Ten years ago their lives took separate paths.
Delilah sought a career in New York City; Kevin entered the state police academy, but when Delilah Wyeth inherits Cocoa Treats Chocolate, danger trails the cool city ad exec back to their hometown and draws State Police Corporal Kevin McClain into her unraveling life.
Kevin admires the cool, professional woman she's become, and misses the feisty girl he once knew. Though he vows to uncover why fear lurks in Lilah's stunning eyes, his less than stellar ancestry haunts Kevin, and he struggles to keep his hands off her tempting body.
Lilah faces life-altering choices. Precious memories pull her to stay and convince Kevin he deserves more in his life than a badge and a gun, but if she abandons her smooth-talking, manipulative New York supervisor, will she trigger a deadly reaction?
Her decision turns Lilah's fear to reality, and more than duty drives Kevin as he races to save her life.
The rhythm and repetitive movement came naturally, like riding a bike, she decided. Time flowed, much like the silky river of chocolate, and she was surprised when Lynda paused to unlock the door for customers. She glanced up when the bell above the door chimed, and she nearly dropped a full mold of lovely grape clusters when Kevin entered the store.
"Off duty, Corporal McClain?" Lynda asked as he strolled to the counter.
"You bet. Once the festival is in full swing, I'll be working every day."
Lilah kept working. Her cheeks burned, a quick flash of heat triggered by his arrival. A telltale barometer that revealed her state of mind. The deep tone of his voice as he traded quips with Lynda kicked up her pulse, and inside her gloves her palms went damp and sticky.
"Lilah," Lynda called out. "Delilah!" she repeated. "Take a break and say hi to Kevin."
Lilah took a deep breath. She glanced over her shoulder, and when she met Kevin's unruffled gaze, a tiny smile quirked his lips. He knew darn well she was aware the minute he entered the store. Still, she feigned surprise and gave a "just a minute" gesture. Buying time and working methodically, she shut down the flow and set her tools aside. As she peeled off her thin, clear gloves, she brushed her forearm across her face. She yanked the cap she wore off and laid it aside. Part of her wanted to check a mirror to make sure her hair wasn't a disaster, and please, God, let them think these red cheeks came from working with warm chocolate.
She pasted on a smile and stepped around the glass partition separating the work area from the sales counter.
"You look right at home." His smile broadened as he watched her. She braced when he reached over and rubbed a spot on her chin. "Chocolate," he explained, and held up his finger as proof. "Still wear more than you mold. Some things never change."
She shrugged and blew out a breath. "Strange, I was thinking just that earlier. I walked in here, and it was as if the years I've been away vanished."
Feet planted wide, Kevin slid his hands into his pockets, studying her. "I suppose when you go back to New York, you'll have the same experience."
Her brows drew together. "How so? I don't make chocolate molds or wine-filled truffles in New York."
"Maybe not, but you create. I've seen some of the ads you've had a hand in. You leave your mark, just like the trademark swirl on those truffles." He tilted his head to a tray in the case to her left. "You didn't make those. I can tell."
She sidestepped and frowned as she leaned in to peer through the glass.
"See," he continued. "Those have a single swirl on top. You always put a little second twirl of chocolate on the ones you coat." His voice softened. "So did your grandmother."
Words failed her. The boy who'd driven her crazy in her youth had become a man she feared could reach inside her and yank out her heart.