Please welcome Kris T. Bethke and
Love At Roades End
Sean Newvine is looking forward to his weekend at Roades End Inn so he can review his stay there for inclusion on his travel website. What he never expects is for the owner, Hunter Roades, to capture his attention from the very start.
The only problem is Hunter thinks Sean’s been sent by his brother on a blind date so that Hunter doesn’t have to spend Valentine’s Day alone. Once the awkward misunderstanding is resolved, Sean is charmed by Hunter’s formality and hospitality. And when they have a chance to really talk, sparks fly.
A passion-filled night has them both wanting more, but Hunter pulls away knowing Sean doesn’t live in town and the distance might be more than they can overcome. Sean and Hunter must figure out if they can make it work for longer than one night, or if their chance at love will end at Roades End Inn before it can begin.
“It is Valentine’s Day, after all.” The amusement was clear in his tone.
I nodded and laughed, then studied Hunter over the rim of my cup. Martin’s policy was that it was up to each of his staff members whether they wanted to reveal where they worked. I usually didn’t. I wanted the real experience, without staff working extra hard to please me. I wanted to know how they treated every customer, not just the ones they thought were special. But with Hunter, I found myself wanting to tell him the truth.
“I can assure you that you’ll be getting an outstanding review from Best of Beds. I hope it brings you many bookings.”
It took a moment for my words to register, but I could see the moment that they did. Hunter went bright red, and his eyes nearly bugged out of his head. “You… I didn’t know… and yesterday when you checked in, I….” Hunter made a choking sound and covered his face with both his hands. “Oh my God.”
He sounded mortified, so I did my best to rein in my mirth. Leaning forward, I could barely get a hand on his arm, but I squeezed reassuringly. “Really. Don’t worry about it.” When he peeked up at me through his fingers, I gave him a big grin. “Though I have to ask what that was all about.”
Hunter groaned, but he laughed too and sat back in his chair. His face was still red, but it was fading, and he kept his gaze fixed on the fire. “It’s… well, it’s kind of silly.”
I let that sit there for a minute, but when he didn’t continue, I gently prodded. “You don’t have to tell me, but I’d really like to hear it.”
Hunter was quiet for another long moment before he nodded. I could see his cheeks pinking, but he took a deep breath and looked right at me. “Gregory is always pestering me about how I don’t date. He seems to think I need to settle down. I keep telling him I’m too busy. Lately he’s been threatening to send me someone for Valentine’s Day. So I’d have a date, you know? I never thought he’d do it, but then you walked in the door and….” He shrugged.
“And what?” I asked, perhaps a little too eagerly. “What about me made you think I was your blind date for Valentine’s Day?”
Hunter’s blush returned, but his gaze didn’t waver. It took him a few moments to speak, and when he did, his voice was barely above a whisper. “You’re exactly my type. The dark hair, the blue eyes, the built shoulders, and only a little bit taller than me. Exactly. So yeah, I really thought he’d sent you. I was about three seconds away from panic.”
I focused entirely on the first part of that, my heart beginning to thud in my chest. “You think I’m attractive?”
Hunter blinked. “Um, yes? Did you not hear what I just said?” He squinted. “And have you seen you?”
I laughed, absolutely charmed by his incredulity. I loved his open honesty. Every moment I spent in his presence made me like him more. And now that I knew he was as attracted to me as I was to him and that we were both single? Well, it was Valentine’s Day, wasn’t it?
“Hunter.” My voice dropped unintentionally, but it made him look at me, and he gave a slight shiver when his gaze locked on mine. “If I were to come over there and kiss you, what would happen?”His breathing picked up, and he stared wide-eyed at me for a long moment. “I do believe I would kiss you back.”
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About the author:
Kris T Bethke has been a voracious reader for pretty much her entire life and has been writing stories for nearly as long. An avid and prolific daydreamer, she always has a story in her head. She spends most of her free time reading, writing, or knitting/crocheting her latest project. Her biggest desire is to find a way to accomplish all three tasks at one time. A classic muscle car will always turn her head and naps on the weekend are one of her greatest guilty pleasures. She lives in a converted attic with an aquarium full of tropical fish and the voices in her head. She’ll tell you she thinks that’s a pretty good deal. Kris believes that love is love, no matter the gender of people involved and that all love deserves to be celebrated. She loves to hear from her readers, so feel free to drop her a line. You can find her on Twitter @KrisTBethke or on her blog www.kristbethke.com.
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