I loved Dylan, but he left anyway.
He slipped away in the middle of the night with no warning, and he never returned. He didn’t even say goodbye. An abrupt end to the biggest love affair of my life.
Sounds like lyrics to the latest country song, but every word of this ditty is true.
Even now, ten years later, the man still haunts my memory. Is he healthy? Happy? Sexy and delectable?
Imagine my surprise when I move to a small Montana village, only to learn the mayor is the same man who ghosted me years earlier.
To answer that last question, the term delectable doesn’t do Dylan justice.
There’s only one obstacle to our joyous reunion. He hates me. At least that’s what I thought…until he kissed me.
The feelings between us still burn hot, but my heart was torched once by Dylan West.
Do I risk the fire or run for safety?
My biggest regret was leaving Poppy ten years ago. But she was a free spirit, and I needed to grow up and join the real world.
So, I left her—along with my heart—in the California desert, returning home to my tiny Montana town.
Time moved on, and I thought I had, too. Until one fateful morning when I went to greet our town’s newest resident and my past collided with my present.
Now, she’s under my skin, just like before, sexier and feistier than ever. I want nothing more than to make her mine, but I doubt a single father holds much appeal for a woman like Poppy.
There’s only one solution—I can’t let her near my heart again.
But I know the idea is moot. Poppy has owned my heart all along.
“Doesn’t feel so good, does it?”
I grab her to me, feeling the shivers run through her body. Run through my own. I forgot I could feel this way. I forgot everything, but one touch from Poppy brings it all flooding back. “You will always be my girl. It doesn’t matter how many years have passed or how many women I’ve slept with to try to forget you. Forget how you made me feel.”
“Let me go,” Poppy snaps, twisting in my grasp.
Instead of freeing her, I grasp her tighter, pulling her flush against my body. God help me, I miss her. It feels like forever and only a moment since I held her. Since she begged me to never let her go.
I never will again.
But Poppy has ten years of fight in her, and she isn’t yielding. “I’m not your girl. I haven’t been your girl since the day you left me. Remember?”
“I’m working on that.”
“By being an asshole? Word of advice, D—try harder.”
My last bit of patience snaps as my hands slide up to cup her face. “How’s this, then?”
I swallow her arguments, not bothering to seek permission before I capture her mouth. Backing her to the wall, I tangle my fingers in her hair, forcing her to take every ounce of the passion I’ve saved for her. Only for her.
She pushes against me, breaking us apart in the heat of the moment. She stands there—cheeks flushed, breath coming in pants, chest heaving—and glowers in my direction. “How dare you.”
“I dare.” It’s a throwback to our initial meeting, when I showed her in no uncertain terms that she belonged to me. “You are mine, Poppy, and I’m taking back what belongs to me.”
When M.L. isn’t writing or holding one-sided arguments with her characters (spoiler alert—they always win), she loves losing herself in nature on her North Carolina farm, one of her rescue buddies by her side. She adores dressing up and kicking back, a glass of whiskey with an equally stunning view, and experiences that make the soul—and senses—tingle.
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