Read When I Fall in Love Online

Authors: Bridget Anderson

When I Fall in Love

Love creates its own rules

Ascending the corporate ladder has consumed most of Tayler Carter's adult life. Now the savvy Atlanta VP and female-empowerment speaker is ready for a well-deserved retreat. A fabulous antebellum mansion turned B and B in rural Kentucky is the perfect change of pace. But her host is no unsophisticated farm boy. Rugged hunk Rollin Coleman is educating Tayler in the wonders of natural food and down-home passion.

Transforming his family's struggling homestead into an organic cooperative is starting to pay off for Rollin. But without the right woman, it's a lonely existence. Until he introduces his alluring new guest to the pleasures of the countryside. And once his small-town community embraces her, can Rollin count on Tayler to leave her fast-paced world behind and together create a place they can both call home?

“I can't keep my hands off you,” he said, his voice close to a whisper.

She looked down at their intertwined fingers and watched him raise her hand to his mouth and kiss it. Her stomach fluttered. He stepped closer and kissed her forehead. Tayler placed her head against his hard chest as he wrapped his arms around her.
I'm so weak for this man.
She begged for strength.

“Rollin, we can't do this again.”

“Can't do what? We can't dance?” he asked in a soft, controlled voice. His body swayed with the music and she found herself following his lead. He shifted and his thigh pressed between her legs, and her thigh did the same. They slow danced in the middle of the library.

He ignited a fire inside Tayler that intensified when he reached down and placed his hand under her chin, bringing her face up to meet his. He kissed her lips ever so gently and Tayler closed her eyes. Her head told her to pull away from his embrace before it was too late, but her body had a mind of its own and wanted nothing more than to revel in his embrace.

Dear Reader,

I hope you enjoy reading
When I Fall in Love
as much as I enjoyed writing it. Coleman House came to me while riding through the country in Kentucky and seeing this massive house that reminded me of Tara from
Gone with the Wind
. My curiosity about who lived there took over. My own experience at a B and B fueled the rest. I have too many ideas for just one book, so watch out for book number two!

To find out about future releases and learn more about me and my past releases, you can sign up for my newsletter on my website at
www.bridgetanderson.net
. I love to connect with readers, so follow me on Twitter,
@banders319
, or
Facebook.com/banders319
. I appreciate all reviews. Please leave one on your retailer's site or on Goodreads to help other readers discover my novels.

Thank you,

Bridget Anderson

Bridget Anderson
is a native of Louisville, Kentucky. She currently resides in North Metro Atlanta with her husband and their big dog who she swears is part human. She's published seven novels and two novellas. Her romance suspense novel,
Rendezvous
, was adapted into a made-for-television movie. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Georgia Romance Writers and The Authors Guild.

Bridget writes provocative romance stories about smart women and the men they love. When she's not writing, she loves to travel. She's fallen in love with Paris, France, and can't wait to get back to Ghana, West Africa.

Books by Bridget Anderson

Harlequin Kimani Romance

When I Fall in Love

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This one's for my critique partner, Shirley Harrison, who helped me discover NaNoWriMo and get my writing legs back.

Also, for my family and friends who constantly ask, “When's the next novel?”

Chapter 1

“O
kay, I exited the expressway thirty minutes ago and I'm still not seeing anything but trees, fields and fields of grass, and a bunch of cows. So, where in the hell is this place?” With both hands on the steering wheel, Tayler Carter yelled at her girlfriend Nicole through her car's speakers using the Bluetooth feature.

“What exit did you take?”

“The Blue Belt Grassway, highway, or something like that, and I've only seen three cars in the last half hour. What is this, the road to nowhere?” The scenic drive was making Tayler's bottom numb.

“Girl, I told you your GPS was going to go out on that road. Where are the directions I emailed you?”

Tayler shrugged and rolled her eyes, thankful Nicole couldn't see her. She reached over for a piece of paper in the driver's seat. “I've got my Mapquest directions.”

“Mapquest! I told you to use the directions I sent you. There's a new road that isn't on Mapquest. Maybe your GPS will pick up in a little while. Try it again.”

“Dammit.” Tayler let out a heavy sigh and eased her foot up off the gas pedal.

“Don't worry, I'll talk you in.”

