You can go home again if you can get a foot in the door.
Mercury Rising, Book 1
A year after packing and moving from L.A. to Mercury, North Carolina, John Ford still hasn't adjusted to the heat. Or to life without his long-time partner. As he fixes up the old house he bought, the quiet becomes his only companion, and he's content with thatâ€”until a deep-voiced stranger plants himself under a tree across the street.
Eight years ago, Connor Meecham left someone behind in that houseâ€”himself. Now he's back to find the man he used to be, before drugs and prison sent his life careening off the tracks. But it's not his mother's face peering through the window any more. It's a man who seems as lost as Conn himself.
When John learns what the houseâ€”and the dying townâ€”mean to Conn, he finds himself opening the door to his heart. Just a crack. But it's enough to get mixed up in a world of emotions as complicated as the recipe for the perfect cherry pie. Where one misstep can turn something sweet and juicy into one hot mess.
Warning: Contains a guitar-wielding, brooding Southern boy and a reclusive millionaire with a weakness for cherry pie and hot coffee. Excessive porch sittin' and lemonade included.
John stood there, his back to the street, his arm straight out as he held the door, waiting.
He heard the guy cross the street and open the front gate. The slap of his shoes on the concrete changed to a graveled shuffle when he hit the path from the sidewalk to the porch. At that point John simply walked away. He moved off and went to the kitchen, not sure why he’d left him to enter the house on his own.
John leaned his ass against the kitchen counter, right in front of the sink. He could see straight through the house from here, right to the front door. The stranger came in and wiped his feet on the small rug in front of the door. John had to smile. At least he’d been raised properly. Idly John wondered if there had been a rug there when this guy’s mom owned the house.
He pulled the hoodie off and looked up to see John watching him. He had dark blue eyes and brown hair, wavy and thick. That was a nice head of hair. Bastard. John had always wanted hair like that.
“May I come in?” he asked. His manners should have seemed out of place, but instead they somehow added depth to the picture he made standing there in his tattered clothes with his thick, messy hair.
John waved a hand in front of him like Vanna revealing the letter of the day. “Be my guest,” he said politely. “You wore me down.”
He was a big one. Taller than John by several inches, he barely cleared the low doorframes of the old house. His shoulders were wider than they ought to be, as if they used to belong to someone who had more bulk than this tall, lean young man. John watched him as he turned and closed the front door, producing a quiet snick in the heavy silence. He set a raggedy gym bag down on the floor.
When he turned back to John, he rubbed his palms nervously on his thighs. “Thanks for letting me come in.”
John tipped his head. “What do you want?” He was merely curious. He found himself strangely detached today.
“Just to look around,” he said in rush. “I swear. I just wanted to see the old house. I’ll leave soon.” He had a thick accent. Swear came out more like sway-eh. It was a good thing John was getting proficient in the local lingo.
“You waited outside for days just to look around for a few minutes?” John was skeptical.
His visitor smiled, and all vestiges of youth fell away. “This old place has got a hold on me, you know?”
John shook his head. “No.” And he really didn’t. He’d never been that attached to any place. Only one person, and they’d never had a place.
The stranger shook his brown-haired head with pity, or perhaps regret. He didn’t say anything, just looked around. John could see the memories swirling through his blue eyes. But he revealed nothing. John watched him walk slowly around the living room, trailing his hand along the wooden chair rail absentmindedly. He yanked his hand back suddenly and wiped it on his pants again, as if he was afraid he was leaving a stain behind.
She is published in several romance genres including historical, contemporary and science fiction. Her erotic Regency-set historical romances have won awards, including Best Historical from RWA's erotic romance chapter Passionate Ink, and the Historical CAPA (best book) award from The Romance Studio.
Samantha Kane has a master's degree in American History, and taught high school social studies for ten years before becoming a full time writer. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and three children. Ms Kane loves to hear from readers. Contact her or subscribe to her newsletter
Reviewers have called Samantha Kane "an absolute marvel to read," and "one of historical romance's most erotic and sensuous authors." Her books have been called "sinful," "sensuous," and "sizzling."