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Because You Kissed Me

Because You Kissed Me

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When Senator Adam Larson returns to his hometown for a campaign dinner, the last person he expects to bump into is his old high school girlfriend. But then Adam’s scheming sister, who hates his fiancée, locks them in the pantry of the historic mansion Natasha runs until they can work out their past. Can they find the happiness they both deserve?

Main Tropes

  • Second Chance
  • Grumpy Senator
  • Town Gossip

Synopsis

When Senator Adam Larson returns home to Maple Creek, Virginia after a long absence, he literally bumps into his old high school girlfriend, Natasha. Is he too focused on his re-election and his engagement to worry about their past?

Natasha Jenkins runs the Whitmore House, Maple Creek’s most popular wedding venue, where Adam’s holding a campaign fundraiser dinner, and her business is on the brink of collapse. Can she overcome her fear to let love in?

It’s just one dinner. Surely, they can get through it and never have to speak again. But then Adam’s scheming sister, who hates his fiancée, locks them both in the pantry of the historic mansion Natasha runs, threatening to leave them in there until they’ve worked out their past.

Can Adam and Natasha overcome their inner demons and find the happiness they both deserve? Or will they stay in this pantry forever?

If you like witty banter, swoony kisses, and small-town sweet romantic comedy, then you’ll love the hilarious book readers are raving about! Binge the series, get hooked, and get ready to laugh!

Formerly titled: Her Senator's Second Chance

Intro into Chapter 1

Chapter 1

Adam’s drive down the sun-dappled streets of Maple Creek, Virginia was just as much a trip down memory lane as it was a stop on his re-election campaign as a Virginia state senator. Other than a few stops for official campaign business, he hadn’t been home in ages. Even on those trips, he’d spent as little time as possible in the small town. He usually did his best to avoid spending too much time in his hometown. Too many memories. Too much pain. And he had work to do. He
straightened his necktie and looked away from the row of historic homes with large porches lined with rocking chairs and potted plants.

His sister and assistant, Jenny, took a left onto a side street past a cherry tree in full bloom, and Adam asked, “Where did you say you booked the fundraiser dinner
again?”

“The Whitmore House.”

“I haven’t been there since our cousin’s wedding years ago,” Adam said. It was the oldest,
grandest building in town. The mansion was now turned into an events’ venue and was Maple Creek’s premier spot for weddings. The thought made him groan internally. “I have my own wedding to think about now. I don’t know what I was
thinking, planning a wedding during my campaign. But it can’t be helped.”

“I know you think Darla’s the perfect catch, but I have to disagree with you. Even if she is the daughter of a well-loved former US senator, or, according to Fred, exactly what you need to gain the support of the fickle Virginians who were undecided on their votes.”

“I don’t get to be picky, Jenny. It’s a wonder I got elected as a single guy.” As the days ticked by, closer to election day, the pressure was mounting, and a fairy tale wedding to Virginia’s sweetheart Darla Pickins was just the edge he needed to beat out
the competition.

He should be happy, but he owed it to Darla to put to rest any lingering feelings he may
have for Natasha. He’d dated a lot of women over the years, but he couldn’t seem to move on from the girl he’d dated throughout high school. It was ridiculous. He should be able to close that chapter of his life. And now was the perfect time to do so.

Jenny pulled up in front of a white mansion with a magnificent porch lined with white pillars. It
was even nicer than he’d remembered. The paint shone brightly in the afternoon sun, and wicker furniture with bright pink and green cushions lined the
veranda. Was the venue under new management?

A woman in a floppy straw hat emerged from the house and climbed down the steps as Adam
exited his vehicle. The moment she saw him, her face lit up, and he wasn’t sure whether to smile or groan at her excitement. Mrs. Wheaton the town gossip, and
while she was entertaining, he was already behind schedule, thanks to the chatty constituents he’d met with earlier that morning over breakfast.

“Senator Larson! What a pleasure to see you home,” she said in a thick southern drawl. “And sweet Jenny too. It’s always so nice to see you in town.”

Jenny rushed forward to hug the woman and stepped back to allow Adam to greet her. Adam
approached the old busybee and took her hand. “Mrs. Wheaton. The pleasure’s truly mine.”

