Life in the small town of Emerald Springs, Washington, is anything but slow and peaceful. An old feud between former business partners Whitman and Sanders keeps competition on a high burner, fueling resentment, renewing rivalries … and love. Now someone is trying to bring down Emerald Tea Farm, and it’s up to both families to protect their future while still wrangling over the past.
Colleen Sanders watched her father, Joe, fritter away the family farm for twenty years. Now that she’s in charge of Split Acres operations, she plans to turn the outfit around, with or without his help. Unfortunately, with the farm finances in a mess and an unusual uptick of suspicious disasters to contend with, her savings aren’t enough to keep the business afloat.
So she marries a stranger to get it.
Sensuality Level: Sensual
Holley Trent is a Carolina girl gone west. She pens quirky Southern romances from somewhere in Colorado and philosophizes on Twitter under the handle @holleytrent. To learn about her books, visit holleytrent.com.
An excerpt from Colleen’s Choice:
Colleen Sanders took a bracing breath before mashing the last few digits of the number she never expected to dial again. Slinking off her seat edge, she took sanctuary beneath her abused cherry desk, gripping the edge of her phone base as she went.
Her father had stripped the carpet from the big office two years past and had never gotten around to replacing it. The staff lingering in the hall could probably hear every blink—every whisper—even through her closed door.
She curled into the corner, drawing her knees up to her chin as her target picked up his extension.
“Greg. Hi.” She swallowed the lump in her throat and lowered her voice to a whisper. “How are you?”
“Great. That you, Colleen? Sounds like your rasp.”
“Yeah, it’s me.”
“Was just thinking about you—talking about you, actually—at the retreat last week. Miss you around here.”
She pinched the bridge of her nose between her thumb and forefinger, and mentally berated herself for her lachrymose tendencies as of late. Ball-busting Colleen had never been a crier. She hadn’t even cried during that one lacrosse match freshman year when a freak collision resulted in her dislocated shoulder and broken nose, although she had introduced the Emerald Springs residents in attendance to the less refined components of her vocabulary. The official had tossed her a yellow card for that outburst. She’d framed it.
“Miss all of you, too,” she confessed.
“Hey, can you speak up? I can hardly hear you.”
“No. Listen, do you … ” She closed her eyes and willed her churning gut to calm. This was just Greg. Out of all the calls she’d had to make in recent weeks, this should have been an easy one. Another deep breath. “Listen, do you have any work for me?”