Blue Moon Kisses by Cindy Roland Anderson
At age twelve, Ashlee Nichols fell in love with her brother’s best friend, Beau Jacobsen. Everyone thought she was cute and that her crush was simply that…a crush. But her young heart had known he was the one, and she had planned on marrying him as soon as she was old enough. Unfortunately, when she confessed her feelings to Beau, he’d laughed, patted her on the head and told her he was flattered. Sure, Beau had been twenty-two at the time, but she knew she wouldn’t always be a little girl. Just when she turned eighteen and was finally old enough to date him, Beau joined the Army and was deployed to Afghanistan. Now, six years later, Beau is back in Mitchel Creek, Georgia for a few weeks. He’s hotter than ever…and still ten years older, something he can’t seem to get past. He still sees Ashlee as a glorified little sister…or does he?
Blue Moon Kisses was well worth the wait. I anxiously awaited this sweet clean romance and was not disappointed. I was engaged from the first line and didn’t want the story to end. The author has a fun writing style and I loved getting to know this couple as they navigated the obstacles in their relationship. There are some funny and heartwarming moments you will enjoy- Diane, Amazon Reader
This book had me laughing, smiling, and wanting to read it all over again!- Jessie C, Amazon Reader
This was the perfect ending to The Georgia Moon books. I’ve been waiting for Ashlee and Beau’s story for a while now. I was NOT disappointed! I loved it. It perfectly captured their romance. If you haven’t read this series you need to – Sarah, Amazon Reader
That was all Beau needed to hear. He excused himself and made his way back to the buffet table. Several desserts were available to guests, but the pecan pie must have been popular. There was only one slice left. Just as he reached for the plate, someone else snatched the pie out from under him.
“Sorry, but I got it first.”
Recognizing the voice, he turned around and found Ashlee Nichols standing behind him. “That was my piece of pie,” he said, trying to sound annoyed.
“Not anymore.” She took a bite and made a big production of how good it tasted.
Beau watched her with amusement while taking his first real look at her in six years. He’d expected her to look exactly like Taylin, but there were subtle differences he’d never noticed before. Like the color of her eyes. They were a shade lighter, reminding him of a cove in the Mediterranean Sea he’d once vacationed at during his time abroad. Her mouth curved up, creating a slight dimple in her right cheek. Funny, Beau didn’t remember her having a dimple before.
Realizing he’d been staring, he gently cleared his throat. “You better hope they have more in the kitchen.”
“They don’t.” She used her fork to cut another bite and held it out toward him. “But I’m willing to share.”
Beau wasn’t sure why the comment made the back of his neck feel on fire. This was Ashlee—his eyes swept over her aqua-blue colored dress that accentuated curves he didn’t remember her having—just not a teenage version of Ashlee.
Whoa. Had he just checked out Chase’s little sister? Warmth flooded his chest, and he took a step away from her. “Thanks, but I need to cut back on carbs.”
“Right.” She twirled the fork around and made a slow perusal of him.
“What?” he said, feeling slightly off-balance under her scrutiny.
“I’m just imaginin’ what it would be like to run my fingers through your hair.”
Beau was grateful he had hair. He was positive the heat flushing his face would’ve made his scalp turn red too.
“Leave the poor guy alone,” Chase said, coming up beside his little sister.
“Where’s the fun in that?”
Rubbing the back of his neck, Beau glanced at Chase and tried to regain some normalcy. “Can you believe she stole the last piece of pecan pie?”
“Hey,” she said with a laugh, “I offered to share.”
Beau watched her take another bite, an act that shouldn’t make his pulse kick up a notch.
Using a skill Beau had picked up in the Army, he silently approached Ashlee. He wasn’t sure how happy she’d be to see him, so he’d come bearing gifts. The apple pie was still warm, melting the scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. He spotted her lying in the hammock with her ankles crossed. Smiling at the sight of her red Chuck Taylors, he tried not to stare at the length of leg showing. The hem of her dress had ridden up mid-thigh, revealing smooth, tan skin.
He squinted at the screen of her phone and saw she was playing a game, not reading about the hot Navy SEAL. He still couldn’t believe how fast his blood had turned cold when he’d thought she was going out with one of the cocky special ops guys. He knew right then and there that he was in trouble. His thoughts might have been protective, but they were also possessive—as in he didn’t want Ashlee going out with any guy. Period.
Although he still grappled with the age difference, he knew it wasn’t a showstopper. The showstopper was how to tell his best friend he was into his little sister. He had no idea how Chase would react. Beau figured before he even said anything to his buddy, he should at least explore his new-found attraction to Ashlee. He would go cautiously. For all he knew, her crush might never amount to anything more than that. She’d liked him for so long, she may not know how to act any differently around him.
He was close enough that he could see she was definitely not reading. When he called her on it, she squealed and rolled to one side of the hammock. Before she toppled to the ground, he quickly advanced and righted the hammock. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you.”
“Somehow I don’t believe you.” Her light blue eyes flashed with irritation, making him smile. She was so cute when she was mad. “I thought I told y’all not to bother me unless it was an emergency.”
“I know, but I brought you a peace offering.” He held out the bowl toward her. “It’s still warm.”
She leaned in to look and nearly tipped the hammock over. Beau caught it again. “Maybe you should sit up.”
“Maybe I don’t want dessert.”
One corner of his mouth lifted into a smile. “You forget how well I know you.”
“Used to know me, Beau.” She swung her feet around so she sat in the hammock vertically. “People change. I’ve changed.”
“True.” He sat down beside her, the weight of his body making her press up against his side. The attraction was still there, spiking his pulse rate. He tried not to freak out and had to force himself to stay right there beside her. “So, you’re okay if I eat this then?”
She snatched the bowl out of his hands. “Not so fast. I may have changed, but I still love dessert.”
