Wren Ballard is trying to find herself.
She never expected to be divorced at twenty-seven, but now that the court date has passed, it’s official. The paperwork is final. Her feelings on it aren’t.
Spending the summer in a small mountain town outside Seattle is exactly what she needs. The peaceful scenery is a given, the cat with the croaky meow is a surprise, but the real kicker? A broody neighbor with nice arms, a strange reputation, and absolutely no interest in her.
Anderson Black is perfectly fine being lost.
He doesn’t care about the town’s new resident — he’s too busy fighting his own demons. But when he’s brought face to face with Wren, he can see her still-fresh wounds from a mile away. What he doesn’t see coming is his need to know who put them there — or his desperation to mend them.
Sometimes getting lost is the way to find yourself. Sometimes healing only adds a new scar. And sometimes the last place you expected to be is exactly where you find home.
There was a man at the end of my driveway.
He was just standing there, staring at me, a large, rusted toolbox in one hand and rolled up sheet of paper in the other. Everything about him was hard — the bend in his brows, the edge of his jaw, the line of scruff that framed it. And because I was me, of course I noticed what he was wearing, and it was the first time in a long time that I’d seen someone who dressed for efficiency, not for style. His jeans were worn, but not dirty, with plenty of pockets that I could tell were each used in their own way. He donned a simple, deep red thermal with sleeves pushed up to his elbows and slight stains that ran down his chest and abdomen, and a charcoal gray hat sat low over his eyes, shielding them from the sun.
He was tan, and even from the distance his eyes sparked against the warm hue of his skin. They were bright — blue, maybe? Or green? I couldn’t be sure, and I let his potent appearance mesmerize me for just a moment more before I shifted, hoisting the bags in my right hand up enough for me to attempt a half wave.
If possible, his brow lowered further, and he simply stalked off, clearing the view of my driveway in seconds.
“Well, hello to you, too.”
An alumna of the University of Central Florida, Kandi graduated with a double major in Creative Writing and Advertising/PR with a minor in Women’s Studies. She started writing back in the 4th grade after reading the first Harry Potter installment. In 6th grade, she wrote and edited her own newspaper and distributed to her classmates. Eventually, the principal caught on and the newspaper was quickly halted, though Kandi tried fighting for her “freedom of press.” She took particular interest in writing romance after college, as she has always been a die hard hopeless romantic, and likes to highlight all the challenges of love as well as the triumphs.
When Kandi isn’t writing, you can find her reading books of all kinds, talking with her extremely vocal cat, and spending time with her friends and family. She enjoys live music, traveling, anything heavy in carbs, beach days, movie marathons, craft beer and sweet wine — not necessarily in that order.