to wonder if holding onto the cottage is worth giving up on love.
Can a fake marriage lead to real happiness? Or is disaster just a heartbeat away?
Enjoy an excerpt:
“Kenna, can I ask you a question?” Zane stopped outside the door to her room.
“Of course.” No matter where Storm’s gaze rested, the Marine was fascinating, from his direct gaze, to the curve of his smile to the hollow at the base of his throat.
“When you realized what you had to do to get your inheritance, what did you feel?”
Storm searched for an answer. Kenna had been furious, of course, but she couldn’t say that to Zane, not when the way he was looking at her told her he too was struggling against a current of desire.
“You know what I felt?” he went on when she didn’t reply, and his deep, warm voice touched off a new wave of want within her. “Relief. I wanted to marry anyway, but I was beginning to think I was the only one in the world who felt that way. The guys in my unit acted like marriage was a death sentence. Even the women I met seemed to think that.” He shrugged. “You’d think no one believed in marriage anymore. I do, though. I’ve always known exactly what I want. To get my family’s ranch back, to fall in love with a beautiful woman, and to start a family with her. When I heard Heloise’s conditions for inheriting the ranch, I thought, ‘Well, now I’ve got an excuse for going out and getting a wife.’” He laughed, but it was a bitter sound. “I’ve never told anyone that.” He looked away and the brim of his hat hid his face from view for a moment. When he turned back toward her his gaze was direct and searching. “What about you? Have you ever wanted something like that?”
Storm barely trusted herself to answer. Kenna would say no—she’d never wanted a husband or a family.
But Storm wasn’t Kenna.
“Yes. I’ve always wanted to marry, too. My parents were so happy together and it’s been so hard on my mom since…” She caught herself just in time, realizing she was getting her story crossed with Kenna’s. “I’ve always wanted to marry. I want…” What did she want? “I want a partner in life. Someone I can depend on. Someone I can celebrate with when things go well. I want us each to have our separate passions, but I want us to have plenty that we do together, too. Does that make sense?”
“That makes perfect sense. Kenna, I—”
“Call me Storm,” she said on impulse. “All my friends do.” Each time he said Kenna’s name it felt like a slap to the face. She didn’t want to remember Zane was her boss’s pretend fiancé, not hers. She didn’t want to think about Kenna at all.
“Storm,” he said slowly. “I like that. It suits you better than Kenna. Storm, I feel like you and I—” He broke off, turned away, and surveyed the parking lot beneath them. “Never mind."
About the Author:
Like the characters in her novels, Cora enjoys old-fashioned pursuits and modern technology, spending mornings transforming a neglected one-acre lot into a paradise of orchards, berry bushes and market gardens, and afternoons writing the latest Chance Creek romance novel. Visit www.coraseton.com to read about new releases, contests and other cool events!
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