Romance on the Go
Callie Parker has to return to her hometown to do the unthinkable, sell the family farm. And in the process, she has to come to terms with a past she’d tried hard to run away from.
At eighteen, she’d left. Without so much as a good-bye, she’d deserted Taylorville and all the people who loved her. In particular, she’d abandoned her teenage sweetheart—Jake.
So on the night of her return, with tornadoes raging through the Oklahoma flat land, it is Jake who saves her from an oncoming twister. And it’s Jake who spends a long night with her in an underground storm shelter.
With violent twisters overhead, can they rekindle the past?
“You know, Callie. If you’d come back more often, we could make it a regular thing.”
“That sounds more appealing than I’m willing to admit right now.” Callie tipped the bottle back for another drink.
“I hear yah.” Jessica scanned the room and then nodded toward the door. A group of young, handsome men had just walked in together. “Would it help if I told you we have a lot more single guys around here now?”
Callie readjusted in her seat to do a little harmless ogling. “Why is that? Did a modeling agency for hunky farmers come to town?”
“When Wheat Unlimited bought out all those farms, they needed workers.” Jessica leaned in to whisper, “And aren’t they the best workers you’ve ever seen?”
Callie tried not to pay attention to the bit about Wheat Unlimited and chose to focus on the man-candy instead. Grinning, she asked in amusement, “What about Tom?”
“I love him with all my heart, but it never hurts to look.” Jessica finished her beer and then motioned to one of the young studs.
“What are you doing?” Callie squirmed and tried not to make eye contact with the hunky male moving toward them. “Oh my God, Jess. He’s coming over. Seriously, what about Tom?”
“Tom wouldn’t mind me introducing you to Matthew.” Jessica gave her a conspirator’s wink.
Before she could respond, the well-built Matthew reached their table. “Hey, Jess, will Tom need some extra hands for planting this season? You know I’m always looking for a little extra work on the side.”
“I don’t know if my hubby is looking for help.” Jessica licked her lips and grinned in pure amusement. “But my friend here is.”
Matthew turned toward Callie and offered her a questioning smile. “I’m sorry, ma’am. Do you own a farm around here?”
“She doesn’t need that kind of help.” Jessica grabbed Callie’s arm and tugged her out of her seat. “She needs a dance partner.”
“What?” Callie had been pulled up and then in shock fell forward, right into Matthew’s chest. “I’m sorry. I don’t…” She was mortified. The kid was maybe twenty. Maybe.
Matthew helped her stand upright and proceeded to lock her arm in his. “It would be my pleasure.”
They moved out onto the dance floor just as the music changed. The hard beating line dancing songs were now replaced with something slow and romantic. Callie groaned to herself as she reached to put her arms up around her boy-toy’s neck.
Matthew must have taken that as a cue, because he immediately pulled her close and held her up against his body. She could smell his aftershave mixed with just a hint of farmland. The memory of Jake enveloped her. Closing her eyes again, she rested her head against him and allowed the kid to sway them back and forth. As one song turned into another, Callie let her imagination take her back in time. It was as if she and Jake were dancing again.
“What the hell?” A deep, rough voice rippled through her imaginary world and brought her back to reality. Matthew was pulled from her arms and took a fist right to his jaw. Callie stood in awe as an older, even sexier version of Jake growled at the kid. “Stay away from my girl.”
The music in the PayDay stopped. And in that moment, all her sweet daydreaming memories went out the window. She stepped between the two angry men and placed a pointed finger on Jake’s broad chest. “I’m not your girl. I haven’t been your girl in nine years. I think the title has expired, don’t you?”
Matthew seemed to be deciding what to do as Jake grabbed Callie by the shoulders and starred into her eyes. His loud whisper could be heard by everyone in the bar. “That’s right. My girl wouldn’t sell her family farm and then send Wheat Unlimited knocking on my door.” He let go of her like she burned him. “You can have her,” he bellowed at Matthew as he abruptly turned and walked over to the bar. The music started to play again, but no one else moved.
Posted by LASR on 5th Mar 2013
Callie Parker has come back to her grandfather’s farm to sell it. There are bittersweet memories here for her, those of Jake Taylor, the boy she’d planned to marry right out of high school. But when that time had come, she’d needed to escape the farm more than to settle down. Although she’d been going to spend the night at her parent’s house, when a twister comes Callie is determined to protect the farm. Then Jake turns up, to help protect her.
This is a wonderful story about learning how to make peace with the past, but also finding the strength to reach out and take what you want. I enjoyed Callie’s conflict, her desire to not repeat past mistakes but still maintain the good parts of her memories. It took a lot of strength for her to decide to start a new life. Jake was also a seriously hunky farmer, strong, down to earth and ruggedly sexy. A real man’s man and deliciously hot. He was the perfect counterpoint for Callie and they made a brilliant team together.
This is a hot read, spicy enough to have you needing a cool glass of water, but not so racy you’ll be embarrassed to be caught reading it. It gives a good vibration of small town Oaklahoma, and also leaves you with the thoughts of what farming life and a caring community can be like. An enjoyable book.