Dane James worked my stepfather’s fields. He was the boy next door.


From the moment we met, we were star-crossed lovers—always wanting, never having. We loved each other for most of our lives, but right from the beginning destiny had other plans. She knew we would fall in love. She knew we would fall apart. Over and over again, like the curse of a recurring nightmare. Or the hope of a familiar dream.

Our past was tumultuous. Our future was bleak. But the one thing we always had was the beautiful now.

Until that was taken from us, too.







I let Dane help me up and, together, in the increasing brightness, we put our clothes back on. I watched him pull his jeans on over his thick thighs. I watched him button and zip them over his flat stomach. I watched his abs flex and shift under his skin as he raised his arms and tugged his shirt over his head. And I watched him rake his fingers through his long strands when he was finished.

When I realized he’d caught me staring so unabashedly at him, I blushed and looked away, but not before I saw his lips split into a breathtaking smile. I pulled on my own clothes as quickly as I could, and when I was bending to reach for my shoes, I noticed he was still standing there smiling at me.

“What?” I asked.

“I’m just imagining how this is gonna look in instant replay.”

“How what will look?”

He stepped over to me and slid his arms around my waist, sending chills rolling down my arms. “You. Putting clothes on this perfect body. The wheat and the sky as your backdrop. The look on your face.”

“What look?”

Dane raised his hand to brush my cheek. “The look I spent the whole night putting there.”





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New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author, M. Leighton, is a rarely ever comfortable speaking about herself in the third person, but here goes. Michelle is a former nurse who has always harbored a passion for the written word, a weakness for alpha males, and a profound love of all things romantic. Never in her wildest dreams did this Yankee-turned-Southerner imagine her life as it is today. She has the best job in the world, a husband who treats her like a princess, and a dog that’s so smart she may one day write a novel, too. You can often find Michelle hidden away in her cave, crafting a new story, or out in the sunshine enjoying some quiet time with her man. Movies, wine, and good food are frequently thrown into the mix, and exercise on days that start with Q. She loves laughter, chocolate, the color red, and you can find out more about her at www.mleightonbooks.com. Sign up for her newsletter here: http://smarturl.it/MLeightonNews She promises not to spam your inbox:)


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Books by M. Leighton

All the Pretty Lies ** All the Pretty Poses
All Things Pretty

Down to You ** Up to Me
Everything for Us ** Always with You

Levi’s Blue

Pocketful of Sand

The Empty Jar

Dashing Through the Snow

Strong Enough ** Tough Enough
Brave Enough

The Wild Ones ** Wild Child
Some Like It Wild ** There’s Wild, Then There’s You



Madly ** Madly & Wolfhardt
Madly & the Jackal ** Madly and the Seawitch (est Dec, 2016)

Blood Like Poison: For the Love of a Vampire
Blood Like Poison: Destined for a Vampire
Blood Like Poison: To Kill an Angel

The Reaping ** The Reckoning

Beginnings: An M. Leighton Anthology






About Jennifer Harried

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