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Colton Grey is Hollywood’s resident bad boy. A connoisseur of alcohol, pills, and women, he has been sent by his publicist to dry out on her cousin’s farm. What he finds there is more than a chance at redemption.
Haven Morrow is everything Colton is not—responsible, down-to-earth, and saddled with problems she didn’t create. With a mentally ill mother and sociopathic brother, Haven spends her days trying to save the family farm.
What starts out as a last-ditch effort to create the perfect comeback for Hollywood’s golden boy turns into a chance at redemption for two people unaccustomed to love and its mysteries. Do they have the courage to become who they are meant to be?
Page Count: 250
Word Count: 52850
“You want to try jumping?” Haven asked.
“As in jacks? Maybe. I do need to tone up a bit.”
“Not jacks. Horses.”
“I don’t think I can leap a tall horse in a single bound.” He paused for emphasis. “Besides, Ol’ Faithful here would not like that. She’s a gentle creature, unused to the ways of crazy and obnoxious humans.”
“Actually, she’s who we put all of our most obnoxious visitors on.” Haven smirked at him, waiting for his response.
“But do you put the crazies on her?” he countered. “I don’t think so.”
“You’re our first crazy.” The last word barely left Haven’s lips.
Instantly, Colton regretted making the joke. The other day, when Mrs. Morrow had answered the door, just as he was arriving at the main house to ask Haven a question, she had gripped his arm firmly and said thank you, with eyes lit up by whatever agony kept her locked up inside of her house all day.
Haven had slipped past her mom as quickly as she could, pushing Colton away from the door and down the porch. She had then proceeded to avoid Colton’s gaze the entire time she had answered his questions.
His heart had beat quickly. He’d wanted to hug her, tell her everything was going to be okay. But that was never a guarantee anyone could keep. He knew that. No matter how beautiful the surface, there were always currents churning erratically underneath.
It had taken a day for Haven to be able to resume her regular eye contact with him. Another twenty-four hours for her to allow one of her carefree smiles to grace her face unguarded.
Since he’d paid off her debts, she’d been gentler, not just with him, but with their work. The haste that was driving her to move from task to task without so much as a breath in between had slowed. She had still been keeping them plenty busy. But since she’d accepted his help, she allowed herself a moment here and there to soak up her surroundings.
Colton supposed a weight had been lifted off her shoulders, albeit temporarily. Being without was one thing. Having everything that you loved taken away from you bit by bit was quite another.
Especially when you were eighteen.
Haven seemed older to Colton, older than he was. Not because of the way she looked. She looked young. But because of her unique brand of wisdom.
Looking back at her, seeing her lost in her thoughts, he had the sudden urge to do anything to make her happy, which was why he agreed to the worst idea she had proposed since he had arrived at her place weeks ago.
“Okay,” he called back.
“Okay what?” she asked, forgetting what she’d suggested.
“Okay. We can jump our horses.”
“Just let me say a few prayers first. Then dismount. Get a running start. After that, I will jump whatever horse you ask me to.”
“Always the comedian,” she said.
“My critics would disagree with you,” he called back, thrilled that he had been able to amuse her. Just this once.
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