Sweet Do-Over by Melissa McClone
Title: Sweet Do-Over
Author: Melissa McClone
Genre: Sweet Contemporary Romance
Cover Designer: Najla Qamber Designs
Publisher: Cardinal Press, LLC
Publication Date: May 17th, 2019
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s Reviews & PR
When architect Marley Patterson goes out with Von Ryan, she never expects her practical, cautious life to be turned upside down by the handsome contractor. Von is the definition of fun until his proposal sends her into a panic. Marriage is too serious a commitment to make after dating for only six months. Even though she cares for Von, they are too different so she breaks up with him.
Being rejected hurts, but Von blames himself for not reading the signs and Marley better. He finds solace in work; however, his construction company’s success isn’t enough. He wants to share his life with a woman who’ll love him as much as he loves her. She’s out there. All he has to do is find her, and, this time, be patient for the relationship to develop on its own.
After Marley is assigned to Von’s new project in Indigo Bay, he treats her the same as everyone else—professionally and with respect—though neither can deny a strong mutual attraction still exists. Soon Marley realizes she may have been the problem with their relationship, not just Von’s proposal. She wants a second chance, but after breaking his heart once, will he give her a do-over?
USA Today bestselling author, Melissa McClone has published novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group and been nominated for Romance Writers of America’s RITA® award. With a degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, Melissa worked for a major airline where she traveled the globe and met her husband. But analyzing jet engine performance couldn’t compete with her love of writing happily ever afters. Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds, and cats who think they rule the house. They do!
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Voices sounded from the entryway, but she couldn’t make out their words.
A door slammed. Footsteps sounded.
Recognizing Von’s voice, she turned. “Hey...”
Whatever she planned on saying died on her lips as if someone had flicked off the switch controlling her brain. The rest of her organs, however, were functioning fine.
Her heart thudded, and her breath caught in her throat. Both unwelcome and unexpected responses.
Had Von always looked this hot?
She’d worked hard to push him out of her mind, blocked his number, and deleted his photos from her social media accounts and phone. Only the video of his ill-fated proposal remained, but she’d watched it only once. That had been one time too many. His pain had been brutally exposed for all to see.
For the best, she’d been telling herself since then. But seeing him now...
She’d forgotten how Von’s green eyes resembled a stormy sea. He’d cut his hair. The style was attractive on him, but she missed seeing his sandy blond locks falling in waves past his shoulders. Despite the shorter length, her fingers itched to reach out and wrap around one curl.
Thinking about him this way was bad. Wrong.
Yet she couldn’t seem to help herself.
Von Ryan had always been handsome, but breathtakingly gorgeous was the only way to describe him today. Especially with the stubble covering his normally clean-shaven face.
“You’retaking over for Rhett?” The slight crack in Von’s voice was the only sign he might not be okay seeing her again.
Marley struggled to make sense of his question, and then she remembered why she was here.
Work. The Starling project. Her future at RMF.
“Yes.” The word shot from her mouth like nails from a gun. She hadn’t expected to be so nervous around him. “I hope that’s okay.”
“Why wouldn’t it be?”
His nonchalant tone bristled. She wanted to make her presence easy on him. If he didn’t have an issue that was great, but... “Cody acted surprised.”
“So am I, but it’s no big deal.”
Okay. Von was taking this well. “It’s not. We’ve worked together before.”
He nodded. “I have no problem with the two of us being on the same project.”
Von pulled out his cell phone, a newer model from the one he’d had before. “You’re early. Mr. Starling won’t be here for thirty minutes.”
Good. That was what she planned. “I’d like to see the house and property before he arrives.”
“You have plenty of time,” Von said in the professional tone he used with subcontractors and inspectors. “If you have questions, Cody can answer them.”
In the past, Cody had never interacted with her in that way. Von had also given her personal tours of each project. But things had changed. “Thanks. I will.”
Focusing on his phone, he tapped on the screen. She watched him, waiting for him to look at her or say something else.
O-kay. Except she felt anything but okay.
Her insides short-circuited as if a conduit was twisted after being installed wrong.
What was going on?
She headed to the French doors leading to the deck.
Yes, Marley had been the one to break them up, but Von acted as if she were a stranger, not the woman he’d pledged his undying love to before asking her to marry him. She tried to understand why that bothered her.
Maybe she assumed he was still infatuated with her because he’d treated her as if she was the smartest, most important person in the world.
Not that he was being rude or mean to her now, just indifferent.
That confused her, left her feeling disconcerted and unsettled.
She couldn’t have it both ways.
Marley should be relieved Von was acting as professional as he’d always been. If this kept up, the project could remain hers. Which was what she wanted—needed—to get her one step closer to a promotion.
Any unease had to be from the shock at seeing Von again. The last time had been a mess of sympathetic tears for him while simultaneously struggling to hold herself together, so they’d made progress. Everything would be fine.
A glance over her shoulder showed Von still on his phone. His expression gave nothing away. “Nothing” being who he might be texting. A client, one of his crew, his sister, or...a girlfriend?
It didn’t matter—was none of her business.
Yet Marley wanted to know.