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She felt guilty that Ryan was giving up a perfect kayaking day. Morgan hadn’t missed the long look he’d directed out at the water before he went up the ladder with a load of shingles draped over one brawny shoulder. There was little doubt he’d rather be out in his kayak instead of slaving away on a hot roof. Since he wouldn’t let her do anything to help him—not that she could really envision herself crawling around the roof, lugging heavy packets of shingles—she figured the least she could do was to entice him down for some refreshment. The tray held a pitcher of freshly squeezed lemonade and two chilled glasses, along with fresh-made blueberry scones and a small container of butter.
She set it down on one of the patio tables and then, shading her eyes against the glare, looked up.
Ryan had his back to her as he hammered a shingle into place, and for the second time that morning, her breath pretty much seized in her chest. His broad, tanned shoulders and bare, muscular back glistened with sweat under the straps of his safety harness. His yummy biceps flexed with power as he swung the heavy hammer, driving in each nail with a single, smooth blow. And then there was the tool belt slung low over his cargo shorts, highlighting his truly stellar ass. Ryan Butler was the construction worker fantasy come to life.
Yep, the heat index was definitely going up around Golden Sunset, and it wasn’t because of the summer sun.
Morgan cleared her throat so she wouldn’t squeak when she called up to him. “Hey, you hardworking man, how about taking a break? I’ve got fresh lemonade and a blueberry scone with your name on it.”
Ryan glanced back over his shoulder, dipping his head to peer under the safety rail. He waved and started to say something—to decline, she suspected. But then he paused and seemed to reconsider. He slung his hammer into a slot on his tool belt and stood up. “On my way down.”
Morgan hurried to the ladder and gripped the aluminum rails to steady it, just as she’d done earlier that morning. It made her feel like she was doing something useful. Ryan shucked off the safety harness and smiled down at her as he swung his long legs onto the ladder. She took that smile as a silent acknowledgement of her small effort to assist.
Plus, the view from the bottom was pretty spectacular. How could she not keep her eyes glued to that glorious example of male physical perfection, especially when all he had on this morning was a pair of cargo shorts, work boots, and a tool belt? Her mouth went so dry she felt more than ready for some ice-cold lemonade.
She kept a firm grip on the ladder, as much to steady herself as to help him. As he neared the bottom, she had to resist the urge to run her tongue over his glistening back.
Get a grip, Morgan. She let the ladder go and took a quick step away from temptation.
Ryan smiled as he planted his feet on solid ground and turned to her. “There’s no way I could resist fresh lemonade.” He flicked his gaze over her body. “Or such beautiful company.”
“You old sweet talker, you,” Morgan said, trying to cover up her nerves. “I bet you say that to all the girls.”
“Only the ones who serve me lemonade and homemade scones.” He reached over and gently tugged on a lock of her hair.
Page Count: 370 pages
Publisher: Forever (June 30, 2015)
JUST A SUMMER FLING?
Morgan Merrifield sacrificed her teaching career to try to save her family's bed-and-breakfast and care for her younger sister. She can't let herself get distracted by Ryan Butler. After all, the rugged ex-Special Forces soldier is only in Seashell Bay for the summer. But her longtime crush soon flares into real desire-and with one irresistible kiss, she's swept away.
Ryan values his freedom. As much as he wants Morgan, he's not ready to settle down with anyone, much less in sleepy Seashell Bay. But his code of honor doesn't allow him to leave a woman in distress-and she's in desperate need of help to fix the inn. It only takes one day working under the same roof and Ryan is already hoping for a lifetime of hot summer nights . . .
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