Return to Hummingbird Way
Author: Reese Ryan
Publication date: April 25th 2023
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
In this heartwarming small‑town romance, can three months, two planning projects, and a meddling grandmother finally make two high school hate crushes see just how right they are for each other?
Ambitious real estate agent Sinclair Buchanan is ecstatic to be her best friend’s maid-of-honor—until she discovers the best man is Garrett Davenport. Sin and Rett’s mutual hate crush ignited when they were teens and hasn’t let up since . . . except for that one extremely hot (and extremely regrettable) night they shared five years ago.
Nothing gets Rett fired up like going toe-to-toe with Sinclair. She’s as infuriatingly stubborn, and as absolutely gorgeous, as when he fell for her back in high school. Working together to plan their best friends’ last-minute wedding is one thing, but when his matchmaking grandmother gets involved Rett knows he’s in deep. Attraction has always simmered between them, but this time, they’re both in danger of losing their hearts.
Sinclair set her clipboard on the buffet and picked up a plate and a set of silverware. She thrust both toward Garrett as he stared at her blankly. “You didn’t think I was going to make your plate for you, too, did you?”
Rett shifted his dark gaze from hers and accepted the items. He turned toward the buffet. “What’s on the menu?”
Sinclair waved a hand toward the row of warming trays. “Stuffed mushrooms, deviled eggs, a mouth-watering lasagna, spicy, delicious meatballs, and shrimp kebabs. On the dessert table, there’s champagne punch, mini berry tartlets, chocolate mousse, and, of course, Dakota’s favorite—lemon meringue pie.”
When Sinclair returned her attention to Garrett, his dark eyes were filled with heat and longing. A shudder rippled down her spine. She shifted her gaze from his and swallowed hard, her mouth suddenly dry.
Why did those mischievous dark eyes and full, smirking lips get her every single time? Rett was tall and handsome. His smooth dark brown skin looked flawless. His low-cut hair, neat lineup, and freshly trimmed beard looked like he’d just stepped out of a barber’s chair. The navy blazer and navy pants he wore hung on his large frame like they were made for it. His white shirt hugged his broad chest. And he smelled like soap.
Sinclair clutched her trusty clipboard like a shield, protecting her from the sizzling heat of Garrett Davenport’s stare. His hungry look turned her insides to molten lava. And the moment Garrett had raked his eyes over her, she’d regretted wearing a dress made of such thin, gauzy material and skipping the padded bra.
“I’ll give you time to eat. Then maybe we can get back on schedule. I put a lot of effort into planning the perfect night for Dakota and Dexter. You’ve completely ruined my agenda.”
“Sorry about that, Sin.” Rett sounded sincere. He set his plate down and shoved his hands in his pockets again. This time, she willed her eyes not to drop to where the fabric stretched across the front of his pants, offering a hint of what lay beneath.
At least, she’d learned from her earlier mistake.
Who knew that her big-headed nemesis would turn out to be so heartbreakingly handsome, thick-thighed, and luscious-looking? It honestly wasn’t fair.
The way Rett had teased and tormented her in high school, she would’ve expected him to have scales, grown horns and a tail, and be wielding a pitchfork.
“The delay couldn’t be helped. But you’ve done an amazing job tonight. Everything looks terrific, and everyone seems happy. Maybe you could just re—”
“Don’t you dare tell me to relax, Garrett Davenport.” Sinclair shook a finger at him.
A man telling her to relax was one of her ultimate pet peeves. As if she were a hysterical “little lady” who needed some big, strong man to come along and handle everything for her.
She could handle just about any situation herself just fine. Sin just needed the ridiculously handsome and annoyingly smug Garrett Davenport to do the bare minimum as the best man. Why couldn’t he have the decency to be on time for the party she’d spent the past few weeks planning?
Because he was selfish, self-centered, and never took anything seriously. That’s why. Why would she expect anything more?
One moment, she was dreamily taking him in. The next, he’d open his mouth and say something that would inevitably take her out of the fantasy of Garrett Davenport and bring her back to the reality of him.
“All I’m saying is you seem stressed. You put so much pressure on yourself to make things perfect.” Garrett glanced around the room. “From where I’m standing, you’ve done just that, so cut yourself some slack.”
That was surprisingly nice of him to say.
“Thank you.” Sinclair frowned warily. Given their antagonistic history, where she’d given as good as she’d gotten, she felt more comfortable when they were at odds than when Rett was being complimentary. Kind words coming from those sensual lips felt like a Trojan horse meant to catch her off guard. “But I should check on the guests and get ready for the next activity.”
He lightly grasped her wrist and leaned in close. His clean, crisp scent triggered memories of that night in Raleigh that she regretted immensely, yet frequently fantasized about.
A mischievous grin lit his dark eyes. “You look gorgeous, Sin. And you smell incredible.”
Sin’s breath hitched, and her wrist tingled beneath Rett’s touch. He’d whispered those words in her ear five years ago when he’d brashly suggested that he could help her work out the stress she was feeling prior to their big real estate test.
She’d elbowed him in the gut and told Rett Davenport exactly where he could stick his offer. But later that night, after a couple of drinks to build her courage, Sinclair had shown up at Rett’s hotel room and taken him up on the offer.
And it had been amazing.
No way. No how. Just…no. Don’t you dare think about it.
Sin thanked him for the compliment, then pulled free of his grip and walked away.
Hooking up with Rett again would be a disaster—no matter how amazing the man happened to be in bed.
An hour in the sack and you’ll never get your self-respect back.
She could still hear her grandmother’s save-yourself-for-marriage speech in her head.
Sinclair loved her grandmother, but she didn’t share her views. Women should be empowered to make their own choices. And yet, when it came to Garrett Davenport, maybe her grandmother had been spot-on.
about the author
Reese Ryan writes sexy, deeply emotional romances with family drama, surprising secrets, and unexpected twists.
Past president of her local Romance Writers of America chapter and a panelist at the 2017 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, Reese is an advocate for the romance genre and diversity in fiction.