Title: Playing for Keeps
Series: Hope Valley
Author: Jessica Prince
Contemporary Romance; Small Town Romance
When it came to the men in her life, Charlotte Belmont was cursed. She’d known losers, cheaters, abusers, and criminals, so it went without saying, she stopped trusting her judgment a long time ago. Then Dalton came into her life; a good, dependable man who made her heart race and her body hot. When she felt herself falling for him, she did the only thing she could think to protect them both . . . she ran like hell.
Dalton Prescott was a protector by nature, so when the woman he’d been tasked to keep safe was almost killed on his watch, he carried that guilt like a weight on his shoulders. What made matters worse was that before everything went south, Dalton had started to care for Charlotte in a way that had nothing to do with his job.
She’s determined to ignore their attraction and keep him at a distance, but he’s playing for keeps and has no intention of losing. However, when ghosts from the past start popping up, bringing with them a whole new threat, Dalton may be the only man who can keep her safe this time.
**Hope Valley is a series of interconnected, standalone, small town romances.**
His eyes were still dancing with humor when he finally got a hold of himself and looked back down at me. “What’s so funny?”
“The fact you thought you had to convince me you weren’t perfect,” he said, a chuckle still shaking his chest. “Believe me, Thumbelina, I’m well aware of the fact you aren’t perfect.”
My eyes narrowed into slits when he started cracking up again. “All right,” I said snootily. “You don’t have to laugh so damn hard about it.”
“You did everything you could to make my life miserable when I was put in charge of keepin’ you safe. You were loud, you picked fights constantly, you’re hardheaded, you had shit taste in music, you’re messy, and you were constantly eatin’ my yogurt, even though I put my name on it before stashing it in the fridge. Christ, baby. You pretended to have menstrual cramps just so you could sneak out on me when I was tryin’ to protect you. Straight up, you were a pain in my ass, so trust me when I say you don’t have to warn me.”
I squirmed in his arms until he was forced to let me go, and took a step back, planting my hands on my hips while shooting fire from my eyes. “First off, I do not have shit taste in music.”
“Babe, every one of your playlists is like bein’ trapped at the g***** Lilith Fair with no escape.”
“Second,” I continued, ignoring his dig, “I’m not messy. I know exactly where everything is.”
His brows climbed high on his forehead as he looked around my apartment to the piles of clothes and shoes strewn about.
“I got really tired after finishing my laundry,” I defended snappily.
“But I’ll have you know, they’re all clean, and like I said, I know exactly what is in each and every pile.”
He grinned arrogantly, and I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do more, kiss it or smack it off his sexy, stupid face. “Whatever you say, sweetheart.”
“And last, that yogurt was in my fridge. That means, labeled or not, it was fair game.”
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a series of interconnected, standalone romances
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Born and raised around Houston Texas, Jessica spent most of her life complaining about the heat, humidity, and all around pain in the ass weather. It was only as an adult that she quickly realized the cost of living in Houston made up for not being able to breathe when she stepped outside. That’s why God created central air, after all.
Jessica is the mother of a perfect little boy–she refuses to accept that he inherited her attitude and sarcastic nature no matter what her husband says.
In addition to being a wife and mom, she’s also a wino, a coffee addict, and an avid lover of all types of books–romances still being her all time favs. Her husband likes to claim that reading is her obsession but she just says it’s a passion…there’s a difference. Not that she’d expect a boy to understand.
Jessica has been writing since she was a little girl, but thankfully grew out of drawing her own pictures for her stories before ever publishing her first book. Because an artist she is not.
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