Read Best Of My Love (Home to Green Valley Book 4) Online

Authors: Virna DePaul

Tags: #Home to Green Valley Book 4

Best Of My Love (Home to Green Valley Book 4)

BOOK: Best Of My Love (Home to Green Valley Book 4)
12.11Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads
Table of Contents

Title Page

Description

More from Virna DePaul

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Three

Books by Virna

Bedding the Bachelor Series

Home to Green Valley Series

Say You Love Me Series

Rock Candy Series

About The Author

Copyright

 

 

 

BEST OF MY LOVE

Home to Green Valley, Book Four

 

 

 

by

Virna DePaul

 

 

Description

 

 

Irish charmer Riley O’Neill never thought he’d fall for one woman so soon after moving to America. After all, his brothers were all about love and commitment these days, and
someone
had to keep the ladies satisfied. However, after months of keeping Erica Underwood in the friend-zone, Riley has a decision to make—continue to enjoy variety, get back together with his ex-girlfriend in Ireland who’s wanting a second chance, or finally make his move on Erica, the one woman he can’t get out of his mind.

 

After a short holiday in Ireland, Riley returns to California wine country and suddenly he’s treating Erica different. Teasing glances and lingering touches indicate he’s ready to be more than friends, but Erica’s worked hard to get over her crush on Riley. She’s started seeing another man and when Riley finally declares his feelings, she’s convinced he’s only attracted to the challenge she now represents.

 

But Riley’s not giving up on Erica, and he sets out on a mission to prove they’re perfect for one another, in bed and out. Soon, they’re inseparable, and their passion burns wild and hot. Until a phone call from Riley’s ex Lucy threatens to destroy everything…

 

Will Riley and Erica crumble in the face of unexpected challenges, or will their love bring out the best in both of them and lead them to happily ever after?

 

 

More from Virna DePaul

 

 

HOME TO GREEN VALLEY SERIES

 

BEDDING THE BACHELORS SERIES

 

ROCK CANDY SERIES

 

SAY YOU LOVE ME SERIES

 

 

Chapter One

 

 

It was strange, but after living all but one of his twenty-three years in Ireland, returning to California felt like coming home. Riley’s visit to the old stomping grounds had been a good one overall, not to mention enlightening, but he’d felt an unmistakable sense of peace when he’d arrived back in Forrestville. Even more so when he walked into
The Stylish Irish
, the restaurant and pub he and his brothers had opened last fall. Every table and chair, every sign and photo on the wall, was a symbol of the work he and his brothers had put into making a new home in the States. As stressful as it was sometimes, as much of a downright pain in the ass it could be, he loved every minute of it.

“There he is. The wandering prodigal has returned at last.”

Riley grinned at his brother Brady who was standing behind the bar while he wiped glasses. Brady was as big as a house and twice as hard to knock down, but he had a heart of gold. Two months ago, he’d fallen in love with a local woman, Anna Kincaid, and since then Brady seemed more content than he ever had. He’d been helping her do some renovations with her business,
AdvenTours
, which was set to reopen in just a few weeks on Memorial Day weekend. Anna was still hoping to get Brady to go zip-lining with her and Riley knew Brady would eventually cave. Brady was no coward (he was actually smart for resisting; Riley couldn’t imagine hurtling himself off a cliff with only some wires to keep him from falling), and there was nothing more he loved to do than please Anna, especially after the health scare she’d had. They were good for each other, and Riley was thrilled Anna had managed to bring out Brady’s fun side again—tragedy had weighed on him heavily over the past few years, but lately the old Brady had been back full-force.

“Pour us an ale, then,” Riley called out, taking a seat.

“You know where the taps are. Or have you been gone so long you’ve forgotten?” Brady grumbled good-naturedly, then poured Riley a pint of the black stuff anyway.

“It hasn’t been that long,” Riley reminded him. “Only a month.”

“When will the rest of us get the chance to take a holiday, then?”

“When you have business to take care of back home, that’s when.”

“Oh, Lucy’s business now?” Sean, Riley’s twin, carried a rack of glasses into the bar from the kitchen. They weren’t identical, but sometimes it still surprised Riley how similar Sean’s features were to his own, down to their light green eyes and the auburn streaks in their dark hair. They’d kept in touch while he’d been gone, and Riley knew his twin was pining away for a woman—an older woman at that, one of Sean’s professors at school—but he didn’t look any the worse for wear because of it. “Don’t let her hear you call her that,” Sean said, “or she’ll be on the next plane over.”

Riley shook his head. “Unlikely, seeing as I made it clear we’re over for good.”

“Sure you did,” Brady smirked. “You and Lucy have been breaking up and making up since you were fifteen. It’s only a matter of time before you move back to Ireland or she moves here and you two settle down.”

“That’s all in the past. And we hadn’t been exclusive for a long time,” Riley reminded him “Yes, but as soon as she started making noises about wanting to get back together, maybe even coming for an extended stay in the States so you could give it a go again, you headed to Ireland. To see if that’s what you wanted.”

“Given our history, I wanted to be certain it
wasn’t
what I wanted,” Riley replied. “There’s a huge difference. And seeing her only confirmed we were never right for each other.”

“Yeah? Did you have sex with her?”

Riley gritted his teeth.

“I’ll take that as yes.”

