CURRENT/UPCOMING BOOKS

FOR CHRISTMAS

DUE OUT DECEMBER 1ST

A COUNTRY MUSIC CHRISTMAS

She froze.

Please, dear God. No!

Sharply pulling her phone from her ear she held her breath. What the hell could she say?

“Summer? Summer are you there?”

Her thumb automatically slipped over the OFF icon ending the call, and dropping the phone on the table, with her heart sinking, she turned around. Liam was moving slowly towards her. A dark frown was crossing his face, his milk chocolate brown eyes were narrowing, and his full lips were grimly pressed together. How could she explain herself? She was screwed. Absolutely, one-thousand percent screwed.

“I-uh—“

“Don’t even try,” he growled, “I’ve heard enough. When you came knockin’ on my door lookin’ for a job you were here for one reason and one reason only, a record deal. I asked you about that point blank, and you lied to me. You lied to my face.”

Summer had never felt her heart pump so fast, nor her face burn so hot.

“And what about all those cozy talks we’ve been havin’,” he demanded, drawing ever closer, “and the flirtin’ in your painted-on jeans? Damn, all this time you’ve been playin’ me. Totally playin’ me.”

She could hear the hurt in his voice. It was killing her. She may have arrived on his doorstep wanting to be the next Taylor Swift, and she still did, but in the three months she’d been there she had fallen for him, hook, line and sinker, as her dad would say. She was positively drowning in her feelings for him, but he’d never believe her now, not in a million years.

He’d stopped directly in front of her. His cologne was tickling her nostrils. She loved that smell. A few weeks earlier she’d sneaked home one of his T-shirts, and each night, holding it tightly, she’d crawl into bed, close her eyes, and inhaling the spicy, musky fragrance, she would dance her fingers against her sex.

Suddenly it happened. The glorious unthinkable, and it abruptly chased away all thought.

Without warning his fingers were tangled in her hair, he was tugging back her head, and his lips were devouring her mouth. She couldn’t breathe, her stomach was alive with a thousand butterflies, and her heart was somersaulting against her chest, but he brusquely broke away, and with a life of its own her hand flew from her side and slapped him.

To her shock his head didn’t move. In every movie or television show she’d ever seen when a woman slapped a man his head turned sideways. In a flash she knew that’s why she’d done it. She couldn’t bear for him to look at her. His accusatory, painful gaze was too much. Her guilt, her shame, her intense need for him had overwhelmed her. But it hadn’t worked. His eyes were still blazing down at her. She needed to escape, to run, to hide.

“You think offense is gonna be your defense?” he scolded. “That’s not gonna work on me, Summer Brown. You’re not gettin’ out of it that easy.”

Suddenly his arm was around her waist and lifting her off the ground. She squealed, her legs kicked out, but that was all she could manage before his hand landed on her backside in a flurry of hard swats. The short sharp spanking lasted only seconds, but when he set her on her feet her backside was hot and stinging.

“H-how d-dare you?” she railed, but her voice had sounded thin, and when she’d stammered her protest her eyes had been glued to the floor.

“Look at me,” he said sternly, ignoring her defiant outburst. “Right now! Look at me!”

“NO!”

“Summer! I said look at me!”

“After what you just did to me I don’t want to look at you,” she spat. “Why would I?”

“Because I’m tellin’, you to, and from where I’m standin’ it seems like the smart thing to do.”

Swallowing hard, she slowly raised her head.