“No, that's not it,” she said, glancing in the rearview mirror. “I finally see another car on this freakin' road and it's a police car flashing his lights at me. How did I get so damn lucky?”

“Oh, yeah, I forgot to tell you the police are pretty heavy down there.”

“How come I have a feeling there's a lot you've forgotten to tell me?”

“How fast were you going?”

“Let's just say I doubt he'll be satisfied with a warning.”

“Want me to hang on the line while you pull over?”

“No, I've got this. I'll call you back later.”

* * *

Fifteen minutes later, white picket fences with large homes that sat back off the main road finally came into view. But only to be replaced seconds later by smaller houses with swings or rocking chairs on the front porches. As Tayler drove through what must have been downtown Danville, Kentucky, several people either waved or stared as she passed. They all seemed to have the one thing she didn't have—family. She drove by the post office, several small churches and a few local stores as she followed her police escort, and then they swung a right, heading away from town. Soon they were back to white picket fences and another two-lane road.

She was accustomed to traveling alone, but had to admit to a touch of fear as her police escort carried her farther away from the town. The road had lots of twists and turns before opening up to lush fields of green farmland that took her breath away. The police car turned off the main road onto another country road.

She breathed a sigh of relief when she saw a large white sign with black letters reading Coleman House Bed-and-Breakfast.

Here at last.

The officer slowed and let her pull her BMW to a stop beside him. She lowered her window. In his dark shades he sort of reminded her of actor Jake Gyllenhaal.

“Just keep on this road,” he said in his local dialect. “The farm's a couple yards down the way.”

“Thank you. I appreciate this.”

“No problem. Be sure and tell Rollin Greg said hello.”

She waved. “I'll be sure to do that.”

The police car turned around and spun back out onto the road. She continued down a long oak tree–lined path, which yielded to another sign—Coleman Organic Farm.
So I really am in the country, on a farm and all
, she thought. She turned off the air conditioner and lowered the windows. She wanted to smell the country. Did it really smell like cows and pigs, or grass and fresh air? In her thirty-six years she'd never been to the country. She preferred the city with all its modern conveniences. This vacation was going to be an experience she knew she'd never forget.

The road curved and the oak trees ended. Ahead of her sat a miniature version of Tara, the mansion from
Gone With the Wind
, one of her favorite romantic movies. The house had the same four white columns on the porch and gave off a grand appearance. A warm, fuzzy feeling consumed her and put a smile on her face. She pulled her car into one of the parking spaces in front and looked up at the house as if a footman would be exiting any minute to help her with her luggage.

Laughing to herself, she opened the car door and stepped out, stretching out her arms. After a seven-hour drive, she was ready for a good meal and a soft bed. Her Jimmy Choo platform heels might have been perfect for helping her five-three frame reach the gas pedal, but they quickly sank into the gravel driveway, risking scuffs. She reached back into the car and pulled a tube of peppermint lip gloss from her purse and applied some before licking her lips. She adjusted her sunglasses and closed the car door. Pulling her suitcase from the trunk and rolling it through the gravel to the blacktop leading to the house was no easy task. She stopped to take in the view once more. The place was magnificent. In the distance she saw a man sitting on a tractor in the middle of the field.
Just like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting
, she thought.

The front door swung open as she moved her suitcase up the handicapped ramp.

“Welcome to Coleman House Bed and Breakfast. You must be Tayler Carter.”

Surprised to be greeted by an older man in a pair of overalls holding a large pitcher of something, Tayler stopped and removed her sunglasses.

“Yes, I am.”

“Come on in. She's been expecting you.”

She?
Tayler had thought Nicole's cousin was a man. She pulled her suitcase across the front porch past two large white rocking chairs.

The man juggled the pitcher in his hand and reached for her suitcase. “Let me get that for you. Would you like a glass of lemonade?”

“No thank you.”

She stepped inside, expecting a grand foyer like the one at Tara.

“You can just step over to the counter there.” He nodded to a small area to the right of the staircase. “My wife will get you all settled in. I'll be right back.”

He left her suitcase at the foot of the stairs and disappeared down the hall.

Was that Rollin, she wondered.

Tayler did a 360, taking in the custom drapes, the wide spiral staircase and the antique furniture scattered about. The house had an intimate look and feel to it.

“Well, you must be Tayler.”

