Something Like This – Chapter One

The book you’ve been waiting for – Something Like This – The Men of Evansdale County is one week away! After The Space Between Us came out, that’s what everyone asked me over and over! “When do we get Vin and Von?” Well the wait is over!

And as a little peek – Chapter One of Something Like This

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©Alyne Hart 2018

Fun fact. I love douche bags.

There’s just something about an overly cocky guy that drives me wild.

I don’t know what it is, really. Maybe it’s the over-use of the word bro, or that they think tank tops with quotes about their ‘guns’ are always in season, even if it’s snowing. Maybe it’s the way they wear sunglasses in nightclubs and how they show off their abs every chance they get. Maybe it’s the tight t-shirts that smell like cheap drugstore body spray, or the way they chug energy drinks like I guzzle coffee. Maybe it’s the monster-sized ego’s that makes them think they are quite literally God’s gift to women. And to the world.

The real reason I think, is that I like to knock them down a peg or two. And maybe it’s a little about the abs.

Like the guy sitting in booth six. He has all the telltale signs of being a total d-bag. Sunglasses on while he eats his eggs and hash-browns. Muscle shirt that reads ‘suns out, guns out’, backward flat-billed, white ball cap—and he’s shiny. Really freaking shiny. Like maybe he’d coated himself in baby oil before he came here so that his massive, bronzed muscles would stand out even more.

I mean, really, they were pretty big. As in, they could probably get their own zip code big.

He was sitting in a booth with a pretty red-head who was hanging onto his every word. She was staring at him like he was the sun—and he was ignoring her and taking selfies. Of just himself. Which is a classic d-bag move. He’s done the duck face, the tongue out face, and the duck face with a peace sign.

Yep. Suspicions confirmed.

And the red-head? She didn’t seem to mind too much, she just chattered away and smiled at him. Poor girl. She’s just like me. Once you go douche, you don’t go back.

They’re addictive. Like when someone gives you a big box of chocolates and you say you’ll only to eat one, and suddenly you’ve not only binge watched six episodes of New Girl in a row, but the whole box is empty? Yeah, they’re like that. They make your brain go all gooey. It’s the swagger and the attitude. And the sex.

God, I miss sex.

With a deep sigh, I tore my gaze away from the couple in question and poured a cup of coffee for one of my regulars. Chase. He’s an adorable businessman who has excellent taste in ties, the best haircut I’ve ever seen and a smile that suggests he takes meticulous care of himself. He’s attractive—fine—he’s gorgeous in that whole chiseled jaw and tall dark and handsome way, and he flirts with me and leaves me huge tips, which I appreciate.

Plus his name is Chase. That already has romantic hero written all over it. But the story of Chase and me will never happen, and I’ll never find out if Chase kisses as good as I think he might. One of these days, he’ll make his move. He’ll slide me his business card along with my daily five-dollar tip for a one-dollar cup of joe. I’ll have to smile and shoot him down and possibly lose my daily five-dollar tip. Because that’s just my life now.

It all changed seven years ago, the minute I stared into those impossibly big, dark eyes and she yawned, stretching a tiny arm up that landed on my chin. That’s all it took for me to fall madly and hopelessly in love with my daughter. Real love. Not like the little puppy crushes I’d had, but an actual heart-melting, heart-wrenching, throw myself in front of a bus for another human being kind of love.

Life now? I wake up early and start the water for the fields and feed the animals. Then I shower and get ready for my job at Charlie’s diner. At night it’s me, my little girl Violet and my father—playing, making dinner and hanging out. I finish any remaining chores out in the fields, then I sit in the living room binge watching shows on Netflix or watch Dancing With the Stars with my dad until I pass out. On weekends Violet and I hang out with my bestie, Emma, and her kids, and sometimes her husband Dean watches all three of the kids so we can have a girl’s night.  That’s my life now.

That’s it.

I’m a mom and everything I do, I do for her.

No dating. No guys, especially no d-bags or gorgeous businessmen in charcoal colored suits with teal colored ties. And no sex.

Thank God for vibrators.

 

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Teaser Tuesday | Chapter One Sneak Peek

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Excerpt from Chapter One of How We Fall, The Men of Evansdale County 2

©Alyne Hart

CHAPTER 1

Hailee

 

What in the hell is a dragon fruit?

