ONLY EVER AFTER (RIVER BEND SERIES, BOOK 2)

Hillary Dubas has everything she’s ever wanted. A family who loves her, friends who are always there for her, and a successful bakery she’s poured her heart and soul into. The one thing missing is love. Finding her Ever After in her hometown is not so easy, though. In fact, it’s really more of a nightmare. Especially when the only kissing she’s doing is with a man who’s all wrong for her. She knows better than to get too close to a playboy like Trey… Doesn’t she?

When Trey Thompson returned to his hometown to visit his ill grandpa, he never thought he’d stay more than a few weeks. Now here he is, nearly two years later. Still in River Bend. And Hillary—aggravating, exasperating, breathtaking Hillary—is running around town, recklessly dating anything with two feet. Not that he cares. He’s always considered her off limits. So why can’t he keep his hands off her?

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Excerpt

He stumbled into his bedroom, hitting the door, then bounced off a dresser before making it to the bed. He didn’t fall onto the mattress, though. Instead, he wrapped his arms around her and held her against his chest, his face snuggled into her hair.

“This bed’s too big for one. Are you sure—”

“Don’t even say it, Thompson.” She wiggled out of his arms.

“Ah, that hurts my feelings, Hills.” Pale light from the yard lamp outside the bedroom window illuminated his pout. “You’re the best, you know that?”

He stepped closer, and she held her breath.

“I . . . Thank you.” Her words came out strained. What is he doing?

He brushed at a strand of hair that’d escaped her ponytail. When his fingers touched her cheek, her eyes widened. Her pulse raced wildly while he traced a soft line against her skin before brushing the hair back behind her ear. She held her breath until his fingers drifted down to her neck, blazing a trail with their path.

Then his head dipped and she sucked in a ragged breath.

Every thought in her mind blanked from the intensity of his gaze. His eyelids fluttered shut, and his lips brushed against hers in a feather-light kiss. Electricity shot through her, straight down to curl her toes. The shock of it left her rattled. All she had to do was lean up to deepen the kiss. And she wanted to, which floored her even more than the kiss.

It was over too soon, just a quick brush of his lips. When he lifted his head, she resisted the urge to touch her fingertips to her mouth. The sensitive skin still felt the tickle of his beard.

He brushed her cheek with his thumb, his eyes searching hers, as if looking for an answer to a question he hadn’t asked. “If you were cold and wet, I’d snuggle you to keep you warm, Hills.”

“That’s nice of you to say.” Her voice shook, and she felt lightheaded. “I’ll remember that.”

Then he reached for his zipper, and Hillary’s eyes bulged with disbelief.

“Keep your clothes on!”

Oh. My. God. This wasn’t happening. Not when he was this drunk! She shook her head. I mean, not ever, she corrected herself. She wasn’t thinking straight. Nothing could ever, ever happen between them. They were friends. And he was an insufferable pain in her butt. He wasn’t even her type. No, Hillary wanted someone who wasn’t emotionally challenged when it came to relationships, and definitely not someone drawn to destructive relationships. Trey was none of those things. Nothing could ever happen between them. Not ever, she told herself more sternly.

“I can’t sleep with my pants on.” He tugged off his jeans, and she couldn’t tear her eyes away.

Holy moly.