Today I’m featuring a contemporary romance, “Beyond Words” by Diane O’Key.
THE LAST THING ABBY MATHIESON WANTS…
is a take-care-of-the-business-end partner. Emotional and financial demons spur her dream of self-reliance and her vow to continue her aunt’s legacy, Beyond Words, a Blue Ridge Mountains book-and-gift shop.
IS WHAT SHE MOST NEEDS…
Trey Dalton, sexy CPA with a heart of gold and a backbone of steel, wants nothing more than to return to his home in warm, sunny Florida. But he made a deathbed promise to ensure Abby succeeds…whatever it takes.
Conflict and sexual tension ramp up as they wrangle over the shop and deal with Abby’s quirky best friend and the incorrigible resident parrot. Abby’s sworn to trust no man, but Trey has her tangled up worse than knotted fishing line. If she can’t overcome her insecurities before he unravels her finances and leaves town forever, her precious independence will cost her a love Beyond Words.
“Ready to call it a day?” Trey asked.
“And then some.” Abby yawned hugely behind her hand.
“I’ll walk you to your car.”
“I don’t have a car.”
Trey frowned. “Don’t— How do you get here?”
“Ever heard of feet?”
He looked as if she’d used a foul word. “But…I mean, everybody…”
She took pity on him. “Before you dig yourself a bigger hole, pardner, I own a car. But home’s only half a mile. I enjoy the walk.”
His expression hardened. “You’re walking. At this hour.”
“Why not?” Geez, what was the big deal?
“It’s not safe. Dark. You’ll be alone.”
“I do it all the time. Wear a luminous-striped vest.” She sniffed. “And I’m used to being alone.”
His eyes flashed, part anger, part something softer, quickly gone. “Well, tonight you’re not walking anywhere except to my truck.”
“You don’t have —”
“Yeah, I do. Don’t argue. I’m too tired to go another round with you.”
How had she missed that? His handsome face looked drawn under its golden tan, his winter-gray eyes weary.
“I’ll get my jacket.”
Trey swiped up his keys. “Meet you out front.”
Once she’d hooked her seatbelt, Abby flipped down the vent.
“Too much?” He notched the fan to low. “Sorry, I’m not used to cold.”
Cold? He hadn’t seen anything yet. But then, he wouldn’t hang around long enough….
All light vanished beneath overhanging trees when he turned off the main street. High
beams on, hands white-knuckled, he slowed on the serpentine, uphill climb. Yup, Abby thought,
a Flatlander, for sure.
“I’ll walk you up.”
“No need.” What she needed, now, was to escape. Before she did something stupid. Like sink her hands into that silky, sun-bleached hair and find out if he tasted as good as he looked.
BIO/ Diane O’Key
Diane O’Key, raised on the Jersey Shore and married to her high-school sweetheart, now divides her time between their homes in Southwest Florida and we’d-rather-be-on-the-lake-in-South Carolina. Though she has so many wonderful friends in both areas, it’s difficult to choose…
She cherishes her years as a former high school English teacher, the ongoing contact with colleagues and her now-grown students. She loves words and says her mother told her she thinks she was about six months old when she started reading. Not quite, though it does seem like forever.
Diane values time with family and friends and enjoys the water, travel, making custom jewelry, bookmarks, crafts, and baking. She writes historical and contemporary romance and is represented by Nicole Resciniti of The Seymour Agency.
She loves to hear from her readers—both questions and comments welcome J. Find her at dianeokey.com, facebook.com/dianeokey, and Twitter @DianeOKey.