The scribbled list taunted me from my hand. Bright blue ink scrawled across a white paper napkin that looked more like hieroglyphics than actual words. With my brow wrinkling in confusion, I stared harder, hoping that somehow I would magically know what these things were. Starfruit. Blood oranges. Medjool dates. Grappa?

Okay, maybe this job wasn’t for me. In fact, it seemed more like the job from hell at this point.

It was my first day at the restaurant. Some guy whose nametag read Toby, came stomping out of the kitchen like an angry bull. His pale, almost chalk-white face was flushed beet red across his cheeks and forehead, dripping with thick beads of sweat that ran beneath the collar of his white chef coat. He thrust the list in my hand, along with some cash that reeked of the same cheese and burned garlic that he did.

Toby told me I had to go to the Canary Whole Foods Market on Houghton Road to get the things on the list and that I needed to be back before one. He also said the chef was exceptionally particular so to only get the best.

Even when I tried to explain that it was my first day and that I was just a hostess, he didn’t care. He said the king needed them, and I had to do it. Fast. Then he rushed back towards the kitchen quicker than Cinderella leaving the ball.

I mean, if the king was so particular, why couldn’t he just get his own stupid dragon fruit instead of sending me on my first day?

I stood there, waiting for the bus and cursing Toby under my breath, shivering against the chill of October air rustling past my cheeks like an icy breath. With my arms hugged tight around myself, I wished I had a better coat. Or that maybe the only black skirt I owned, which was part of the hostess dress code—all black – dress, or blouse and skirt—wasn’t so short. Even with the thick black tights I wore beneath it, the thin cotton was no match for the weather.

Now it was nearing twelve-fifteen, the list of nearly foreign-sounding items I had to gather was still gripped tightly in my hand while I wandered around the market. I was most likely going to get fired. Or maybe I should just quit?

“This is dragon fruit,” a male voice called beside me, so deep and resonating that it sounded like what I imagined the echo inside of a bass guitar might when it was being played.

Had I said that out loud?

“What?” My forehead pinched together as I spun on my heels only to be faced with one of—no—the, most gorgeous man I’d ever seen in my life.

No description could do a man like him justice other than breaking down every bit of him into a list of bullet points. Tall. Check.  A lean Adonis-like physique with golden tan skin. Check. A face that looked like an Armani cologne model in a magazine? CHECK.

He was all muscle from what I could tell. Easily standing at six-four, maybe even taller, with massive, broad shoulders. His dark blond hair twisted into a bun at the base of his neck with sandy colored strands poking out from beneath the band holding it all together. Pieces of hair curled around the nape of his neck and for a second I wondered what they might feel like brushing against my lips.

He had a neatly trimmed, thick beard and mustache with crystal-clear, light blue eyes almost the same color as faded blue jeans. But it was the chiseled line of his lips that had me momentarily entranced, and the way his thin upper lip curved perfectly against the fullness of the lower one.

This man was the very essence of sex. He was the kind of man women threw themselves at. The sort of man who could all too easily have any woman he wanted at the snap of his fingers.

Correction. Any woman, except for me, that is. Men were currently off my radar. Especially ones like this even though I had to remind myself to keep my gaze from falling on the sensual curve of his lips for too long.

“Dragon fruit,” he smiled, holding up a strange looking thing in the palm of his hand. It was oval shaped, and a bright rose color with green, spiky tips. It almost looked like a miniature pink pineapple. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to eavesdrop.”

“No,” fiery red heat filled my cheeks. Stupid freaking blushing. It had nothing to do with being embarrassed or even the man standing in front of me. “It’s okay. I—I didn’t realize I’d said that out loud, actually. So, that’s a dragon fruit? And people eat it?”

“What were you planning on doing with it?” he asked. The amused smile that lifted his lips had me momentarily hypnotized.

Why was my heart pounding so loud?

My head shook, jolting me back to reality. I had little time to get the things on my list and get back, much less time to be contemplating the way my mouth suddenly went dry. Because I really didn’t want to have to look for another job all because I got too wrapped up in staring at a handsome man’s smile.

“It’s just this list,” I held out the napkin with chicken-scratches of blue ink across it with a loud exhale of air. “I just started this job today, and my boss gave me this list and told me to come get all this stuff. Blood oranges? Some weird dates—and you wouldn’t happen to know what grappa is would you?”

I shoved the list even closer in his direction to see if maybe he could decipher it. “I dunno, I should probably just quit. This guy kind of sounds like a demanding, control-freak asshole if you ask me.”

