**Winner in the 2018 ACFW Genesis contest in the Short Novel category**
**Finalist in the 2017 ACFW First Impressions contest in the Short Novel category**
A persnickety landlord. An eccentric city girl. Their unlikely match surprises them both—but Emmerson Lane's past won’t let go, and her future with Blake Prescott is uncertain. The former soldier loves pulling a prank, but will Blake’s teasing catch Emmerson’s attention or has the cotton farmer pushed his new tenant too far?
When Emmerson Lane settled for teaching in rural West Texas, she left behind her tattered heart and an eight-year dream to break into Austin’s Indie film industry as a screen writer. Now her red curls and same-colored Volvo stand out in this farm country—a characteristic her handsome new landlord won’t drop. Despite her best attempts to fit in, Emmerson finds herself drawn back to the city lights and her shiny ex-boyfriend. But when the prankster farmer becomes more than just her landlord, she’ll have to choose whether she wants backroads or blacktop.
Blake Prescott might be attracted to Austin, his nickname for the new teacher in town, but he knows better than to fall for a city girl. Besides, he has enough on his plate trying to keep his skeletons in the closet while surviving harvest season in the middle of a three-year drought. Prone to harmless pranks and good-natured teasing, Blake may have pushed his new tenant too far. Finding that his heart’s already fallen for the red-headed dreamer, now the cotton farmer will have to decide whether he can love this woman like he loves his old tractor.