Road to Romance, book 2
by Joanne Rock
by Joanne Rock
Dancer Larissa Martine is ready to start over and Las Vegas seems like the perfect city for a shiny new beginning. But first, to honor her pact with her girlfriends, she wants to make a quick stop in Cheyenne, WY to make amends with her first love, the guy she left to chase her dreams of Broadway fame. Except rancher Matt Briggs isn’t nearly as interested in her regrets as he is in keeping her in town for his sister’s wedding. It’s a request she can’t deny when his family takes up the cause to make her stay for just one more week, but it’s difficult to maintain her friends-only boundaries with a man who attracts her as much as ever.
After losing his father and inheriting the family ranch in addition to the one he’d bought on his own, Matt’s life is all about obligations. But Larissa’s unexpected arrival during the wedding mayhem is a bright spot he won’t ignore, even if that means tempting her into far more than just a dance. He figures one night with her will bring them both some peace with their past, which is all she said she wanted. But one night leaves Matt wanting a whole lot more and this time, he’s willing to gamble everything to make her stay.
He’d never imagined how much his father’s passing would divide his life into “before” and “after.” It’s like everything had stopped in his world when he got the call that EMS was on their way to the Briggs Ranch. Trying to shrug off the memory, he put the truck in Park and switched off the engine.
“Are you taking questions about your relationship experiences since you left Wyoming?” he asked her pointedly. When she shook her head fast, he grinned. “You see? We understand each other perfectly.”
She was quiet for so long he wondered what she was thinking. Finally, she pulled a single key on a red ribbon out from her jeans pocket. He recognized the ribbon from the rack of keys at his mother’s house.
“I’m staying for the wedding because Hattie implied I’d broken my friendship with your family and that I should repair it.” Larissa’s face was pale in the moonlight that filtered in through the front window.
Wind raced past the truck windows, creating a screechy sound.
“It’s kind of you to do that.” He wanted to know if he figured into the picture at all. Would she admit it even if he did?
“I’m doing it for me as much as for them.” She wound the ribbon around her finger while they sat in the truck cab. Close but not touching. “I came here to smooth over the way I left last time, and I realize that means making amends with your family as much as with you.”
“Good.” He was tempted to test that theory right now. To see if she was truly here to hang out with his family or if she’d been as intrigued by the chemistry between the two of them as he was. “Then you’re already making headway since Callie wants you to teach her how to dance before the wedding.”
“I hope so.” She nodded.
And made no move to retreat into the house.
The air in the cab crackled with awareness. His. Hers.
It was too soon to act on it, he knew. If he set foot in that house tonight with her, things would get out of hand in a hurry. The last thing he wanted was to share something incredible with her only to spook her and send her running in the morning. Better to let it build.
“I’m looking forward to dancing with you again.” He reached across the bench seat to brush his knuckles along her cheek.
He liked the way her eyelids fluttered once. Slowly.
Her breath caught before her words tumbled out. “It’s been a long time. Are you sure you even remember the steps?”
Fashion buyer Shea Walker had a fast track lifestyle until a car accident sidelines her to a painful recovery. Seeking quiet for the holidays, Shea returns to the snowy mountains where she grew up to make peace with her past and spend time with her estranged family. She never expected J.C. Royce—now a hockey star—would return to their hometown, too. Determined to avoid that particular sexy mistake, she’s caught off guard when her first night in town brings them face to face.
J.C. never misses a chance to come home to Cloud Spin, Vermont, and this Christmas, he’s back home for some enforced downtime. But in all those trips, he’d never caught a glimpse of Shea, the childhood friend he once thought would become a whole lot more. Before she’d left town, she’d made sure he knew that would never happen, so seeing her practically fall at his feet outside a local pub is gratifying. Until he realizes his proud former friend is truly hurt—and in more ways than she lets on. Lucky for her, he’s got a big house just sitting empty, a tree ready to decorate and Shea is in no shape to stay by herself. But he’s got bad boy arrogance down to an art form after eight years in the NHL, so he’s more than a match for feisty Shea. Especially when it comes to her outrageous claim that there was never any chemistry between them…
But when it comes to convincing her to stick around town until the New Year, he just might need a Christmas miracle.
Book 3 – Oct 5 release
Growing up in the Christmas-crazed theme town of Yuletide was fun for fashion designer Rachel Chambers until a family scandal made her unwelcome. Eight years later, she’s home for a friend’s wedding and trying to go incognito… until her old flame spots her.
Snowboarder Gavin Blake wants to make things right with Rachel, and smoothing her way back in Yuletide seems like the best way to do just that. Making Rachel his date for a week of pre-wedding parties is sure to bring them closer. Except he underestimated how long a small town can carry a grudge—or how much the memory of a long-ago kiss could tempt him all over again.
As the wedding approaches, Rachel remembers all she loved about her close-knit, Christmas-loving neighbors. But even if she can win over the town again, will she be able to convince her footloose, mogul-shredding wedding date that they can find happiness beyond the holidays?
Four-time RITA nominee Joanne Rock has never met a romance sub-genre she didn’t like. The author of over eighty books enjoys writing a wide range of stories, most recently focusing on sexy contemporaries and small town family sagas. An optimist by nature and perpetual seeker of silver linings, Joanne finds romance fits her life outlook perfectly–love is worth fighting for. A frequent speaker at regional and national writing conferences she enjoys giving back to the writing community that nurtured and inspired her early career. She has a Masters degree in Literature from the University of Louisville but credits her fiction writing skills to her intensive study with friend and fellow author Catherine Mann. When she’s not writing, Joanne enjoys travel, especially to see her favorite sports teams play with her former sports editor husband and three athletic-minded sons.