“Yes, he certainly does,” the man took the napkin from my hands and studied it with a cocked eyebrow. His pale blue eyes grazed across the list before he lifted his gaze back to me, a slightly bemused smirk quirking one cheek higher than the other. “Well, lucky for you, I know what all of these are. Grab yourself a basket.”

The man was dressed well in a snug shirt and dark jeans like maybe he was headed for a casual day at the office, or perhaps even a lunch date. It was a dark blue button up shirt with the top button undone and he had the sleeves rolled to his elbows, showing off  his hard, muscular forearms. The fabric itself screamed of wealth and class, as did the leather Burberry sneakers on his feet. The only thing that seemed out of place in his otherwise professional, yuppie appearance was the rows of tiny silver hoops lining his ears. The combination was oddly intriguing.

He seemed strangely at ease in the market, studying the fruits and vegetables. I followed him around like an obedient puppy, basket in hand as he tossed the items from my list inside, but not before telling me a little about each one.

“So where do you work?” he asked, casually running his fingers across shining, yellow fruit. I couldn’t help but notice that his fingernails were clean and filed across the tops at precisely the same length and he had no cuticles to speak of.

Did he get manicures? I tucked my free hand into the pocket of my jacket so he couldn’t see the chips in my turquoise nail polish.

“Acquiesce?” my lips twisted around the word. “It’s that fancy place over on Monte Ridge. I just started today.”

“Nice place,” he glanced in my direction, looking me up and down for a moment before giving his attention to another basket of fruit, drifting his fingertips across the pitted, brightly colored skin of a small orange. “Do you have an interest in fine cuisine or—”

“No,” I snorted and cut him off. “Give me a grilled cheese or some fried chicken, and I’m happy as a clam. Don’t get me wrong, I love food. Always have. My grandma taught me how to cook when I was little, and it was something we did together every Sunday after church. She watches all those celebrity cooking shows too, and she’s always trying to make the things she sees. But this stuff, it just seems kind of uppity and snooty. But, it’s a job, you know?”

His lips twitched at the corners, fighting a smirk. “So you’ve never worked at a restaurant, much less an upscale one I take it?”

“No, is it that obvious?”

The smirk won. Apparently, I was amusing to the handsome mystery man. He probably thought I was a country bumpkin, lost in a whole foods market like some kind of damsel in distress with a shopping list. I suppose he’d be mostly right.

“It was nice of them to hire you without having any experience. I hear they’re sticklers for that over there.”

“I lied,” I admitted with a sheepish grin. “I mean, everyone does it, right? How hard can it be to seat people at a table and hand them a menu?”

“Hmmph,” he chuckled under his breath. “And this,” he plucked a thin bottle with clear, golden liquid swirling inside it from a shelf, “is grappa. It’s Italian alcohol made from the pulp left over from crushed grapes used to make wine.”

“So, it’s like, wine scraps?” my nose wrinkled at the thought.

“No, not quite,” he laughed, his eyes crinkling a bit in the corners. “It’s delicious, though it is an acquired taste. And—” his corn-flower blue eyes skimmed the napkin list I’d handed him earlier, “I think this is everything on your shopping list.”

“Thank you,” I gushed with relief. I pulled my phone from my coat pocket to check the time. Twelve-forty-one. “Oh crap, I’m running late. Thank you—” my head tilted in question, hoping he would at least offer his name so I could thank my hero properly.

“Finn,” he answered.

“Thank you, Finn.”

“Can I give you a ride?” He offered.

I gulped and stared at him for a second and contemplated the proposition before shaking my head. Number one rule in life we all learn as kids? No taking rides from strangers. Even ones who look like him. “No, I’ll catch the next bus.”

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you. You said you were running late,” he shot me a blinding smile in apology. “I just thought maybe I could help.”

“Yeah. It’s just that I have a policy against getting into strangers cars and getting chopped into a million tiny pieces. You understand, right? But thank you—for the offer.”

“Smart,” he smiled at me again. “Well, it was lovely meeting you—”

“Hailee,” I answered.

“Hailee.” The way his lips curled around my name had my mouth running dry again and every muscle in my body tensing up. “Good luck with the job.”

“Thanks,” I hiccuped before turning to rush to the cash register.

I ran as fast as I could to the bus stop, not even taking time to stop and admire the way the vibrant, flamboyant colors of summer had transitioned into the rich, jewel-toned hues of fall. I was mostly praying I wouldn’t break the bottle of grappa or bruise any of the food. I don’t know. Does dragon fruit bruise?

