Monica has the ability to see a guy’s aura light up the first time he touches his soul mate, but she’s kept it a secret since her parents shamed her as a child. Still, she decides to start her own matchmaking company—even if she doesn’t advertise her unique ability. Business is so-so until she gets a call to find matches for the singles of the small town of Perry Grove. She’s not looking for love herself but has an immediate attraction to one of her clients. Too bad another woman lit up his aura.
Hunky dairy farmer Jeremiah wants nothing to do with his grandpa’s hare-brained matchmaking scheme but agrees to play along to appease the man who raised him. But when he meets the sexy matchmaker, he starts to rethink his single status. Too bad she’s intent on pairing him up with another woman. If there’s one thing he knows, though, it’s how to be stubborn.
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Monica was pretty sure Jeremiah wasn’t hearing a word she said, a fact confirmed when she stopped talking and he kept staring off into the distance. Must be a really fascinating cow over that way.
Why had he wanted her advice if he wasn’t going to listen to it? She’d bet her life savings he couldn’t repeat anything she’d said in the last several minutes back to her. Of course, thanks to starting her own business, her life savings consisted of about fifty bucks in a savings account her parents had set up for her when she turned eighteen, so she wouldn’t have too much skin in that game. That made it pretty easy to commit to a bet that he hadn’t brought her out here for dating advice either. Her earlier fear that he suspected she was hiding something reared its ugly head. How long would it be until Ed, Bunny, Edna, Bea, and the other kind people she’d met in this town looked at her like she needed to head to the funny farm?
She took a bite of her sandwich. It had cucumbers on it. She loved cucumbers on her sandwiches and had so rarely met anyone that included them. She also liked his choice of Muenster cheese. She supposed that proved he wasn’t all bad. A few more bites and she almost liked him.
“Enjoying the sandwich?” His voice startled her and she almost dropped said sandwich.
“Yes, um, thank you for making it. You did make it, right?”
He nodded, the breeze ruffling through his wavy ash-blond hair in a most distracting way that made her fingers itch to do the same. “With my own two hands. Didn’t even ask Grandma for help.”
“So do you feel prepared for your first date now?”
“What? Oh, yeah. Sure.”
She could barely contain her snort as she started to stand. “We should head back. I’d like a little time to prepare for the next appointment.”
Instead of getting up, he scooted until his back rested against the tree and then patted the ground next to him with that charming, dimpled grin back on his almost painfully handsome face. “Give me ten more minutes. You haven’t relaxed yet, and under this tree is the best place to unwind.” His voice was a smooth drawl with just the right amount of pleading to batter at her defenses.
She hesitated and glanced at her smartphone to note the time. No one expected her back for about thirty-five minutes. Time was just not on her side.
“Come on. You told me yourself you haven’t spent much time in the country. Take a few moments to smell the fresh air and listen to the wilds.”
Oh, what the heck? They could easily spend the next ten minutes arguing about whether to go or stay. She sank next to him on the grass and leaned against the tree so her shoulder brushed his. The electric sizzle she felt whenever she touched him was back.
He inhaled deeply and let it out with a pleased sigh. He looked completely in his element, his face relaxed and boyish. He shifted one leg over the other, and the move pulled his T-shirt tight across his chest so she could clearly see just how defined his pecs were. He took a deep breath.
Oh. Mama. She was sure the sun had just gotten hotter.
He let the breath out with a contented sigh. “Do you smell the grass warmed by the sun? All the oxygen from the trees carried on the cool breeze?”
She paid a bit more attention to her next breath as she wiggled to try to find a more comfortable position. The air did smell fresh, although there was still an undercurrent of cow. “It’s nice.”
He looked at her sidelong. “It’s more than nice. The country air around here is the best smell you’ll ever experience.”
His impassioned statement had her wanting to believe. She closed her eyes, relaxed against the tree, and…what was poking her in the tailbone? She scooted forward enough to pull the blanket back and find the offending rock. She’d had quite enough of the outdoors for the day and started to stand, but Jeremiah’s hand shot out and held her in a crouch.
“It’s just a rock. Move it and sit back down. You haven’t fully smelled the air yet.”
Her glare didn’t inspire him to remove his hand, as she’d hoped it would. His clear, blue eyes stared at her with equal parts challenge and amusement. He wanted her to smell the cow-filled air? Fine. She’d smell the damned cow-filled air.
With a huff she plunked back down, and he released her arm so she could get herself situated. Nothing poked her in the behind this time, and she leaned back against the rough bark. His eyes burned into her, but she refused to acknowledge his watchful stare or how very much she’d like him to touch her again.
She needed to relax and get this over with. She closed her eyes once more and drew the air into her lungs. Now that she was paying attention, she caught the floral fragrance of the grasses and weeds and wildflowers and trees. The air was fresh. No sooty, dirty, city smell from the cars and houses and people.
“It’s so quiet. I don’t hear a single car.”
He chuckled. “Sit here long enough and you’ll learn just how much racket a single car makes. But it’s not quiet out here. Nature is a symphony.”
She listened for those other sounds now. Birds tweeting to each other, insects buzzing, the rustling of leaves overhead. She even heard something scurrying through the taller grasses.
It was beautiful. Peaceful. She felt herself relax farther against the tree, the bark biting into her back but not uncomfortably. She felt almost…happy. When was the last time she’d truly felt that way?
I like books that are funny and fun to read, but also make me think or look at the world in a new way. These days you’ll find me living my happily ever after in the Midwestern U.S. with my husband, dog and cats. I love to hear from readers, so please come find me on the Internet.
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