“It was one time, when I first arrived. Followed by twenty-nine days that we
didn’t
have sex. Because we’re over.” He hadn’t slept with Lucy as a test of his feelings for her, not intentionally. They’d been seeing other people, but seeing her
had
brought back good memories. Plus, he’d been celibate for about two months, the longest he’d ever gone without sex, so when she’d started kissing and rubbing against him…

Hell, he’d never claimed to be a choir boy or saint.

But afterward—no,
during
—he’d known for certain that the only part of him that responded to Lucy was his body, and that he had no interest in starting things up with her again.

“You’ve said that before.”

“Yeah, well. This time’s different.”

“How?”

It was different because the entire time he’d been in Ireland, he couldn’t stop thinking about a woman who was here in America; one who worked in this very restaurant and behind the bar with him. Prior to his trip to Ireland, he’d admitted to himself he was attracted to her, but he’d also accepted he couldn’t act on that attraction because she worked for him and his brothers. As such, he’d kept her in the friend-zone.

After his trip to Ireland?

He no longer gave a fuck who she worked for. He just knew he’d missed her like crazy. He’d fantasized about her for months, but in Ireland those fantasies had been both sexual and non-sexual. As much as he’d dreamed of fucking her, he’d also dreamed of simple interactions: talking with her, walking with her through the vineyards or on the beach, making her laugh.

It was when he woke up after
those
dreams that he felt the worst. Empty. Dissatisfied.

That’s what made him realize he’d truly fallen for her.

Now he was resolved that despite their employer/employee relationship, he was going to make her his.

Of course, he wasn’t telling his brothers that.

“It just is,” he answered lamely.

But as Sean gazed at him, he seemed to sense how much Riley meant it because he said, “Poor Lucy.”

Riley rolled his eyes. “If you think I buy for a minute that she wasn’t getting her fair share of action while I’ve been here, you’ve got the wrong man. I’m crazy, but I’m not daft. She hardly had the look of a poor, neglected woman. In fact, her phone buzzed more times than I could count, and she never let me see who sent the messages or what they said.” He took another swig of the black stuff, then wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. “She’s doing just fine without me and will continue to do so.”

Quinn, Riley’s eldest brother, walked into the restaurant from the back office, reading glasses perched on top of his head. They meant he’d been going over the books. The smile on his face told Riley they’d had another good quarter, though it wasn’t a surprise. Since the day the doors opened, the tavern had been bringing customers in hand over fist. Some said it was the feel the brothers had for choosing the right ales and wines, all of them locally brewed. Others said it was the refreshing, authentically Irish spin they put on the traditional American pub fare. The rest cited the five Irish owners, pointing to the fact that most of the pub’s clientele was of the female persuasion.

The reasons didn’t matter to Riley, as long as they made money, had fun, and his lips never stayed cold for long. Yet they
had
stayed cold. For almost a month now. He hadn’t just stopped sleeping with Lucy after that one time; he hadn’t even kissed her again. He hadn’t kissed
any
woman in almost four weeks, and that needed to change. Starting with kissing the one woman he really wanted to—Erica Underwood, fellow bartender at
The Stylish Irish
.

Quinn gave a start when he saw Riley sitting on a stool, pint glass in hand. “Oh, you’re back.”

“Master of the obvious, as always. Not much has changed.” Riley raised his glass in mock salute. The four of them—Quinn, Brady, Sean, and Riley—screamed Irish. If one were to add in their brother Conor, who’d moved to San Francisco at the beginning of the year, together they’d look like an ad for Irish whiskey.

“How was it?” Quinn asked, leaning against one of the coolers with a bottle of water.

“He broke it off with Lucy. For good this time,” Sean reported.

“Just as well. It was obvious she wasn’t the one.”

Riley shrugged, unable to dispute Quinn’s words. “I visited Mam and Dad. Brought them flowers several times.” They all went quiet and without being asked Brady poured four shots of whiskey. They raised their glasses and drank.

“How’s the old street?” Sean asked, his glass hitting the bar.

“The same. Everything’s the same. Nothing ever changes there.” That was one of the comforting things about going back to Dublin—the way it all looked the same, felt the same, even smelled the same. The scent of fresh bread coming from the bakery three doors down from there house had filled Riley with nostalgia.

Good thing Quinn’s girlfriend Lilly, who was finishing up an internship in Florida that she’d won from the FoodNetwork, would soon be opening her bakery. Right now they had to live without the smell of her cakes and pastries (she often sent them care packages so thank God they didn’t have to live without the taste), but the bakery was done and waiting for her. When they’d renovated the building to open
The Stylish Irish
, Quinn had knocked out a wall and reserved a third of the space for Lilly. Just past some columns that separated the bakery from the restaurant there was a counter, some display cases, and white iron bistro tables and chairs. Whenever she came for a visit, which was often, Lilly would sit in one of those chairs and drink a cup of coffee. She hadn’t yet told them what she planned to name her bakery, but since she’d helped come up with the name
The Stylish Irish
, Riley suspected she’d name her bakery something equally cool.

BOOK: Best Of My Love (Home to Green Valley Book 4)
12.11Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Anything for Him by Taylor, Susie
The Wicked Baron by Sarah Mallory
White Water by Linda I. Shands
The Seventh Daughter by Frewin Jones
Don't Look Twice by Andrew Gross
No Time to Hide by Karen Troxel
The City Jungle by Felix Salten
Miss Foxworth's Fate by Kelly, Sahara