God. I was an idiot. That guy was gorgeous, and chances are, he probably wasn’t an ax-wielding murderer. I could have at least taken the ride and gotten out of the cold and lived to tell the tale. I was kicking myself until I remembered that as far as myself and men go, I seem to always have an eye for the wrong ones, and he was probably no different. Despite his expensive taste in shoes and his sex god good looks, he was more than likely just like the rest of them.

An asshole. A cheat. A liar.

When I finally made it back to Acquiesce, it was one-thirty, and my heart was pounding frantically in my chest. Even though I’d gotten everything on the list, I was late with the king’s items, so I was probably getting fired anyway.

Pushing my way through the massive wood and glass doors, I walked as quickly as I could through a maze of tables until I reached the kitchen. Using my shoulder, I butted the swinging stainless steel doors open, holding the bags in front of myself taking deep gulps of air.

“I got it,” my chest heaved with heavy breaths as I rounded the corner. “I got all the stuff you asked for.”

When I made it around the sharp, steel edge of the wall, I found myself face to chest with a dark blue, button-up shirt that screamed of designer origins and I’d bet if I looked down, I’d see Burberry trainers. When I finally let my eyes lift to meet the face smiling down at me, a bit smugly I might add, the heat of a thousand fires filled my cheeks.

Stupid blushing.

No way. No. Freaking. Way.

“Thank you, Hailee,” the gorgeous mystery man from earlier nodded with a blinding grin. A grin like that was no fair as there were several feelings inside of me fighting for control. Embarrassment, humiliation, and shock.

But mostly, and the most annoying of them all—lust.

Ugh. I am so getting fired.

….to be continued

How We Fall (Men of Evansdale County 2)
Pre-order → https://books2read.com/u/4EyDrg
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The Space Between Us: Meet Siobhan Excerpt and Audio Book Update

 

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Chapter Three

Emma

Dean freaking King. If he hadn’t said something, I might not even have noticed. Not that he wasn’t worthy of noticing, in fact, he was quite the opposite. I could only imagine that he had plenty of drooling admirers and my name just got added to the list.

Dean was attractive in the most obvious sort of way. Thick, dark brown hair that waved just right across his forehead and an angular squared-off jaw with high cheekbones.  He’s tall. And not just tall, but the kind of tall that makes you take notice of his height. His naturally lean and muscular body only make him that much more noticeable. But the unfair advantages Dean had over the rest of the male species didn’t end there.

Dean’s smile is bright white—like it glows with a thousand watts of blinding electricity. And as masculine as his face is, he has deep dimples on each cheek that only show when he grins.

For me though, it was always about his eyes. They’re a nearly unnatural blue. Such a bright cobalt in fact, if you didn’t know him, you’d think they were colored contacts. I daydreamed about those eyes way too many times when I was younger. The second I actually looked him in the eye, I knew who he was.

But that isn’t Dean’s most noticeable feature. Not anymore, I should say.

Intricate ink designs ran seamlessly from his fingers to his arms and all the way up his chest where they curved in a graceful line along his collarbone. I assumed there were more, but that was all I could see around the black tank top he wore.

It had taken me a second of adjusting to that to notice all the piercings that perforated his skin.  His nose, eyebrow, ears and inner ear cartilage were all sporting shining silver decorations.

I had mostly made it a habit of not looking at the guys that came into Charlie’s. Not in any way that might signal to them I was interested, that is. I’d learned a long time ago, that most guys took me being friendly as an open invitation to flirt, and usually crudely.

Guys in groups were worse, which is why I hadn’t even so much as given Dean or his friend a second glance. It didn’t hurt my tips any, and it saved me from having to put a customer in their rightful place—which is not in my love life. Not that I had any semblance of a love life at the given moment—or even wanted one for that matter.

But Dean? The second I landed my eyes on his I felt a fluttery feeling in the pit of my stomach and a tingling pull even further down than that. I had the hardest time tearing my eyes away from his intoxicating stare before I thoroughly embarrassed myself.

He caught me off guard, and left me more than a little breathless and dazed when he cornered me in the server station where I’d been binning used glasses to wash.

Maybe I imagined it, but I would swear he was asking me out in an off the cuff way. It was almost laughable to think he was even interested in me. But then again—no, it wasn’t even worthy of pondering. He was my brother’s enemy and therefore mine. But still…

“So,” Siobhan sidled up to me. “Who was that?”

