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Monday, October 22, 2018

Feature and Giveaway: A Brand New Ending by Jennifer Probst

Ophelia Bishop was a lovestruck teenage girl when she and Kyle Kimpton chased their dreams to Hollywood. Kyle’s dreams came true. Ophelia’s did not. When Kyle chose his career over their relationship, Ophelia returned home to rural New York to run the family’s B & B—wiser, and more guarded against foolish fantasies. Now Kyle has come crashing back into her life, and all her defenses are down.

Kyle can’t think of a better place to write his latest screenplay than his hometown. After all, that was where he met the heart of his inspiration—his first love. He knows the damage he’s caused Ophelia, and he wants a chance to mend their relationship. If anyone can prove to Ophelia that happy ever afters aren’t only for the movies, it should be him.

As much as Ophelia’s changed, she still has feelings for Kyle. But her heart has been broken before, and she knows that Kyle could run back to Hollywood at any time. She gave up her dreams once, but maybe she can dare to change her own love story…one last time.

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Ophelia headed to the closet to grab the vacuum and morphed into the haunting strains of “If Ever I Would Leave You” from Camelot, her mind filled with moody visions of Lancelot and his queen. 

That’s when she heard the knock on the door. 

She cocked her head and frowned. Her family never knocked, and she didn’t expect any drop-ins since the town was pretty much shut down. 

She put down the vacuum, eased toward the door, and peeked out from behind the lace curtain. 


Shock barreled through her, along with a burning pain and emptiness she’d thought was impossible to ever feel again. She stumbled back a few steps and mashed her fingers against her trembling lips. 

Kyle was here. At her front door. 

Why was he here? What did he want? 

Maybe he’d go away. 

She kept silent, as if a mass murderer was waiting to attack her rather than her childhood friend-turned-lover. Another round of pounding rose in the air, this time with more demand. 

“Ophelia! I saw you through the curtain, so it’s too late to pretend you’re not home.” 

She closed her eyes and mentally cursed. 


She’d been crooning sappy love songs—and conjured up the one man she never wanted to see again. 

“For God’s sake, I’m freezing my ass off out here. Can you open the door?” 

Damn, damn, damn. 

She held her breath. She couldn’t let him in. Wasn’t there a law against ex-lovers seeing each other after nearly a decade—especially when one wasn’t looking hot? Right now, she was so far from hot she was on the edge of the mental-patient look. Her hair was tangled and stuck up in a clip. She had no makeup on and was wearing old, dirty clothes with no bra. 

His fist shook the door. “Ophelia, I have nowhere else to go right now. You can yell at me and throw me out later, but I’ve just had a three-hour drive from the airport and I need a bathroom. Please.” 

It was the last word that sealed her fate. 

Guess even all this time couldn’t dull the effect of Kyle Kimpton asking her for what he needed. 

Dear Lord. She had to open the damn door. 

It took her a few moments to force her feet forward and her stiff fingers to turn the knob. The blast of icy air hit her full force, and she reveled in the shock, preferring frostbite to the silly leap of her heart when she gazed at the familiar, solid body before her. She schooled her features into resting bitch face and hoped she’d finally pulled it off. How badly she wanted to be one of those women like Mia, her brother’s girlfriend, who could command a room with an icily lifted brow. Ophelia’s emotions were always too close to the surface—especially around Kyle. 

“Come in.” 

He stamped his boots a few times and pushed through, closing the door and dropping his bag at his feet. When he turned back to face her, Ophelia thought she was prepared. Defenses firmly up, bitch face arranged, breath firmly dragged into her lungs, she met his gaze head-on. 

And found herself dragged back to being that helpless, lovesick, teenaged girl. 

The years had been kind to him. His face now held carved lines that took away the pretty-boy looks from youth and added character. Those famous dimples and classic square jaw were now covered by scruff that emphasized the sharp, almost aristocratic, blade of his nose. His white-blond hair had turned a softer dark gold, the burnished strands a bit on the longer side to spill over his brow and cover his ears. 

He used to wear old jeans and T-shirts, and had no idea what designer clothes were. Now, it seemed he had his own tailor. He wore a black wool coat that fit his trim frame like it was custom made and a plaid Scottish wool scarf wrapped around his neck. Rich leather gloves hid his long fingers. Snow dusted his hair and the shoulders of his coat. But it was his eyes that told her how he’d really changed. 

Those forest-green depths were still highlighted by lush lashes, but instead of the zeal and inner light that had always shone like a beacon, there was a weariness that halted her breath. His force had dimmed. The knight who’d promised to fulfill all her dreams now wore tarnished armor, and the familiar passion seething under the surface throbbed with something brand new. 

Disillusionment and the faint waft of regret. 

A cocktail she knew too well. 

Emotion surged upward from her very core, but this time, she’d had nearly a decade to practice blocking any chink in her defenses. She stared back at him, refusing to retreat from the raw chemistry that still crackled between them. It would always be there, but her calm acknowledgment hopefully gave him the message she was finally in charge. 

Jennifer Probst is the New York Times bestselling author of the Billionaire Builders series, the Searching For series, The Marriage series, the Steele Brothers series, and The Start of Something Good, which is the first book in the Stay series. Like some of her characters, Probst, along with her husband and two sons, calls New York’s Hudson Valley home. When she isn’t traveling to meet readers, she enjoys reading, watching “shameful reality television,” and visiting a local Hudson Valley animal shelter. 

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  • 1 $25 Amazon Gift Card + digital copy of A Brand New Ending

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