“You’re welcome,” he said when she dug in for a taste.
She swallowed and licked the corner of her mouth where a dot of ice cream had landed. “I was going to say thank you…eventually.”
The speck of ice cream still remained and, without thinking it through, Beau reached out and swiped his thumb across her mouth. “You missed it,” he said gruffly when she stilled and looked at him with wide eyes.
“Is it gone?” she asked in a voice just barely above a whisper.
His eyes dropped to her mouth, and he forgot all about checking for lingering ice cream. Her lips were pink and perfectly shaped with the bottom lip slightly fuller than the top. The urge to cover her mouth with his for just one little taste was overwhelming. It was also seriously freaking him out.
He couldn’t kiss her before asking her out. He’d been raised to treat a girl with respect. Besides, Chase had gone in with Addie to help get their daughter into bed, but he could come back at any moment. They were going to shoot a few hoops before Beau went home.
Shifting his focus from her mouth to her face, his mouth went dry. No wonder she was good at playing the role of any one of the beautiful fairy-tale princesses. The combination of her heart-shaped face with her light blue eyes and all that gorgeous, long blonde hair falling around her shoulders left him breathless.
This was too fast and too much for him to handle. “Yeah, it’s gone,” he said, jumping to his feet.
“Where’s a pool when you need it, right?” Ashlee said dryly.
He couldn’t help laughing. He’d forgotten how funny she could be, and the humor dispelled the crazy tension between them. “That was pretty good, Ashlee.”
“Much better than my date-with-my-book-boyfriend joke, wouldn’t you say?”
“Definitely.” He narrowed his gaze. “By the way, what is it with women thinking Navy SEALs are so hot? I’ve known a few of them, and they aren’t very good boyfriend material. They’re always gone on training missions or on a real mission. Plus, they’re so secretive.”
“Should I get the opportunity to date a hot Navy SEAL,” she said with a wink, “I’ll keep that in mind.”
She took another bite of the pie, and Beau decided it was wise not to check for any residual ice cream left on her mouth. He usually had incredible self-control, but being around her was sorely testing him.
“So, do you ever read any books about…I don’t know…Army guys?”
“Nope,” she said with a smirk. “I guess they’re not hot enough to make the cut.”
It took every ounce of Beau’s discipline not to drag Ashlee to her feet, pin her against a tree and prove to her he had what it took to make the cut. “So, I guess that means you’d never go out with anyone from the Army?”
A stunned expression wiped the smile from her face. “Is an Army guy asking me out?”
Oh boy, he’d really gotten himself into a tight spot. He felt like he was tiptoeing through a minefield. One wrong move and he was dead and so were the people around him.
Ashlee didn’t laugh. She couldn’t, not when every part of her was filled with so much envy she was sure her skin had turned a sickly green color. Awesome. Instead of looking lovesick, she now appeared insanely jealous.
Now she was glad she hadn’t deleted her profile from the dating app. At the first birthday party she’d attended this morning, Ashlee had played the part of the Snow Queen and Jessica, a girl with naturally red hair, had played the part of her younger sister. While they drove to the location, Jessica had gone on and on about her new boyfriend she’d met with Flirt, the latest popular dating app. Still feeling the sting of Beau’s handshake from the night before, coupled with her sister-in-law’s advice to put herself out in the dating world again, Ashlee had allowed Jessica to create a profile for her. She’d had a lot of alerts, but she hadn’t responded to any of them yet. But she would respond, because she needed to let go of this obsession she had for Beau Jacobsen.
Forcing a smile to her lips, she took a step backward. “Well, enjoy both your pies.” She turned and made a beeline for her car. “I hope you get fat,” she muttered under her breath.
The snort of laughter coming from Beau meant she’d said that last part louder than she’d thought. “Hey, where are you going?” Beau said, still sounding amused.
“Home.” Ashlee jerked open the car door and climbed in, but Beau’s hand prevented her from pulling the door closed.
“Don’t be mad.” He gestured to the pie he held in one hand. “I’m sure yours is much better.”
“Whatever.” Her phone, which was mounted on her dash, dinged several times in a row. She tapped the screen and saw it was blowing up with more alerts from the dating app.
“What’s up with all the notifications?” Beau asked, not sounding nearly as amused as he’d been only seconds before.
Ashlee shot him an annoyed look. “None of your business.”
“Wait a sec,” he said, staring at her screen. “Don’t tell me you’re on Flirt.”
“Okay,” Ashlee said, grabbing her phone from the dash-mount, “I won’t tell you.”
“It’s not smart or safe to use a dating app, Ashlee. More than likely it’s some overweight-dude living in his parent’s basement who posted a pic of some guy with a six-pack.”
Well, this was an interesting twist. Now Beau was the one sending off the jealousy vibes. Perhaps Addie was right after all.
She tapped her finger on the screen. “I don’t know, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this guy at the gym.” She glanced up and grinned. “His six-pack is totally legit.”
“Let me see.” He snatched the phone out of her hand. “Darren Hastings? I went to school with him. He was a year younger than Chase and me.”
“Cool, you already know him.” She took the phone back. “I’ll see if he wants to meet sometime this week.”
“Not cool,” he said, grabbing the phone again. “You can’t go out with him. He was bad news in high school, and I’m sure he hasn’t changed.”
“Geez, Beau, don’t go all big-brother on me.” She plucked the phone out of his hands and studied the picture of a shirtless Darren. “People change, and he looks harmless.” Harmless in a bad-boy sort of way, but she’d make a connection with Darren if it made Beau jealous.
“How many times do I have to tell you I’m not your brother?” Beau said, piercing her with an intense look he’d probably mastered in the military.
“Until you stop acting like one,” Ashlee said dryly.
Author Cindy Roland Anderson
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