Discover the first novel in NYT Bestselling Author Zoe York's modern, sexy small town romance series
He was her first love...
...and she's always owned a piece of his heart.
Heading home always stirs up mixed emotions for Laney Calhoun. Twelve years ago she left for graduate school, broken-hearted. She's found professional success, but positive personal relationships have proved elusive. Running into her ex-boyfriend fans flames she thought long extinguished, renews her interest in love. Not with Kyle, of course. Never again. But as sparks fly and items of clothing disappear, she scrambles to lock down her heart.
Something scratched at the door as Laney reached for the kettle. She jumped and whirled around. Someone. With a finger to her lips, Laney pulled the door open. “What are you doing here?” she whispered.
Kyle stepped in, careful not to make any noise with his boots. “I won’t stay long,” he said, matching her quiet tone. “But I couldn’t let you leave like that.”
It was dangerous, how much she liked him saying that.
“Are you making hot chocolate?” He leaned around her, eyeing the canister on the counter.
“Can I have some?”
“Don’t you have any at home?”
“I do, but it’s a cold walk back.” He gestured at the driveway. He hadn’t driven his truck over. He shrugged, as if there wasn’t an easy explanation. That was the truth for so much of what was going on between them, what was a late night walk in the cold?
She nodded and pointed to the table. Just in case he’d forgotten the rule, she put her finger to her lips again. Smiling, she stirred sweetened cocoa powder into mugs of hot water and topped them with a splash of cream. A quick rummage through the cupboards didn’t turn up anything other than spelt cookies, so she carried just the mugs to the table.
“I’m sorry, I don’t have anything sweet to offer.” As she said that, she realized that she’d left Kyle’s place before they’d gotten to dessert, and her hand flew to her mouth as she gasped. “Oh god, your dessert.”
He shook his head and wrapped his hands around his cup. “Don’t worry about it. It wasn’t homemade, or anything. This is great.”
Laney slumped in her chair. She felt rotten.
“Hey, don’t make that face. It’s fine, really. I don’t have enough drama in my life.” Kyle winked at her. “And I only had a few days to soak up whatever you can throw at me. Since you aren’t actually throwing anything, it’s all good.”
She wasn’t convinced, but she didn’t want to get into anything again so she nodded and smiled. “Will it keep? The dessert, I mean. Maybe we could try again tomorrow night. I don’t need to be back in Chicago until New Year’s.”
Kyle shook his head, clear disappointment on his face. “I’m curling tomorrow with a bunch of teachers. I probably won’t be home until late.”
“Call me when you’re done and I’ll come over.”
“Are you looking for a booty call?” He raised an eyebrow and pulled out his phone.
“I think we’ve demonstrated that works better for us than the whole ‘dinner and a movie’ thing, don’t you?” Laney regretted the words as soon as they were out of her mouth. Dinner had been great. Kyle didn’t look offended, though, and she took his phone and added her number, and then after a moment’s hesitation, her email address and Twitter handle as well.
“Twitter?” Kyle asked, looking at her profile.
She shrugged. “You don’t need to follow me.”
Kyle met her gaze for a beat, then finished his hot chocolate and rinsed the mug in the sink. Laney stood to see him out to the door, and after he pulled on his coat, he took one of her hands in his. He rubbed his thumb over her knuckles, back and forth, and she squeezed his fingers. “I’m going to follow you, Laney.”
The Wardham series continues with Where Their Hearts Collide (Karen & Paul's story), and Laney's sister Evie's book, When They Weren't Looking. Each Wardham story is standalone and features a HEA ending. No cliffhangers!