Alone With You: The Walker Brothers Book 2 by Amanda Adams
Date of Publication: May 5, 2017
Claire Miller fell in love with Jake in the third grade. One hot night of reckless passion changed things between them forever. Jake rocked her world, but Claire had plans for her life. Knowing she could never be what he needed, she let him go and has missed him every day since.
Jake Walker knew the first time he saw Claire, when he was nine years old, that he wanted to marry her. At seventeen, he let her go. But seven years later, the sight of her hit him like a punch to the gut. Every cell in his body demanded that she was ëThe One’. But can he convince Claire?
Claire hummed softly to Starlight as she finished brushing the mare’s gorgeous mane and fed her the last apple slice she had kept hidden in the pocket of her hoodie. The cool morning air bit at her hands and cheeks like long-lost friends. She missed this dry air and the change in seasons. Southern California was beautiful, but every day was the same—sunny, warm enough for shorts, and predictable. It had been seven years since she’d been surrounded by the smell of hay, and horses, and morning air so crisp that it smelled like ice, even in the summer. The mountain peaks were still coated with a white layer of snow and snow clung to the edges of ditches and in the shade on the north side of the bigger tree trunks. She’d missed the smell of pine trees and sage, and snow.
“I missed you, too, girl.” She rubbed Starlight’s nose and patted her on the shoulder as she put the brush away in the bag that hung from the side of the large enclosure. Starlight’s bucket and water were full and there was nothing else to do here, no more excuses she could use to delay driving home. No more dragging her feet in the idiotic hopes that she might catch a glimpse of Jake.
She opened the paddock and stepped out into the center of the barn, walking backward so she could pull the gate closed behind her. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Starlight whinnied and stuck her big head over the top of the gate to get in the last word. Claire felt a bittersweet joy at being with the horse again. “I know, girl. I’m sorry. I wish I could stay longer.”
“Then why don’t you?” Jake’s question had her whipping around to look for him, and hoping she was just hearing things. No such luck, the big, handsome cowboy stood less than three steps away, looking every bit as sexy as she remembered in boots, jeans, and a layered plaid shirt with just enough blue to bring out the matching shade in his eyes. His face peeked out from beneath the brim of a tan cowboy hat and his jeans hugged his rock-hard thighs like a second skin. He was straight up fantasy material. And he was talking to her.
“What?” Claire took a step back and bumped into Starlight’s stall. “Hi, Jake. I didn’t know you were out here.”
“Obviously, because that’s the first time I’ve heard the real Claire talking since you came home.”
“This isn’t my home, Jake. Not anymore.”
“Why haven’t you come back to visit? Seven years, and you never even came home for Christmas.” Jake was leaning back with his arms crossed over his chest and one knee bent. He used his bent leg to push off from the wooden beam so he could take a step toward her. “You afraid to see me again? Feeling guilty?”
“No. I’m not afraid of you. We broke up. That’s all.” Claire shoved her hands into the pockets of her hoodie to make sure Jake couldn’t see them shaking. “It happens all over the world, every single day.”
“You never were a good liar, Claire. You’ve been avoiding me for seven years. Why is that?” He moved closer, and with a couple inches of height added by his boots, his six-four frame towered over her. God, he was hot. And big. And so beautiful it hurt to look at him.
She would have backed away, but she didn’t have anywhere to go. Starlight’s latched gate pressed into her back and the big, stupid horse’s head came down to rest on her left shoulder in solidarity. It was like the big horse knew she needed a friend right now. Female support.
Jake closed the distance between them until he was close enough to reach up over her shoulder and pet Starlight’s head. Her horse neighed and talked to Jake like he was an old friend. The traitor.
About Amanda Adams
Amanda Adams fell in love with books at a very early age. Her earliest memories are of sitting on her mother’s lap reading Cinderella and Snow White and Rose Red over, and over, and over again until she had them memorized ñ- she was too young to know the alphabet.
Amanda started writing stories in big, sloppy handwriting in a wide-rule notebook when she was bored, during class (of course) in the fifth grade. Her favorite stories always include excitement, adventure and a handsome hero guaranteed to sweep her off her feet.
Amanda lives in beautiful Colorado with her husband (her high-school sweetheart who proved the reality of “love at first sight”) and three teenagers whom she reminds, repeatedlyÖ “If it’s not in my phone, it’s not happening,” because her mind is oh-so-often far away living a fairy tale. (That’s code for ñ if an alarm doesn’t go off, she forgets to pick up her kids from schoolÖ)