Miranda Brookhaven returned to Bitterthorn, Texas
to fix the past. Years ago, her father used her teenage romance with Coe Rodas
to steal the prototype for a groundbreaking new automotive invention. Now her
father’s dead, and thanks to the convoluted will he left behind, she’s stuck in
town until she rights the wrong that lost her the man she loved.
Coe learned early on that life never goes
according to plan. His dreams of hitting it big vanished when Miranda all but
invited her father to take the only thing of value he ever had. But now the
once-pampered princess is holed up in a condemned trailer on the edge of
town…and everything he thought he knew about her—and about what happened
between them back then—seems completely wrong.
Miranda’s determined to give back to Coe all that
he lost. If she can do that, maybe she can move on from the past. But Coe seems
to be more interested in their rekindled passion than claiming what she thinks
he deserves. She’s got sixty days to convince him to cough up evidence that
he’s the original inventor—after that, the only way to transfer the patent
rights over to him would be to make him part of the family, and she’s not sure
her heart can take another hit.
“I did try to erase you, Miranda—I’m not gonna lie. I didn’t know how else to stop the pain of what I thought was you stabbing me in the back. But covering up your name and pretending you never existed didn’t make it go away.” Coe slowed until they were standing in the middle of the deserted road, where he turned her to face him. When he saw how she was hugging herself to stay warm, he made a soft sound of concern and opened his peacoat to pull her into its enveloping depths. “And I know this is going to sound like a bunch of bullshit, but ever since you came back, I swear I can still feel your name on my arm. You won’t believe me, but… I know it’s still there. I know it.”“I can feel your name on my skin.” Too late, she bit down on both her lips. Oops. She hadn’t meant to offer that up. This was his confession time, not hers.He went so still it wouldn’t have surprised her if he’s stopped breathing. Then his hand slid under her sweater and pressed slowly, deliberately, into the small of her back, over his name. “You feel me here?”She nodded, shaken by his breathless near whisper. She’d never heard him talk like that—like he feared he might send the world spinning off-axis if he spoke too loud. Then his arms tightened so fiercely around her, her feet left the road while his face turned into her hair. He didn’t speak, but the raggedness of his breathing, and the gentle savagery of his embrace, told her more about what was going on inside him than he ever could.Oh, yes. He needed her.Maybe just as much as she needed him.“I’m sorry you got so upset this morning, babe.” His voice sounded muffled against her, and she loved the cozy sound of it. “I guess you didn’t want me to see that you still had my name on your back?”She nodded, then figured with his face in her hair he might not have gotten the message. “That’s pretty much it.”“I can’t tell you what I felt when I saw it.” His arms tightened a fraction. “It’s like everything inside me went flying. I never expected you to keep it, especially now that I know what a mess I made of things when we broke up. When I saw it was still there, the first thing I had to do was kiss it. So I did. Weird, right?”She couldn’t answer, because it wasn’t weird at all. It was outrageously beautiful.
A competitive figure skater from the age of
eight, Stacy Gail began writing stories in between events to pass the time. By
the age of fourteen, she told her parents she was either going to be a figure
skating coach who was also a published romance writer, or a romance writer who
was also a skating pro. Now with a day job of playing on the ice with her
students, and writing everything from steampunk to cyberpunk, contemporary to
paranormal at night, both dreams have come true.