Amber Miller has worked hard to get her small business thriving. Now the Wright family wants to tear down her store to put up a mega center. What's even worse, the guy who broke her heart in high school is the new CEO of Wright Inc. He’s just as infuriating now—and just as tempting—as he was back then, but she isn't giving up without a fight.
Logan Wright is back in Pine Falls for one reason: to turn his dad’s failing company around. His plans should put them on the upswing. But he didn’t count on Amber Miller standing in his way, as fiery and stubborn as she was years ago. And the more time he spends with her, the harder it is to resist falling for her again. The only problem is he's everything she doesn't want.
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Read an Excerpt
Kissing Her Enemy
By Coleen Kwan, Lydia Sharp, Stacy Abrams
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2017 Coleen Kwan
All rights reserved.
Amber Miller slammed on the brakes, her battered pickup truck jerking to a halt just inches from a sleek silver Lexus. Flinging her hair back, she jumped out of the truck and marched toward the building that housed the headquarters of Wright Inc. Don't stop now, she told herself. Don't let them intimidate you.
But she made the mistake of pausing to take in the handsome stone building — one of the first banks built in Pine Falls at the end of the nineteenth century — that the Wright family used for business and entertaining. The building reflected the Wrights' standing — solid, upstanding, wealthy, established. Everything her family wasn't.
She strode forward but then paused at the entrance as she caught a reflection of herself in the glass doors. Her reddish-brown hair was coming loose from its ponytail, her tight jeans bore a rip in the thigh, and her Timberland nubuck boots were covered in sawdust from earlier this morning when she'd demonstrated a circular saw to a customer at her hardware store. She definitely didn't look her best going into the Wrights' headquarters. For a second, self-doubt flickered in her, that hideous feeling that she didn't fit in, that she wasn't good enough.
But then she remembered what was at stake, not just for her, but for the other store owners. Their anxious faces were fresh in her mind. These were more than just neighbors; they were her friends, her community, and they were counting on her. For everyone's sake she couldn't back down now. She marched into the foyer, her dusty boots clomping on the tiled floor, and halted to get her bearings. Despite herself, she couldn't help admiring the black-and-white marble tiles, the sandstone columns supporting the coffered ceiling, and the brass pots with their glossy plants. This was the first time she'd been inside the building, and she had to admit the Wrights had taste.
"Excuse me, can I help you?" a voice said.
She turned to see a slim young man dressed in a suit rise from a desk and move toward her.
"I'm here to see Logan Wright," Amber declared in a confident tone.
The young man blinked and clasped his hands together. "Do you have an appointment?"
"Are you Logan's secretary?"
He beamed with pride. "Yes, I'm Mr. Logan Wright's personal assistant. Pablo Garcia, at your service." He gave her a little head bob.
"Well, Pablo — I can call you that, right? — you and I both know I don't have an appointment with Mr. Logan Wright" — she emphasized the name sarcastically — "but I'm going to see him anyway." Scanning the foyer, she found a heavy teak door with brass fittings near Pablo's desk and started to march toward it.
Looking alarmed, Pablo scampered after her and blocked her way. "Er, I'm sorry, Miss, er — but I can't let you barge in on Mr. Logan."
"It's Miller. Amber Miller." She looked the guy up and down. He was an inch taller than she was but as slim and green as a fresh asparagus shoot. "That's a really nice suit you have there, Pablo."
He tugged at his lapels. "Uh, thank you, Miss, uh, Miller."
"Call me Amber. You see what I'm wearing?" She gestured at her jeans, boots, and T-shirt. "I don't care about getting dirty in this, but it'd be a shame to mess up your brand spanking new suit."
Pablo gulped, but to his credit he stood his ground. "I — I'm sorry, but Mr. Logan would fire me if I didn't do my job properly. Now I really must insist —"
"Sorry, Pablo, but I must insist." She took a step, feinting to her right, then, as he went to mimic her, she switched direction, dodged past him on the left, and stormed toward Logan Wright's office.
