One Summer by Rayne Forrest/KC Kendricks

Holly Thomas has a simple plan for the summer - take care of her favorite aunt and celebrate Burkesville’s centennial. Her immediate attraction to the town’s newest resident quickly proves problematic. Joe Mercer’s keeping secrets behind his blue eyes. 

Holly’s instincts are good. Joe Mercer’s reasons for coming to Burkesville are two-fold. On the surface he’s the pub owner he looks to be, but he’s also undercover for the government. Holly’s everything he wants in a woman and he’s trapped. He can’t confide to her he’s in the middle of this little covert assignment, and he can’t stay away from her. 

When the deal goes down, Joe scrambles to stay on the right side of everything. Holly has it all wrong but he’s in too deep to back out of the operation. It’s all coming to a head and he’ll be able to tell her everything – if he can just hold on to her for one more day.


4 Hearts from The Romance Studio….
The author has written a really fine story of two people falling in love in a small town, with a little suspense for added interest. The climax of the book really makes this really engrossing love story.



The bright beam of headlights turned the raindrops falling around her to shimmering crystals. The Chevy slowed to a stop and when the passenger door swung open, she gratefully flung herself into the car as the heavens opened in a deluge. She greeted him, aware that she dripped water on his leather seat.

“Hey, Joe.” 

“Hey, Holly.” He reached a long arm between the bucket seats and grabbed a sweatshirt.  She accepted his offering with murmured thanks and slipped it over her head, immediately warmed by soft fabric infused with his scent. It took every ounce of self-control she possessed to refrain from burying her nose in the fleece and inhaling deeply.

“Thanks.” She grinned at him. “Good morning, by the way.”

Joe grinned back at her. “It’s a better morning, now. Didn’t you know this storm was rolling through?”

“I thought I had time for my walk. The wind wasn’t blowing when I left the house.” She didn’t say anything as he turned onto Linden Drive, slowed, and turned into Aunt Naomi’s driveway. Someone had told him where she lived. It was a small town. 

Of course, that meant he actually asked someone. Despite the cold rain, a warm glow settled in her belly.

“Would you like to come in for coffee?” She wasn’t sure if she wanted him to say yes, or no, although yes would be infinitely more interesting. If he came in, she’d grab the chance to find out why he drove around town so early in the morning. 

He regarded her evenly for a count of five then leaned towards her, his large hand warm on her chilled knee. “I’d love coffee, but I’m short on time.” 

Holly forgot to breathe as that warm hand slid to the inside of her thigh and traveled to the edge of her shorts and impropriety before stopping. His blue gaze, locked with hers, darkened until she saw her reflection. Her belly tightened. Her joints suddenly loosened, surprising her with the swiftness of it. She shivered as her nipples tingled and peaked at the sound of his low, husky voice. Thank heavens he’d given her the sweatshirt and couldn’t observe her reaction. She didn’t want to give away too many of her secrets, no matter how sexy Joe Mercer looked. 

“We have unfinished business, Holly.”

She agreed, most whole-heartedly. 

Joe slipped his arm around her. Holly dropped her head onto his shoulder and tipped her chin up to him. His lips came down on hers and she opened to him, a silent invitation to plunder at will. 
His searing hot mouth tasted of coffee, mint, and Joe. Electricity jolted through her belly, settling to a simmering boil at the apex of her thighs.  She couldn’t pretend she hadn’t wanted this and flicked her tongue across his lower lip. He nibbled at the corner of her mouth, teasing her. She fisted her hands in his shirt and tugged on him. His lips gentled, caressing hers softly, moving on hers, whisper-soft, and so very, very warm.  

How long he held her in his spell she didn’t know or care. The vibrations beneath her ceased. The sound of the rain was suddenly louder. She was aware of it in a vague sort of way, registering it and tossing it away as unimportant. Joe’s arms were around her lifting her. His lips were still locked to hers. 

He was so warm, so big and solid. The feel of him, hard against her hip, brought her up short when she wiggled closer. Holly pulled away and opened her eyes, blinking him back into focus. 
He grinned, eyes sparkling, his smile as unrepentantly male as his erection pressed hard between them. His arms tightened around her, a surprising shelter against the sudden urge to flee his strength.  

“Is that your Aunt Naomi?”

Holly jerked and the world suddenly refocused. The silken web he’d woven around her dissolved and she found herself sprawled across his lap. 

She looked out the fogged windshield to see Aunt Naomi standing on the porch, bundled up in a sweater and calmly sipping her coffee while she watched the sideshow in her driveway. Her equilibrium returned. Darn reality, anyway. 

“That’s her.” She narrowed her eyes at him. “It’s a neat trick getting a girl onto your lap with the gear shifter thingy and the steering wheel in the way, Joe. Practice it much?”

She shifted her weight and froze as he winced, only to move again more cautiously so as not to injure a few of his body parts he’d probably not want to be injured. He grinned at her again, a big, open, smug male smile. She slid off his lap. It was her turn to grin as he pulled the edges of his black leather jacket across the front of his jeans. 

“Thanks for the ride, Joe,” she said with her best attempt at sounding sultry. 

He laughed softly at the double entendre. “My pleasure, Holly. Honest.” His hand closed over hers, warm and strong.



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