Roses play a part in my release from The Wild Rose Press, Those Violet Eyes. Part of the Honky Tonk Hearts seires, it releases today. Evie, my heroine, has been driving an old clunker with doors that won't open and a driver's side window that won't close. She gets in and out by shimmying through the open window. One night after working as a waitress at the Lonesome Steer Honky Tonk, she comes out to find her car's battery is dead. Win, my hero, offers to put in another battery. The next day, her brother drives her to work where she has several pleasant surprises waiting on her --
Getting Dooley to drive her to work was no problem for Evie. The man loved any excuse to go to the Lonesome Steer—or any bar, for that matter.
“See if your car starts, Evie, while I go in and say ‘hi’ to everyone.”
“Don’t forget the evening chores.” No doubt he already had.
“Yeah, yeah.” He all but ran into the honky tonk.
Evie stepped to her car and noticed the windows were wound up. Her stomach dropped. Who would have done such a trick? How would she get inside the car? Wait. Whoever wound them up had to open the doors. Doors jammed tighter than Sam Houston’s tomb for months now.
She reached for the handle and breathed a sigh of relief when the door opened, slick as anything. She closed it. Opened it. Closed it. A smile blossomed for the first time that day. Who fixed my doors? She opened the door again and turned the handle for the window. It worked perfectly. How wonderful. No more riding in the rain with the window down.
Had Win done this? Had to be him. Who else would have?
Evie sat in the seat, turned her key and the engine sprung to life. Oh, Win, thank you.
That’s when she noticed the yellow rose bud. One single yellow rose in a little vial of water lay on her dashboard. She reached for it and fingered the velvety petals. No one had ever given her flowers before. A lone tear plopped onto the blossom. Win thought enough of her to fix her car and give her a rose. What was she to make of this? Of him?
Kenny Chesney was singing from the jukebox about a sexy woman in his life when Evie stepped inside the honky tonk. She waved to Keira and Gus and headed straight for Win.
When she stepped into the kitchen, she closed the swinging door as quiet as she could. She wanted just a minute; just a minute to look at the macho-Marine with the caring heart. He’d given her a rose. What man would think of placing a rosebud on a woman’s dash? None that she knew of, that’s for sure. Yet he had. He’d also installed a new battery and fixed her windows and doors. She hadn’t asked for his help. This giant of a man had given it freely. Was his heart that generous?
Win’s back was to her as he chopped vegetables. Muscles played under his tight T-shirt. His biceps were huge. How would it feel to be enveloped in the warmth and strength of his strong body?
As if he sensed her presence, his head rose and he slowly turned toward her.
Suddenly nervous at being caught studying him—hoping she hadn’t been drooling—she cleared her throat. “Hi.”
He nodded once in greeting.
“Ah…thank you. My car starts right up.” She stepped further into his domain, her heart pounding in her ears and her stomach doing that twitchy thing it always did around him. “The car doors work now, too.”
Win stood there, silent and waiting. No emotion showed on his stony features. His hazel eyes regarded her as she moved to stand beside him. Lord, but the man resembled a wall of muscle.
She caught herself chewing on her bottom lip and stopped. “It’ll be nice to wind my windows up. Last week a bird flew in the car, and I ran down a mailbox trying to get it out.”
Her remark cracked his austere face. His lips twitched and his eyes turned soft, almost affectionate. Then he shook his head as if he didn’t know whether to believe her or not. “There’s no one like you, Evie.”
Evie Caldwell hoards every penny for her escape from the servitude life created by a worthless brother and the endless work on a ranch that will never be hers. The last thing she wants is a muscled man with a macho Marine attitude complicating her life. But, oh, how that man can make her insides do a twitchy thing.
Wounded vet, Win Fairchild, returns to Texas to heal, find a piece of his soul and open a ranch for amputee children. Finding someone to love was not on his agenda. Nor was dealing with a wildcat, until she captures his heart with those violet eyes.
But now that he knows what he wants, can Win convince Evie to stay in Texas—and his bed?