CHERRY ON TOP
(Close to Home Series, Book 3 )
by Karla Doyle
expected release date March 19, 2015
Lindsay could write the book on falling in love—with the wrong guy. From bad boys to a married man, she’s made one bad choice after another, gravitating toward men destined to hurt her. Except at her brother’s wedding. This time, she’s drawn to a good guy—the pastor. Ben is handsome, single, and definitely interested. But with her past mistakes, maybe Ben is too good…
After two tours in the Middle East, Ben returned home needing peace and purpose. He found it as pastor of a laid-back, small-town church. There’s just one thing missing from his life—love. In a community of a couple thousand, his options are limited. Until Lindsay comes to town for a wedding. Sparks fly between them, but she’s skittish. If Ben wants her to stay, he’ll have to convince her that he’s more than a man of God—he’s the right man for her.
Though Lindsay wasn’t short or frail in any way, she still seemed petite. Small enough that if he pulled her into a hug, she’d probably disappear beneath his chin and inside the circle of his arms with ease. And Ben was sorely tempted to test that theory. So much so, he stuffed his hands in his pockets as a preventative measure.
Lindsay bent to pick up a handful of stones when they reached the shoreline. “To answer your question—my brothers are big men with take-charge personalities, but they’re more protective than controlling. I, on the other hand, am quite comfortable telling them what to do, or what not to do. Whichever is best for them, whether they can see it or not.”
Ben didn’t know her well yet, but he could picture it just the same. Lindsay, hands planted on her hips, giving instructions or advice to men who towered over her. A spirited woman. Just as he’d requested.
She skipped a stone across the still water, smiling at the ripples it created. “You mentioned brothers too. How many siblings do you have?”
“Just the two brothers. Oz is older, Abe is younger.”
“Did they stay in the area, or come back to it, like you did?”
“No, they made tracks for busier places right out of high school. So did I.” He crouched and chose a few stones, then skipped the best of them across the water. “We all wanted to get the hell out of here as soon as possible.”
Her eyes went wide and her bottom lip dropped. “I didn’t think people of the cloth were allowed to swear.”
“It’s pretty low on the list of sins.” He winked up at her. “If you enjoy using colorful language, don’t hold back on my account.”
“You wouldn’t order me to my knees to repent?”
He rose, facing her from very close proximity. “Not to repent.”
The prettiest O he’d ever seen formed on her full lips. “Are you—did you mean—” Her lips snapped shut and she shook her head. “Sorry. Just ignore me.”
“That’s the last thing I want to do, Lindsay.”
“What’s the first?”
“Talking to you was first on my list.” He caught her fidgety hands and twined their fingers together at their sides. “This was second.”
The sun had dropped to just above the tops of the trees. From its current position, it cast a warm glow across water. The amber seemed to bounce off the surface and wrap around Lindsay. She looked like an angel.
“I like the first two things.” Her voice was as soft and inviting as her smile. “Is there anything else on that list of yours?”
“Many things, actually.”
“Gee, don’t overdo it with the specifics.”
He felt the grin rising on his face. Mutual teasing was a good sign. Given her obvious uncertainty about what he was and wasn’t supposed to do, think, and say, however, she’d likely be shocked to know some of the things rolling through his brain right now. Better if he kept it simple. Innocent.
“I’d like to get to know you, Lindsay. Dance with you tomorrow night.”
“I’d like those things too.”
Ah, to hell with it. Better to take a chance than waste one. “And I’d like to find out if your lips feel as soft as I think they do. If you taste as sweet as I’m imagining.”
Another O graced the lips he was itching to kiss.
“I think that’s for us,” he said when a cowbell rang in the distance. This moment was over, but there’d be others. He’d make sure of it.
About the Author:
Karla Doyle’s Social Links: Website: www.karladoyle.com