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What happens when the king of casual meets the queen of picking the wrong men?


Lily is running. From a dead-end job, a neurotic mother and all the losers she dared to date. Moving halfway across the world to Bluestone County seemed like a good idea at the time. So did reopening her estranged father’s hardware store. But now she isn’t so sure.

Small town living has its perks though. Wide-open space, clean air, and sexy cowboys. Well, one sexy cowboy. Jake. Who also just so happens to be the new bane of her existence. At least when he’s not talking, she can admire the view. 

Jake is the king of casual. The love of his life has always been his ranch, and that was fine with him. He never really saw the point in long-term. But all that changes when a mouthy, blonde sasses him into oblivion. He should have known she’d be trouble as soon as he laid eyes on her. Now it’s too late. She’s all he can think about. All he has to do is convince her that he’s finally the right man.


He felt himself grin during Sam’s introduction, which allowed him to finally put a name to that pretty face. Lily. Lily who was fidgeting and fumbling with her fingers. He could tell she was just as unprepared to see him as he was to see her. Nervous even.

Don’t be an a**hole, Jake.

“Let me guess, you’re here to kick me off my own land now too?”


“Funny. No, just getting the tour from your lovely sister. You sure you’re related?” she sarcastically replied.

There was the sass he remembered. “Ouch. I see there’s been no attitude adjustment since we last met, huh?”

What are you, five? You gonna pull her hair next?

“Be nice Jake,” Sam piped.

Clicking his tongue, he ignored his sister and stared into Lily’s emerald eyes once again; they were even more mesmerizing in the sunlight.

“Sorry, I’m not enough of a lady for you, sweetheart.” Her attempted scowl was almost cute. 

“I’d be more than happy to teach you some manners, darlin’.” He winked.

Deep down he knew that he shouldn’t be trying to provoke her, but he couldn’t help himself. Seeing the fire in her eyes did something to him that he couldn’t explain. Even watching her try to snarl at him was making him feel funny.

“Okay, you two”—Sam put on her teaching voice—“play nice. Let’s go get some lunch and cool off. Ryan’s probably cooked up a feast.”

“I’ll join you,” Jake announced, trying not to laugh at Lily’s horrified reaction.

Thanks for joining!


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