When her sister is shot by a crazed gunman at a mall, Violet drops everything to return to Lost Hills, Texas. She dreads small-town life and can’t wait to get back to her company in San Francisco. But when she runs into Aaron, her first and only love, she tries in vain to resist the sexy cowboy’s bedroom eyes and rock hard body. One night of unbridled passion leads to disastrous consequences and she’s forced to make an impossible choice.
Cowboy bear shifter Aaron Grant doesn’t care that Violet has a life in San Francisco. He wants her back. After spending a decade pretending to be content with their long-distance friendship, he’s ready to claim his fated mate. But before he can confess his love, he must find a way to tell her the truth about the big, furry secret and risk losing her forever.
As Violet fed the horse another carrot, Aaron carried the basket deeper into the barn. A low rumble of thunder rattled the doors. The horse stepped back into the stall and froze.
“We might have to cut the tour short,” Aaron said when he returned. “It’s starting to get dark outside.”
“I guess we should head back.” Her shoulders slumped.
“Hey, don’t worry. We can do this another time,” Aaron said.
“I love this barn.”
“A lot of hard work went into it. I like showing it off.”
“Do you bring a lot of people here?” she asked.
She only cared about one particular type of people: women. He hadn’t mentioned a girlfriend, but maybe he was doing it to be polite.
“I’ve brought friends here in the past, but no one special.”
“No hot dates?” she joked. Her clenched belly relaxed.
“Not since you.”
He turned and strode toward the door, leaving her standing there with her jaw hanging open. Her heart flip-flopped in her chest. What did he mean? Surely he’d dated someone in the last decade.
As she followed him outside, a crack of thunder pierced the air. The scent of ozone swirled on a gust of wind. She wrapped her arms across her chest. The temperature hadn’t dropped by much, but it was enough to give her a slight chill.
“We should hurry,” he said.
She nodded. But before she could take a step, fat drops of rain splashed into her hair. The sky broke open, unleashing a torrent of rain.
“Run for the cottages,” Aaron said.
Sheet lightning flashed to illuminate growing puddles of muddy earth. By the time she reached the closest cottage, her boots were soaking wet.
Aaron quickly ushered her onto the porch. The large overhanging roof protected them from the rain. Without thinking, she backed into his arms. He wrapped them around her like he’d done it a thousand times before. She snuggled against the warmth of his rock-hard chest.
“Do you remember that time it hailed?” she asked softly.
“The day after high school graduation?”
“I’ll never forget it,” he said in a thick tone.
“We hid in the barn while all hell broke loose outside.”
“Hail the size of golf balls tore up part of the roof,” he murmured. He tucked her head under his chin and squeezed her tighter.
“I think about it a lot,” she admitted.
“You do?” He turned her around, still holding her firmly against him.
He brushed soggy strands of hair from her face and cupped her cheeks. The rough pads of his fingertips grazed her flesh, awakening it in a way no other man could. When he brushed his thumb across her bottom lip, she shivered with desire. She tilted her head and looked into his gray-blue eyes. Fire and longing burned in his gaze. He moved toward her so slowly that it felt like a dream. And when his lips finally met hers, she melted into him.