She had almost reached it when the door swung open and a cool, svelte blonde in a tight suit and high heels minced out of the office. The blonde was so busy talking to someone over her shoulder that she cannoned straight into Amber.
"Oof," Amber grunted as she bounced off the woman.
"Argh!" The blonde let out a squeal. Tossing back her sleek, bobbed hair, she glared at Amber with ice-cold eyes. "What the hell do you think you're doing?"
The man who'd been holding the door open for the blonde moved forward. "You okay there, Emily?" Then his gaze fell on Amber, and for a second his face was blank before recognition flared in his eyes and his dark eyebrows drew into a slight V. "Amber? Amber Miller?" Incredulity echoed in his tone.
She swallowed as his familiar voice peeled back the years. Logan's voice, as smooth and seductive as molten dark chocolate, had been the first thing about him to lure her. Before, he'd been just another arrogant jock in high school she ignored, but then she'd heard him read an excerpt from I Sing the Body Electric in their English class, and his voice, mellifluous and enticing, had riveted her. Line by line, he'd reeled her in, until it seemed he was reading the poem just for her. When she'd finally, grudgingly looked up, she'd found his peridot eyes fixed on her, and the look in them had stolen her breath away.
Just like they were stealing her breath now. Oh, for God's sakes! What was the matter with her? After all these years she couldn't still be hung up on Logan, could she? No, he'd caught her by surprise, that was all.
"Mr. Logan, I'm so sorry," Pablo broke in, flapping his hands. "I tried to stop her, but —"
"You should've tried harder," the blonde snapped, flicking at her slick navy suit as if she'd come into contact with a herd of cows. "Honestly, Logan, I don't know why you hired him, when he can't even monitor your visitors." Her irked gaze landed on Amber, taking in her casual outfit, and her lips grew pinched. "You there. Have you come to water the plants or something? You should watch where you're going."
Logan was still staring at Amber, and she, God help her, couldn't seem to tear her eyes away from him.
"Emily, it's Amber Miller," he said. "We all went to high school together, remember?"
Emily's finely plucked eyebrows shot up. "Amber Miller? You mean the weirdo whose dad picked up roadkill?"
Amber lifted her chin. She was starting to remember Emily now. One of those snotty, stuck-up girls who'd sniggered and whispered about her, so many of them they'd become a blur.
"Yeah, that's right. He taught me how to deal with vermin." That wasn't true; her dad had never taught her anything in her life — except that men could be the biggest jackasses. He'd fooled around with her mom, got her pregnant, then skedaddled back to his long-suffering wife, and hadn't even had the decency to move away to a different town. To make matters worse, over the years he had continued to ping-pong between his wife and Amber's mom. All her dad had ever done for Amber was make her an easy target for girls like Emily.
Emily clutched at Logan's arm, feigning alarm. "Ooh, yes, it's Gingernut, all right. Still has the temper to match her hair, I see." She turned to Logan and batted her eyelashes at him. "Oh, well. Come on, honey, let's go to the country club for lunch. I could do with a drink."
Logan, seemingly impervious to Emily's fluttering eyelashes, pried her fingers from the sleeve of his well-cut suit. "Another time, Emily. Good talking to you. Bye for now." With practiced ease he steered her toward the exit before quickly swinging back to Amber. He gestured toward his office. "You wanted to see me?"
"Logan!" Emily pouted. Then, seeing the futility of protesting, she glared one more time at Amber before stalking out of the building, her four-inch heels click-clacking in disapproval.
"Hold all my calls, Pablo," Logan said to his hapless assistant. "And I mean all of them."
"Yes, sir. Of course, sir. Um, do you want any coffee or —"
"No, thanks, Pablo. Just hold the calls."
"Yes, sure ..."
The young man's babblings were cut short as Logan ushered Amber into his office and shut the door.
