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YOU'RE STILL THE ONE
Ribbon Ridge #6
Releasing on April 5th, 2016.
USA Today bestseller Darcy Burke concludes her Archer family saga with a second chance at first love…
Everyone thought college sweethearts Bex Holmgren and Hayden Archer were headed for the altar… until a tragic accident sent young Bex running from a future she wasn’t ready to claim. But when she’s offered her dream job at Archer Brewing, Bex can’t pass up the chance to reconnect with the big, crazy family that once welcomed her with open arms—and the one man she’s never stopped loving.
When he returns home after a year in France, Hayden is less than thrilled to find his ex-girlfriend working for his family’s company. He’s finally moved on, and being around her rekindles long-buried feelings he’d rather ignore. But Bex isn’t the same girl he knew—she’s more mature, more beautiful, more tempting than ever—and he can’t resist the pull of the intense passion he’s only ever shared with her.
Have five years changed them enough, or are they doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past? The only thing Bex knows for sure is that for her, Hayden is still the one.
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Bex bent over and pulled at the strap on her shoe. With a flick of her fingers she freed her poor right foot and exhaled with relief. Moving on to the left, she tugged the strap back. Only the little metal toggle wouldn’t come out of the hole. It was stuck. Crap.
She worked at it for a minute and, when too much blood had gathered in her tipsy head from being bent over, she sat back up with a huff. Standing in front of her was Hayden wearing a perplexed half-smile.
She groaned. “Yes. My strap won’t come loose, and I’m dying to get this shoe off.” She brought her foot up to show him.
He leaned forward. “I see. Here, let me see if I can help.” He sat down in the chair Maggie had vacated. “Give me your foot.”
She envisioned handing him her severed foot like she would a hammer or a pen and promptly giggled.
His eyes narrowed briefly, and damn was it sexy. “What?”
“Nothing. Just buzz giggles.”
He smiled. “I remember those.”
That’s what they’d called them in college. The uncontrollable laughter at things that maybe weren’t that funny unless you were under the influence of alcohol.
She lifted her foot and wasn’t sure where to go with it. Putting it on his lap seemed too . . . intimate. But the table was too tall and there wasn’t another chair in close proximity.
He solved the problem by gently clutching it and setting it on his knee. Not quite his lap. This was okay. Safe.
Until he started in on the strap. His fingers grazed her flesh, sparking all sorts of inappropriate yearnings. She willed him to hurry up before she did something stupid. Like moan.
“Wow, this is really stuck.” He frowned at her. “Your foot’s kind of swollen.”
“Thanks, Captain Obvious. It’s hot, and I’ve been on my feet all day. I wonder why.”
“Well, I’m going to have to tighten it”—he did just that as he said the words, making her cry out—“to get it off.” The strap came free, and he tossed the shoe aside. “Better?”
His right hand was still on her foot, his thumb gently caressing her reddened flesh. Did he realize what he was doing? That he was stroking her? He couldn’t possibly know how it made her feel, how she wished he would slide his hand up to her ankle, keeping up the massage, and to all points north of that.
She tried not to sigh and completely failed. “Yes, thank you.”
Like his brothers, he’d ditched his coat. He’d also completely removed his tie, and his shirt was unbuttoned at the neck with the sleeves rolled up. Both places bared tanned flesh that contrasted sharply with the pure white of his crisp shirt. He wore a bracelet on his right wrist—brown leather with a slender silver rectangle.
God, he was sexy. Had he ever been this sexy?
Darcy Burke is the USA Today bestselling author of hot, action-packed historical and sexy, emotional contemporary romance. Darcy wrote her first book at age 11, a happily-ever-after about a swan addicted to magic and the female swan who loved him, with exceedingly poor illustrations.
A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her guitar-strumming husband, their two hilarious kids-who each seem to have inherited the writing gene in some form-and two Bengal cats. In her "spare" time Darcy is a serial volunteer enrolled in a 12-step program where one learns to say "no," but she keeps having to start over. Her happy places are Disneyland and Labor Day weekend at the Gorge.