Hurricane Bride


Self-published
April 12, 2017


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Get caught up in the storm...

When a hurricane forces uptight Claire Blackwood's life into a tailspin, she never expects to find her true north again. An opportunity to get back on her feet lands her at the Peach Bellini B&B and sharing a cottage with a man who makes her feel again.

Boyd Rowe lives life as it comes to him and sharing a house with her is the most difficult thing he's ever done. The tightly wound woman makes him crazy at the same time makes him long for something else. The runaway hurricane bride is just the storm he needs.

*A Magnolias & Moonshine Novella*




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Excerpt

Damn sprinkler had a mind of its own. Boyd Rowe glared at the offending valve but it didn’t move. He’d traced the issue to an actuator, which he’d replaced, but the valve that controlled the quadrant of sprinklers refused to budge.

As the groundskeeper for the Peach Bellini, his days were never boring. The constant upkeep of the trees, bushes, flowers, and grass kept him busy day and night. The sprinkler in the entire back corner of the lawn had stopped working but he wasn’t sure when. The hurricane a week earlier had left at least three inches of rain so he hadn’t noticed the difference until this morning.

He’d dug a small hole to get to the valve and had wrestled with it for an hour. A few voices had drifted by now and then, but he hadn’t looked up. Probably just some guests touring the grounds after arriving on this gorgeous Friday morning.

His muscles screamed from the effort and when his hand slipped, he fell, landing face first in the moist ground. He was in a shady spot where the morning dew painted his cheek. The humidity was thick as it always was in mid-summer and he lay there for a minute giving his muscles a break and his dignity a chance to recover.

Then a woman screamed.

A body landed, knees first, into his side. Well, hell’s bells, what the actual fuck?

Someone yanked his arm and rolled him over. Boyd groaned and blinked up at the most striking woman he’d ever seen. She was curvaceous to the point his hands itched to follow the path of her voluptuous body. Her hair was a riot of rich color with hues of browns, golds, and russets sparkling in the dappled sunlight. Her eyes were the warm brown of good whiskey and they were filled with panic.

“You’re not dead.”

He blinked. “No and thanks for the diagnosis.”

She wore a pretty yellow dress with a white cardigan and a string of pearls. She could have walked out of a nineteen fifties magazine ad. No doubt she wore a pair of white pumps too.

“Jesus, I thought you were dead.” She glanced down at the grass stains that marked the front of her perfect dress. “Shit.”

“Thanks for trying to rescue me.” He pressed a hand to his ribs that smarted from her sharp knees.

“I’m sorry. I saw you lying there and I thought…never mind. It’s obvious what I thought.” She got to her feet and he had a glimpse of those white shoes with the sexiest ankles he’d ever seen.

He sat up and to his surprise, she stuck out her hand to help him up. He smiled and her cheeks grew pink. “I appreciate the offer but I’m too heavy. I’d drag you down and get more grass on your pretty dress.”

She stepped back and didn’t seem to know what to do with her hands as they fluttered.

That’s when the valve decided to let loose. Like a geyser. The water shot at least thirty feet into the air and rained around them like a good old-fashioned downpour. The woman stared wide-eyed at him and he laughed. A big old belly buster of a laugh. After all the time he’d tried to fix the damn thing, it popped like a cork.

“I’m sorry, ma’am. That valve was stuck tight but I guess I loosened it.”

She frowned at him as she stepped away from the flow of water. It was too late because that yellow dress had shown him all her secrets. The woman had the curves of a goddess. Hell and crackers.

“Let me turn the water off.” He managed to twist the valve shut again and then got to his feet. He wiped the water out of his eyes and turned back to the woman.

“That was not what I needed to happen today.” She dripped with as much water as he did. It was like something out of a romance novel.

“I really am sorry about that.” He stood and held out his hand. “I’m Boyd Rowe.”

She glanced at his dirty, sweaty, dripping hand and shook it. Points for her. “Claire Blackwood.”