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Former social worker Emma Winston is used to dealing with surly teenagers in a composed, encouraging manner, yet her first encounters with Alex make her want to smack the man. His first day at her construction site, she’s distressed to realize she also wants to kiss him—even with his disagreeable attitude. She knows better than to fall for a bad boy who’s made no secret he can’t wait to leave the town where, for the first time in her life, she’s planting deep roots. But the more she glimpses beneath his gruff exterior, the harder it is to remember they don’t share the same dream.
She truly hadn’t expected to see him again after the costume incident at Whispering Pines. Then there’d been the hospital, and now this morning. Each time, even when he was being an ass, that wounded look in his eyes the first time she’d seen his face refused to leave her mind.Underneath his tough exterior, Alex Riley was a man who was hurting. A man who just wanted to be a part of his family, and she’d even go so far as to say, to be loved. He’d already be long gone from Pulaski if he didn’t.
She’d seen the same wounded look in the eyes of the teens she’d worked with in the foster system. The same look she’d seen every day in the mirror until she became an expert at avoiding her own eyes.
Problem was, every once in a while the wall cracked, and she got a vivid glimpse of what her heart wanted most and still hadn’t found.
Alex switched direction with the tiller, and she traced her gaze over his strong, rugged features.Those disquieting blue-gray eyes squinted against the sun, while his jaw was set with determination. He resembled his cousins Mark and Eric enough that she realized a smile—a real smile that reached his eyes—would turn good-looking into gorgeous.
With some time, acceptance, and understanding, she could probably—
Don’t you dare. You can’t fix that man any more than he can fix you. He’ll break your heart and never look back.
She writes romantic suspense, small town contemporary romances, and paranormal ghost stories. Colorado, Wisconsin, and Italy are favorite settings, which explains why her bestselling books include the Romancing Wisconsin Series, Italy Intrigue Series, Welcome to Redemption Series, and the Colorado Trust Series.
Check out her website at STACEYJOYNETZEL.COM to sign up for her Newsletter. Not only do subscribers receive new release updates, they also enjoy EXCLUSIVE monthly contests, and bonus short stories to go along with her Romancing Wisconsin series.