Addison Murphy is the funny friend, the girl you grab a beer with—the girl voted most likely to start her own sweatshirt line. And now that one of her best guy friends is getting married, she’ll add “groomsman” to that list, too. She’ll get through this wedding if it’s the last thing she does. Just don’t ask her to dive for any bouquet.
When Tucker Crawford returns to his small hometown, he expects to see the same old people, feel comfort in the same old things. He certainly doesn’t expect to see the nice pair of bare legs sticking out from under the hood of a broken-down car. Certainly doesn’t expect to feel his heart beat faster when he realizes they belong to one of his best friends.
If he convinces Addie to give him a chance, they could be electric…or their break-up could split their tight-knit group in two.
Hiding the way he feels from the guys through bachelor parties, cake tastings, and rehearsals is one thing. But just asTucker realizes that Addie truly could be the perfect woman for him—he was just too stupid to realize it—now she’s leaving to follow her own dreams. He’s going to need to do a lot of compromising if he’s going to convince her to take a shot at forever with him—on her terms this time.
He took hold of her hand and ran his thumb over her knuckles, and corresponding zips fired up her arm and twisted through her core. “But you’re a softie, Addison Murphy.”
“Say somethin’ like that again, and I’m gonna push you in for reals.” It came out too breathy to effectively scare him. Not that she thought many of her threats scared him anyway.
His low laugh danced across her nerve endings. “Wouldn’t you miss me too much?”
Obviously he was kidding, but her eyes met his and her thoughts turned literal. She’d already missed him for two years, and if she ruined their friendship by pushing for more, it’d almost be worse than missing him, because she’d have to do it while living in the same town. “I really would.”
Using his grip on her hand, he drew her in for a hug and she let herself relax into it. As much as she could, anyway, considering her whirring thoughts and racing heart.
The quiet crept in again, neither of them moving. As if both of them were scared of what might happen if they said or did the wrong thing. Or maybe she was alone in that. The more she thought about the complications that would come about if she told him her feelings for him were growing stronger—and in a totally not platonic way—the tighter the band around her chest became. Fear took over, whispering how crossing lines could ruin everything between them, and then she’d lose him all over again, but for good this time.
It probably makes me a coward, but I can’t risk it. Too much could go so very wrong.
Addie broke the hug, glanced at the water, and steered the conversation down a side street. “A few years ago, we went to visit some of my mom’s Yankee cousins, and one morning while we were there, I woke up to a scream that made me shoot right out of bed. I seriously thought I was rushin’ toward a crime scene. My cousin had gone to take a shower, but there was a spider in one corner. I grabbed a tissue and killed it. Then I told her at least you could smash a spider; if you stepped on an alligator all he got was mad. She seriously looked at me like I was from the backwoods.”
“You are from the backwoods.” Tucker swung his arm, encompassing the lake and the shadowy trees along the shore. “Exhibit A.”
“Well, counselor, I prefer to think of it as the front woods.” She shivered as the breeze kicked up a notch, and Tucker rubbed his hands up and down her arms. He noticed so much, and she couldn’t help wondering if he could see right through her. If he already knew she’d been warring with her feelings for him.
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Cindi Madsen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance and young adult novels. She sits at her computer every chance she gets, plotting, revising, and falling in love with her characters. Sometimes it makes her a crazy person. Without it, she’d be even crazier. She has way too many shoes, but can always find a reason to buy a pretty new pair, especially if they’re sparkly, colorful, or super tall. She loves music and dancing and wishes summer lasted all year long. She lives in Colorado (where summer is most definitely NOT all year long) with her husband, three children, an overly-dramatic tomcat, & an adorable one-eyed kitty named Agent Fury.
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