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Synopsis

Used to the finer things in life, heiress Melinda Spalding is thrown for a loop when her brother relocates to the Midwest. Her parents even expand their business to the small town and put her in charge of the project. Discovering she likes "Mayberry" and its quirky inhabitants is almost as shocking as her growing attraction to the local auto mechanic. But L.A. is where she belongs...or is home truly where the heart is?

Drew Porter learned early in life how untrustworthy women can be--and when snooty "Lindy" Spalding skids into his life and nearly makes roadkill out of his dog, she seems worse than most. An unlikely bond between their pets gives him an intriguing glimpse behind her pretentious exterior. While his heart wonders if there more to her than meets the eye, his head tells him to run as fast as he can in the opposite direction.

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Excerpt:

Drew's footsteps echoed up the stairs at a rapid rate. He strode into the room carrying her lamp, looked around, then walked over to the south facing window and set it on the sill. "All done, Hot Stuff. Enjoy your soak. Come on, Matt, let's go."

"See you tomorrow, Sis." Matt gave her a kiss on the cheek.

Feeling impish, Lindy asked Drew, "Can I give you a tip this time?"

He held her gaze for several heartbeats, and Lindy suddenly wished she hadn't poked the proverbial tiger.

"Matt, would you give us a minute, please?"

Lindy's heart tripped when Matt shrugged. He gave Drew a thump on the back, tossed her a smile, and whistled his way downstairs. Lindy bit the inside of her cheek as she lifted her gaze to meet Drew's. "I was only kidding, geez. I mean--"

Quick as a whip, Drew hauled her against the solid expanse of his chest and slanted his mouth across hers with near punishing force. Stunned, Lindy simply settled her hands against his chest. Then her senses returned, and she shoved with all her might. He broke off the kiss with a muttered curse, but didn't let her go. Lindy's pulse kicked into overdrive as she looked up and met his gaze.

Hypnotic blue eyes stared down at her, holding her gaze captive as if by physical force. Deft hands traveled a scorching path from the curve of her shoulders to the flare of her hips, leaving every inch of her body tingling in their wake. The need to feel his lips on hers again, to taste him, nearly overwhelmed her. A real kiss, though, not in anger, not as punishment. Before she lost her nerve, Lindy twined her arms around his neck and pulled him down for the real thing.

With a deep growl, Drew crushed her in his arms. He coaxed her mouth open as his tongue slid inside with skillful ease, exploring, seeking hers. Shivering under his touch, Lindy grew dizzy with yearning. Her heart thumped as his spicy masculine scent wrapped her in sensual bliss. The man was certainly no slouch in the toe-curling kiss department.

As quick as it started, he broke the kiss and tore free from her embrace, surprising her off balance. He grabbed her upper arms to steady her, stared at her lips as if he wanted to kiss her again, cursed, and...strode out the door. She flinched as the bedroom door slammed behind him. What the hell?

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