Visiting the tiny town of Butte Plains, Texas to help out a friend, born and bred Yankee Scott Ramsey has no intention of falling in love, but it isn’t long before the wide open plains, and especially the meadows—Roseanne Meadows—stake a claim on his heart. The Lone Star state seems welcoming enough, but after the owner of The Yellow Rose Bed and Breakfast stole his heart, suddenly, for reasons he can’t understand, he’s relegated to carpetbagger status. What will it take to convince Roseanne his home is where his heart is?
Roseanne Meadows knew better than to fall in love with a Yankee carpetbagger, but it’s too late now. What’s done is done, and the sooner Scott Ramsey packs up his toys and goes home to his venomous family, the better. Faced with an unexpected life-altering situation, in true Texan style, the owner of The Yellow Rose B&B will do whatever it takes to survive, even if it means leaving the only place her heart has ever called home.
“I said I would be. You haven’t rented my room out to someone else have you?” Scott set his suitcase in the wide foyer of the B&B and smiled at the owner of the inn who wasn’t smiling back at him.
“No. I haven’t, but maybe I should.”
He stood frozen, one hand on the handle of his luggage, the other in his pocket where he’d deposited his keys. What the hell had happened while he was gone? “What are you saying? You want me to leave?”
Roseanne glanced over her shoulder in the direction of the kitchen then back at him. “Keep your voice down. The whole world doesn’t need to know our business.”
Scott didn’t care who heard, but appearances meant a lot to Roseanne, so he lowered his voice to a near whisper. “What’s going on?” For the first time since he’d entered the house, he noticed she was wringing her hands—something she only did when she was nervous.
“Did you think I wouldn’t find out?”
He cocked his head to one side. “Find out what?”
“Your parents’ anniversary party?” She quit fidgeting and squared her shoulders. Her hands became small fists at her sides. “You know—the one you attended last night?”
Scott sighed and dropped his gaze to the floor. Shit. What could he say? I didn’t want to drag you into the mess that is my family? I didn’t want you to meet my parents? I didn’t want you to get hurt? All of them true, but obviously not what she wanted to hear, so he pulled out the only plausible explanation he could think of. “You were sick. I thought knowing what you were missing would make you feel even worse.”
Her face turned thunderous. “That’s bullshit, and you know it. You knew about the party long before I got sick. You could have told me anytime, but you didn’t because you didn’t want me to go with you. I’m not an idiot, Scott. I know I’m not in your league, but you could have been honest with me. I deserved that much.”
She held her hand up. “Stop. Just stop. Don’t say another word. I have no right to be upset, but I am, which is on me. I let myself think there was more between us than there was. So, thanks for the reality check, and please find another place to stay as soon as possible.”
He should have told her about the party when he first heard about it. Roseanne was more than capable of holding her own in his parents’ world. A cold, hard truth settled over him. Yes, he’d been protecting her from the pointed barbs his family could throw, but he’d also been protecting himself. He didn’t want Roseanne to see the way his family treated him. Didn’t want her to know he was, if not exactly the black sheep, the one with the purple stripes—the one his family couldn’t understand. Had never made an effort to understand. He’d screwed up, big time. Worse, he had no idea how to fix it. “You can’t be serious.”
Her features hardened even more, and he got a sick feeling in the pit of his stomach. He’d said the wrong thing. As usual. “I’ve never been more serious in my life. You’ve got twenty-four hours. If you aren’t out by then, you’ll find your things waiting for you on the front porch. Is that clear?”
Meet the Author
USA Today Bestselling Author, Roz Lee is a displaced Texan who lives in New Jersey with her husband of almost four decades, and Bud, an overly large rescue dog who demands regular romps in the woods no matter how busy his parents are.
The mom of two daughters and grandma to the cutest baby boy ever, Roz collects Depression glass, and teacups with rose patterns. Her favorite food is Tex-Mex, and she’s never met a piece of chocolate she didn’t like.
When Roz isn’t writing, she’s reading, or traipsing around the country on one adventure or another. Warning—she brakes for antique stores!