When some pretty little thing shows up at my doorstep with a suitcase, claiming she rented my house for the summer, I waste no time informing her that my house isn’t for rent. Some Internet jack@ss scammed her out of all her money, but that’s not my problem.
Only when I find her sleeping in her car a couple days later, I can’t walk away. I make her an offer: room and board in exchange for working on my ranch.
She agrees—not like she has a choice—and I open my doors to a girl who sings too loud, sticks her nose where it doesn’t belong, and distracts me with her tight jeans and full lips.
I keep her at an arm’s length, and for good reason. I don’t deserve happiness. And I don’t deserve her.
But when those hot summer days melt into long country nights, I find it hard to keep my hands off of her, even when I know they don’t belong there. My hands in her hair, her body on mine, that glimmer in her big brown eyes when she looks at me like I’ve hung the moon …
For the first time in years, my frozen heart beats again. And when I look at her, I’m reminded that I’m still alive, that maybe all isn’t lost. And when I kiss her, I’m not thinking about the past anymore, I’m picturing the two of us. A future.
But people around here like to talk and rumors are alive and well, and some folks are out to convince her I’m a monster with a sordid past.
And maybe I am …
Like I said before, I don’t deserve her.