Katelyn Palmer never believed any harm could come from using her college crush as the hero in her first romance novel—the novel that jumpstarted her writing career. However, when Shane Hunter storms into town, demanding to meet the writer who used his identity Katelyn is confronted with more than her long, silent emotions. If Shane takes her to court for invasion of privacy, her career would be over.
Shane doesn’t know how to act when his ex sister-in-law accuses him of having an affair while he was married—and then shows him the romance book as proof. Now he wants to know who this author really is and why she used his name, and most of the events in his life for her story. Desperate to know the truth Shane befriends Katelyn but he does not expect to be attracted to her, even more unexpected is the joy he finds watching his twins fall in love with the woman who is stealing his heart, too...
Katelyn took a step toward a booth when a familiar face caught her attention. She took a double take at the patron sitting closest to the aisle. He had his eyes turned toward her, and she came to a stop. When recognition struck, she gasped.
What is he doing here?
Of all the days she chose not to apply make-up or style her hair, why did she have to run into Shane Hunter—the man of her dreams?
More specifically, the dreams she’d had seven years ago.
She gawked at him, knowing a dog on a hot day would probably drool less than she was, but she couldn’t bring herself to look away. Shane Hunter—in the flesh—sat in the booth with his gaze directly on her.
He hadn’t changed that much from when she knew him in college. Still gorgeous as ever, his dark brown hair was slightly longer than she remembered and waved gently against his neck. Much broader shoulders filled his blue cotton shirt perfectly, and just as before, his brown eyes made her heart flutter.
The last Katelyn had heard he was out of the state expanding his very successful lumber business. So what was he doing in this small hometown diner when his wealth could have him sitting at home eating breakfast in bed while a servant catered to his every whim?
Did he recognize her? Probably not. She hadn’t been popular on campus, except maybe in the library. Guys back then didn’t notice the girl with thick glasses and freckles, and who always wore their hair wound up in a tight bun that nearly had her eyes popping out of her head.
Moisture coated her palms, and she fisted her hands. He must think her crazy for gawking the way she did, but heaven help her, she couldn’t look away.
Seven years ago, she’d fallen hard for his knee-buckling grin and sparkling charisma. Being shy in college, there wasn’t anything she could do about her secret crush. Before graduation, he left town and within a few years had become successful.
Shane’s eyebrows lifted as his gaze slid over her gray sweats down to her worn athletic white shoes with old grass stains on the toes. When his focus met hers again, a different look accompanied his expression. Did he recognize her?
Holding her breath, she waited for him to say something. She prayed he didn’t know what she’d done. He couldn’t possibly know, could he?
Katelyn swallowed hard, wondering why he still stared at her. From the gossip circles, she’d heard he was now divorced. Her heart hammered quicker.
Finally, he gave her a friendly smile, breaking their staring competition. She wanted to sigh dreamily, but refrained. Her knees threatened to give way and let gravity bring her down.
“Hello,” he said in a deep voice.
Inwardly, she quivered. That reaction hadn’t changed since college, either. Silently, she scolded herself. Why was she acting like a love-struck teenager? Not only did he have a new life, so did she. After he’d left California to start his family, she had reached her goal of becoming a romance writer. He’d helped her whether he knew it or not.
No, he didn’t know. He could never know.