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Allison Stuart has always been the odd-woman-out of her family. She wears her jeans a little too tight, colors her hair a little too blonde, and instead of going into medicine and law like her sisters, she runs a diner. She’s also the only single sibling left. And while she won’t change her style, and her meatloaf is to die for, thank you very much, she wouldn’t mind her share of wedded bliss. So she makes an early New Year’s resolution: No more meaningless flings.
Drop-dead sexy Luke Hamilton is everything Allison has sworn off. His only serious relationship has been with his five-star restaurant, Le Cygne Noir, in Chicago. When he’s threatened by a lawsuit, Luke decides to hide out in Pineville, Michigan, until the statute of limitations runs out. The small town is filled with Christmas charm, but he can’t imagine living there. Heating things up with the hottie who owns the local diner would make his exile bearable—if he can convince her to give up her ridiculous resolution . . .
Read an excerpt:
She laid a hand on his arm and squeezed. “Both my sisters are married to nice, dependable men, and I have two nieces. That’s what I want. No matter how much my hormones want to take you up to my bed and have their way with you, that’s not going to get me to my dream.”
“Nice. Dependable.” He shoved his hands deeper in his pockets. “It doesn’t sound like you want a husband. It sounds like you want a pet dog.”
She took a step back and ran her hands down her dress, smoothing out the creases. “There’s nothing wrong with dependable.”
Raising his hand, he picked up a lock of her hair and twisted it around his finger. “That’s just a synonym for dependable, not an argument.”
“This isn’t something you can argue with me about. It’s my decision.” She took a step away before turning back. “I’ll show you to your room. And I really am sorry I threw myself at you like that, gave you the wrong message. It won’t happen again, hot shot,” she said with a wink, her good humor restored.
Luke picked up his bags and trudged after her up the stairs. She bounced back as quickly as her curls did, and a tiny kernel of resentment blossomed in Luke’s gut. He didn’t want her to be heartbroken, but a token display of dejection wouldn’t go amiss. Luke was man enough to admit that the fact that he was never going to have Allison Stuart caused an ache behind his breastbone.
And just for a moment, he thought about what it would take to be the kind of man Allison wanted.
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