Siobhan and I have been friends since the eighth grade. We both shared the same misfortune of having braces, bad perms, and ears much too large for our heads back then. The delightful phrase ‘a face only a mother could love’ was not unfamiliar to either of us.

I’ll never forget the day I met her. She was new to Evansdale Highschool, and despite the lack of social status on both our parts, she walked around like she ruled the school. Everyone was teasing her about her name, and just like she does still to this day, she planted both hands on her hips and cocked her head to the side, and her hazel eyes lit up with exasperation.

“Shuh-von,” she rolled her eyes, correcting everyone all day as if it was that obvious.

It didn’t matter how many times she corrected them, they still called her what they wanted. ‘See-ya-bon,’ seemed to be the favorite amongst our classmates. She took a liking to me when I told her I thought it was pretty and asked her if she wanted to sit with me at lunch. We were stuck on each other like glue after that.

Luckily for both of us, Siobhan and I both outgrew the ears, got our braces off and never got perms again. As for Siobhan, she did end up ruling the school, and she took me along for the ride.

It seemed the only good thing to come out of that dark time was Siobhan and me. And all the stuff we learned pouring over beauty magazines, desperately trying to look as pretty as the popular girls.

Unlike me, however, when Von came out of her ugly duckling phase, she immediately spread her wings like a glorious butterfly. Von just had a way with guys. She just automatically knew exactly what to say all the time to have them eating out of her hands. Her skill level at flirting? Expert.

Mine? I still turn pink and stumble on my words—I’m stuck at beginner level flirting. And that’s being kind.

“Old family friend,” I cleared my throat hastily and got back to my careful placement of glasses and coffee cups in the giant plastic tub. “One of Forrest’s old friends.”

“He was seriously hot, and seriously checking you out,” Siobhan nudged me, jostling the glasses that were precariously perched in my hands with a loud clink….

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Audiobook production is well underway, and I have to say, Logan (my ACX producer) is killing it! I am enjoying this process immensely and loving hearing my words and my characters take on a life. For some reason, especially Mama Rose – who was the secret star of this novel!

Our target for this baby is to be done by March 6! So stay tuned for details ♥

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Sitting down with N.D. Jackson

I met Natasha at a FaceBook takeover party. I recognized her from some YouTube videos and basically stalked her. I joined her REALLY fun readers group and basically slobbered all over her like an excited puppy until she slobbered back. Natasha has a wicked, naughty sense of humor, she loves a good cocktail and she can write one hell of a small town romance. Is it any surprise that I absolutely love her?

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Tell us a little about yourself and your background? I was born in Chicago but grew up in a surrounding suburb, if you’re familiar with Scott Peterson then you’ll know which one. 😉 As a child I had dreams of becoming the next Emily Dickinson or Jane Austen, but my family is from the Midwest and we do more practical things for a living so I never stopped writing but I decided to become a lawyer. By the time I’d finished grad school and had to decide where to go to law school…I changed my mind and went to politics. After that I decided, I needed more happy endings.

What are your ambitions for your writing career? I want to write. Stories, screenplays, episodes of my favorite TV shows, short stories, essays…whatever. I just want to write stories that people enjoy, no matter how they’re presented.

Jack too much

Do you have any interesting writing quirks? I like to put murder documentaries on YouTube and listen to them on low while I write. Surprisingly it is the perfect distraction for me because if it’s too quiet I’ll end up on social media when I should be writing. If I listen to music, it’ll turn into a live concert featuring yours truly. Murder docs, allow me to half-listen or ignore it when I’m finally in the zone.

Which writers inspire you? So many, but at the top of that list is Jane Austen, Christopher Buckley and Jill Shalvis. They are different genres but something about their styles always calls to me and I’m very likely to re-read books by these authors.

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Give us an insight into your favorite main character. What does he/she do that is so special? My favorite is Sadie from Feels Like Love because she’s so strong and sweet. She’s been through hell and back but she still has the same sunny disposition as someone who had a normal, non-traumatic childhood. Maybe a little of it is that I wish I’d been as strong as her, but I just love that she’s so badass. So ready to jump through the fire even when she’s terrified.

