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SMOKY MOUNTAIN KNIGHTS

A COUNTRY LOVE SONG

After ten years playing coffee shops, singer and songwriter Sutter Knight has finally cracked the top ten on the country music charts and is winding down her first tour.  To celebrate and reconnect with her Smoky Mountain roots, she heads home to Sweet Tea, Tennessee only to discover the historic theater where her love of music was born is about to be torn down. Worse, her high school sweetheart who used to perform with her is spearheading the project. More disturbing–his deep blue eyes and smile still have the power to kick up her heart rate and make her forget her own name.
 
After college, architect and contractor Dawson Yates returned home for family and to build his business and reputation. What better way to achieve his goals than to transform a damaged and dangerous community eyesore into a hotel that will bring jobs to Sweet Tea? Dawson doesn't expect to meet strong and charming resistance from the woman he loved and hasn't forgotten. Sutter might be vowing to stop the demolition and put his project at risk, but soon, Dawson’s more worried about losing his heart.

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Excerpt from ​​​A COUNTRY LOVE SONG


​Sutter woke up as Dawson carried her into Carol Reynold’s house where she’d been temporarily staying while back in Sweet Tea, Tennessee.

“You were supposed to bring me to your cabin,” she blinked at him and pushed her wild hair out of her eyes.

“You have to commit to me first,” he kissed her cheek.

“I think you are torturing me for some nefarious purpose,” she groused. He laid her on her bed at Carol’s.

“You caught me,” he said, forcing himself up and away from her, but Sutter was having none of that.  She caught his hand.

“You should have woken me up,” she insisted.  “I missed three hours with you. I really, really wanted to have time alone with you. It’s been so long.”

“You did. We were alone, and I got to watch you sleep.”

She made a face.  “Sorry.  Most boring date ever.”

“It wasn’t a date and it wasn’t boring.  Why don’t we all meet for a coffee early at the Jacked Bean.  At ten we will need to brief all the volunteers for the weekend and once the gates for the concert open in the late afternoon for the first evening performers, you won’t get much of a chance to relax.”

Sutter’s heart was in her eyes, and he was on the verge of relenting and breaking his personal vow of keeping her at a distance until she made her decision to commit to him and to build the life they’d always talked about in Sweet Tea, or if she wanted to return alone to her life in Nashville.

“Oh,” he said softly. “I got something for you.”

Sutter sat all the way up, her face animated. “A birthday present? You used to make me the most wonderful little puzzle boxes in wood shop do you remember? I still have them. And you’d put something inside like a charm or a note or a pretty stone or an old fashioned button that you found.”

“Close your eyes,” he kept his voice at a whisper whereas Sutter’s raised a little when she got excited.

She closed her eyes.

“Lift up your hair.”

She did and he slipped something over her head. She opened her eyes and her fingers felt the linked platinum chain that had a heart charm with an inlaid ruby on it. Also on the chain he’d put a key.

Her lips parted and her eyes shone.

“The key to the cabin.” She breathed.

The one he’d dreamed of so many years ago and had finally built.

“And the key to my heart,” he whispered in her ear. He let his lips brush her cheek briefly, but immediately ached for more.

Determined, he pulled back, but Sutter caught his hand to try to reel him back in. He smiled, but disentangled their fingers.

“You can use it if you need a break this weekend or,” he shrugged. “You just want to go and think about things.”

“Dawson,” she began, throwing off the duvet.

He caught the silky fabric and tucked it again around her body.

“You know what I want, Sutter. All in or nothing.”

“I don’t even know what all in would look like with you so I can prove to you that I love you now as much as I did back then,” she whispered in the dark.

“It can look like however we want it to look.”

“Dawson,” she groaned, clearly frustrated, but he slipped out of her bedroom.