For the first time she was finally able to take a good look at him without any distractions. Then, she wished she hadn't, because it seemed he still had the ability to take her breath away. Much to her disgust, her lungs tightened as she gulped in the sight of him. In the years since she'd last seen him he'd put on muscle in all the right places, and his sharply tailored suit highlighted his broad chest, slim hips, and long legs. In high school he'd been good-looking in a boy band way, but the years had added maturity and raw sex appeal to his hooded green eyes, his full lips, his square chin with its intriguing dimple. His thick, slightly wavy hair sat a half-inch below his collar, but it suited him, its glossy blackness inviting her to run her fingers through — Hang on just a darn second! She was not going to be running her fingers through Logan's hair, no matter how glossy and inviting it was.
What was wrong with her? Why were her hormones going haywire now of all times?
Logan took his time looking her over, his eyes frankly appreciative. "You look good, Amber. It's been a long time, but I'm glad to see you again."
His husky voice reverberated through her; he sounded like he really meant it. Was he glad to see her? Even after what had happened between them? But she couldn't allow herself to be distracted; she had to get on top of the situation.
"I'm sorry I can't say the same for you."
"I don't look good? Why? Have I put on weight or something?" He flicked his jacket aside and rested his hands on his hips, drawing her attention to how well his pants fit him.
She jerked her gaze away from his legs. "I meant I'm not glad to see you."
He put on a hurt expression, though there was a teasing glint in his eyes. "I'm crushed," he said, looking anything but. "Here I was thinking you'd rushed in to welcome me back to Pine Falls, maybe even invite me out for a drink."
"I'll leave that to Emily," she tartly responded. "She seemed all over you. Are you dating her?"
Logan looked startled. "No, I'm not dating her. She's with Deakin and Claybourne, my lawyers. She's Emily Claybourne."
"Deakin and Claybourne. Lawyers. Ah, I should have guessed." Once again her stomach twisted into a painful knot, just like it had a few hours ago. She drew in a breath to steady herself. "I got a letter from them this morning." She felt inside the back pocket of her jeans, her fingers slightly clumsy, and pulled out the letter in question. "Something about an offer to purchase."
A puzzled look came over Logan's face. "You got an offer?"
"Yeah, just like all the store owners on my street did. You want to buy us all out." She paused. "Why are you confused? Don't you know about this?"
He made an impatient gesture with his hand. "I'm planning to redevelop the block on Colfax Road, yes, but what does that have to do with you?"
"I own the hardware store on Colfax Road!" she burst out, unable to contain her feelings any longer. "Jesus, don't you know that?" He waved a hand. "My lawyers are responsible for contacting the property owners." He paused, his eyes narrowing. "Bennett's Home Center? That's really yours?"
"Yes, it's mine, and there's no need to look so incredulous," she seethed. "I might have grown up on the wrong side of the tracks, but I do have enough brains to run my own business."
"But what happened to old Tom Bennett?"
"He retired two years ago and sold the business to me. He's down in Florida now, sipping mai tais and wooing the ladies in his retirement village."
She owed Tom Bennett a lot. He'd given her part-time work while she was studying at the local community college for her associate degree, and then, later on, when the garden center in Sacramento had made her redundant and she'd wanted to return to Pine Falls, he'd hired her full time. She'd worked hard for Tom, and in return he'd shown her what running a small business really took. When he'd turned sixty-eight and grew tired of the long hours and cold winters, he'd offered her the business, helping her to organize her finances so that they could both achieve their dreams. She missed Tom, still called the old man at least once a month. He was the closest thing she'd ever had to a father figure.
Logan was looking at her with startled eyes. Was he so amazed that someone like her, who'd grown up in a trailer park, with no daddy and a mom whose proudest achievement was winning a Cher lookalike competition, could pull herself up by her bootstraps and own a viable business?
"Is it true?" she blurted.
"Is what true?" he asked, still looking astounded.
