Mar 26 2014 10:00am

First Look: Rebecca Zanetti’s Rising Assets (March 31, 2014)

Rising Assets by Rebecca Zanetti

Rebecca Zanetti
Rising Assets
Entangled Brazen / March 31, 2014 / $.99 digital

Melanie Jacobs is in trouble. With three jobs—including running her ranch—and dwindling funds, she’s exhausted. Not to mention desperately trying to hide a secret. Unfortunately, her best friend Colton Freeze knows all too well that’s something is going on, and he won’t give up until he knows exactly what he needs to fix.

Then Colton learns the truth—that Melanie’s future happiness rests in the fickle hands of fate, and her chances for having a family are shrinking with every passing day. Her only comfort is Colton, but when a heated argument between them turns into an even hotter kiss, the boundaries of their friendship are erased, leaving only a scorching-hot hunger formore.

Every kiss—every touch—is a stolen pleasure. But will their new friends-with-sexy-benefits arrangement bring them closer together, or destroy everything they once shared?

In Rebecca Zanetti's Melanie Jacobs and Colton Freeze have been friends all their lives. When Melanie lost her parents and moved to her grandfather’s ranch, she was unofficially adopted by Colton’s family.

In Rebecca Zanetti’s latest in the Maverick Montana series, Rising Assets, Colton returns to Mineral Lake to run the family business, only to learn that his life-long friend is working herself to exhaustion by working two jobs in addition to running her grandfather’s farm. As her best friend, Colt would have expected her to turn to him and his family if she was in financial distress, and he is none too happy when she tells him to back off and mind his own business.

“Listen, Colt. I know you’re used to meddling family members and the security that comes with that, but back off. I’m alone, and I need to figure this out by myself.” It was a low blow, considering he’d always felt badly about her lack of family and his abundance of it, but she had to get him off the topic of money and her need for it.

Melanie should have known that Colt wouldn’t back off that easily. He is determined to help someone in need, especially when that person mean so much to him. Colton is surprised to learn that it is not the farm that is need of money, and shocked to find out that Melanie is trying to get pregnant before she loses all chance to have a child of her own. As her friend, he insists on supporting her and accompanying her to a fertility clinic, but as the realization dawns that Melanie would be carrying some stranger’s baby, Colt realizes just how much he dislikes the idea.

Melanie. Pregnant. Not with his kid.

Which one of those statements bothered him the most? He hated to admit it, especially since they’d never even been on a real date, but if there was a kid in there, he wanted it to be his.

It certainly won’t be a hardship for Colt to help Melanie try to conceive a baby. It’s just that Colt is a planner, and although he wants a family of his own, it’s on his list of things for some day, not today. He is willing to help her conceive, but he’s not sure if he has what it takes to be there for her long term. The funny thing is that Colton and Melanie are the only ones who seem to be questioning whether their friendship can survive if they bring sex into the equation.

The whole town has been betting for some time now on when Colt and Melanie will finally get past their friendship stage and declare their feelings for each other.

“So, how are you holding up?”

“Good.” And she realized it was true. Sharing her problems and bawling all over Colt has actually made her feel better. “I wish the whole town didn’t know, but…oh, well.”

“Ah, sweetie. The town always knows.” Loni slipped slices onto their plates. “It’s good that you and Colton are there for each other. I like that.”

Melanie took a bite and chewed thoughtfully. Warm gooey cheese landed in her stomach, and she sighed in pleasure. “By the way, have you heard anything about a bet involving Colton and me?”

Loni coughed and quickly took a sip of iced tea. “Bet? What bet?” Her eyes opened wide.

“Oh, come on.” Melanie snorted. “You’re terrible at bluffing. Please tell me you haven’t actually bet.”

“Of course not.” Loni grinned. “I wouldn’t jinx things that way.”

Colton and Melanie decide whether or not to try for a baby and the whole town waits to see if they turn their life-long friendship into more—but those aren't the only issues affecting these friends who very well might turn into lovers.

Learn more or order a copy of Rising Assets by Rebecca Zanetti, available March 31, 2014:

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Lucy Dosch writes book reviews for her blog Her e-reader has turned her love of reading into an obsession. When she is not reading, she likes to spend time with her husband and two daughters.

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