What are you working on at the minute? I’m working on the next Mustang Prairie novel and the first book in the Plentiful series. Plentiful is the town next door to Mustang Prairie and besides having more restaurants, it has a unique quirk in that the town has a high number of twins and triplets among its residents.

taste as good in my dreams

What genre are your books and what draws you to that genre? Mostly romance but I do have a political satire out and I’m working on a political thriller that is still without a title. Romance and politics are kind of my great loves, so it made sense that’s what I would write about. It’s what I know and when I can combine the two, I’m twice as happy!

Why do you write? Because otherwise these people just live in my head and make it really hard to do whatever my day job would have been if I’d given up writing.

Where do your ideas come from? My ideas come from literally everywhere. Sometimes an idea will flicker while I’m watching Criminal Minds or while my husband and I are debating what economies of the future will look like. Sometimes I’ll zone out while cooking and then I’ll get a good idea. Feels Like Love came about because the victim on Law & Order SVU was a Julliard student.

Just You

Do you work from an outline or do you prefer just to see where an idea takes you? A little bit of both. I try to have a basic outline and bullet points of things I definitely want to take place in the story, but a lot of times the characters have a mind of their own and you just have to let them work it out on the page. Then edit like my life depends on it!

What is the hardest thing about writing? Doing it even when you don’t feel like it or when you’re stuck. Plowing through even when you think it’s crap because you know that crap will give you inspiration later. Oh, and avoiding the trends if it’s not your jam. Just because BDSM or Stepbrother romances are the “in” thing, doesn’t mean you should write it if you’re not feeling it. Writing is already hard, writing what you don’t care about will be even harder.

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When you aren’t writing, what are you doing? Cooking or traveling. I love to cook and try new recipes, or vegan-ize our old favorites. But more than that, I love going to other cities and countries and soaking up the culture. Sometimes we just hop in the car and drive to Switzerland or France for a weekend. If I’m at home and not traveling, cooking and true crime documentaries.

Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors? I am a voracious reader and some of my go to authors are Jill Shalvis, Marquita Valentine, Christopher Buckley, Ann Rule and Doris K. Goodwin.

 

Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why? I would love to have a dinner party and invite Bob Dylan because he is just everything to me. His music, his poetry and activism. I’d love to pick his brain and really find out more about him as a man because I know a lot about the artist, but not much about what made the artist. Since he takes up the most room in my music collection, I’d say I deserve it hahaha!

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If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why? Easy, Jane Eyre. It is my go to novel that I read once every year and it’s just so friggin’ well written! The story gives you all of the emotions from anger to outrage, glee and devastation. Jane gets put through it all and she endures at a great cost to her. It is just a magnificent story and I’d love to have my name on it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Best of my Love_kindle

DRE never returned to Emerald Creek after the man she thought she’d marry broke her heart. But a late night phone call from half way around the world brings her right back to her hometown. And face to face with the man she never thought she’d seen again. Summer in Emerald Creek was everything she remembered—endless festivals, picnics in the park and time with her best friend and her favorite little tykes—and Dre is finding it hard to resist the pull of the chemistry she and Erick still have. 

ERICK made the biggest mistake of his life all those years ago but the result, his adorable little girl, was the best thing that ever happened to him. He’d done the right thing, or at least he’d tried to but his marriage hadn’t worked despite all that it had cost him. But now that Dre was back in Emerald Creek the universe had given him a second chance this summer, to put back together what he’d broken. To reclaim the only woman he’s ever truly loved. 

Can one summer recall a lifetime of memories and rekindle a love that never really went away? 

US: http://amzn.to/2eERVP9

UK: http://amzn.to/2xadNNE

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More books by N.D. Jackson:

Conflict of Interest fb

Conflict Of Interest (Mustang Prairie Book 1)

US: http://amzn.to/1SJDcyR

UK: http://amzn.to/2eSBl1g

CA: http://amzn.to/2eEmsM9

A Little Bit In Love_Mustang Prairie 2

A Little Bit In Love (Mustang Prairie Book 2)

US: http://amzn.to/1L9772p

UK: http://amzn.to/2eElzmQ

CS: http://bit.ly/2ewzQlI

Feels Like Love_FB

 

Feels Like Love (Mustang Prairie Book 3)

US: http://amzn.to/1KIICF5

UK: http://amzn.to/2etV2YN

AU: http://amzn.to/2dJmi7h

CA: http://amzn.to/2ei4CTs

CS: http://bit.ly/2eDVX8h

GR: http://bit.ly/2esrIX1

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It Must Be Love

US: http://amzn.to/2hFSIzw

UK: http://amzn.to/2k8vAdA

AU: http://amzn.to/2jHwwc3

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The Space Between Us Excerpt: The First Kiss

SBU-promo5

The ride home he was just as quiet as the ride there. His electric blue eyes focused straight ahead, almost unblinking. We rode like that all the way back to the orchards, where he pulled in to one of the alcoves just off the road and put the truck in park before turning off the headlights.

