J.D. Sterling, the sexy star of country music, had come back home to McKenna Springs, Texas. Years before, he had left to chase his dream and had succeeded. His life was almost perfect. Almost. He was still missing the part of his heart he had left behind…Mandy Lawson.
Amanda Lawson had changed from the young, innocent Mandy…the teenager madly in love with the bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks. Heartbreak and tragedy would do that to a person. She was determined to keep her well-ordered, work-driven life on the successful path she had fought to achieve on her own. No singing cowboy with a devil’s smile in his green eyes and a sexy body in tight jeans was going to be allowed close enough to break her heart again.
Born and raised in the Lone Star state of Texas, Debbie grew up among horses, cowboys, wide open spaces, and real Texas Rangers. Pride in her state and ancestry knows no bounds and it is these heroes and heroines she loves to write about the most. She also draws upon a variety of life experiences including working with abused children, caring for baby animals at a major zoo, and having a wedding planning business (ah, romance!). Debbie’s real pride and joys, however, are her son, an aspiring film actor, and a daughter with aspirations to join the Federal Bureau of Investigation. (more story ideas!) When Debbie isn’t busy writing about tall Texans and feisty heroines, she can be found
cheering for her favorite football team, the Texas Tech Red Raiders, or heading off on an-other cruise adventure. She read her first romance...Janet Dailey's Fiesta San Antonio, over thirty years ago and became hooked on the genre. Writing romances is both her passion and dream come true, and she hopes her books will bring smiles...and sighs... to all who believe in happily-ever-afters!
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J.D. Sterling’s heartbeats were thumping loud as a bass drum at the sight of the red sedan as it pulled into the circular driveway, stopping just behind the other realtor’s Hummer. He had purposely seated himself in a corner of the wide porch, away from the glare of the noonday sun, where climbing vines and shade would enable him to be concealed from the woman’s line of sight. He didn’t want her to know he was there, at least not right away. J.D. needed to see her first, to get his feet under him. At least, that’s the excuse he'd given himself. For someone who always planted his feet solidly in the middle of any situation, this was one time the spotlight was not what he sought. His pulses were racing as he saw the driver’s door swing open and two slender ankles encased in gray high heels become visible as they touched the ground.
The woman stood up, one hand pushed her sunglasses further up on the bridge of her nose, and then she closed the car door behind her. She slung the straps of her leather bag over her shoulder and moved around the hood of the car, her heels making soft crunching sounds on the pea gravel along the drive. In the early afternoon stillness of the ranch, those sounds seemed to be amplified.
The eyes in the shadows drank in the features of the woman as she moved toward the house. Nowhere in sight was the country girl he had last seen. The vision that approached was confident in her stride, her head up and shoulders resolute. The girl he used to know was just short of being painfully shy and always hesitant to stand out of any crowd. Sunglasses concealed her eyes from view so he couldn’t see if they were still the amazingly vivid blue he remembered and had even immortalized in song once. They had filled his dreams on many a night and gotten him through some really hard times. It was those eyes he would see when he closed his own as he sang across the bright lights into the dark recesses of some huge arena, packed with screaming fans and loud music. He would sing to the girl in his dreams… the one he had left behind but never left out of his heart.
For just a second, he did experience a pinch of disappointment. That glorious blond hair, natural and not from any bottle, was gone. It used to cascade straight down her back past her waist. His fingers would get tangled up in it, and he had loved the way it fell in a silver curtain across them when she would bend down to kiss him. Better stop right there. He didn’t need to make a total fool of himself right off the start. His lower body was definitely in danger of doing that if he didn’t keep his thoughts reined in. However, those long tresses were gone, and the stylish cut she wore allowed her face to be framed before just grazing the top of her shoulders. The gray two-piece suit with a coral top showing above the one-button jacket was all business. Maybe the girl he had carried in his memory didn’t exist any longer? That thought unnerved him more than he wanted to admit. Had he left things too late? No, it couldn’t be too late. Not for them.
Amanda’s eyes caught sight of her boss, Morris Bagley, on the top steps of the veranda. “You look very pleased with yourself today. I hope you didn’t bring me out here on a wild goose chase, Morris. I was just about to close on the Farwell building. Where’s this client I just had to come and meet?”
Her voice was more refined than before, with a mature edge to it. It still struck a chord inside J.D., and he rose silently to his feet from his perch on the railing. Now he was just a few steps away but still not in her sight.
“Hello, Mandy,” he spoke softly from the shadows.
Amanda’s head swung in its direction. Her eyes sought to focus on the tall figure that stepped from darkness into light. She went to take a quick breath but found she couldn’t. In fact, for some reason, the light was receding, and the darkness was swallowing them all up.