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From USA Today bestselling author Adriana Locke comes a witty romance about first love and second chances.
After being burned by her dream job in New York City, sports journalist Neely Kimber suddenly finds herself jobless and paying a long-overdue visit to her hometown in Tennessee. Her plan? Relax, reset, and head back up the corporate ladder. There’s just one unexpected step. Neely’s back in Dogwood Lane for barely a day when she sees the man she ran from nine years ago: the bad boy next door who was her first kiss, her first love, and her first heartbreak.
Devoted single dad Dane Madden knows he hurt Neely in the worst way. He’s got a lot to make up for. And as passionate as their reconnection is, it’s a lot to hope for. Having her back in his arms feels so right. But falling in love all over again with a woman who wants to live a world away is bound to go so wrong.
What’s it going to take for Neely to give him—and Dogwood Lane—just one more chance?
279 pages, Kindle Edition
First published February 26, 2019
“Why are you negotiating with a dog?”
“You know what they say—sunshine brings opportunities.”
My thighs clench together as I consider what Dane could do to me now. With that body. With those lips. With that damn smirk.
“She’s just a girl from my past. I ran into her. People run into their exes all the time.”
I broke her heart. I broke her heart in the worst way I could, and the fact she didn’t tell me to fuck right off is more than I really deserve. It’s more than I would’ve given me.
“You always were a gambler.” He winks. “Were a gambler. Were. Past tense. Trust me,” I say. “Gambling is for the young and dumb, and I am not either anymore.”
“I have to stop putting all my hopes on the line without some safety net. It’s too big of a gamble. I’ve fallen too hard, too many times.”
A part of me will never forgive him for what he did. I may have found the pieces of my broken heart, but they’ll never fit together the way they did before that Saturday morning when he destroyed it.
“There’s nothing sexy about a grown man being called daddy—sugar or not.”
“You know I didn’t mean to hurt you.”
"I bet you were thinking that while you screwed Katie. I bet you were thinking, ‘Boy, I hope this doesn’t hurt Neely.’”
“You didn’t mean to have a baby with my best friend while we were on a break.”
You’ll be here playing house or whatever it is you do with Katie and your kid.
“Probably not. You probably ruined our relationship for a one-night stand, didn’t you? Good work.”
“Everything happens for a reason, huh?” I ask. “I don’t know what caused you to sleep with Katie, but that’s your problem. I won in the end.” His eyes darken.
Dane as a father. Dane as Mia’s father.
Then when Sara moved in after our dating for a year, a woman I really liked and saw a potential future with, Mia latched on to her like a leech. And when six months went by and she left us, too, saying she wasn’t prepared to raise someone else’s child, Mia was broken.
Right or wrong, I broke up with her. I gave her hope we’d work some kind of long-distance thing out. I slept with Katie. I had a kid.
I’ve been with a few women since Sara, but those relationships have been a hookup here and there.
“You’re what I want Mia to be.”