“Just a fling,” she said…
Tess Peyton wanted to do something fun and reckless and wholly out of character. A steamy weekend with a Scotsman seems like a plan. When her Scotsman turns out to be a good Southern boy, that’s a minor deviation. Then one night turns to two, two turns to more, and suddenly she knows she’s in way over her head. This is why one should always stick to the plan.
“Bachelor for life,” he said…
But that was before all of Mitch Campbell’s friends, cousins, and even his little sister started pairing off like someone was building an ark. No wonder he fell, and fell hard, for his “no attachments, no last names” European fling. And just when he’s ready to tell the woman of his dreams that he wants to change that arrangement, she disappears, leaving him with no means of tracking her down, and a big ol’ hole in his heart.
And then Fate stepped in…
Because, guess what? The guy Tess ran out on in Edinburgh shows up at family dinner. He’s her dad’s new wife’s brother’s son. What does that make them? It makes them “on again,” according to Mitch and the explosive chemistry between them. Tess feels it too, along with a side of awkward, continued uncertainty, and some kind of stomach virus that seems to bother her most in the mornings…
Targeted Age Group:: adult
Heat/Violence Level: Heat Level 4 – R Rated
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
This wasn't the book I had planned for Mitch. He showed up way back in Book 1 and I had a notion of who I was pairing him with. Then Tess came on the scene and was like, mm no, sorry. He's mine. I argued with them for a while, but as usual, the characters won. As a reader, I typically hate oops baby as a trope, so I set out to craft a story that I'd actually LIKE. The resulting book is full of all the big zany family and Southern charm I love. And it was SO much fun to write.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Mitch is a fun, flirty, unapologetic lover of women. A Dean Winchester type. Tess is the powerhouse daughter of a billionaire and heiress to a real estate empire–which means she's also weighted with considerable expectations because of her family name. She's absolutely the last person who should be having a no strings, no names fling, and of course it had to come back and bite them both when that vacation fling doesn't stay a fling.
At the knock on the door, Tess thanked God for prompt and attentive staff.
“I really appreciate…” She trailed off because it wasn’t room service at her door. “Mitch?”
“Thank God, you’re awake. Can I come in?”
Tess stepped back, staring as he walked past her. “What are you doing here? Is something wrong?” She couldn’t fathom why he’d show up at this ungodly hour if it wasn’t an emergency.
“I didn’t sleep last night.” Restless energy rolled off him in waves as he paced a tight circuit around the room. “I was too busy thinking about you, about us. About this second chance we’ve been given.”
“Second chance? I—”
Mitch took her hands, squeezed. “Just hear me out. There’s something between us, Tess. We both wanted more in Scotland.”
Her fingers clenched reflexively around his. It thrilled her to hear him confirm that, even as it terrified her.
“Maybe we didn’t plan on it, but so the hell what?” With every word, he closed the distance between them. “We found each other in the big wide world, and even after we went our separate ways, against all odds, Fate threw us together again.”
“In possibly the most awkward way possible,” she reminded him. Because his enthusiasm, his hope, was infectious, and she couldn’t risk allowing herself to believe in the fairy tale.
“It’s not ideal. I get that.” He cupped her face. “But I can’t walk away from this. I can’t walk away from you.”
Even as warmth pooled in her chest, Tess reached up, intending to pull his hand away, to be the voice of reason they needed. But she curled her fingers around his wrist instead, forging another link between them. “I’m not going to be here that long. Only a week.”
The dimple winked. “Look how far we got in the first one.”
More than halfway in love. Her heart teetered at the edge of the precipice just looking at him, every cell of her body wanting to lean into him with a resounding, “Yes!”
In a desperate bid for sanity, she insisted, “It’s not the same. It’s not just us this time.”
“So? Now’s our chance to figure out if we can make our real world lives mesh. We owe it to ourselves explore this.”
Her heart began to pound with a desperate, fearful hope.
God, was that even a remote possibility? Did they have a chance in hell of finding a way to make this into something real and lasting? It terrified her how much she wanted that, how much she wanted to believe that they could make this work. If he’d been any other man, just a guy with no connection to her family, she wouldn’t be hesitating. But what if it didn’t work out? There was no question that it would break her heart. Could she really deal with the backlash of that every single time she came to visit her father? Was a week really enough time to figure any of this out?
Mitch stroked his thumb along her cheek, a whisper of a touch that had her turning her face into him, chasing the warmth. “Maybe it’s not as much time as we want, but it’s still more. And I’ll take every minute with you I can get. Don’t say no, Tess.”
Last night it had taken everything she had to talk herself out of this. To convince herself that keeping her distance was the responsible thing to do. But in the face of his plea—which felt a helluva lot like a declaration—she just…couldn’t. If that made her weak, she didn’t want to be strong. She just wanted this man in her life for however long she could have him, consequences be damned.
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