Tess Willowspring, owner of Buds and Blooms, knows that leading the Flynn’s Crossing building committee isn’t such a high honor. The role leaves her less time to create gorgeous floral arrangements, tend her garden, and enjoy her friends. Life gets complicated when construction to develop a vacant lot at the end of the street meets with disturbing resistance from spirits– and only Tess can hear them.
Powers Ashland doesn’t feel he’s relationship material. He’s better off growing his construction company and rebuilding a relationship with his brother. When he wins the honor of developing that mysterious Main Street property, he’s not sure what threatens him more, a strange discovery on the site bringing work to a halt, or his unwilling attraction to Tess.
Do the totems they’ve chosen mean they’re predestined for each other? Advice from the girl tribe and wolf pack aside, neither Tess nor Powers can help the feelings growing faster than the roses in her garden. And digging in deep where emotions are concerned scares both of them – to death.
“Kohano always finds a way to reinvent herself and her writing, and fans new and old will love this addition to the Flynn’s Crossing series. It’s loaded with heart and hope, with an underlying lesson we should all learn: believe! Readers will adopt the author’s love of gardening, which blooms beautifully throughout this tense story, and find she includes the Native American flair delicately yet honorably and significantly”
4 Stars- RT Book Reviews
And here's an excerpt!
Prologue - Seven Months Ago
The graceful flute notes triggered by the swing of the front door informed her that another customer had arrived. The holiday season was always hectic, one of the few times of the year when she hired on extra help, both for delivery and to work in her flower shop. Escaping for a brief break, she hoped that a wave of the peace of the season would wash away her pain and sense of foreboding.
“Hello? Is anyone here?” Heavy footsteps tread on creaky old oak as the voice’s male owner moved around the downstairs rooms.
Damn, where was Jan? The girl was supposed to be taking care of customers today for the last of the holiday arrangements.
“Hello, I have flowers to pick up…” The man’s voice escalated in frustration, and it trailed away as he moved further from the front stairs. His rant grew fainter, this time from her kitchen, off limits to customers. Then, blessed silence.
Her head pounded, and the migraine that had begun as a mild annoyance earlier in the day was now a resounding hammer, complete with flashing lights behind her eyelids. Every noise was magnified a thousand times, and even the scents of her favorite flowers were vile and bitter. She needed a few more minutes for her energy to rebuild to a point where she could function.
The chimes hadn’t sounded again, but she might have missed them. She concentrated on fighting off the brutal pain scraping across every nerve ending. Over the years, she’d learned to live with the odd voices that accompanied the pain. Sometimes, like today, she felt compelled to talk back to them, the urgency in her voice intended to send them away, along with the visions they sparked. Her Native American mentors assured her it was normal with her powers, though at times like this, she was more likely to believe Western medicine’s diagnosis.
It was only a symptom of her chronic migraines.
At the raw edge of her agony, she sensed him more than heard him, a spirit to take notice of, as compelling as any she’d ever felt. Strong and commanding, an angry current swirled around him. A woodsy aroma came to her next, strangely comforting despite her pounding head. Usually the pain triggered her senses into overdrive, and yet his presence eased her.
The force moved closer. He was here, in her space, invading her privacy. What was the man doing in her bedroom? She needed to correct the situation immediately. These were her personal quarters, and yet he ignored the signs and came up the stairs anyway.
She opened a cautious eye in the darkened room. His big frame filled the doorway, backlit by natural light coming from below. Dark hair was close-cropped and his arms hung at his sides. His build looked fit in a bomber jacket and tailored slacks.
Both eyes wide opened now, she felt a surge that had nothing to do with her pain as a deep spark of recognition lit up her heart. In moments, the cacophony in her head was nowhere nearly as insistent as the magnetic pull she felt from the stranger grew stronger. The emotions surrounding him sucked her in.
“I’m, ah, sorry. I thought maybe someone up here could help me. I’m here to pick up an arrangement?” His husky voice boomed in the small space, and she felt it in her bones. “I heard someone talking up here,” he added, by way of explanation. He stared at her, and she wondered what he could see in the dimmed room.
“I’ll be with you in a moment, if you could just wait in the display area downstairs…” Her voice was as husky as his, though her tone was low and breathless. Where was this coming from? She hadn’t had this kind of reaction in years. And the tumultuous feelings rolling off him were too much to contemplate right now.
The man hesitated, his hands flexing at his sides. She felt the intensity of his stare despite the induced gloom of the space. “I can come back later...” His voice trailed off as he waited for her to comment.
When she didn’t immediately respond, he took a slow step into the room. “Are you all right?” His energy changed to worry – she could feel its shift – and he was advancing even further towards her bed until she swore they were breathing the same air. She felt their connection, his eyes seeking out hers in the dark.
She had to get him out of her refuge. He was too much of everything and the odd sensations he was raising had nothing to do with migraines or invasion and everything to do with his spirit.
Who the hell was he?
They both heard it at the same time and eyes jointly turned towards the bedroom door. “I’m sorry, I was out back on the phone. Hello? Is someone here?” The girl’s voice sounded uncertain and faint as her light steps squeaked around the downstairs rooms.
His face in faint profile was chiseled and rugged, his expression holding both concern and frustration. Then his eyes flashed back to hers, and while she knew he couldn’t see anything in the darkness, she sank deeper into the covers and hoped that her own confusion was hidden from his view.
“I am sorry to have disturbed you.” His voice pitched deeper now. He hesitated once more, torn it seemed, between waiting for her reply and making his presence known to the voice below. He glanced between the door and the bed again, and his hand came out towards her. She sat up slightly, pulled by the strange energy that seemed to pour off him.
It felt like destiny.
They froze that way for who knows how long. Then he shook his head and backed out the door as quietly as he had arrived. The release of his potency came as a whoosh sucking everything out of her. It left her breathless and itchy.
And oddly, her migraine was gone.