“I had fun, Emma,” Dean turned toward me, and his eyes nearly scorched me on contact.

I smiled a little and gulped back the rapid pounding of my heart that seemed to be lodged in my throat at the moment. “So did I,” I managed to choke out.

Time stopped.

There was a conscious second when we looked at each other through the rain filtered white glow of moonlight coming in through the windshield. I swear we knew what the other was thinking and feeling, even if it was just for a fleeting second. In the dark cab of the truck lit only by moonlight, I could see his pupils dilate, and I knew he heard the way my breath stopped and caught in my chest. My lips parted in anticipation, and I knew there was no turning back. Not now and maybe not ever.

This was dangerous.

“Tell me you feel this,” he murmured darkly. “Tell me you want this.”

I couldn’t speak, so I nodded.

Dean’s eyes went from hard to soft in a flash, and the blood in my veins boiled hot beneath my skin, warming every inch of my body with a delicious tingle. His muscles contracted to propel him forward even before he touched me and when he closed the space between us and dove his hands into my hair, it was like we were the only two things on earth living, moving and breathing.

His lips were perfect. Soft and warm. They moved delicately at first, almost tentatively like I might stop him at any minute. My hand slid up to the nape of his neck, and I clung to his hair in a tight grip, like he was gravity and I might float away if I let go.

Dean’s kisses grew more urgent. Possessive. His tongue slid between my lips and danced against mine, his tongue played with me, stoking the fire deep in my belly. When his lips moved down, exploring the length of my throat and I moaned, a low growl rumbled from his throat.

I’d never been kissed like this. Ever. It was obvious Dean knew what he was doing, and I just hoped I was half as good of a kisser as he was. Everything in my body was on fire for him. My nipples pushed against the thin cotton of my t-shirt and warm wetness pooled between my thighs. I ached to be touched by him.

Everywhere.

“I need to catch my breath,” I pulled back slightly, laughing as I pushed against his chest with my palm.

Dean threaded his fingers through his hair, flashing me that wicked grin of his. “I think I like you breathless, Princess.”

“So, kiss me again?” I whispered back. Dean grabbed me around the waist and pulled me to sit facing him on his lap, attacking me with hard kisses, stoking that same fire that raged deep in my belly for him.

I have no idea how long we sat there kissing like that. I was oblivious to anything other than him and how his hips lifted against me, the quiet patter of rain against the glass and how my back felt pressed against the steering wheel.

When his lips found my throat again, a shimmer of pure pleasure tingled down my spine. Then one of his hands inched down to my breast. If I didn’t stop now, I wasn’t sure if I could. This felt too good.

“Dean,” I whispered into his hair. “We have to stop.”

“Mmmm,” he groaned and nuzzled himself into my ear, nibbling at the tender lobe.

“Dean, I can’t do this.” I cupped his hand in mine and guided it away from the nipple he was rubbing between his fingers.

“Okay,” his eyes flashed in the dark. “What’s wrong?”

Pulling my torso away from his, I wrapped my arms around my waist in a self-protective move. “I’m uh—I’m a virgin, Dean. I’m not sure I’m ready for this. It feels good. I just—”

There was a strange look that crossed his face. One I didn’t recognize at all, and he sat silent. Staring at me. “A virgin,” he gruffed.

Immediately I felt ashamed. Like maybe I’d led him on or something. That’s how most the guys I’d been out with or kissed reacted anyway. “I’m sorry. I wasn’t trying to, I dunno, be a tease. If you don’t want to see me again, I totally understand.”

“You think I wouldn’t want to see you again because I can’t have sex with you tonight?” his brows pulled together creating a thick, savage line where they met, and the muscle of his jaw ticked rapidly.

“Yeah,” I muttered, staring down at my arms that were crossed together tightly.

Dean unfolded my arms and then gripped my chin lightly, lifting it up. When I let my eyes land on his, that thing happened again. The one where I saw inside of him. The one where we saw each other.

It took my breath away.

“Emma,” he tucked my hair behind my ear and stroked my cheek tenderly. “It’s gonna take a hell of a lot more than that to keep me away from you.”

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