Finley isn’t exactly sure when her life began to feel unfamiliar. She suspects the transformation started long before she caught her husband and fellow garden club member doing the white-trash-two-step on her new Bernhardt sofa. Now free from the shackles of a loveless marriage, and with her children off to college, she’s finally able to go searching for the missing pieces of her heart.
Finley’s best friend, Cathyanne, is already working hard to ensure that Finley finds true love this time around. But when Finley is unwittingly tossed into the arms of two men—their sexy trainer and her neighbor, a popular country star—Cathyanne fears finding the right guy will be more complicated than she ever could have imagined.
For Finley, building a new life feels as impossible as flying a paper airplane to the moon. But maybe, just maybe, with the right help, she will find her whole heart—even if it’s in the very last place she thinks to look.
Fastening the last few buttons on an old pair of coveralls she’d found in what had once been the bedroom, Finley tucked a couple of threadbare towels and another pair of coveralls for Josh under her arm and made her way out into the main room. As she rounded the corner, she caught sight of Josh hovering over the beginnings of a roaring fire. He’d removed his flannel shirt along with the long-sleeved T-shirt he’d been wearing underneath, and had hung them on a couple of pegs to dry. With one arm resting on the mantle, he had the thumb of the other hand hooked in the front pocket of his jeans. The waistband sat low on his hips giving her a peek at the briefs he wore underneath. Apparently Jockey was his underclothing of choice. Something in her chest stuttered, pinged, stuttered, and then turned over again, this time settling into a metrical purring. Her eyes traveled from his jeans up, and on to the hills and valleys of his abs and chest. Baked to a perfect honey brown, his moist skin gleamed in the firelight, his perfectly toned muscles dancing with the flame.
Tearing her eyes from his chest, she took in the strong angles of his face, his serious gaze watching the fire as if anticipating an answer he’d been waiting a lifetime to hear.
“What are you thinking about?” she asked.
Josh’s head whipped up like he’d forgotten she was there. A slow smile dragged up one side of his mouth. “You, and how . . .”—he surveyed her baggy coveralls, his eyes lighting on the name-patch that read, Finnie—“and how sexy you look in even the most unflattering outfit I’m pretty sure I’ve ever seen on a woman before.”
Finley crossed over to him, a swarm of bees, butterflies, and pretty much anything else with tiny, fluttering wings, filling her chest. “You’re an impossible flirt, but thank you,” she said with a touch of false modesty. “I’ve got a pair for you too.” She held out the coveralls and towels.
Josh kept his crooked grin aimed at her while he eased the towels and dry clothes from her hands. She tried not to drool as the muscles of his arms and shoulders tightened and rolled under his skin. “Thanks,” he said, his gaze taking a quick side-trip from hers to look over her offering. Breezing over the patch, his eyes then made a quick U-turn to fixate momentarily on the name. He looked back to her under a questioning brow. “Roy?”
Finley’s focus drifted off-center from his. “They’ll likely be too long and a mite tight in the shoulders, but at least they’re dry, and you won’t freeze.” She offered him a sheepish smile. “I think the temperature has dropped about ten degrees since the storm hit. At this rate, we could have snow again by morning.”
Tossing the coveralls to the hearth, Josh then shook open one of the towels. “I bet I can come up with a way of keeping warm that doesn’t include me wearing your ex-husband’s hand-me-downs,” he said as he wiped the towel over his chest and shoulders.
Finley shifted her gaze from the heady look he was giving her. All of a sudden, instead of gently beating, those tiny wings in her chest felt as if they were desperate to escape a cage that had grown much too small. “I’m sure you can, but . . .”
Taking an end of the towel in each hand, Josh horseshoed it around his neck. “But?” he repeated.
Praise for With No Regrets
“The imagery is beautiful, the romance very well done and realistic.” Rachel Ann Nunes.
Finley is a spunky and snarky Southern woman with a lot of sass! The romance is swoon-worthy and satisfying. And underneath it all, it’s got a great message. Definitely worth a read!
Author Julie N. Ford
A graduate from San Diego State University with a BA in Political Science, Julie N. Ford also earned a Masters in Social Work from the University of Alabama, which has only made her better able to recognize the unhealthy, codependent relationship she has with writing. Professionally, she has worked in teaching and as a marriage and family counselor. She is the author of six women’s fiction novels, including Count Down to Love, a 2011 Whitney Award finalist. When she’s not writing, she entertains delusions of being a master gardener, that is, when she’s not killing the unsuspecting plants in her yard with her good intentions. She lives outside of Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband, two daughters, and the cutest Scottish fold cat you’ve ever seen. She loves to chat with readers.
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