In the lush heart of Kentucky, horse racing is king, and the Hamilton family is royalty, born to produce champions. Maybe that’s because they understand wildness better than most…
Charming, reckless, and restless, youngest brother Alex Hamilton has a reputation for sweet talking his way into any woman’s arms—and failing at anything to do with the family business. So when he commits to managing their new breeding operation, it’s under one condition: he’ll focus on work and nothing else—no distractions, no fun…no women. But just when Alex has promised to keep his hands to himself, sweet, sexy Kate Littleton gallops away with his heart…
Kate knows Alex isn’t the long-term type—he proved that in a lot of delicious ways when they first met more than a year ago. But seeing him blazing with new dedication to Hamilton Stables, she can’t deny that he’s miles ahead of any other man who interests her. The attraction between them is electric right out of the gate, but it will take an unexpected loss to put them back in the race and headed for a passionate future together…
Alex’s smile lit his face. “You know, if I didn’t know any better, I would say you were having less than honorable thoughts right now.”
Kate straightened, then reached behind herself to grab one of the glasses of wine Emery had set out. She dropped a few cubes of ice into it that were really meant for the other drinks, but she didn’t care. Etiquette be damned. She was never a prim and proper sort of girl anyway.
“You sure have a lot of opinions about me all of a sudden,” she said, deflecting his innuendo.
“It’s not all of a sudden at all. But I have been curious if—Matt, was it?—got that lunch he seemed so impatient to eat. Or did he go straight for the dessert? Is he a fan of cake, too?”
At that, Kate tilted her glass back, drinking down its full contents, then reached around for a second one. How many did Emery set out? There were only six people there.
“I take that as a no. I told you he wasn’t your type.”
“Oh really, Mr. Knows-All-Kate-Related-Things? What’s my type?” Okay, that glass was hitting her already. Damn her embarrassing excuse for an alcohol tolerance.
Alex took the glass from her hand and set it on the bar beside her. “You should eat before you drink anything else.” When Kate opened her mouth to tell him he should worry about himself, not her, he leaned in closer, silencing her with his proximity and the assault on her senses. He smelled like lemongrass and Ivory Soap and man. One hundred percent man. “You want a man who reads to you on the beach. Who knows better than to step in to help when you’re struggling with a project. Who gets that you need to figure it out yourself. A man who never opens your car door but always shares his popcorn. Or any food really. A man who’s comfortable enough in his own skin to let you brag when your team wins instead of his. A man who makes you want him so badly you never grow tired of him. Even after years and years together, you’re still in love.”
Kate’s heart had stopped in her chest, and she knew if Alex hadn’t placed her wineglass on the bar, it would have slipped from her grasp. She stared at him, curious when the feeling had left her fingers and toes and praying Emery wouldn’t call them to come out back, because she was pretty sure her legs had turned to jelly and wouldn’t cooperate.
She had spent only a few occasions around Alex, yet he understood her better than people who had known her a lifetime. He saw through to the real her. And normally, this would be a sign of something great. A connection. A feeling. Something deeper than casual lust. But that wasn’t their story. And what made it so much worse was that she could see him in each of the roles he described. The one reading to her on the beach, refusing to step in to open the jar of jelly when she would eventually get it open herself. The one she could love for years and years.
And then, despite herself, she peered up at him, only to find those vibrant green eyes staring back at her.
“Am I right?”
Melissa West writes heartfelt Southern romance and teen sci-fi romance, all with lots of kissing. Because who doesn’t like kissing? She lives outside of Atlanta, GA with her husband and two daughters and spends most of her time writing, reading, or fueling her coffee addiction.
Connect with Melissa at www.melissawestauthor.com or on Twitter @MB_West.
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