The heat between them burns red hot…until danger turns it white.
Burned out from years in the Dallas PD, Charity Vance flees to Saddle Wells for a fresh start, someplace to lie low and decide what to do with the rest of her life.
Hanging out with her old college friend in the local bar, she can’t help but notice the sexy, brooding owner. She also notices he needs a waitress. Charity steps in to help—and steps right into his arms.
After two tours in Afghanistan, Liam Douglas has settled nicely into running his dad’s bar, but trying to keep decent help has been running him ragged. Accepting Charity’s help only adds fuel to their explosive chemistry. Although neither one of them wants a relationship, pretty soon they’re burning up the sheets.
When a drug lord Charity helped put away busts out of jail, Liam’s overprotective streak starts to feel more like the strings she didn’t want. And running seems to be the only option to save the town…and her heart. But leaving Liam is more difficult than she thought…especially when he won’t let her go.
Warning: Contains a sexy, brooding man with a complicated past, a feisty heroine who thinks she’s in charge and sex hot enough to burn up the sheets.
Read an Excerpt
This excerpt contains explicit sexual material and is intended for readers 18 years of age and older.
“Okay, okay,” a husky male voice said. “Settle down or I’ll have to eject you.”
Charity turned to look at the man who had suddenly appeared just to her left and nearly fell out of her chair. It was him. In the real living flesh. Mr. Hot and Sexy from the convenience store. She blinked her eyes, wondering if she’d just conjured him up.
But, no, there he was, pitcher of beer in one hand, a glass in the other, the look on his face conveying the same sense of shock she felt. For a long, intense moment, their gazes locked. Then Reenie’s voice broke the spell.
“You know you love us, Liam. And is that more beer? We can’t drink it while you’re still holding it.”
He looked away and leaned over to set the pitcher on the table. When he did, his arm brushed against Charity’s shoulder and electricity ran through her as if she’d been touched by a live wire. She had to force herself not to jerk away.
“You know we have to keep a lid on rowdy women.” His voice had a teasing quality to it. “Don’t want to get a bad reputation here.”
“Come on, Liam.” Reenie lifted the pitcher, filled the empty glass and pushed it toward Charity. “We liven the place up.”
He took a step back from the table. “I see you have a new member of your little group here. Maybe you should introduce me so I can warn her about y’all.”
His gaze was fixed on her again, so intently she had the feeling he was mentally undressing her. A shiver danced along her spine at the same time that heat flushed through her veins. She took a quick sip of her beer, hoping no one noticed her hand wasn’t quite steady.
“This is Charity Vance.” Amy turned in her chair. “She’s a good friend from college, and you’d better be nice to her. Charity, say hello to Mr. Antisocial, Liam Douglas.”
Liam Douglas? The bar owner? Charity nearly choked on her beer. The very last thing she’d expected was to find the hunk from the convenience store running the place where Amy and her friends went for their girls’ night out. In the very town she’d planned to make her escape from reality.
“Wow, Liam.” Cyn gave a low whistle. “Never saw anyone get so choked up at meeting you before. Charity, honey, it’s okay. He may look and act like a big ugly bear, but he’s harmless. Mostly, he hides behind the bar or in his man cave. We like to come in here and liven up his day. Or night.”
The rough huskiness of his voice flipped a switch in her body, waking up all her erogenous zones. Bad, bad, bad. She couldn’t remember the last time a man had sparked this kind of reaction from her, including poor Tom. She grabbed a paper napkin to dab at her mouth. When she looked at Liam again, he was still watching her.
“Welcome to Saddle Wells, Charity Vance. Don’t let these ladies lead you astray.”
“Nice to meet you, Liam Douglas.” She held out her hand for him to shake.
Big mistake. The minute his warm palm came into contact with hers, the heat was so intense she expected to see flames erupt from their skin. Was it her imagination, or did he give her a little squeeze, the tiniest pressure, before breaking the contact?
He gave a brief nod to the table. “Enjoy yourselves, ladies. And don’t make me call Sheriff Cross to haul you in.”
“He’s my husband,” Jinx reminded him. “He’ll leave us alone if he knows what’s good for him.”
“Or bad for him,” Cyn teased.
They burst out laughing again and a blush crept up Jinx’s fair skin.
“Okay, okay.” Amy rapped her knuckles on the table. “Enough. We don’t want to scare Charity away when she just got here.”
“You all have a long way to go being raucous to beat the cops I hang out with. Trust me. This is so much better.”
Georgie refilled everyone’s glass and then lifted her own. “I think we should make a toast to Charity. May she have fun in Saddle Wells and stay for a good long time.”
“To Charity,” they all echoed and everyone took a long swallow.
Charity casually slid a glance to the bar. Liam Douglas was leaning against the bar top, ostensibly chatting with one of the patrons seated on a bar stool. But she noticed the moment she looked at him, as if he had some kind of radar, his glance met hers.
Good Lord. There it was again, that sharp crackle of electricity between them that was so strong she wondered why others couldn’t see it. She quickly turned back to the conversation at the table, torn between doing her damndest to get this guy out of her mind and wondering when she could get Amy to bring her here again.