A stand-alone romance novel in the Southern Bride series
Coming February 4, 2020
One house. Two owners.
Paige Miller has inherited a house in the small town of Johnson City, Texas. She’s elated to be back and has already started making plans to remodel the one-hundred-year-old home exactly how she remembered it as a little girl. There’s only one problem.
The moment Lucas Foster sees the old home sitting on fifty acres of prime land, he has one thing on his mind. Sell it. However, there is one obstacle literally standing in the way of his plan.
Seeing Paige standing in the doorway of his grandfather’s old home instantly brought back the feelings he once had for her. The dream of one day marrying her and raising a family in this very house.
Neither is willing to budge on what they want, and soon they find themselves living together in the old home.
The house uncovers many old and hidden secrets, and Paige quickly discovers that it wasn’t a mistake they both inherited the house. It was fate.
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“Since when did you start swearing so much?” Lucas asked, grabbing the box of rags and making his way over to me.
“Since life started being an asshole to me.
He laughed and bent down. “Hold onto my shoulder and lift up your foot.”
I did as he asked. He pulled out a bunch of rags and wrapped them around my shoe, carefully pulling it off my foot. “I hope you didn’t like these shoes.”
I pouted as I looked down at my pink Keds. “I did. They were one of my favorite pairs.”
When I moved my gaze to Lucas, he was looking up at me, a smile on his face.
“What?” I asked.
He shook his head. “Nothing. This is just refreshing, that’s all.”
I drew my brows in. “What’s refreshing? Me stepping in paint? Because I beg to differ that it’s not the least bit refreshing.”
With a laugh, he stood, holding onto me so I wouldn’t lose my balance. “Seeing you smile. By the way, do you need help getting out of your pants?”
Narrowing my eyes, I held my tongue. “No.”
His brow lifted. “You’re going to track paint everywhere.”
With a quick look down, I knew he was right.
“Stay here, I can go grab you something.”
Lucas set off to my bedroom.
“Get me my yoga pants! They’re in the basket folded!”
“You mean the movie-watching pajamas?” he called out.
Ugh. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to punch him or laugh. “Yes!” I called out, trying not to smile.
Oreo walked back into the living room. Sat right in the middle and bathed herself while sneaking glances my way.
“I’m not smiling because he makes me happy. What he said was funny, is all.” I was whispering these replies…to a cat.
She rubbed her paw over her face, then meowed.
“You think you know it all, but you don’t.” Still whispering.
“Have you taken up talking to the cat, Paige? Maybe we should go out to dinner. Get you around people. Out in society and all.”
“Ha ha. Let me have my pants. Can you grab a garbage bag from the kitchen for me to put my jeans in?”
He nodded. “Sure.”
When he took a step back, Oreo was at his feet. He tripped, spun, and tried to keep his balance by reaching for me. Needless to say, I had been trying to keep my own balance as I held up one leg.
“Lucas!” I cried as we both went down. The tray full of paint somehow flipped up in the air and landed directly onto Lucas’s head. He sat there with paint running down his face. My hand came up to my mouth in an attempt not to laugh.
“Holy shit,” I said, smirking. “I couldn’t have planned that better if I had wanted to!”
Glancing at Oreo, I said, “Well done, kitty.”
She flicked her tail and meowed as she walked out of the room. With a look of pure anger, he faced me. I pressed my lips together tightly. Then I lost it. And laughed so hard, tears streamed down my face. It didn’t take Lucas long to join in. He reached up and wiped paint off his head, then grabbed me and smeared it all over my face.
“You asshole!” I cried, trying to crawl away from him, only to have him grab my shoeless foot and pull me back over. With a brush in his hand, he got to work throwing paint all over me. Thank God I’d covered the furniture, because it was now an all-out war.
Lucas leaned over to get more paint on the brush, and I grabbed the roller and went straight up his back. He spun around, grabbed me, threw me over his shoulder then started walking. When I looked back over my shoulder, I saw where he was heading.
Oh. No. The paint can.
“Lucas. Do not do it!” I shouted. Then kicked and slapped him in an attempt to get him to put me down.
“What is it you think I’m going to do, Paige?”
I watched him pick up the can. “Something with the can of paint. Expensive paint, I might add, and I’m on a budget.”
“I’m not the least bit worried about that,” he said, sliding me slowly down his body as he grabbed me with one arm and pressed me firmly against his chest. I’d forgotten how crazy strong the man was.
My eyes met his as I gazed up at him. “You wouldn’t.”
Then he smiled, and my heart felt like it exploded in my chest. Oh hell. I was still crazy in love with him.
“Lucas,” I whispered.
“Paige,” he whispered back, then tipped the can over my head.
As I laughed harder than I had in years, I used my fingers to wipe away the paint that now ran down my entire body.
Lucas wore a wide smile.
“You did it.”
He winked. “Did you doubt me, sweetheart?”
My smile faded. It felt like his green eyes were looking right into my heart. The last thing I wanted him to know was how I still felt about him. Not now. Maybe not ever, because I had no idea how he felt about me.
He reached up and cupped my face. My heart slammed against my chest. Using his thumb, he wiped the paint from my mouth.
I was just about to reach up on my toes and press my mouth to his, when a throat cleared behind Lucas.
“Am I interrupting something?”
Lucas closed his eyes while I peeked around at Milo.
“If I had known it was going to be like the food fights in high school, I’d have brought more people to this painting party.”
When I looked at Lucas, he was smiling, and I couldn’t help but smile back.
Meet the Author
Kelly Elliott is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling contemporary romance author. Since finishing her bestselling Wanted series, Kelly continues to spread her wings while remaining true to her roots and giving readers stories rich with hot protective men, strong women and beautiful surroundings.
Her bestselling works include, Wanted, Broken, The Playbook, and Lost Love, to name a few.
Kelly lives in central Texas with her husband, daughter, two pups, four cats, and endless wildlife creatures. When she’s not writing, Kelly enjoys reading and spending time with her family.
To find out more about Kelly and her books, you can find her through her website.
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