Grumpy Silver Fox meets Sweet Curvy Girl, Age Gap Romance
It’s a small tavern, they only sell IPA, and there’s a view of the mountains that I can’t get enough of. It was supposed to be the perfect spot to unwind. And I think it would’ve been, if the big, bearded man on the opposite side of the bar would stop staring at me. God, he’s twice my age. Still, he looks pretty sexy holding that guitar, strumming along with the band on stage. I should say hi after this set. No, I should avoid eye contact at all cost. Actually, maybe I’ll give him one flirty grin and see what happens. I’m on vacation after all.
She’s too young for me to be ogling over. I know that right away, but I can’t help myself. She’s got a dramatic look about her that says she has a story to tell and I want to know every syllable of it. That said, I’m sure she won’t even give me the time of day. My buddies tell me all the time I’m about as gruff as they come. I blame that on the work I do. My day-to-day life results in a less than eloquent conversations. Still, there’s something drawing me toward her and smooth talking or not, I can’t let this one get away.
What happens at the yearly writer's retreat stays at the retreat...except the bonds these authors forge and the stories they tell. But someone forgot to mention that to the men they find themselves falling for in stunning Lake Tahoe. From the small-town sheriff to the hot, bossy cowboy to the grumpy, reclusive mountain man, these romance authors have stumbled upon real life trope-tastic heroes that sweep them off their feet. Sometimes literally. Get ready to laugh, cry, and swoon this Valentine's Day when these six authors bring you on a Galentine's Getaway you won't forget. Galentine’s Getaway is a collection of steamy short romances brought to by six of your favorite instalove authors!
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One Year Later
Everleigh pulls herself up to the side of the stage and reaches out toward Atlas. He's playing a show tonight at the lodge and she's always Daddy's biggest groupie. He reaches down for her and lifts her up onto his lap, setting his guitar in front of the both of them as he stums.
I glance to my left to see Denny's date leaving. He stands to go after her, but she stops and holds up her hand as though she isn't interested. What the hell is going on with him. This is the third date this month.
"You okay?" I hand him a freshly poured glass of wine from the table, I think he needs it more than me.
He sighs, "I've been holding off telling you guys, but I think I'm leaving the ranch."
I glance toward Atlas with narrowed eyes, letting him know something is off. The song he and Everleigh are playing is almost over anyway, and I have a feeling this conversation with Denny is going to require Atlas.
"What's going on?" Atlas hands Everleigh to me and she settles in my lap nicely. It's way past her bedtime, I'm sure she's exhausted.
Denny takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly. "I bought a piece of land out on Rugged Mountain. I leave next Tuesda--"
Atlas' eyes widen. "Tuesday, what? What's going on. Why wouldn't you tell me you were--"
"I knew you'd try to talk me out it. Look," he says, reaching out for Everleigh. "I love you all, but this is your dream. You run the ranch so well, you don't need me."
"Like hell I don't. You take care of all the money." I can tell Atlas is upset, by the little twitching just beneath his left eye. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, there's no missing it.
"I can still help with the money from Rugged Mountain. It's--"
"That's a hundred miles from here, what about Everleigh, she'll miss you."
"And I'll miss her. I'll miss all of you. But it's only a hundred miles, I can come back and visit all the time. I want what you have, man." He looks down at Everleigh, running his large hand over top her head. "I need something of my own."
I understand where he's coming from. He lives in a small cabin just off the main house.
I fumble with my napkin, disappointed he won't be around more. "Is that why your date left?"
He shakes his head, "Yeah, she isn't into the long-distance thing. I guess she'd been there before. She was pissed I didn't tell her sooner. We've only been seeing each other for a week. I don't know. That's part of this whole thing too. I can't find anyone here... to make a life with."
"And you think moving further into the middle of nowhere will help with that?" Atlas asks.
"I think I'll be able to start my own ranch and maybe love will find me. Who knows."
I shrug, letting go of built-up anxiety. I don't want to see him go, he's become a huge member of our household, but I understand needing time and space of your own.
"We'll come visit you whenever we can, Denny. All of us will. And you're always welcome back if things don't work out."
He reaches for my hand and squeezes. "Thank you."
Atlas smiles and pats his back. "I guess now is a bad time to tell you we're pregnant."
Denny grins, "Again? Damn. You work fast brother."
"Just a few weeks though," I say, excited to finally tell someone.
Denny stands and hugs Atlas and I before Atlas takes the stage again. His biceps flexing as he curls around the neck of his guitar, fingering the strings with ease.
"I'm so glad you came along, Clover. If you hadn't, I'd still be in some high rise in the city, miserable as hell."
I squeeze his hand and watch as Everleigh falls asleep in his big arms. She's lucky to have so many people that love her.
"We'll help you find a good woman. You'll see... she's out there."
"At my age, you think?"
I grin, "You remember who you're talking to? Atlas is so much older than me. It didn't stop us. Love is love."
Denny smiles and we look back toward Atlas who's playing a cover of an old Beatles song.
A hundred miles isn't that far, besides, now I get to play matchmaker... and that might get me into a whole new world of trouble.
Denny's story will be part of a new series titled
RUGGED MOUNTAIN INK
Pre order the first in series below.
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