"That you're planning to raze the whole block and build a mega hardware store?" Acid spiked in her stomach. A mega center, with a hundred times more product than hers and the financial muscle to undercut every one of her prices, would sound the death knell for her little corner store. And it wasn't like she could simply relocate to another part of town. A business that size would put the hammer on all small hardware stores within a fifty-mile radius. When she'd heard the rumor this morning from her neighbor Peggy, who ran a bakery, her innards had scrambled, and as each of her other neighbors had repeated the same story, the sick feeling had intensified. Surely it wasn't true? Surely all her hard work and dreams of independence would not be wiped out?
Logan let out a breath. His gaze steadied on her, his expression stripped of all levity. "Yes, it's true."
Three small words pierced the shell of bravado that had held her together this far. She felt herself crack inside, felt her fears seep out like toxic oil. But no way in hell was she going to break down in front of Logan Wright. He'd humiliated her once, a long time ago back in high school. She'd gotten over it, but the scar was still there, a lingering reminder. She wouldn't let him hurt her again.
She slapped the letter on his desk and glowered at him.
"Well, I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Maybe you expect everyone to roll over and play nice for you because you're a Wright and your family practically founded this town, but I'm not one of them. I'm not selling to you or to anyone else, so you can just take your offer and stick it somewhere dark and uncomfortable."
* * *
Logan Wright tugged at his silk tie. The damn thing was too tight, too hot. But he knew the tie wasn't responsible for his rise in temperature but the woman who stood before him, vibrating with defiance and sass.
How many years had passed since he'd last spoken with Amber Miller? Must be going on twelve years. To his surprise, their last encounter was still fresh in his memory, especially the glass of Coke she'd dumped over his head in front of Tatum. Yeah, he could still remember the sticky liquid dribbling through his hair, the ice cubes sliding down his neck, the embarrassment reddening his face while the other diners in the restaurant snickered at him. As if that evening hadn't been difficult enough, with Tatum behaving like they were still dating and him trying to make her understand that it really was over. He'd felt like a giant dork, with everyone staring at him and Tatum squealing in horror. Sure, maybe he should've explained the situation to Amber beforehand, but she shouldn't have lashed out and caused that ugly scene at the restaurant that had everyone's tongues wagging for months. No one had ever humiliated him like that before. Or since.
He'd been mad at her then, but now he couldn't scrape up any ill-feeling. Maybe because he was too busy stopping his jaw from hitting the ground — Amber looked so damn hot. She'd always looked hot, even back in high school, where she'd favored black lipstick, black eye shadow, and black clothes adorned with chains and metal studs. Now, the angry Goth chick vibe was gone, and she looked ... stunning. That thick, shiny, russet hair of hers was magnificent, even in a messy ponytail. Her skin was smooth and creamy, her lips full and pink. Her faded jeans had seen better days, but they clung to her thighs in a very distracting manner. She stood ramrod straight, legs slightly apart, her Timberland boots shedding sawdust on his Persian carpet. Her sherry-colored eyes were big, thick-lashed, and filled with the same defiance he remembered.
She was waiting for him to speak, and her ornery stance indicated she was ready for a fight.
He didn't want to fight with Amber. Well, not in the usual way, although he could see them enjoying a different kind of tussle between the sheets — dang, why are my thoughts headed that way? Severing his carnal imaginings, he gestured to the Chesterfield couch on the other side of his office. Instinct told him to avoid them sitting on opposite sides of his desk. Better for this encounter to be friendly rather than adversarial.
Excerpted from Kissing Her Enemy by Coleen Kwan, Lydia Sharp, Stacy Abrams. Copyright © 2017 Coleen Kwan. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This was a great read. I loved the strength and fierce way Amber lived her life. She didn't back down from a person insulting her or anything standing in the way of what she wanted. And Logan kept right up with her. Their bickering was great foreplay and excellent form of communication. I enjoyed their chemistry, fun and hot at the same time. I adored the people of Pine Falls. They are as a community should be. The ending was so sweet and romantic. Major swooning. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher through Netgalley.
