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The Bad Boy's Gift by Sara Daniel
Series: The Bad Boys of Regret Hollow #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance
His gift is the only thing left from the love they shared…and she plans to sell it.
Former bad boy, now famous artist, Zane DeMonde laughs off an engraved invitation to return to Regret Hollow, the same town that booted him out fifteen years ago. When he discovers the woman who once broke his heart is putting his professional reputation at risk by selling his old paintings, he’s no longer laughing. He’ll do anything to stop her, even return to town … even put his heart in jeopardy again.
High school art teacher Julianne Truman's last chance to save her beloved art department from budget cuts is to sell the old artwork Zane gifted her. Her heart breaks to remove the final traces of him from her life, but she needs to finally move on from the love she never got over.
Julianne’s life belongs to her students, and Zane’s only goal is to protect his art. But the moment they wrap their arms around each other, their old attraction flares to life hot enough to incinerate them and their best intentions.
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This is the first in the Regret Hollow series and a great introduction, for me, not only to the series but to the author as well. After leaving everything he loved and knew behind fifteen years ago Zane DeMonde has returned to Regret Hollow. While things have changed, he has matured and certainly became a man, the one thing that hasn’t changed is his feelings for Julianne Truman. Julianne has decided to sell artwork that Zane gave her when they were teens in hopes of keeping her job at the local school. You can imagine the tension this leads to not to mention the passion that flares between these two.
While this was certainly a quick read it was really a sweet second chance romance. There is more than enough background so that you are not lost and the entire story moved at a steady pace. I loved how even though it was a quick read I wasn’t left feeling as though anything was missing. There were any lose ends that needed to be tied up for me.
“Family’s important,” she whispered. She hadn’t imagined he’d see her actions as a betrayal of trust.
“I remember exactly how important family is to you.” Sarcasm crept into his voice. “A hell of a lot more important than me, definitely more important than this.” He hooked his arm around her shoulders and hauled her across the console, slamming his lips against hers.
Hard, angry demands from a man who no longer cared about pleasing her contrasted sharply with the memories of teenage sweetness and gentle tentativeness he’d once shown. He thrust his tongue between her lips, plundering her mouth. Instead of pushing him away and ordering him to stop, she leaned into him and tangled her tongue with his, meeting him stroke for stroke.
The hands gripping her shoulders relaxed, and the demanding thrusts of his tongue turned to languid strokes. She sifted her fingers through his soft black hair. Oh, how she’d missed being held in his arms, touching him, exploring him, and being one with him.
But they were hardly on their way to becoming one when he kissed her as a punishment.
She jerked away.
A car horn blared.
She straightened. Damn. She’d forgotten about Len, forgotten everything but Zane’s hands and mouth and sweet exploration.
Blinking out the windshield, she braced for the sight of Len laying on the horn of his pickup. Instead, he stood across the yard, wearing padded headphones and maneuvering a weed whip.
“If you’re looking for the honker, I believe you’re the culprit.” Zane nodded to her elbow resting on the steering wheel.
“Oh.” She yanked her arm back, settling into the passenger seat and pulling the seat belt strap. After three tries, she managed to lock the buckle into place. If Zane noticed her shaking hands, he didn’t mention it as he pulled away from the curb and left her house and his father behind.
If he’d kissed her to teach her a lesson, she’d learned one thing. She still wanted him, now more than ever.
More from The Bad Boys of Regret Hollow
For more information on The Bad Boys of Regret Hollow – visit Sara Daniel’s webpage.