America’s Sweetheart, Stella Ridge has been away from Wayback for fifteen years paving her way to the top of the acting business. When a car accident leaves her physically and emotionally scarred, the only place she wants to go is home to Texas and her family’s ranch.
The changes that have taken place since her departure are enough to rock her world again. She uncovers a buried tragedy, struggles with the penetrating stares and questions from townsfolk, and comes up against an intriguing and unexpected spark with the silent cowboy and champion bull rider, Judd Black. Their wounded souls draw them together and Stella begins to realize that only in him can she find the solace she sought by leaving the bright lights of Hollywood.
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A sharp breath escaped her as she watched his eyes smile at her, crinkling up at the corners. She was the astonished one. Her body froze up when he reached out with one of those hard, wide-palmed hands. If she could’ve moved, she wouldn’t have stepped back.
His fingertips brushed over her damp hair, from her brow back over her crown. As she fought hard against the urge to close her eyes, sigh and melt, her scalp tickled under his light touch. His fingers combed through the ends of her tresses and repeated the motion, slower the second time through. Afraid she’d sway, she gripped the rail next to her.
The amusement in his eyes had faded. They’d lifted to the scars she’d left exposed by combing her hair back from her face. His thumb traced the smooth, jagged line, tracing it to the corner of her eye.
She tried to read his face. The tender moment between them intensified. The tingles deepened. Though she wanted to turn his attention away from those imperfections on her face, she drew comfort from his whispering touch. His eyes darkened. There was anger there now. He was angry she’d been hurt. Her heart picked up pace, welcoming his fury.
Blood singing and warming skin chilled by the nightly breeze, she allowed her eyes to close. She could hear him breathing, just barely. Edging closer, she reached up to touch him. Her fingers found the cords of his upper arm. They wrapped around them, gripping them for support.
Finding the scar by her mouth, his fingertips began to trail down the angled mark. Her eyes popped open, fixed on his and her breath seized when he touched the very corner of her mouth. Eyes tracing the line of her lips, his touch lingered. She wanted his lips to do the same. She waited breathlessly, heart thudding hard between them.
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