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Take Me To The Lake (Signed Paperback)

Take Me To The Lake (Signed Paperback)

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Someone is watching me. Luckily my mountain man is watching over me.


  • Mountain Man
  • Small Town
  • Billionaire
  • Virgin Hero
  • Alpha Hero



I didn’t think they would find me here. I moved to the small town of Whiskey River three months ago, hoping I would finally be safe from my past. For the first time in a long time, I feel like I can breathe easier.

Then I meet the mountain man who makes my breath quicken. And my heart race.

He’s my protector – safe in his strong arms.

But my past is coming for me… and he might end up paying the price.


The tracks along the treeline were my first clue. I might not have experience with women, but I know my way around the woods. And Hope is not safe living out here alone.

And I’m pretty sure that’s my fault.

Her stalker knows I have money, and that I’ll pay any price to keep the woman I love safe from harm.

But what her stalker doesn’t know is that I plan on making them pay instead.

Chapter 1 Preview

Chapter 1

I grab my coffee and sit down in the local cafe that is attached to the grocery store. That's how small the town of Whiskey River, Montana is. But since the cafe offers free Wi-Fi, I can't quite complain.
I moved here about three months ago after visiting the Montana visitor center and finding this one little lone pamphlet for Whiskey River. The town looked so beautiful; I wanted to come check it out. Then I fell in love with the place, found a rental that day, and never looked back.
It seemed like the perfect place to settle down and forget all about my mom and her brand new druggie boyfriend. This boyfriend was new, but the whole druggie boyfriend persona was not. My mother was a single mom, but she had a type of guy that she dated, and she bounced from one to the other, only paying attention to me in between boyfriends, which was always short-lived. So, the first chance I got, I left. Living out of my car, I traveled for a while, took some online classes to become a book editor, and now, I can work from anywhere. One of the places I like is this cafe in downtown Whiskey River with free Wi-Fi.
With its beautiful mountain views, this town seems like a good place to set down roots. The people are so nice, like Jana, who has quickly become my best friend. She is also the general manager of the grocery store and cafe here. When she saw me coming in every day, we started talking, which eventually led to us hanging out outside of this place.
"Ugh, it's already been a morning. I just want to go home and go back to sleep," Jana says, sitting down in the chair beside me with her own cup of coffee.
"Or is it a tourist problem today?"
I learned early on there are two types of people in Whiskey River. There are the locals who have their own set of drama and problems, yet everyone tends to stick together no matter what. Then there are the tourists. These are the ones who come and stay overnight on their way from Yellowstone National Park or Glacier National Park or vice versa. It’s as if they are visiting all the small towns in Montana. They tend to cause more problems than all of the locals combined.
"Yeah, this one was definitely a tourist. They rented some cabin nearby and were coming into the store to stock up and didn't understand why we didn't have all their special dietary needs food ready and available for them. Then when I told her that if she had called in a special order, we could have had it ready, she blew up. When I told her that no one else around here has those special needs and it would be useless to stock it on a regular basis, she said that I called her useless. That led to her wanting to speak to my boss. Unfortunately, when I told her I was the boss, she said she wanted to speak to the owner. Well, as you know, they’re traveling and told me not to call, so I ended up having to call the sheriff. Let's just say it was quite a show for the locals. If you had been here about twenty minutes earlier, you would have caught the end of it."
It's always the tourists that have something fun and interesting to say or do something crazy to entertain us locals. We are not like other areas of the country. Here, I dare say, we are a bit old-fashioned and to be honest that's part of what made me fall in love with the place. Even though I thought I'd stay for a year, check it out, and maybe move on, but within the first month of being here, I already knew Whiskey River was where I was meant to be. Now, this is my home and where I will be setting down roots.
Jana was beyond excited when I told her I planned on staying for good. We have become fast friends, and she also said that most people our age are leaving and going to school and don't come back to Whiskey River until they're ready to settle down and start a family. If they come back at all.
"You’re coming by the community garden today, right?" Jana asks me.
"I will be there. But I plan to hang out here and work until then." Jana nods and finishes her coffee before standing and going back to work.
