What the Heart Wants by Jeanell Bolton
The love he left behind . . .
Laurel Harlow was once the princess of Bosque Bend, Texas: every door was open to the only daughter of the beloved minister and his well-bred wife. Then scandal rocked their family-and those same doors slammed shut. Now preparing the family mansion for sale, Laurel wants nothing more than to put the past behind her and move on. But when Jase Redlander appears on her doorstep, sixteen years after he left her heartbroken, she can't turn him away . . . especially when he needs her help.
. . . is the only thing worth coming home for
Jase never intended to come back to this one-horse town. But then his teenage daughter runs away, headed straight for Bosque Bend and the woman he once loved. The moment Jase sees Laurel again, he knows he never should have left all those years ago. There's a secret she's keeping from him, though-he's certain of it. Over the course of sunny days and sultry nights, Jase aims to find out what it is. And this time he'll show Laurel that this bad boy can be the man of her dreams . . . if she'll let him.
"Your hair is soft as silk," Jase said, weaving his fingers slowly through the sable strands and watching them fall back in place. She’d worn it the same way as a teenager, he remembered. Sixteen years ago, the style had looked sweet and wholesome, but now it looked incredibly sexy.
He moved his hand along the nape of her neck and traced the curve of her ear, enjoying the way she trembled in response.
"I thought you hated me." His voice was a low-pitched whisper. In fact, he’d spent his last few days in Bosque Bend expecting to be thrown in jail before finally realizing Laurel hadn't told anyone about their encounter.
Cold comfort. The shame of everyone knowing she’d been touched by Growler Red’s lunkhead son probably would have been even worse than what had actually happened.
She looked at him in surprise. "I never hated you. I was in love with you, but I was too young for what you wanted back then." She rolled over on her stomach and looked at him through coyly lowered lashes. "But I’m all grown up now."
Jeanell Bolton is an active member of the Austin chapter of Romance Writers of America. She has three children, one husband, and one dog. She lives on five glorious wooded acres in the boondocks of Georgetown, Texas. In past lives, she has been a teacher, an activist, an artist, a journalist, and a chorus director, but she is now settled into writing about deep, dark romances which end up happily ever after, which is how it always should be.