Welcome to Whiskey Creek— Heart of the Gold Country! One day, Callie Vanetta receives devastating news… She needs a liver transplant. But her doctors warn that, in her case, the chances of finding a compatible donor aren't good. Determined to spend whatever time she has left on her own terms, she keeps the diagnosis to herself and moves out to her late grandparents' farm. She's always wanted to live there. But the farm hasn't been worked in years and she begins to fear she can't manage it, that she'll have to return to town. One night, a stranger comes knocking at her door… He's an attractive and mysterious drifter by the name of Levi McCloud, and he offers to trade work for a few nights' shelter. Callie figures she doesn't have anything to lose. He needs a place to stay until he can fix his motorcycle; she needs an extra pair of hands. The arrangement seems ideal until what was supposed to be temporary starts to look more and more permanent. Then she realizes she does have something to lose—her heart. And, although he doesn't yet know it, Levi stands to lose even more.
This was the first book I've read by Brenda Novak. It was okay, not what I usually read. It was well written and had a good storyline. Callie and Levi both have secrets, but there is a major attraction there. Will they end up with a "happily ever after"? This book had a little bit of suspence about it, and was well written. Might not be the last Whiskey Creek novel I read.
Panic turned Callie’s knees to water as she felt the raw power of Levi’s quick, sure movements. She opened her mouth to scream but couldn’t draw in enough air.
For the first time, she was afraid of him. Reallyafraid. In that moment, she knew without a doubt that he could do anything he wanted to her, and that, despite her diagnosis, she still cared.
The fear didn’t last, however. As soon as he realized it was her, he eased his hold enough to turn her in his arms. “I’m sorry,” he murmured. “I hope...I hope I didn’t hurt you. I didn’t know...”
His words fell off, but she understood. He hadn’t known it was her. She should’ve announced herself. She would have, except that she’d been waiting to get close enough to touch his arm, in case he was sleeping. “It’s okay,” she said. “I...I shouldn’t have surprised you.”
“What are you doing out here?”
He released her but she couldn’t let go of him. She was still trying to overcome the effects of receiving such a fright, worried that she might crumble to the ground. “I-I wanted to see if you’d come inside.”
His deep voice rumbled in her ear, but he must have felt her shaking because his hands no longer hung at his sides. They were sliding up her back. She could feel the warmth his splayed fingers provided as he drew her into a solid embrace that reassured her but did nothing to slow her galloping heart.
Instinctively, she turned her cheek against the soft cotton of his T-shirt. Don’t read anything into this. He’s just being kind. Such contact was normal, given her reaction. But she couldn’t deny that the chemistry between them had suddenly changed. She liked the feel of his firm chest, the security she felt in the circle of his arms, but there was also a sexual element—probably because he wasn’t completely dressed. She’d already felt the band of his briefs, the crisp hair on his legs as he brushed up against her.
She swallowed hard as his hands settled between her shoulder blades. “I couldn’t sleep.”
“I was...I was worried that maybe Denny and his fool of a friend would come back and cause trouble.”
“They might. But they’re the kind of trouble I can handle.”