THE REBOUND PACT by Eliza Knight
Just one taste is never enough...
The attraction between Gabrielle and Holden still sizzles on the surface even after all these years since their last encounter. Having just experienced serious relationship breakups neither one is
After college, Gabrielle Dane makes one terrific mistake. Thinking she's sneaking into her crush's bedroom at an all-night party, she ends up sleeping with her older brother's best friend. It’s only when the sun comes up that she recognizes Holden Bellamy. Mortified, Gabrielle leaves to train with a renowned chef in France, vowing never to return to her hometown and the awkwardness of her one night stand mix-up. But several years later, she finds herself doing just that, and she runs smack into the delicious man who makes her catches her breath.
Holden Bellamy, owner of Belle Ami, a critically acclaimed vineyard, has always had a thing for his best friend's little sister...even if she was off limits. Waking up to her in the morning several years back was a remarkable surprise, one that crashed and burned when she left town without a word. Now he's face to face with the woman he never stopped wondering about.
As she neared the exit, a sign caught her eye with a picture of purple grapes inside a wine glass, below it said: Belle Ami Vineyards.
“Perfect,” she muttered.
A stop at the vineyard to purchase a couple bottles of wine and then she’d head to her Dad’s place. She wasn’t ready for the conversation he’d want to have regarding Len. She stared at her empty ring finger on the steering wheel, tears already stinging her eyes. Her finger still showed the lines of where her ring had been.
Gabrielle followed the signs for the vineyard, pulling into a nearly empty parking lot, her tires crunching over the gravel. There were only three other cars parked.
Damn. She hoped they hadn’t closed already. She’d forgotten how everything in the town of Mount Airy kept farmer’s hours. She climbed out of the car and walked toward the entrance. The door opened easily when she pulled, but she didn’t see anyone. She walked up to the bar and picked up the tasting menu.
Gabrielle loved wine. Had even volunteered at many a wine tasting event, pouring glasses, talking shop to wine enthusiasts, and even turning some non-winos into vino connoisseurs.
The Belle Ami merlot looked right up her alley with a tangy bouquet of pomegranate and cocoa. She turned in a circle, her fingernails tapping against the “green” pressed bamboo counter.
“Can I help you?” a smooth, sensual, very male voice said from behind.
Oh. My. God.
Gabrielle turned around slowly, unable to breathe. She came face to face with Holden Bellamy. His face itself was perfection in the flesh. Chiseled. A wide square jaw, cheek bones she’d kill for, kissable lips and a nose that spoke of good genes. Dark brown, nearly black hair cut short enough to be in style, but still rugged, a few strands falling over his forehead. Her entire body stilled as she gazed at him, wide-eyed.
He was just as alluring, if not more so than he’d been before.
A jolt of longing wracked her. Her belly fluttered. Goosebumps rose along her arms making her skin tingle. Memories came flooding back of their one night together. Her body hadn’t forgotten, even with the passing of time, and neither had her mind. But with those memories and the pull of her attraction came regret. For what she’d thrown away. For the hurt she’d caused him. For not telling him the truth.
He wore a tight black t-shirt with the winery’s logo on his right pec. His jeans looked to be designer and if he turned around… She gulped, gazing at his flawless physique and then back up into his crystal blue eyes that seemed to delve right into the center of her soul. A light bulb sparked inside her mind. Bellamy… Was it possible this was his winery? A play on words?
He remembered her. Her stomach tightened. Of course he remembered her. She’d known him for years. Her body trilled a tune, as if her flesh remembered the way he’d touched her. He flashed her a smile, showing white, faintly imperfect teeth. Teeth that had skimmed naughtily over her flesh.
“Yes, hi, it’s been so long…” She trailed off, feeling awkward at showing up here six years after walking out on him.