Pretty as a Peach (Sex & Sweet Tea, Book #4)
Release Date: March 15, 2018
Mainer Farms is steeped in family history, but it’s also deep in debt from the effects of the ever-changing farming industry. Not about to let his family’s legacy go under, Colt Mancinkus is willing to do anything he can to save the farm.
Darby Culhane is the new farmer in Whynot, North Carolina, and she’s proving to be quite the forbidden temptation for Colt. Darby isn’t looking for anything but a fresh start, and she’s got it all figured out. Get settled in? Check. Apply for the rural county grant? Check. Confrontation with the steaming mad, smoking hot local farmer? Well, that wasn’t on the agenda.
As pretty as she is sweet, Colt can’t help but be drawn to Darby’s…peaches. No really, she’s a peach farmer. Get that mind out of the gutter, and get on down to the farm to see what happens when circumstances force Colt and Darby to team up. They may just find that the peach trees aren’t the only things in bloom.
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35172958-pretty-as-a-peach
“You’re up, Colt,” one of the other players call out.
Snatching my darts off the table, I step up to the line. I hold my dart tip pointed straight at my target. I tried Pap’s method and it never works for me.
Trip seventeen… you’re mine.
I pull my hand back, prepared to launch when Floyd says to me, “You told Darby you love her yet?”
My entire body jerks as my dart flies, not over Darby’s name, but from the word “love” that Floyd so casually tosses out. My dart veers left and sticks in the wood-paneled wall, causing the players on the other team to howl with laughter.
Turning, I see Pap and Lowe snickering at me, but Floyd merely looks at me expectantly for my answer.
“No,” I growl with condescension. “I haven’t told her I love her, Floyd.”
Geez… how thick can Floyd actually be? I mean, I knew he had a few screws loose, but…
I turn back to face the dartboard and take aim at the trip seventeen again. This is my number, and I almost always get a triple.
Aim is taken and just before I let it loose, Floyd asks, “Well, why not? You shouldn’t keep those things inside.”
Once again, my dart sticks in the wall where it vibrates for a moment before going still.
The other team roars with laughter, and I turn a glare upon them. It doesn’t have the intended effect, and they just laugh harder.
Spinning toward Floyd, I take three steps to come toe to toe with him. “Floyd. I don’t love Darby so that’s why I haven’t told her. I’ve only known her a couple of weeks.”
“Four and a half,” he replies.
“Four and a half weeks,” Floyd clarifies. “You’ve known her four and a half weeks.”
Yes, I know that’s how long I’ve known her. I remember the exact day I met her in Laken’s clinic. Why Floyd knows that date is both weird and right at the same time, but that’s beside the point.
“I haven’t even kissed her yet, Floyd.” Talk about putting the cart before the horse.
“Which is plain stupid if you ask me,” Floyd replies swiftly.
Lowe and Pap nod their heads in agreement, and I’m surprised neither throw their hands up and say something like, “Preach it, Floyd.”
“A woman that looks like Darby,” Pap intones because he’s not going to ever sit quiet, “you should be kissing her.”
“She’s married,” I mutter.
“Not for much longer,” Floyd says knowingly, as if he’s got the inside track into Darby’s divorce proceedings. And knowing him, he probably does somehow. “Besides, she’s been separated long enough to do some kissing. I’m beginning to wonder if you even like her at all.”
“I like her,” I blurt out to Floyd, disregarding Pap and Lowe’s second round of snickers.
“Hey, Colt,” one of the other players calls out. “Can you leave your hen party for just a few minutes and come shoot?”
I spin away from Floyd, Pap, and Lowe, and take three steps back to the line. I give quick aim, don’t think too hard about any of it, and let my dart fly.
I’m turning my back on it just as soon as I see it stick the trip seventeen.
Walking back up to my hen party, because that’s exactly what this has turned into, I lower my voice a bit. Lowe, Pap, and Floyd lean in to listen. “Look… I like Darby a lot. I mean, like more than anyone else I’ve dated. And that’s just the thing… we haven’t really dated. Dinner out once and I’m taking her and Linnie to the fair on Saturday, but that hardly makes for kissing circumstances.”
“You’re looking at it wrong,” Floyd insists with a wag of his finger in my face. “She gave up a grant for you. You battled a bully for her daughter. You two are more than ready for some kissing.”
“I’d get on it if I were you,” Pap throws in.
Lowe nods. “Yup.”
A long, low growl rumbles in my chest, and it’s born of both frustration and an overwhelming sense of protectiveness for Darby. “She’s not ready yet. I’m taking it slow because Darby needs to go slow.”
“She told you this?” Floyd asks suspiciously.
“Well, no. But she was in a bad marriage for a very long time.”
“Irrelevant,” Floyd says and crosses his arms over his chest in defiance.
“It’s not irrelevant,” I snap at him.
It’s so relevant. But it’s also not seemingly holding Darby back, so why am I letting it hold me back?
Floyd, Pap, and Lowe just stare at me as if I’ve not said anything worth them uttering a response to. This ticks me off, so I point an index finger at them, going from left to right as it silently marks each. “None of you have any business giving me advice on women. Floyd… you’ve never been married or even had a girlfriend that I know of. You’re married to your dang shotgun.”
Floyd furrows his eyebrows, considering my words. I turn to Pap. “And you… you’re too chicken to even ask Mary Margaret Quinn out for a date.”
Pap flushes red and Lowe laughs, but his smile slides off his face when I turn to him. “And you—”
He holds up his hands in defense and smirks. “Hey… I’m in love and happily married.”
I lean into him and taunt with an evil grin. “You got drunk in Vegas and married Mely in front of Elvis.”
Lowe’s jaw locks and his cheeks turn red with embarrassment.
“The point being,” I say in a more conciliatory tone. “I know what I’m doing, okay? And slow is the name of the game.”
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About the Author:
Juliette Poe is the sweet and swoony alter ego of New York Times Best Selling author, Sawyer Bennett.
A fun-loving southern girl, Juliette knows the allure of sweet tea, small towns, and long summer nights, that some of the best dates end sitting on the front porch swing, and that family is top priority. She brings love in the south to life in her debut series, Sex & Sweet Tea.
When Juliette isn’t delivering the sweetest kind of romance, she’s teaching her southern belle daughter the fine art of fishing, the importance of wearing Chucks, and the endless possibilities of a vivid imagination.
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