Received an ARC for my fair review for netgalley. I thought this was a cute book, good timing of events, no dragging. Logan and Amber knew each other in high school and were attracted to each other, but ended up having a misunderstanding, so Amber disliked Logan. They were also from different sides of the track and Amber was bullied, and no one stuck up for her. Logan comes back to town to make a mega hardware center, which will destroy other small businesses. One of those businesses belongs to Amber, she has the local hardware store that has been around for years, she will not go down without a fight, and rallies the other businesses. They end up spending time together, and decide to act on the attraction. They end up falling in love. (
It's a great read. I loved both Logan and Amber. They've perfect chemistry. Story is also good. As far as contemporary romances goes this one is quite good. Amber owns a hardware stone in a small town. Now her livelihood is threatened by Logan Wright who wants to build a mega store in this small town. He wants to buy her out. She can move her store but with a mega store hers small store will not survive. So there is only one option, she must fight him. Mega store must not be built. Unfortunately, things will not be easy for her. Because Logan is rich and his family has influence. She on the other hand comes from wrong side of track. She can't fight this battle in Logan's world. It doesn't mean she will give it up... There is another problem, as soon as she see Logan again after all these years she realises that the attraction they felt for each other when they were teenagers is still there. So not only she has to fight for her business but also for heart... Logan cannot break it once again. Logan was never been able to forget Amber. She is hot headed and temperamental but she is also irresistible. As much as business matter to him, he must admit that Amber matters more. But with his father's failing health, his mother's disapproval, their past and present rivalry, winning her over might not be easy. In any case he is going to try, maybe she feels the same about him... It's an interesting story, well-written, and full of drama. Although it was a bit predictable but then most contemporary romances are. ;) I enjoyed reading it and will recommend to anyone who likes a good romance novel.
Amber Miller has pulled herself up by her boot-straps. Her mother lives in a trailer park and has always paid more attention to her hair and make-up and men than to paying bills and putting food on the table. Her father drifted in and out of their lives sponging off her mother. But Amber has worked hard and now she owns a small hardware store where she has built a thriving business on giving customers personal service (I've rewritten that twice but it still sounds dirty). Logan Wright is the son and heir to Wright Inc. He has returned to Pine Falls after his father's heart attack to find that the business is failing. After making a lot of hard decisions and laying off a lot of people he decides that the only way to turn the company around (and give back jobs to the community) is to build a large DIY mega-centre in Pine Falls. But to do that he needs to buy up the last five small businesses which are situated on the plot he has chosen - guess where Amber's store is? Despite practically running the company into the ground Logan's father is reluctant to relinquish the reins of power to Logan and he and Logan's mother have decided that he cannot become full CEO until he has married a 'suitable' woman from the right family background! To add insult to injury, back when they were at High School Amber and Logan made out a few times but that all ended when Amber was the waitress when Logan took another girl on a date at the restaurant where she worked. When Amber goes to see the Mayor to plead the case for the small businesses he suggest that she garner some goodwill in the community by helping to build playhouses for a non-profit childcare provider. Quick to ensure he isn't disadvantaged Logan also offers to help. As Amber and Logan work together and bicker over the plans for the playhouses they rekindle their former attraction, but can the son of one of the wealthiest families in town ever be serious about the girl from the wrong side of the tracks? And how can Logan square his feelings for Amber with his worries about the business and making jobs for the town? I liked this but I didn't love it. I thought Logan's parents were like cartoon villains and then with a wave of the magic romance wand, poof, they saw the error of their ways. Both Logan and Amber were just too nice for any semblance of a rivalry to seem plausible. This felt like a PG-rated romance with all the heat and fire surgically removed. It was sweet and felt more like a throwback to the John Hughes teenage angst films of the 1980s than a modern romance. Coleen Kwan is still a one-click author for me - maybe I need to pay more attention to the publishing imprint? I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Looking