Are you into small town romance? What about a friends-to-lovers? I am. And Amber Kelly’s newest standalone, Stone Hearts, sounds amazing. It’s a small town/friends-to-lover standalone in the Poplar Falls Series. The book not only looks good (seriously amazing cover), it sound incredible. Today we have an excerpt that I’m so excited to share with you. Definitely thinking this needs to be added to our READ NOW list.
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When I returned to Poplar Falls six years ago, I’d given up on love.
I’d made the mistake of marrying the sexy rebel right out of high school. He’d ended up in jail. I’d ended up pregnant. With a baby on the way, I decided to give up my wild, impulsive ways. All I wanted was a family and to watch my sweet son grow up, happy, and healthy.
Then Myer Wilson keeps showing up in my life—and my son’s life.
He’s the hometown football hero, who blew out his ankle his junior year and ended his career. I didn’t look twice at hot jocks in high school. But now that he’s taken over his family’s ranch, I can’t help but look even when I swore off men for good.
But maybe he’ll finally be the one to help me let go of the past and find my second chance at love. Or maybe my past will come back to haunt me.
“Now, which one is that one?” Charlotte asks as she leans in and watches Myer’s retreating form.
“That’s Myer,” I inform her as I follow her eyes.
“Is he single?”
“Um, yeah, I guess so,” I answer.
She turns her eyes back to me. “You guess so?”
“I mean, yes, he’s single, but he’s not the one-night-stand kind,” I explain.
“I’m here for almost two weeks. It doesn’t have to be just one night,” she says with a grin.
A sudden case of protectiveness prickles in my chest.
“He’s not the two- or three-night-stand kind either,” I say a little more forcefully.
She raises an eyebrow at me. “Okay, hands off, he’s yours. I get it. Just point me in the direction of one who is available.”
“He’s not mine.” I sputter, “He’s just … he’s Myer.”
“He’s Myer. What exactly does that mean?”
“It means, I don’t think of him that way,” I say as I look back over my shoulder at him.
He’s leaning over the bar, whispering something into the bartender’s ear. The female bartender.
When did she start working here?
“Right,” she says on a laugh.
“What?” I ask as I bring my attention back to her.
“First of all, that beautiful, tall, blue-eyed man is not ‘just’ anything. What he is, is sexy as hell, and you’re a tiny bit possessive of all that hotness.”
“I am not,” I protest.
I’m not. Am I?
“Girl, you turned red when I asked if he was single,” she says as she points to my face. “I thought fire was going to come from your nostrils, and the bartender should have burst into flames from the look you just gave her.”
“I did not turn red. Myer and I are just friends,” I argue.
“Okay … then you won’t mind if I take that cowboy for a test spin tonight,” she says as she takes a drink of her beer.
Just as I’m about to answer, an arm comes around me and places a mason jar and bottle in front of me.
“Here you go, Dal. I brought you a water, too, so you stay hydrated,” Myer says into my ear.
A shiver runs through me.
What the hell was that?
“Hi. I’m Myer,” he says as he reaches his hand in Charlotte’s direction.
“Charlotte,” she says as she smiles up at him in a flirtatious way.
“Sophie’s friend from New York, right?” he asks as she takes his hand.
“That’s me,” she answers with the smile still plastered on her face. Her eyes don’t leave his face.
I look up at him. He is beautiful. His eyes are a deep blue-gray, like the color of storm clouds. He has long, dark eyelashes that brush his cheeks when he looks down at you. His jawline is defined, and it’s covered with a dark stubble that always shows up when he doesn’t shave for a day or two. His black hair is unruly, and he doesn’t try to tame it; he lets it do whatever the hell it wants to do. Most of the time, it’s covered by a ball cap or an old, worn-out cowboy hat.
I watch as he chats with Charlotte, and I realize that I’ve never paid attention to how attractive he is. My gaze travels down to his strong arms. His tee is pulled tight across his broad chest and is tucked into his jeans, which ride low on his hips.
She’s right. He is sexy as hell. Why have I never noticed that before? No wonder the bartender was practically crawling across the bar to talk to him. Huh.
His deep voice penetrates my thoughts, and I blink up at him.
“Braxton asked if you girls want to play a game of pool,” he says as he curiously looks at me.
“Oh.” I look down at myself and back up to him. “Not sure it’s such a good idea in this dress.”
His eyes slowly move down my body. He brings his hand to my side and slides it down to my hip.
“Yeah, maybe not,” he says and brings his eyes back to mine, “but it’d sure be fun to watch you try.”
I smack his arm, and he chuckles.
“It looks good on. That’s all I’m saying.”
“Thank you,” I say as I meet his stare.
Is that heat dancing between Myer and me? Surely not. I’ve just had too many cocktails, and Charlotte has gotten into my head.
Series Reading Order:
PS: These books are interconnected standalones.