Excerpt: Cherry Lane - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

Sometimes, love is waiting in the most unexpected of places.

Zeke Cross is a big city guy who finds himself living in the smallest town on the face of the earth, running an auto repair shop with his best friend. Not just running, but owning. He’s not used to sleepy little towns. He craves noise, excitement, and people. And yet, he’s grown to love the town of Huckleberry Bay, and the people who have welcomed him into the fold. Almost everyone has been kind and accepting of the outsider.

Everyone except Cherry Dubois.

Cherry is a small town girl, and she misses the sleepy community from her childhood. Now, her home is overrun by move-ins, who seem hell-bent on bringing big city ideals to her little town, and ruining what she’s always had. Her neighbor, Zeke, is the most annoying of all, with his loud music and arrogant attitude. How is she supposed to think when he’s around? Sure, he’s handsome, but that almost makes it worse.

Then Cherry needs Zeke’s help, and she finds out that the big city guy isn’t all that bad, especially when he has his hands on her and makes her forget all the reasons why she doesn’t like him. But at the end of the day, will she be able to trust this man to stay for good, or will her worst fears come true?

Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.


Huckleberry Bay

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Excerpt: Cherry Lane
By Kristen Proby

Excerpt: Cherry Lane

From New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Kristen Proby comes an all-new small town romance set in her beloved Huckleberry Bay series! Get a sneak peek below from her new novella, CHERRY LANE!

“What’s wrong with me?” I set the basket of clothes on the floor, good and pissed off now, even if it is irrational. I saw him holding Sarah’s hand, and I just saw red. I wanted to punch them both, and that’s not like me. But I just couldn’t help myself. “What do you mean, what’s wrong with me?”

“You were rude to her, and for no reason at all. I mean, I’m used to that when it’s directed at me, but not Sarah. She’s your friend.”

The jealousy still sits like bile in the back of my throat. I hope I wasn’t rude to Sarah. I like the woman.

“I wasn’t rude to her. I didn’t say anything at all rude.

“You don’t have a poker face, sweetheart. And from the look of it, you thought I’d try to diddle with a married woman, and that’s insulting to both Sarah and me.”

“Those words never left my lips.”

But, I admit, for about three seconds, I did think it. And that’s just ridiculous because Sarah is madly in love with Tanner. Has been since we were in high school.

I know better. And, yes, I need to apologize to him, but I just can’t get the words past my lips.

He shakes his head in frustration, and I lift the basket and head for the door.

“I’ll use my parents’ house from now on. I’m sorry to be in your way.”

“For fuck’s sake,” he mutters and rushes toward me, planting his hand on the door and pushing it closed when I’ve managed to open it just a few inches. “You’re the most frustrating woman I’ve ever met in my goddamn life.”

“Then why do you want me here?” I demand and turn to face him, shoving him back so I can breathe because having him so close makes my brain foggy. “And that’s not a rhetorical question, because even I wouldn’t want me around when I’m acting this way. If I’m always a bitch, and I make you so mad, just let me go to my parents’ house. You’ll never have to speak to me again.”

“Because that sounds like a fucking prison sentence,” he shouts back. “Because I like having you here, and I hate it all at the same time. Which I know sounds stupid, but there it is.”

“We make each other nuts,” I remind him. “And I’m a nag. Not to mention, rude to your friends.”

“Exactly.” He throws his hands up into the air and paces away. “So, why do I want you so badly that I ache with it? Why do I want to fuck you into next week, make you laugh, and just sit and talk to you for hours?”

That stuns me into silence. Certain I heard him wrong, all I can do is blink at him until he turns to look at me once more.

“Why did you act that way?”

“Because I was jealous.” The words are out of my mouth faster than I can stop them, and his eyes soften as his shoulders fall. I know that we’re through the worst of this argument. Which is good because I don’t enjoy sparring with Zeke the way I used to. Something has changed between us, and I’m so far out of my element with him, I feel like I’m fumbling my way through the dark. “And I know that’s stupid, and I have no right because you can do whatever the hell you want, with whomever you want, but when I walked in here and saw you standing all cozy by the windows, holding some broad’s hand, I was jealous. And then I realized that it was Sarah.”

“Why were you jealous, Cherry?”

His voice has deepened, and he’s slowly walking toward me, every line in his impressive body taut with energy.

“I—” I have to lick my lips as he moves even closer. “Don’t know.”

He’s just a foot away from me now and reaches up to gently glide his knuckles over the apple of my cheek. I feel that simple touch in every nerve of my body.

“Did the thought of me touching someone else like this make you uncomfortable?”

I frown because I don’t want to admit that it made me more than uncomfortable. It made me angry.

It made me a smidge homicidal.

“Something like that.”

Zeke takes the basket I’m still holding out of my hands, sets it on the floor, and then leans into me even more.

“I can’t think straight when you’re this close to me,” I admit softly.


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