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A Note From The Author:
Treat Braden and Max Armstrong’s love story is the beginning of my beloved Braden series and introduces you to some of my favorite characters, and to a family that has become so real to me, they’re always by my side. If you haven’t yet met the Bradens, dive in and fall in love with the couple that started the sensation! If you are already a fan of the Love in Bloom big-family romance collection, you may have read Treat and Max’s original story, Lovers at Heart. For the past several years, I have had the nagging feeling that there was more to Treat and Max’s story than I had originally thought. I wanted to give Treat and Max a more mature story without losing the essence of who they are. This is Treat and Max’s story, reimagined, and I hope you love it as much as I do.
In LOVERS AT HEART, REIMAGINED…
Treat Braden wasn’t looking for love when Max Armstrong walked into his Nassau resort, but he saw right through the efficient and capable facade she wore like a shield to the sweet, sensual woman beneath. One magnificent evening together sparked an intense connection, and for the first time in his life Treat wanted more than a casual affair. But something caused Max to turn away, and now, after weeks of unanswered phone calls and longing for the one woman he cannot have, Treat is going back to his family’s ranch to try to finally move on.
A chance encounter brings Treat and Max together again, and it turns into a night of intense passion and honesty. When Max reveals her secret, painful past, Treat vows to do everything within his power to win Max’s heart forever—including helping her finally face her demons head-on.
LOVERS AT HEART, REIMAGINED
The Bradens at Weston
BY MELISSA FOSTER
When he pulled his shirt over his head, her breath rushed from her lungs. She’d seen his perfectly sculpted physique enough times that she shouldn’t still react to it like that, but her love for him continued to grow, and she had a feeling her reactions to him would, too. Her grandmother once told her that she would know she was in love because she’d be able to imagine loving the person no matter what they looked like. As Treat stripped off his pants, she imagined him gray and potbellied, and her heart still adored him. She took that further, imagining an even harder thing to think about. What if he was hurt in an accident? If he lost a limb or was disfigured? As he lowered himself to the blanket wearing only his boxer briefs, she knew her love for him was soul deep, and nothing could change that.
He patted the space beside him. “Sit with me.”
“This might be more dangerous than I had anticipated.” She was only half teasing. Did he really expect her to touch him without wanting to devour him?
He opened his hand, revealing a small bottle of oil.
“You just happen to keep this in the secret closet with the blanket? How much do you pay your friends to say that you don’t bring women up here?”
He tickled her ribs, causing her to squeal. “I don’t lie, sweetness.”
“I was kidding!”
“Good, because I want to be sure you know you can trust me on every level. I’ve never had anyone but Savannah here with me, and I slept on the couch, which is why the blanket is down here. She left the oil here.”
Kneeling by his side, she couldn’t help teasing him. “I’m supposed to buy the old only my sister routine?”
In the next second, Treat was on his feet and heading for the kitchen, where he retrieved his phone. He pushed a button and, a few seconds later, said, “Hey, Vanny. Hold on a sec.”
Max jumped up. “Oh my gosh. No! You know I was kidding!” Mortified didn’t begin to describe the embarrassment she felt.
He lowered his voice and said, “I’ll never have anything to hide from you, and I want you to know it and believe it.”
“I know I can. I was teasing!” she said in a loud whisper.
He put Savannah on speakerphone and said, “Vanny, say hi to Max. I’ve got you on speakerphone.”
“Hey, girl! I had no idea you were going to the Cape!”
Max was surprised by Savannah’s enthusiasm. “I wanted to surprise Treat.”
“Aw, that’s so romantic,” Savannah said happily.
“Hey, Vanny, I found your Apricot Kernel Oil.” Treat grinned, twisting the bottle between his index finger and thumb.
Max covered her face. This cannot really be happening.
“Oh, good. It’s great for aromatherapy. You guys should use it. It’s awesome, and it won’t leave your skin oily.”
Treat blew a kiss to Max and said, “I’m sure we’ll put it to good use.” He took Max’s hand, leading her back to the blanket, and lowered himself to the floor with another victorious smile.
“Was that all you needed?” Savannah asked. “I gotta run. I’m with Connor.”
“I just wanted you to know I had it.”
Max tried to dodge the mortification bullet as he set his phone aside.
“You can ask me anything, Max. I’ll always give you an honest answer, and I’ll never blame you for not believing me, because I know people lie and you’ve been hurt.”
“I was honestly only teasing you. You didn’t have to call her.”
“I knew you were teasing, but I also know you’ve been cheated on and lied to. I’m not taking any chances.” He kissed her tenderly. Then he flipped onto his stomach and stretched out. “Now that that’s out of the way, I believe you wanted to do me?”
“You believe that, do you?” She dripped oil onto his back and began kneading it into his muscles.
“How do you know I didn’t have this preplanned with Savannah?”
Max’s hands stopped moving as she considered his tease. She cracked a smile and said, “Because she’d never go along with it. She likes me.”
“How about because I like you, and I’d never go along with it?”
Swoon! She bent down and kissed his cheek. “That works, too.”
Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance and new adult romance with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa’s emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family oriented–perfect beach reads for contemporary romance lovers who enjoy reading about wealthy heroes and smart, sassy heroines.
Links to Melissa’s website, blog, books, etc.
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Thanks, Melissa, for sharing your book with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!