Diamonds and Dust – Lonesome Point Texas Read Online Lili Valente

Categories Genre: Contemporary, Sports Tags Authors:
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Total pages in book: 70
Estimated words: 64880 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 324(@200wpm)___ 260(@250wpm)___ 216(@300wpm)
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A sexy second chance romance from NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Jessie Evans.

The home run neither of them expected...

Pike Sherman is a legend in Lonesome Point, a hometown boy who made it to the big leagues. Literally. Professional baseball acquired one hell of a pitching arm and its latest celebrity bad boy when the gifted Pike was drafted seven years ago. Pike's broken heart came along for the ride, too, but he kept that private, and since leaving Lonesome Point has kept his distance from his hometown. But when Pike's little sister, Mia, begs him to be the Dude of Honor at her wedding, he can't refuse. He takes advantage of a break in the season and returns home to find himself thrown together with the one woman he never wanted to see again.

Tulsi Hearst is on the verge of losing her Equine Therapy business, and letting down all the kids she's come to love. After a mix-up with the grant board, she needs to concentrate on finding more funding, not dealing with Pike Sherman, the boy she sacrificed so much for, and the one person she's ever lied to. And what a lie it is... Pike would hate her if he found out. She knows she should stay far away from the brooding man her summer love has become, but Tulsi can't resist a slow dance with the only boy who ever made her blood rush.

After just a few days back in Lonesome Point, Pike can't imagine life without the girl he left behind, but when Tulsi's secret is revealed, his heart is broken all over again. The only thing worse than losing Tulsi, is losing six years with the daughter he didn't know he had.

*************FULL BOOK START HERE*************

PROLOGUE

Some people fall in love a hundred times between the cradle and the grave—their fickle hearts flitting from one infatuation to the next like bees buzzing from flower to flower.

And then there are people like Tulsi Hearst.

Since the day ten-year-old Pike Sherman dove into the river at the annual church float trip to pull six-year-old Tulsi out of the current before she was swept downstream, she had adored only one boy. It started as puppy love, transformed into an angsty pre-teen crush, and by the time Tulsi became a senior at Lonesome Point High School, four years behind the object of her affection, it had become a brightly burning torch of unrequited love.

She knew Pike didn’t return her feelings. Heck, if Tulsi hadn’t been his sister Mia’s best friend, she was pretty sure he wouldn’t have known she was alive.

Tulsi was so shy she rarely spoke to anyone but her two best friends; Pike was the town golden boy with too many friends—and ex-girlfriends—to count. Tulsi preferred the quiet shadows of the family barn; Pike lived for the floodlights illuminating the baseball field as he led his team to victory. Tulsi treasured the long weekends when Pike came home to visit from the University of Texas in Austin; Pike couldn’t wait to start his professional baseball career and be free of Lonesome Point, and his controlling father, forever.

Tulsi had spent enough time at the Sherman house to know that Pike and his dad were like dynamite and a lit fuse, and other things best kept apart, and realized her days with Pike were numbered. Still, when she learned he’d been drafted onto a Minor League team, and would be spending spring break training, instead of joining her and Mia on their annual camping trip, Tulsi was devastated.

After a long cry in the hayloft and hugging her horse Velveeta’s neck for longer than a nearly grown woman should need to, she decided it was time to let her infatuation with Pike go. She was eighteen years old and going to college to study equine business in the fall. She was becoming a woman, and it was time to put little girl dreams on the shelf.

With those noble intentions in mind, she signed up for an internship at a busy working barn in Springfield, Texas, and went to stay with her Aunt Willa for the week of spring break. She showed up for her first day at work determined to make a fresh start. She was going to be a new Tulsi, a Tulsi who was focused on career and friends, not crushes on boys who saw her as a little sister to be teased, tormented, and protected, but never loved the way she yearned to be loved.

She could feel New Tulsi blossoming inside her as she helped out around the barn, her usual shyness vanishing as she taught little girls to groom and saddle their horses, and led toddlers around the ring on docile ponies.

Then she joined her co-workers for lunch at the picnic tables at the edge of the property and saw the baseball diamond across the street…

Even before her new boss explained that the field was where the Springfield Cardinals minor league team held their annual training, Tulsi’s stomach was twisting into knots around her bite of potato salad. She’d already seen the familiar silhouette on the pitcher’s mound and realized that Pike Sherman was right across the street. Right across the flipping street, after she’d left home, missed the camping trip she’d been looking forward to for months, and stepped out of all her comfort zones in an attempt to purge her unrequited love from her system.

Tulsi rarely got angry—her father and big sister were the loose cannons in the Hearst family. She was a pacifist by nature, and believed kindness was the greatest virtue any human being could possess, but the fact that Pike had dared to stick his handsome nose into her fresh start made her mad enough to spit.

She stewed in her anger all day, and by the time Pike pulled up beside her in his red pickup truck as she was walking back to her aunt’s farm for supper, she was in a truly foul mood.

“Tulsi?” Pike frowned at her through the open passenger side window. “What the heck are you doing here? Did you and Mia come up to watch spring training?”

“No, I’m alone, and I’m working, Pike Sherman,” Tulsi said, losing the last of her cool. “I have a job that has nothing to do with you, your sister, your family, or baseball. I am a person, and I have my own dreams, my own interests, and my own life!”

“Okay, okay.” Pike blinked in obvious surprise. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to insult you.”

“Well, you did,” she said, still so angry she couldn’t seem to control her mouth. “You’ve been insulting me for years.”


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