Change of Heart
Healing Harts #5
By: T.J. Kline
Releasing May 10, 2016
Leah McCarran has never had anything but bad luck in her life, with the exception of her dream job, working as a therapist for at-risk youth at Heart Fire Ranch. But when her car breaks down on the side of the road and she finds herself stranded, the playboy who shows up to help, seems like the last person she can count on.
Gage Granger has risen above the circumstances of his youth, enough that people believe he has the Midas touch, especially in business. But when one costly mistake could send his reputation and his company into ruin, he needs some time to get his head on straight before he makes a decision that could affect hundreds of lives and heads to see his brother, near Heart Fire. The last thing he expected to find was a feisty therapist who needs his help, even if she won’t admit it.
Leah doesn’t want friends. There was only one person she let close – her high school counselor and the mentor who not only took her in but changed her life, and then she died. Leah doesn’t want that kind of hurt again so it’s easier to remain distant. But Gage is making it difficult. And finding out that he staying next door at Heart Fire Ranch isn’t making it any easier to avoid the kind man who is worming his way into her heart.
Gage sees the pain Leah’s trying so adamantly to hide but neither can help the attraction that begins to develop as they rescue two abandoned kittens and find they have far more in common than they believed. Gage helps her to move past her nightmarish past and she helps him realize that one mistake doesn’t define his worth.
She felt him behind her even before his hand slid up the wooden frame of the door. He didn’t touch her but he surrounded her—with his presence, his scent, the desire that rolled off of him in titillating waves. He brushed her hair away from her shoulder, his fingers moving over the curve of her neck exposed by her shirt, and she felt the longing coil tightly within her as his arm slipped around her waist, his palm lying against her stomach.
“You think I didn’t want to come? It was killing me all day remembering how it felt to kiss you.” His lips brushed over the sensitive spot behind her ear as he spoke. “I haven’t been able to get the taste of you off my lips. You were part of the reason I couldn’t come over last night. I couldn’t stop thinking about you long enough to focus on the work I needed to be doing.”
Leah let her head fall to one side with a sigh, giving him full access to the column of her neck. His lips found the pulse racing at her throat as he moved to one side of her, blocking her into the corner formed between the wall and the doorjamb. His hand slid around her back and curved around her waist. His thumb slid up over her ribs, teasing the underside of her breast; and his lips trailed hot kisses to her jaw. Leah’s hands found his waist, clutching at the T-shirt he wore, wishing she was bold enough to slide her hands beneath and feel the flesh that was scalding her through the material.
“You’re not ready for this. Any more than I am.”
His words fell around her, each one stabbing her heart. He was saying exactly what she’d already thought, but hearing it come from his lips hurt more than she’d ever imagined.
J. Kline was raised competing in rodeos and Rodeo Queen competitions since the age of 14 and has thorough knowledge of the sport as well as the culture involved. She writes contemporary western romance for Avon Romance, including the Rodeo series and the Healing Harts series. She has published a nonfiction health book and two inspirational fiction titles under the name Tina Klinesmith. In her very limited spare time, T.J. can be found laughing hysterically with her husband, children, and their menagerie of pets in Northern California.