Lara Kinman has returned home for her father’s funeral. It’s been almost a decade since she’s been home and doesn’t expect a happy homecoming with her brother. However, when she returns, Lara runs in her ex-boyfriend Hale Dobbs. He isn’t anything like she remembered. The awkward boy has been replaced by a gorgeous man.

Hale tries to distract Lara from her grief by inviting her out for dinner. She agrees because there’s no need to worry because she’s not going to be in town long enough for anything to blossom between them. Little does she know that her family history has finally caught up with her. Can Hale help grease her wheels to reveal her true feelings for him? Or will Lara have to take over the family business and cut him completely out of her life?


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Excerpt from "Lube It Up"

Lara got up and went to the door. She opened it, still shaking with frustration from her brother’s statement. “Can I help you?”

“Ah…Hi! I was expecting Sam.”

Hale stood at the door in his uniform with his name embroidered on his navy blue shirt. Seeing it pressed and the cloth stretched across his broad chest made her knees weak. Her gaze focused on the tight fabric and how it emphasized his chest. A tuft of chest hair peeked out from underneath the top button.

“Earth to Lara. Are you okay?”

She blinked and forced her eyes back to his face. “Sorry. Just got a lot on my mind. Come in. Samuel’s in the kitchen. You want some coffee or a muffin? There’s plenty of food.” Lara stepped back and let him in, leading Hale into the kitchen where her brother had begun devouring another pastry.

“Hale, what brings you here?”

Lara grabbed her iPad and slipped further back into the kitchen so she could fix herself another cup of coffee and still be close enough to hear what Hale wanted. She got another mug and shook her head. This is insane. We broke up in high school and I swore I’d never look back after he broke my heart. It’s been ten years. He’s a different person and so am I. There are tons of attractive men out there. He just happens to be a hunky mechanic and volunteer fireman. She sipped her coffee, made a face because she realized she didn’t put enough sugar in it, but her resolve tightened. Hale was her past and that was that.

He was going to stay there.

“So, I hate to bother you, but I need you to sign the checks. The guys...”

“I thought...forget it. I’m sorry. I’ve been a little busy with things lately.”

“We know. It’s fine. The others wanted to know if you got the flowers.”

“Yeah, I did. Thanks. So, I should be back in by the end of the week. I have some stuff to take care of today and the lawyers tomorrow. Dad had some things that even I didn’t know about going on. Thanks for taking care of everything while I’ve been gone.” Samuel took the checks and began to sign them.

Hale slapped him on back. “I’ll let the others know. I’ll see you around. We’ve got a busy day ahead of us.” He fished into the basket and came out with a bagel. He leaned against the counter and stared at her.

Lara averted her gaze to her iPad and tried to look busy, but she was aware that he was peering at her. After a few moments, she glanced up. “Can I help you with something?”

He flashed her a half smile and his blue eyes twinkled in the kitchen light. “I thought you were leaving.”

Annoyed, she mashed her finger against the screen of her iPad. “I am. Once I figure out a few more things with my father’s will. Why do you care?”

“I thought we could get some dinner.”

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