{Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway} Wild Hearts (Hamilton Stables #2) by Melissa West

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In the lush heart of Kentucky, horse racing is king, and the Hamilton family is royalty, born to produce champions. Maybe that’s because they understand wildness better than most…

Charming, reckless, and restless, youngest brother Alex Hamilton has a reputation for sweet talking his way into any woman’s arms—and failing at anything to do with the family business. So when he commits to managing their new breeding operation, it’s under one condition: he’ll focus on work and nothing else—no distractions, no fun…no women. But just when Alex has promised to keep his hands to himself, sweet, sexy Kate Littleton gallops away with his heart…

Kate knows Alex isn’t the long-term type—he proved that in a lot of delicious ways when they first met more than a year ago. But seeing him blazing with new dedication to Hamilton Stables, she can’t deny that he’s miles ahead of any other man who interests her. The attraction between them is electric right out of the gate, but it will take an unexpected loss to put them back in the race and headed for a passionate future together…

This book is a standalone novel in a series of standalones.

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Excerpt:
Alex Hamilton groaned as he rolled over in bed, the taste of gin still on his lips, his throat cottony from a hangover he couldn’t afford to have. A manufactured floral scent floated in the air, and his stomach roiled. Cursing himself, he sat up and immediately groaned again at the ringing in his ears and the pain slicing through the center of his brain. Why the hell did he drink? He’d asked himself that single question on more occasions than he could count, each one with the same answer—no damn clue. And no damn sense.

Pushing out of his sheets, he stood, stretching his long and lean body until the joints in his back cracked, then started for the shower as his foot hit a pair of boots on the floor. Boots that weren’t his and weren’t men’s, for that matter. He lifted one very tall black boot into the air, curious how anyone managed to walk on such a high heel but being thankful all the same, because damn, he loved a woman in knee-high boots. All this went through his mind without much thought still as to who the boots belonged to, until he heard someone clearing her throat from behind him. Shit. Please tell me she isn’t still in my—

“Good morning, handsome.”

Dammit.

Alex turned slowly to find a very blond woman in his bed. She couldn’t be more than five two or so, had golden tan skin, and the sort of face that never much needed makeup, yet she slathered it on all the same. Black splotches covered her under eyes from mascara or liner or whatever the hell women put on their eyes. She looked young— too young really. Young enough that he wondered if he’d ever stopped to ask her age.

As though she read his thoughts, she stepped out of the bed, not caring to cover her naked body, which didn’t sit well with Alex. There was once a time when he would have appreciated such audacity, but that time had long since come and gone. He missed female modesty and soft smiles, the looks and actions of a Southern lady. The kind of lady his mother would have liked if she were still alive. And in two years he’d only been with one woman who met that description, but she’d walked away, or maybe he’d walked away. Still, over a year later he wasn’t sure which of them had actually left.

But taking in the woman before him, Alex found her nakedness grated on his nerves. Of course he, too, stood with nothing on, and feeling a tinge of unease about that fact, he crossed his arms over his chest and stared at the woman.

Her gaze dipped down to his lower half, still very exposed despite the whole crossing-his-arms thing. “It’s Brittany, and I’m twenty-two,” she said, bouncing with each word, a triumphant smile on her face.

Alex almost laughed, unsure if he should congratulate her or show her out. He’d never heard someone reveal her age with such pride. Again, he wondered what the hell he was doing. He had to be at the foaling barn in an hour, and knowing his brother, he was already—

Before he could finish his thought, his cell vibrated against the nightstand. He glanced over, not wanting to take the call in front of the girl, but then he caught Trip’s name flashing across the screen. Not answering would only result in another call, which made Alex wonder if Trip managed the whole farm in this obsessive way or just him? Something told him it was just him.

“Look,” he said to Brittany, “I hate to play and run, but I’ve got a busy schedule and—” The phone vibrated again, supporting his story.

“Play and run? You’ve got to be kidding me.” She grabbed up her clothes and jerked her dress down over her body, hopping as she pulled on her boots. “Play and run! Who even says that? I’ll see myself out.” Then she stopped at the door and spun around. “And when Trip asks why I quit, just let him know I refused to work with his jackass of a brother.”

She slammed the door shut and Alex cringed, searching his mind for a Brittany who worked at the farm, and that was when he remembered his conversation with Trip the week before. New exercise rider Brittany Light. Well, there went that.

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Melissa West writes heartfelt Southern romance and teen sci-fi romance, all with lots of kissing. Because who doesn’t like kissing? She lives outside of Atlanta, GA, with her husband and two daughters and spends most of her time writing, reading, or fueling her coffee addiction.

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