As a way to share and help people in town, Jana started the community garden a couple of years ago. It's been a huge help for me. Whiskey River might be a small town, but Montana, in general, is not cheap to live in. With the amazing mountain views all over town, especially like the ones from Main Street, even the cabins on the outskirt of town are pricey. My teeny tiny one-bedroom takes half of what I make each month in rent. Thankfully, it came furnished. But it makes saving up money to get my own place difficult. So when I can save some money on groceries from Jana’s garden, I jump at the chance. Also, I've been jumping at any opportunity to take on extra work lately, which means sometimes I'm at the cafe from the moment they open until they close just for the internet.
I dive into the book I'm editing and don't pay attention to what time it is until Jana again sits down beside me. This time she has my lunch in her hand. Being friends with the general manager of the store and cafe, who knows you're on a tight budget, has its perks. The kind that include free gourmet sandwiches for lunch, the employee password for the fast internet, not just the guest internet, and being able to take home the cafe leftovers that they would otherwise throw away.
"So, what type of book are you editing today?" she asks, before taking the first bite of her sandwich.
"It's the next book in that military series I edited a few months ago."
"The one where all the heroes are wounded in some way? I started reading that series and binge-read it in an entire weekend. It's so good."
I smile because even as an editor, I love those books, and I'd read them even if I wasn't getting paid to edit them.
"This is the one where the guy has lost his eyesight."
"Oh! I have been waiting forever for that one to come out. Can I get a sneak peek?" Jana exclaims.
"I would if it wouldn't be against my contract. This is a repeat author that I can't afford to lose."
"I guess we can't have that!" She sighs dramatically as if it's the biggest inconvenience, but I know she's joking with me because we've done this song and dance before.
Over lunch we chat as she fills me in on some of the local gossips I've met. Most of the people she's talking about are who come in to store, I can't always put faces to their names. I'm still learning who is who. Though, once people realized that I was moving here for good, I became one of them. They stop and talk to me as if they've known me my entire life, as if I know exactly who their niece’s godson's brother who lives in North Carolina is. Smiling, I’ll listen, and we talk, and then they'll continue on and finish their grocery shopping. It’s nice to be part of a community that cares.
Another thing I enjoy is people watching. When I take my editing breaks, I see things like the health nut in town who sneaks a bag of candy underneath some of her groceries or some of the little old ladies who go up and down every aisle talking to everyone and pinching the cheeks of every kid they walk by.
Over my time here, I've gotten to know the regulars and even see some of the mountain men who come down and only hit the store once every few months. In short, I've seen pretty much everyone in town, so it's very rare when someone walks in that clearly is not a tourist–like the man that just walked in.
He looks a lot like some of the other mountain men that have come in with rough faded clothing and jeans that you can tell are worn all the time. But that's not what catches my attention.
No, what rouses my curiosity is the completely unsure look on his face as he steps through the door and looks around at everything. After watching a few people walk in, grab a grocery cart, and head off to the produce section, which is the first part of the grocery store that you enter, he hesitantly grabs a cart.
The thick muscles on his arms flex as he pulls one cart from the row of others and then cautiously walks towards the produce area like everyone else. Then he stops and takes a look around again, almost like he’s never been in a grocery store in his life and has no idea what to do or where to start.
I can't take my eyes off of him. He walks through the produce area, looking at different things, reading signs, and shaking his head, but he picks up some fruit before going into the first few aisles. From where I'm sitting, I can watch him. As he slowly walks down the aisle, he looks at every item’s price tag and sometimes turns the box or packaging over and reads that, too.
Something about him captivates me, and I don’t want to take my eyes off of him. He’s tall and muscular. Pretty much the kind of guy any girl would go for, yet he seems to be one of these mountain men that hides away here in the mountains.
What really grabs my attention is how unsure he is about being in the grocery store. I have this need to watch over him while he's here on the off chance that he might need help. Then I could jump up and offer assistance, not that it's my job to do so.
He finishes on the first aisle and turns around. When he starts walking up the next aisle facing me, I continue to watch. It seems like he hasn't seen half the items in the grocery store. He’ll read packages and you can almost tell by the expression on his face whether he's interested in it or not. He's about halfway down the aisle when he reaches into his pocket and pulls out a piece of paper, which I assume is a grocery list.
It's only then that he finally looks up in my direction. Though I know I should look away, maybe give him his privacy to shop, I can't. Because his eyes are locked with mine and we both stand there just staring at each other, waiting.
Waiting for what, I have no idea.

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