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The Heartbreak Contract -- Allie Burton

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The Heartbreak Contract
A Castle Ridge Small Town Romance Companion Novella

Love on the dotted line.

Self-made sports and entertainment agent Vivienne Tucker knows no one in the frozen town of Castle Ridge is going to melt her heart. No one can. She’s been on her own for too long and while her skin might appear soft, she’s as tough as nails.

Paul Bradford is a devoted family man to his younger siblings, whose heart and life belong to the town he grew up in. He’s not used to taking time for himself or relationships, but after an anonymous one-night stand, he can’t forget the ice queen who heated at his touch and ignited a passion he thought he’d lost. Until the next day when he spies her kissing someone else.

Vivienne never expected to see Paul again until she discovers he’s the older brother of her newest client. An older brother who doesn’t approve of her client’s career choice. An older brother who stirs up desire she’s tried so hard to forget.

When her client is involved in a possibly career-ending accident, Vivienne and Paul must put aside their differences and work together. But what if working together makes them both re-think the heartbreak contract they’d agreed upon?

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Excerpt

The woman from his dreams, and his nightmares.

Paul forced himself to stand straight and not waver. During the last month, he’d heard Miss Tucker says this and Miss Tucker says that from his brother. Each pronouncement had been a rub on an open wound. How was he to know this agent from Miami his brother was talking to was the same woman he’d had sex with? He’d believed Vivi was a lawyer with all her talk about contracts. The recommendation had been made by Ryder Croft, Jay’s ski coach, not Luke Logan. What were the odds?

Bitterness swirled on Paul’s tongue. He wanted to spit out questions and concerns. She’d taken advantage of him, and now she’d taken advantage of his brother. On Jay’s eighteenth birthday he’d signed a legal contract with the sports agent. He’d known Paul hadn’t approved and hadn’t consulted him. And the agent had swindled a barely-legal kid.

“You two know each other? How?”Jay’s expression seemed more confused than usual.

Vivienne’s head jerked up. She quickly covered her discomfort with a fake smile. Paul could tell she didn’t know what to say or what he’d say. She must understand he was angry and might speak the truth.

His body scorched remembering the truth. He knew every inch of her silky skin. He knew her taste. He knew how she moaned when she came.

“We met in December when she witnessed an accident on Holy Smokes Road.” He wasn’t going to embarrass her, and he certainly wasn’t going to tell his little brother the details of their night together.

Her shoulders drooped in a furry sweater, obviously relieved at the partial truth.

“Oh.” Jay slouched into the booth, spreading out his legs and taking up most of the room on the bench.

“I didn’t know Paul’s last name, so I never put the two of you together. As related. Brothers.” The stumbling was new to her.

Or the little about her he actually knew. They’d only spent a few hours together, and most of the time they hadn’t been talking. His cock shifted beneath his jeans. He needed to stop thinking about her as a lover and start thinking of her as an adversary.