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It’s Christmas in Copper Ridge, and love is waiting to be unwrapped…
Falling for a bad boy once is forgivable. Twice would just be foolish. When Sabrina Leighton first offered her teenage innocence to gorgeous, tattooed Liam Donnelly, he humiliated her, then left town. The hurt still lingers. But so does that crazy spark. And if they have to work together to set up her family winery’s new tasting room by Christmas, why not work him out of her system with a sizzling affair?
Thirteen years ago, Liam’s boss at the winery offered him a bribe—leave his teenage daughter alone and get a full ride at college. Convinced he wasn’t good enough for Sabrina, Liam took it. Now he’s back, as wealthy as sin and with a heart as cold as the Oregon snow. Or so he keeps telling himself. Because the girl he vowed to stay away from has become the only woman he needs, and this Christmas could be just the beginning of a lifetime together…
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Liam Donnelly was nobody’s favorite.
Though being a favorite in their household growing up would never have meant much, Liam was confident that as much as both of his parents disdained their younger son, Alex, they hated Liam more.
As much as his brothers loved him—or whatever you wanted to call their brand of affection—Liam knew he wasn’t the one they’d carry out if there was a house fire. That was fine too.
It wasn’t self-pity. It was just a fact.
But while he wasn’t anyone’s particular favorite, he knew he was at least one person’s least favorite.
Sabrina Leighton hated him with every ounce of her beautiful, petite body. Not that he blamed her. But, considering they were having a business meeting today, he did hope that she could keep some of the hatred bottled up.
Liam got out of his truck and put his cowboy hat on, surveying his surroundings. The Grassroots winery spread was beautiful, with a large, picturesque home overlooking the grounds. The winery and the road leading up to it were carved into a mountainside. Trees and forest surrounded the facility on three sides, creating a secluded feeling. Like the winery was part of another world. In front of the first renovated barn was a sprawling lawn and a path that led down to the river. There was a seating area there and Liam knew that during the warmer months it was a nice place to hang out. Right now, it was too damned cold, and the damp air that blew up from the rushing water sent a chill straight through him.
He shoved his hands in his pockets and kept on walking. There were three rustic barns on the property that they used for weddings and dinners, and one that had been fully remodeled into a dining and tasting room.
He had seen the new additions online. He hadn’t actually been to Grassroots in the past thirteen years. That was part of the deal. The deal that had been struck back when Jamison Leighton was still owner of the place.
Back when Liam had been nothing more than a good-for-nothing, low-class troublemaker with a couple of misdemeanors to his credit.
Liam might still be all of those things at heart, but he was also a successful businessman. And Jamison Leighton no longer owned Grassroots Winery.
Some things, however, hadn’t changed. The presence of Sabrina Leighton being one of them.
It had been thirteen years. But he couldn’t pretend that he thought everything was all right and forgiven. Not considering the way she had reacted when she had seen him at Ace’s bar the past few months. Small towns.
Like everybody was at the same party and could only avoid each other for so long.
If it wasn’t at the bar, they would most certainly end up at a four-way stop at the same time, or in the same aisle at the grocery store.
But today’s meeting would not be accidental. Today’s meeting was planned. He wondered if something would get thrown at him. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time.
He walked across the gravel lot and into the dining room. It was empty, since the facility had yet to open for the day.