PURCHASE THE START OF SOMETHING GOOD
An enriching story of family ties, broken hearts, and second chances from New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst.
When Ethan Bishop returns to the Hudson Valley, his body and spirit are a little worse for wear. As a former Special Forces paratrooper, he saw his fair share of conflict, and he came home with wounds, inside and out. At his sisters’ B & B and farm, he can keep all his pain at a safe distance. But quiet time isn’t easy when a fiery woman explodes into his life…
It’s business—not pleasure—that brings Manhattan PR agent Mia Thrush reluctantly to the farm. Tightly wound and quick tempered, Mia clashes immediately with the brooding Ethan. Everything about him is irritating—from his lean muscles and piercing blue eyes to his scent of sweat and musk.
But as the summer unfolds and temperatures rise, Ethan and Mia discover how much they have in common: their guarded histories, an uncontrollable desire, and a passion for the future that could heal two broken hearts. But will their pasts threaten their fragile chance at a brand-new future?
“What are you doing here?”
She steeled her shoulders, emphasizing the thrust of her pert breasts, and her tiny waist. Then had the gall to give him the stink eye. “I’m here for an apology.”
A bark of laughter escaped his lips. Damn, she had spunk. “Let me get this straight. You come into my barn without permission, let a horse out of its stall, watch her disappear, and you want an apology from me?”
“Princess, I have plenty of things to say to you but none of them includes an apology.”
“I brought you lunch as a peace offering. I was trying to meet you halfway since we’re neighbors. I was trying to be nice!”
“I never got to eat my lunch because it took me hours to find Clarabelle. I had to scour those damn woods and waste my entire afternoon because you dropped a carrot. Thank God she wasn’t hurt and I was able to get her back safely.”
This was the second time she began nibbling her lip—a definite tell when she felt guilty about something. “I tried to explain and apologize but you got all boorish and started yelling to get out of your barn.”
“I never yell. I told you very quietly to leave the barn.”
“In a threatening tone.”
He shook his head. “I bet you’re an excellent PR person.”
She looked surprised at the change of subject. “Thank you, I feel like I am. I do work hard.”
“You’re very good at twisting everything around like a pretzel. Bending the truth to suit your needs. No wonder Lake hired you.”
Those Bambi eyes simmered with temper. “You think you’re hot shit with your beard and your sexy body and your fake cowboy drawl but you’re just mean! You pretend to be this broody loner type because you had an accident and your leg got hurt. Big frikkin’ deal. That doesn’t give you a right to be cranky to everyone you meet.”
His mouth practically dropped open. “What do you know about my leg?” he asked in a warning voice.
She wasn’t intimidated at all. In fact, she had the nerve to toss her mane of honey hair and come closer. “Car accident, right? I spoke to someone in town. Seems the consensus is you got hurt, left your previous job, and came home. You proceeded to lock yourself in some sad little bungalow and refuse to come out. How am I doing so far?”
His head spun. Red mist shrouded his vision. Oh, she needed to learn some manners, and he was just the type to teach her. “You know nothing about what happened to me,” he said softly. “Your entire career revolves around manipulating the truth. Let me ask you this, princess. Have you ever gotten real before? Do you even know what it is?”
She bared her teeth and gave a throaty growl. The sound was almost sexual, and registered below his waist. Thank fuck he was too pissed off to care. “I can get real, any time, any place, horse man. I’m not afraid to answer any question with the truth, and your cheap shots about my career are just that. Cheap. You know nothing about the people I try to protect or what I stand for.”
They were close now. The scent of her perfume surrounded him—some type of exotic orange spice. Her lashes were thick and dark. Her lips were pursed with a furious focus, painted the color of pale apple cider. She had a dab of white sunscreen on her nose she’d forgotten to rub in and some type of shimmery gold shadow under her arched brows. She was infuriating and silly and for one horrifying, brief moment, Ethan wanted to kiss her.
“Yes, any question,” she snarled back.
Too bad the woman would break under one good, passionate kiss, or he’d be tempted to play a mean game of chicken to see who would retreat first.
Too bad she was already sleeping with Lake.
Instead, he leaned in and gave a slow, mocking smile. “You really think I’m sexy, huh?”
She jerked back, eyes wide with horror. “You are pure evil,” she whispered.
Ethan chuckled. “Your secret is safe with me, princess. Anytime you wanna get real, give me a ring.”
A shriek emitted from her lips. She stomped around him in those towering heels. “I will never, ever bring you lunch again!”