Regan Ferguson knows little past running The Inn, her home since her adoption. Again orphaned, sheâs dealt another blow. Her father never repaid a loan, the recipient being Maddox Ferguson, her newfound, sexy cousin.
Intrigued by the woman he never knew existed, Maddox is awed by her tenacity and determination to continue with The Inn. He makes her a loan to give her the opportunity to learn for herself how impossible the task, rather than personally destroying any chance to explore the connection between them. However, he quietly lines up potential buyers as a fallback plan.
Regan eventually has that epiphany, only to accidentally determine Maddoxâs plan. Feeling betrayed and confused, she secretly signs the buyout and hits the road with her cat, Oscar.
Maddox follows, and without The Inn between them they find their happily ever afterâRegan learns that home is wherever her heart is.
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She stuck out her hand, and he fancied she saw it as an olive branch. The hostility sheâd initially projected was gone, and he took the opportunity to encroach into her space. Clasping her small, work-roughened hand in his much larger one, a frisson of energy sparked between them and he felt her quiver.
Fascinated, he watched as she strove to regain her composure, while he allowed his desire to show. Staring into her eyes, the pale-blue of her irises consumed by the dilation of her pupils, he read her need. He tugged her to his chest, the clean smell of soap and water, and something uniquely Regan, wafting from her.
Her head tipped back and he dropped his mouth down on hers, the immediate connection hardening his flesh to the point of pain. She relaxed into his hold and he tasted her with desperate intent. His fingers wove through the silky mass of her hair, holding her steady, and she moaned deep in her throat. She pressed closer, her arms wreathing around his neck.
He somehow brought it to a close, over long before he wanted it to be, but his conscience pricked hard. Heâd promised her the time and money to bring The Inn up to snuff, somehow unable to resist. And now heâd honor his commitment, intuiting the importance of this woman determining her own destiny. Not a fling, not like with his other women.
His libido jeered and prodded at him but knew to allow nature to take its course. Wherever this connection with Regan was going, he wouldnât hurry nor derail it.
As they both caught their breath, he gently set her away from him, his hands on her lithe waist, until she steadied on her stool. âI normally donât seal business deals with a kiss,â he said, aware his tone held a certain rasp. Clearing his throat, he continued, âItâs been a â¦ momentous day.â
Her slender throat working in a swallow, she said, âIâve never sealed a business deal before.â
He knew she wasnât experienced and doubted she kissed every man sheâd just met with fervor and without meaning anything by it. Aching for her, he clamped down on his physical need and did his best to appear suave and unruffled. âWe have a deal, Regan. Iâll bring my things in and get settled while you get organized. Youâll need a material list, among other things.â
Visibly drawing her composure around her like flexible armor, she slipped from the stool and turned her back on him, clearing away the dishes on the island. âSounds good. Iâll just tidy up and then sit down with pen and paper. Lists are good.â
Holding hard on to his own equanimity, he nodded and headed out for his car. Some fresh air would clear his head and cool him down.
About the Author:
Peri Elizabeth Scott lives in Manitoba, Canada. She closed her part-time private practice as a social worker and child play therapist and pretends to work well with her husband in their seasonal business.
Writing for years, along with her alter ego and three coauthors, she has published over 50 novels and reads most everything she can lay her hands on.