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- Mountain Man Hero
- Curvy Girl Heroine
- Best Friend's Ex
- Only One Tent
I’ve had it bad for my ex’s best friend for years. Though I’ve made multiple passes at the muscled mountain guide, he’s never responded. According to my friend’s matchmaking business, we’re supposed to be perfect for each other. With time running out, I’m willing to give it one more shot before I pull up my roots and move on.
My life revolves around my little sister and my friends. There’s no room for anyone else, especially not the tempting bakery owner with the sweet-as-sin curves. But when we find ourselves in the mountains for the weekend with only one tent… I might have to violate the bro code and give into temptation.
Meet the mountain men of Rye Creek and the curvy women who steal their wild hearts. The Matched with a Mountain Man series can be read as standalones. Each book features a happily-ever-after with no cheating and no cliffhangers.
Get a Sneak Peek at Chapter 1
Get a Sneak Peek at Chapter 1
“Do you think this is too in your face?” I stepped back from the creation I’d been working on. Patience’s bridal shower was next week and I’d been trying to come up with something tastefully naughty to serve to guests for the past few days.
My assistant, Sarah, moved over to the counter where I’d been working. “What were you going for?”
I tilted my head and tried to see it through her eyes. A chocolate-covered banana sat between two cinnamon-sugar-sprinkled donut holes.
“This doesn’t say naughty bridal shower to you?” I held the pastry bag of whipped cream in my hand. “Should I add a little whipped cream at the tip?”
“Yeah, that would give it that extra bit of, what’s the French word you learned in that fancy online pastry class?”
“Je ne sais quoi. It means something good you can’t really describe. Maybe I need a second opinion.” I set down the pastry bag and reached for my phone, intending on taking a quick pic and texting it to Ember. We were having the shower at her family’s resort, so she’d have the final say on what passed the tacky test. Though covering the dessert table with chocolate banana dicks probably wouldn’t make the cut.
“Ask Forest.” Sarah nodded toward the front window where Forest Lewis, Rye Creek’s best mountain guide and the object of my secret desire, was climbing out of his truck.
Prickles of heat danced over my cheeks. I’d harbored a secret crush on Forest since we were in grade school. At one point I thought he might feel the same, but I’d given him ample opportunities to make a pass and he’d never taken me up on a single one.
The small front area of my bakery seemed to shrink when he entered the door. There was something about the men of Rye Creek. Maybe it was the mountain spring water. Or the access to fresh, clean air. Whatever it was, we grew them big, strong, and super sexy in our small mountain town, and Forest was the biggest, strongest, and sexiest of them all, at least as far as I was concerned.
His hair curled up under the edge of his Mountain Adventures baseball cap, always in need of a trim. Blue eyes, the color of Lake Tahoe, peered out from under sinfully long, dark lashes. His beard was thick and dark and my fingers itched to find out if it felt as soft as it looked.
The man could render me speechless with one look. Not to mention what breathing the same air as him did to my lady bits.
“Hey, Forest.” Sarah gave him a quick smile. She knew about my unrequited lust. “I’m going to go finish that thing in the back.”
“What thing?” I whirled to face her, but she’d already disappeared into the kitchen.
“Hey, Viv.” Forest tipped the brim of his baseball cap in my direction. “You got that order ready that I called in?”
“Yeah.” I moved to the case where I kept custom orders. “Two dozen Mountain Magic bars. Are they for your trip this weekend?”
He slid his wallet out of his back pocket. “Not this time. My client cancelled. You don’t know anyone wanting to book a last-minute hiking trip, do you?”
I shook my head. “Who are the bars for?”
“I’m talking to a small group for one of my sister’s programs this afternoon and she wanted me to bring in refreshments. Your bars are her favorite.”
My heart pounded against the walls of my chest at the compliment. His little sister had been quite the surprise. Born twelve years after his mom and dad thought they were done having kids, Bonnie had grown up with the whole town wrapped around her little finger. The fact she had Down syndrome didn’t slow her down at all, and she always showed up with a smile on her face, the kind that could turn even the worst day around.
“You should have said they were for Bonnie. I would have added extra chocolate chips.” I slid the box across the counter to him.
“You mean I don’t automatically rate extra chocolate chips on all my orders?” His mouth tipped up at the corners and my insides warmed like the ooey gooey center of a chocolate lava cake.
“If I gave you special treatment, your friends would want the same, and they’d eat me out of business.”
“You’re probably right about that.” He slipped his credit card into the slot to pay, then nudged his chin toward the counter behind me. “What are you working on there?”
“Nothing,” I lied.
“No, really.” He leaned over the counter, angling for a better look. “It looks like… hell, Viv, is that supposed to be what I think it is?”
I bit my lip while mortification set in. “I’m just trying something for Patience’s bridal shower.”
“You show up with those and Slate’s going to be offended.”
I doubted that. Patience’s fiancé didn’t get riled up about much. “And why’s that, exactly?”
“If that’s supposed to be an accurate representation, he’d say you need to get bigger bananas.” Forest picked up the box of bars, winked at me, then headed out the door.
Sarah’s laughter came from behind me. “Only in Rye Creek would the men be worried about the size of the bananas. What are you going to do about him?”
“What do you mean?” I tried to pretend that I had no idea what she was talking about, but Sarah knew about the feelings I harbored for Forest. Half of Rye Creek knew I’d had it bad for him for years—at least the female half of the tiny town’s population.
“Come on, Vivian. Don’t you want to know if anything will come of it?” She picked up the pastry bag and squeezed a dollop of whipped cream on the tip of the banana. “Don’t you want a chance to see Forest’s banana up close?”
“Oh my God, stop.” I shook my head, trying to keep from smiling. “You’re awful.”
“And you’ve got it awful bad. Didn’t Patience say he was your perfect match?”
“Don’t remind me.” A few months ago Patience had started up her online matchmaking service and forced all her friends to fill out her survey so she could test her algorithm. I’d gone along with everyone else… anything to help a fellow woman business owner, especially one of my good friends. But I’d been floored when she told me that based on her program and the additional info she’d gathered, in her opinion Forest Lewis and I would make an ideal match.
I’d begged her not to say anything to him and he never asked, not even when our mutual friends kept finding love thanks to Patience’s budding new business. Forest didn’t think he had room in his life for love. He’d always been clear about that.
If anything was ever going to happen between us, it would be up to me.
“What are you going to do?” Sarah asked. “You’ve got to let that company know if you’re going to take their job offer, don’t you?”
“I have one more week to think it over.”
“It would be a great opportunity.”
“It would mean moving to San Francisco.”
She shrugged. “There are a hell of a lot more single men in San Francisco than there are here.”
Sarah was right. It was time to take matters into my own hands. Time to find out once and for all if there was anything behind my unrequited yearning for Forest or if it was just lingering lust from a childhood crush. Patience’s algorithm could be wrong.
I picked up my phone and pulled up the website for Forest’s mountain guide business.
“What are you doing?” Sarah peered over my shoulder.
“I’m taking the cancellation that just opened up on his schedule. A private weekend-long guided mountain tour with the owner himself.” I typed in a fake name and created a new email address to book it. He’d never go for it if he knew it was me.
“Wow, way to grow a pair.” Sarah nudged my shoulder. “Now, what are we going to do about these?”
I followed her gaze to the banana and donut holes. “I guess I’ll go to the store and see if I can find some bigger bananas.”