A middle-aged woman walked up to Tayler, wiping her hands off on a kitchen towel, and then extended her hand.

“I'm at a disadvantage here. Seems like everybody knows me.” Tayler accepted the woman's hand.

“I'm Rita, the housekeeper, and that lug back there is my husband, Wallace. He'll be up directly to take your suitcase to your room. Nicole told us to expect you. I'm supposed to check you in.” She walked behind the registration desk and looked around as though she wasn't quite sure what to do.

“It's nice to meet you, Rita.”

“Yes, ma'am, we'll just get you to sign the book here. And I don't rightly know where the receipt book is, so why don't I let Rollin handle that.” She handed Tayler a pen.

Tayler smiled. They actually had guest sign in, like something out of an old movie. How quaint—or antiquated, she wasn't sure which. The minute she finished signing the book, Wallace returned and scooped up her suitcase.

“You're in the first room up there on the left.” Rita pointed up the stairs. “It faces the fields and you'll get good sunlight in the morning. Did you have much trouble finding the place?” she asked as she came from behind the counter and motioned for Tayler to follow her husband up the stairs.

“A little, but I was fortunate enough to get a police escort.”

“Really, from who? Tim?”

“No, he said his name was Greg.” Tayler held onto the banister as her heels sank into the plush carpet on the stairs. Everything was polished to a high gloss shine and smelled like fresh lemons.

“Oh, yeah, that's Greg Mason. He's a nice enough fella. He went to high school with Rollin.”

“Here you go, ladies. I'll be out back if you need me.” Wallace set her suitcase inside the door and backed out.

“In here is your bathroom.” Rita gave Tayler a quick tour of her room and then the rest of the second floor. There were three other bedrooms, two of which were occupied. After the tour, she instructed Tayler to return to the lobby after she'd freshened up and Rollin would complete her check-in.

Tayler dropped her purse on the bed and looked around the room with all its ruffles and flowers. If she'd had her own room growing up she would have wanted something with ruffles. But now that style was too country for her taste. But country or not, it would be her home for the next two months.

* * *

Rollin switched off the tractor and climbed down. He walked across the yard to the barn, thinking about the pair of legs that had just climbed out of a sports car and walked into his house. She had to be his cousin Nicole's friend from Chicago.

“So, how the fields lookin' this afternoon?”

Rollin turned around to find his uncle Wallace walking into the barn with both hands in the pockets of his overalls.

“Everything's cool. What's up? You ready to stop working on them broke-down cars and join me?”

Wallace laughed and greeted his nephew with a handshake and a hug.

Every time Wallace dropped by, Rollin messed with him about being a mechanic instead of joining him on the farm. Wallace had never wanted to own a farm like Rollin's father, Rollin Joe Sr. Instead, Wallace, a wizard with cars, had opened his first auto body shop fifteen years ago.

“Boy, you know I don't know nothin' 'bout no farming. I'll stick to cars, if you don't mind. Hey, you got a guest up at the house, and Rita don't know how to check her in. She told her you'd be up directly, to help.”

“Yeah, I'm on my way up.” He knocked the dust off his jeans and pulled his T-shirt over his head. He quickly grabbed another T-shirt from a peg and pulled it on. “I don't know why I agreed to let Nicole's friend stay so long. I'm thinking about closing down the B and B.”

“You did it because Nicole's family and this woman is a good friend of hers. Besides, I don't think you'll be regretting anything once you get up to the house.”

Rollin glanced back at the lopsided grin on his uncle's face and shook his head. Wallace was what he called an old player, one who'd finally settled down with his third wife.

* * *

After freshening up a bit, Tayler grabbed her purse and headed downstairs. The second floor was still quiet and she wondered where the other guests were. On her descent she heard a deep male voice that sent a slight shiver down her spine. The velvety-smooth voice grew louder as she came closer to the first floor. The front door stood wide-open and standing in its midst was a fine, tall piece of sculptured art. The man had on nice-fitting jeans, work boots and a black T-shirt that hugged every muscular inch of his upper body.

He turned from the door and his gaze slowly traveled up the stairs, almost knocking Tayler on her butt. She gripped the banister to keep from tumbling down face-first. A pair of beautiful almond-shaped brown eyes stared up at her.

Oh, my God. Is that Rollin?

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