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Scarlett Taylor is all too aware that others in Vallantine view her as dramatic as the literary character she was named after. Yes, she may be a tad eccentric at times, but life is too short and too stale in a small southern town to not add more Georgia heat when the moment calls for it. Her besties know the real her, though. They’ve been an inseparable trio since childhood when the local residents had aptly dubbed them the “Bookish Belles.” Their plans to renovate the historic library and convert a section into a bookstore is well underway, fulfilling a dream of theirs. Plus, her event business she loves out of her sprawling plantation home is thriving. So, why, then has she felt so lonely and dissatisfied lately? And why on earth has she suddenly been having lustful thoughts about a certain amiable, aw-shucks, too-handsome-for-his-own-good guy who has done nothing her entire life but leave her fit to be tied?

Aden Abner’s family has worked for the Taylors spanning three generations. With Scarlett’s blessing and support, he’s proudly broken that cycle by starting his own successful company on a former section of their estate. However, he’s never truly severed the stigma of being her hired help, nor has he been able to define their relationship. Sometimes friends, often frienemies, and always flirtatious, the push-pull between them has constantly stuck in his craw and confused him. Or turned him on. And now the proper lil pain-in-his-hide has gone beyond merely toying with him by batting her pretty as a picture eyelashes and straight to… Well, he didn’t know. Opposites may attract, but that didn’t mean they should. Her folks dislike him immensely, he has zilch to offer her, and everyone in Vallantine seems to be raising their brows at the situation. The whole thing has disaster written all over it. Still, hope keeps dangling “what-if” in front of him.