Cole Montgomery has it all…success, women, and a brilliant future as a physician in Birmingham, Alabama. Yet he is restless and incomplete. Seeking the happiness that eludes him, he returns to his tiny hometown of Millville to work in the cotton mill and search for the father he never knew, the man who caused him to be born a bastard.
Amelia Mansfield has an agenda. After graduating with an advanced business degree in Philadelphia, she seeks to fulfill her empty life by returning to Millville. Her goal is to wrestle control of her family’s mill empire from the hands of her ruthless father, proving once and for all that a woman can be more than just a pretty face.
From the moment of their first meeting, Cole and Amelia seem star-crossed. Their attraction is immediate and passionate, and in one magic summer their relationship deepens to love until Fate intervenes. A bitter corporate struggle and long-buried secrets erupt in greed, jealousy, and finally flames as one man’s shameful past conspires to pull the lovers apart for all time.
Cole sensed the determination in Amelia’s steady gaze. She swallowed the wine, then put the glass down. Her warm hands touched his. “It’s my turn,” she told him.
He felt her hips shift beneath his fingers as she used her toes to push off her high heels. One knee innocently bumped him. He held his breath and concentrated on the hollow of her throat, longing to place his mouth there, to taste the sweetness, but he held dutifully still.
He could hardly breathe as she slowly unknotted his tie, dragged it across the back of his neck and dropped it to the floor. He could smell the scents of the river in her hair as she unbuttoned his shirt to his navel, looked up, and smiled. “Does this feel better?”
Cole’s heart pounded. His blood raced and thickened as her small fingers lightly traced the contours of his ribs and twisted the curly hairs along his flat stomach. His lips brushed her forehead as she said in a voice thick with emotion, “We began this on the river, my sweet Cole. Now it’s time to finish it…”
Something melted between them as the last of his resistance washed away in a downstream current of desire. She removed her hands from his shirt, but the intense flames of their need still burned as she wrapped her arms around his waist, closing the gap between them, dragging them rapidly and surely to the fulfillment of the promise made when crows cried and enchantment foamed in deep waters.
As she held him tight, her body trembled like leaves quivering in the warm summer breeze outside. “Are you sure?” he whispered.