She pumped his hand, the fat beneath her arm shaking vigorously. “It’s been far too long. You really need to come back to see us more often. Walter,” she called out to her husband who was just climbing from their Chevy Malibu. “Come on over here and say hello to Senator Larson.”

Walter, his old high school chemistry teacher, was a stick figure of a man, his face war-torn
and weathered. Probably from years of marriage to Mrs. Wheaton, Adam thought with a chuckle to himself.

“It’s a crying shame that we have our very own senator, and we never get to see him.”

Adam gave her a wide smile. “You’re right. I ought to be ashamed. I promise to come back more often.”

“Next time you do, be sure to stop by for some of my homemade cherry pie.” She reached out and squeezed his bicep. “My, my. You used to be nothing but skin and bones. The
good Lord’s done blessed you.” Her arm lingered on his upper arm and caressed up and down, squeezing her fingers into the back of his arm.

He stepped back before things got too awkward. “I’d be delighted. You know I could never turn down a slice of your pie.”

Walter hobbled up next to his wife, back bent. The last ten years really hadn’t been kind to him,
but as he gripped Adam’s hand, his handshake was strong.

“Mr. Wheaton, it’s wonderful to see you again.”

“It’s good to see you’ve done something with your life. I’ll be honest with you. I was concerned
that you might not have amounted to much when you blew up my chemistry lab.”

Adam chuckled. “But I still made an A in your class.”

“Well, that was because I didn’t want you retaking my class the next year.”

Mrs. Wheaton piped up, “When I heard you were returning home for this fundraiser, I knew I had to
come out to support you. Why, I was just telling Natasha Jenkins this morning it was about time we saw you again. Whatever happened between the two of you? I always thought you’d end up marrying her. The entire town did, really. Not this Darla Pickins.” She made a face like she’d tasted a glass of lemonade that needed more sugar.

He barely avoided flinching at the mention of Natasha. “It was wonderful to see you again, Mrs.
Wheaton. I’m afraid I have to attend to some things inside.”

Natasha. Of course she was still living in Maple Creek. He couldn’t imagine her ever leaving. She
was the real reason he’d been away. He’d wasted way too many years being heartbroken over her. He couldn’t afford to worry about Natasha anymore. He had
a campaign to run and a fiancée to think about. Darla was more than enough to keep him busy with her high demands.

Adam followed Jenny into the large white mansion. He hadn’t been to the house since senior
prom. He’d taken Natasha that year. It was the last time they’d kissed. He’d told her he was in love with her. Then everything had fallen apart. She grew
cold, and the next Monday she broke off the relationship. He’d been devastated. But he left for college soon after and made it a habit to return to Maple Creek
as little as possible. The memories were too painful.

He shook off the unpleasant thoughts as he crossed the foyer with the massive staircase and
sparkling chandelier.

“The dinner will start in thirty minutes. We have you set up in a room where you can prepare for
your speech.” Jenny led him through the house, past a bustling kitchen. The door swung open, and a woman carrying a tray full of vases with flowers bustled through, crashing into him. Water and flower petals exploded in the air, splattering all over his Armani suit. Glass shattered onto the marble floor,
and he looked straight into the bright blue eyes of Natasha Jenkins.

“Adam!” Surprise registered on her face as she recognized him.

A wave of shock jolted through his body, and he stood motionless, unable to speak or move. His heart pounded, and his words stuck in his throat.

She quickly composed herself. “I’m terribly sorry, sir.” A waitress emerged from the kitchen with a towel and began cleaning the mess.

Time stood still, and the chaos of the moment silenced as he took in Natasha’s slender form. He
curled his fingers into his palms to keep them from trembling, and he forced himself to slow his breathing. Inhale. Exhale.

“It’s fine, really,” he said, looking down and swiping uselessly at the water splotches on his suit.

His first instinct was to look away from her, but he shoved it down and met her gaze head on. He
was a Virginia state senator. He’d faced much tougher situations than this.

Natasha was more beautiful than he had remembered. He’d been careful to never look her up on
social media, and now he could see he’d been right to avoid seeking her out. She’d been a knockout in high school, and now she was all chic refinement with long blond waves that brushed her elbows. She grabbed a towel another staff member offered her and began wiping at the water that had splattered across the starched white shirt she had tucked into a sleek black pencil skirt.

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