HEART OF GOLD
I’m popping bonbons and riding the high of securing the lease on my jewelry boutique off Main Street when I make a Galentine’s Day pact with my girlfriends. Fueled by a sugar high and bravado, I promise to step out of my comfort zone and book myself a life-drawing portrait. The thought of wearing nothing but my handmade jewelry and hanging the finished product on my bedroom wall makes me feel strong, sexy, and empowered. All my life, I’ve let other people define how I see myself but not anymore. Or so I tell myself. Because … getting naked? In front of a stranger? It's a lot. Especially when the artist turns out to be Bentley Cormack, my one true love and the man who left me behind . . .
I never thought I’d return to Garland, but when I’m offered a stupid amount of money for a short-term residency at the local university, I can’t turn it down.Too many years in the city have drained me, and I need a change of scenery. It doesn’t mean I’m home for good. It’s temporary. One semester, max. I’ll teach a class or two and use the rest of my time to reconnect with my art. But on my first night in the studio, my plans are rocked. The shapely woman undressing in my studio is none other than my best friend’s not-so-little younger sister. In all the time I’ve been away, I never forgot Gemma. I’ve dreamed of the day when I’d be worthy enough to draw her in all her curvy glory. Can Gem and I overcome the past, or will the tragedy that drove me from Garland continue to keep us apart?