for a delightful second-chance romance with great characters, dreams and schemes then look no further, go read this novel! This is the story of someone from a wealthy, privileged background, the CEO of a large company with many employees who is trying to keep their business afloat. His plans, however have detrimental consequences for someone he once cared for . . . Back in High School, Amber Miller always had a crush on Logan Wright, in fact they really seemed to connect one night but that was only for that one night, then she had to serve him and his girlfriend who were out for a meal. Amber never wanted a relationship like that. She’d grown up knowing her father alternated between her Mum and his wife, never paying maintenance or anything to support her and also making her the butt of jokes at school. She has worked hard to turn the local hardware stall she now owns (well has mortgages on!) into a thriving business, becoming a valued shopkeeper in the community because of her care and consideration. When she learns that the local wealthy Wright family are planning on tearing down her store and those of the neighbouring businesses, she’s determined to fight their plans to construct a huge mega store. The catch? Well the CEO of the Wright family business is none other than Logan Wright - and the chemistry between them is as volatile as ever! Can you be enemies in business but lovers at night? A great story which you can imagine actually happening. The regrets and misunderstandings from the past and present together with their continuing attraction make it a riveting read. She’s hot headed and likely to say what she thinks, so there are some laugh out loud scenes and as for his parents and the woman they’d like him to marry, well!!! The backstory and overcoming those events is almost as critical in this as the business dealings. It is a great story where competitors actually work best together, especially when love conquers all - even his parents! Many thanks to the publishers for gifting me a copy of this novel, via NetGalley, with no obligation. This is my honest review.
I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. Logan and Amber, what do I say. The whole scorned lovers to lovers is well written. But it appeared that the hatred was a little more one-sided than an equal. Amber had her heart broken by Logan during the most awkward years of her life, High School. Fast forward years later and her fate rests in his hands. How could this be happening to her? Hasn't she already suffered enough? Her passion leaps off the pages, you understand her outburst, you understand her despair. What I didn't understand right away was his tolerance, his compassion, his despair. Author Coleen Kwan takes a hold of the reader and takes us on a roller coaster ride with twists and turns that you didn't see coming. I liked how both sides of the relationship is affected by outside forces. It made them more equal even though they are clearly not socially equal. But the parallels are interesting, Logan is a new CEO, Amber is the owner of her own business, Logan's Dad is having a medical issue but hiding something else, Amber's mom had a medical scare and is hiding something else. It's just nice to see a balance of their lives. I really enjoyed the book, the story is strong and the characters are developed at a nice pace that keeps the reader engrossed. The supporting characters are even developed and made a part of the story rather than just a thought. I wish that it hadn't ended so quickly. With the build it felt like it just all clicked in one page and the epilogue left me wanting just a little more. But a nice solid book.
This is a great enemies to lovers/second chance story that had me captivated from beginning to end. Ms. Kwan has a great writing style and the characters in this one will touch your heart. When high school sweethearts Amber Miller and Logan Wright go head to head over a business deal, tempers fly and hearts come to life. Logan needs this deal to save the family business. Amber can't lose the store she's work so hard to buy. Neither can back down no matter how much they may want to. Can they find a compromise that will give them both what they want?? I highly recommend this one.
Like a pair of loving arms, Ms. Kwan's characters envelop her readers in comfort, providing hope and laughter at the best of times, along with the perfect escape in some of the worst. KIssing Her Enemy proves that the easy road is not always the best one. Amber has had her heart broken, dreams crushed and is on the verge of losing her business, when she crosses paths with the man who holds the fate of her happiness in his hands. The original "heartbreaker", at least in her case Logan Wright. For Logan, business is everything. He has a lot to prove and not an abundance of time to do so. So why is he on the verge of risking it all for a second chance at love? Anytime that I read Coleen Kwan, I get goose bumps. Realistic situations, heartwarming moments and temptation at it's peak, make for my kind of heavenly bliss.