Title: War and Roses
Author: Kat Baxter
Genre: Steamy Romantic Comedy
Release Date: July 7, 2021
I’ve been on active duty since I was eighteen. My intentions were to be a soldier for life. Then her letters showed up. Now, everything has changed.
I fell in love with her through her words and I know she feels the same. So I’m taking my shot. I’m going to walk right into her flower shop and tell her she’s mine.
I was born with a broken heart and I’ve got the thick, jagged scar to prove it. I’ve seen the way people stare, the way men look away.
I’ve always known that I’m not the kind of girl a man would pick for his forever. So what do I do when the man of my dreams storms into my life insisting I’m his one? I can’t bear to see the look on his face when he sees my scars, but I also can’t seem to resist him.
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By the time closing comes around, I've nearly forgotten about Jacob showing up. Okay, that's a complete lie; I haven't forgotten at all. But I've just about convinced myself that he'll email me later. He stopped by because he was in the neighborhood and that'll be the end of it.
I go out the backdoor to my car and I'm halfway there when I hear my name.
"Yeah?" I spin around without thinking and shit, shit, shit! There he is. Leaning against the back of the building, one leg bent and his shoe against the wall. Looking like a damn model for something hot and sexy. He pushes off and strides towards me and I swear I think I die right then.
I figured he'd be handsome. I mean, it wouldn't matter to me because I'm already mostly in love with this man. But the hot-as-a-damn-movie-star man coming towards me...nothing could have prepared me for that. His short, cropped hair is a shade somewhere between blond and brown, and he's tan He's smiling widely with straight white teeth, and he's got those little lines that fan out from the corners of his eyes. You know, like George Clooney has?
I'm sure I'm staring at him gape-mouthed, but I am frozen to my spot. I can't run now.
When he's close enough that I can see that his eyes are mossy brown, I take a step back and then again. My butt hits the side of my vehicle, and he closes the distance between us. He's ridiculously tall.
Okay, it's really me who is ridiculously short, but whatever. Two toned arms bracket my shoulders as he leans in and...wraps me in a hug.
Okay, so maybe he's taken one look at me and has changed his mind about pursuing anything romantic with me now that he's seen the size of my ass. Friends, I can do. I'll still get my heart broken when he meets a pretty, thin woman who doesn't have ugly scars. But I'm familiar with those feelings. So I hug him back.
"There she is," he murmurs against my head. And then he kisses the top of my head, or maybe just presses his chin there. I don't know which. He steps back from me.
I look away from his face because it's like looking at the damn sun. Instead, I find myself cataloguing the veins and scars and tattoos that line his crazy hot forearms. It's hot out here. I mean, of course it is, because it's Texas and we're almost always hot. But he's hot and he's making things around me hotter.
One finger tips my chin up so I have to look at his face.
He smiles at me.
"Why are you hiding from me?"
I open my mouth, then close it because what the hell do I say to that?
"Just because we've never seen each other before doesn't mean we don't know each other," he says. "Tell me why you asked your boss to lie to me and say you weren't there?"
I feel my eyes widen. "You saw me?"
He gives me a tiny grin. He's still holding my chin, but instead of just that one finger, he's got my face cradled in one of his palms. His thumb strokes my skin. And even that little bit of contact is enough to set my entire body on fire.
Desire pools deep in my core and my nipples harden.
But then he drops his hand and steps back.
"No, sweetheart, I didn't see you. But I did see your boss's watch light up with your text."
Sweetheart. He's used the term of endearment in a few of our emails, but I just figured it was a slip. I swallow past a lump.
"What are you doing here, Jacob?"
He gives me an easy smile. "Can a friend not come visit another friend?"
Friend. Even though I know I can't have more, hearing the word--getting so blatantly friend-zoned--hurts.
I swallow past the knot in my throat that feels more like a blade. "Yes, of course."
He bumps my elbow with his. "Any chance you know where we can go for some of that good Tex-Mex you're always telling me about?"
I smile because I just can't help it.
What was I thinking wanting to hide from him? We can be easy together. I can lick my wounds when I'm alone, but for right now, while he's in town, I can enjoy his company. And the view, because he's so damn handsome it's ridiculous.
Kat Baxter writes fast-paced, sweet & STEAMY romantic comedies. Readers have dubbed her books “laugh-out-loud funny,” “hot enough to melt your kindle,” and “The Queen of Adorkable.” She lives in Texas with her family and a menagerie of animals. Kat is the pseudonym for a bestselling historical romance author.
Connect with Kat online.
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