Living on the farm as he was, he’d become privy to her schedule, which was rising before dawn to help feed the animals, making sure they were all taken care of, making sure everything was cleaned up and looking good for the people who would pay to come in, and so much more. In his greatest imagination, he couldn’t have managed a day in her life. “You’re not okay.”
“No. I’m stressed.” She put a hand to her chest. “I need to alleviate some of it.”
He raised a brow as she rifled through a laundry basket on top of her dryer, producing a pair of sweats, which she pulled on. Then she reached into the dryer and threw something at him.
One of his shirts. He’d sorta hoped this would be going the other way. “What are we doing?” he asked.
“I know the perfect thing for stress.”
“So . . . my night’s about to get better then?”
“Follow me, funny guy.”
He’d probably follow her right off a cliff, which wasn’t as shocking as it should’ve been. He was somehow getting used to the fact that he was incredibly attracted to her, enough to allow himself to wonder how things might work if they gave this thing between them a go.
Taking his hand, she led him down the path toward the animal barn. Inside, they walked past the emu pen. Estelle stuck her head over the gate to eye Jameson, and he just managed to resist covering his ass with his hands.
Luna laughed, and he was wondering why this was the place she’d chosen to improve their night when she let them into the baby goat pen.
DZ and his two siblings were all in pj’s, the three of them looking adorably sleepy as Luna grabbed a lantern off a hook and turned it on, setting it in the middle of the pen. “Sit,” she said to Jameson.
“In the hay?”
She plopped down and crisscrossed her legs, patting the spot next to her.
By this time, Dammit Ziggy was losing his mind, bouncing in front of Jameson, bleating to be picked up. So he sat and DZ hopped into his lap. His two sisters, Mini and Pearl, were in Luna’s, and she was cuddling them both, laughing softly as they nuzzled her.
She’d been right. Sitting with baby goats in the middle of the night was incredibly relaxing. So was being with Luna. With hay in her hair and in those big baggy sweats, he probably couldn’t have found her body if he’d tried, and she still looked edible. One of the goats licked her chin and she laughed again, her eyes smiling and sparkling in the light of the lantern. His thigh was pressed to hers, and without allowing himself to think, he wrapped his free arm low on her hips and leaned into her. “You’re beautiful.”
She laughed this off. “You need glasses.”
No, he didn’t. Hell, he could see her with his eyes closed. Because he knew her now. She was tough as they came, and resilient as hell, but this farm was a huge strain on her and he was as guilty as everyone else in her circle of not looking past her easy strength to see it.
THE BRIGHT SPOT. Copyright © 2024 by Jill Shalvis.
New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis returns to Sunrise Cove with a heartwarming story about the choices we make and the love we let into our lives...
Luna Wright is a lot of things, but sweet and trusting isn’t on the list. However, she’s a sucker for the underdog and a hard-luck story. Adopted at birth, with scant knowledge of her biological family, she’s created her own inner circle, a motley crew which includes her bestie Willow, to help her run the struggling but charming Apple Ridge Farm.
With a farm-to-table café as well as a menagerie of rescued animals (complete with a baby goat who keeps escaping to the pantry to eat the secret stash of decidedly not organic potato chips), it’s the best home she’s ever known. But when the owner Silas, who they secretly call The Grinch, passes away, Luna discovers the farm is now under control of his investment manager, the enigmatic Jameson Hayes….and her. And that Silas had many, many secrets.
Now Luna’s carefully controlled corner of the world is threatened and she—along with some help from her friends—has to dig deep to find true strength and the real meaning of love and family.
Romance Contemporary [Avon, On Sale: January 16, 2024, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9780063235755 / eISBN: 9780063235786]
New York Times Best Selling Author
Multiple New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is … mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s bestselling, award-winning heartwarming and full of humor novels wherever books are sold and visit her website for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.
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