Playing with Words (Boggy Creek Valley #2) - Kelly Elliott


What do you do when a drop-dead gorgeous man walks into your bookstore and asks if you have a quiet corner for him to work in?

If you’re me, you stare at him for a good minute before you get your mouth to properly function.

After endless attempts at forming words, I finally got a sentence out. Okay, maybe not a full one, but words came out.

“Um…you need a quiet corner?”

A slow, easy smile spread over his face, and my eyes instantly locked onto his dimples. Lord, what was it about a man and dimples that got me every time?

A sharp elbow hit me in the side, and I cleared my throat. “Right. I have a small workroom, er, um, study room in the back that I created for the high school kids to study in when they need to. You’re more than welcome to use it, no one hardly does. There are also some sitting areas up on the second floor tucked away in some nooks. But we’re doing a bit of remodeling up there, so it can get noisy at times.”

His smile suddenly turned brilliant, and I felt my eyes start to blink rapidly. Jesus tap-dancing Christ. It should be illegal for a guy this handsome to smile like that. It could render a girl stupefied, which was clearly what was happening to me.

“What are you doing?” a voice whispered next to me.

“Great—is the room locked or can I walk right in?” Utterly Handsome Guy asked.

I shook the fog from my brain and forced myself to act like a normal human being. “It’s locked, but let me grab you the key.” Spinning around, I fumbled for the key that was hanging on a hook behind the checkout counter.

After a few deep breaths, I faced him again. I held out the key. “Here it is. The key. To the room. The study room. The quiet room. The, um…room you asked about. To work, I guess, or for whatever reason you need it. Not that it’s my business or anything like that.”

Candace, who was my best friend and also an employee at the bookstore, stepped closer to me and spoke so low I hardly heard her. “Abort! Stop talking, Greer!”

Having clearly heard what Candace said, the handsome stranger glanced away. Which gave me a moment to internally smack myself.

When it was clear I wasn’t recovering at a fast enough pace, Candace took the key from my hand. “I’ll show you to the room we’ve set aside.”

He nodded at her. “Thank you.”

Goodness, his voice was so sexy. Oh my God. What was wrong with me? Had it been that long since I was with a man? Or had it been that long since any man made my body tingle the way it was now?

Get a hold of yourself, Greer Larson!

“Of course,” Candace said, walking behind me. “Is this your first visit to Boggy Creek?”

He looked down at Candace and answered with a laugh. “No, my family used to visit this area when I was younger, and it’s always been one of my favorite places. I haven’t been here since…”

His voice trailed off as they made their way through the bookstore, speaking in hushed voices as if they were in a library.

With a sigh, I leaned my hip against the counter. From across the store, I heard Candace laugh, and I couldn’t help but smile. My best friend had a way with people; she always had. Never mind that she was insanely beautiful, with her curly dark hair, golden brown skin, and dark chocolate eyes that were warm and inviting. People seemed to instantly connect with Candace. Her personality was off the charts. Funny, friendly, smart, and caring. She would most likely emerge from the room with a new best friend or a date for tonight.

Or both.

That had me feeling a tad bit…angry? No, I wasn’t angry at Candace. Maybe a bit jealous that she hadn’t lost her shit in front of the handsome stranger like I had.

“Who was that?”

I nearly jumped out of my skin as I spun around and came face to face with Brighton Rogers. Her folks owned Willow Tree Bed and Breakfast here in Boggy Creek. She was a lawyer in Boston, but lately she had been spending more and more time back in Boggy Creek. Especially since she and Willamina O’Hara had reconnected. They were both a few years younger than me and had been best friends in high school. Brighton was Willa’s divorce attorney when she’d divorced her first