Author: Tamsyn Bester
Release Date: July 22, 2013
Book Link: Goodreads
On the outside, Huntley Morgan is your typical girl-next-door, with her long blonde hair and piercing blue eyes, and that’s exactly what she wants people to see. Her name exposes her to the demons of her past but remembering her reason for moving across the country to start over is what keeps her alive. For the first time since the brutal murder of her mother, Huntley allows herself to care about the people around her.
Grayson Carter has everything a 21yr old College Senior could wish for – he’s the star of Whitley University’s football team, he has a different girl willing to be in his bed every night and a supportive family. For years he has managed keep his family together and hide their dark secrets from the small town of Breckinridge, Alabama.
When Huntley and Grayson meet, a force so strong pulls them together in a hurricane of feelings neither of them could have ever anticipated. Huntley and Grayson try to stay away from each other, but when Huntley’s demons seek her out, their pasts become the biggest storm of all. Will they learn to trust each other and build a new future together or will they simply do nothing to prevent history from repeating itself?
“You’re not what I was expecting,” Huntley says shifting in her seat to face me. The comment is blunt and completely unexpected, pulling me straight out of my dippy thoughts.
“Oh yeah?” I quip sarcastically, “Why’s that?”
I’m dying to know what people have told her about me. Probably about what a play boy I am or how I party too much or maybe how I have a new girl on my arm every night. Stupid rumors piss me off so much I’ve never really wasted any time negating them. But I wish I had, just so that Huntley won’t have any reason to believe them.
“I’ve heard things,” she doesn’t look me in the eye and I hate it. Clearly she’s already made up her mind about me. I hate that too.
“I’m sure you have,” I growl, shaking my head. My tone is less kind than I intend but it makes me furious to know that someone has taken the time to deprecate Huntley’s opinion of me before she’s had the chance to even know me. I guess this is all part of keeping secrets and why I refuse to get attached to anyone.
I jump out my truck and slam my door, pulling my fingers through my hair while I take in the warm air. I hear the passenger door close but I don’t look back at Huntley, afraid I’ll snap at her for shit other people have said. I squelch the urge to yell and release my frustration the way a toddler would.
“I’m sorry.” Her voice is soft and tiny. I snap my head back and frown. Before she can look up, I walk the few steps between us and cage her in against my truck. She looks scared, like I might hurt her, but when her eyes find mine I see nothing but warmth and benevolence in their boundless sapphire-colored depths.
In that moment I feel naked, like she can see my soul stripped bare of its impurities and imperfections. I don’t like that it makes me feel vulnerable and completely exposed to the derision I know will follow when she sees the ugly secrets that keep me awake night after night.
I take the chance to inhale her scent. Leaning in a little closer, I drag my nose along her shoulder, getting as close as possible without touching her. The edges of my mouth turn up, forming a smile, when I find that I’m right. She does smell like strawberries. And vanilla. It’s a heady combination that I’m going to become addicted to very quickly.
“I won’t hurt you,” I whisper, “But I think it’s best if we stay away from each other.”
Hurt flickers across her features and it’s like a punch to the stomach. “What made you think I was interested Grayson?” she bites back. She has a fire inside her. I see it. I feel it. And it’s sexy.
“Oh, I know you are,” I know it’s arrogant but I’m hoping my cocky attitude will repulse her enough to make her stay away.
A car pulls up to the curb, making us both shift apart. I cringe when my body immediately misses the heat that radiated off of her in waves.
Her back straightens and she squares her shoulders, pushing off my truck. “Goodbye Grayson.” Her back turns to me and I watch her get into Demi’s red Lexus and drive away. I should’ve kept my mouth shut until Demi got here. That would’ve been the smart thing to do.
“I was busy Rebecca.” My voice is cold and flat and I know I’m being an asshole but it’s time to end this. I didn’t sign up for a girlfriend and certainly not a possessive one at that, which Rebecca knew from the start. I should’ve known she’d get attached, they always do.
I hear her say something but it falls away when my eyes land on someone else. My breath catches in my throat and it’s like all time is standing still, freezing this moment before it flies past too quickly. Nothing else exists.
Her blonde hair is pulled up high in a messy bun with a few loose tendrils hanging in her face. She’s wearing a white sundress that compliments her sun kissed skin and red cowboy boots that make her legs look they go on forever. God have mercy… those legs… My mind goes straight to conjuring up images of seeing her in nothing but those red boots.
I don’t think Blondie could get any hotter but then she proves me wrong when she laughs, a light choral sound that echoes through every bone in my body and settles itself in the core of my stomach. I am completely transfixed, my eyes following her every move until she disappears into the kitchen.
Moments later, Mrs. Coach calls me inside to help carry out the remainder of the food when there’s a knock at the door. It’s so soft I’m almost sure I imagined it. “Grayson honey, please grab the door,” Mrs. Coach calls from the kitchen. I walk to the door but when I open it, I’m completely unprepared for what’s in front of me. Or rather who is in front of me.
Huntley is wearing a coral sundress with matching pumps. The color accentuates her sun-kissed skin, making it look like she’s glowing.
Her hair is curled and left loose, hanging down past her shoulders. My eyes stop at her lips, pink and glossy. I stand there like an idiot and shamelessly drink her curves in.
She clears her throat and for a brief second I’m lost in the depth of those sapphire-colored irises. I have never seen stormy blue eyes until now. They tell a story, about what I’m not sure, but it’s there, in those stormy depths and I want to find out what it is.
“Hi,” she whispers. Her musical voice moves through my body and jolts me from my daze.
“What are you doing here?” The words are out of my mouth before I realize what I’m saying. Hurt flashes across her face at the sound of my accusatory tone and I want to kick myself in the nuts for being such an ass. It just goes to show what being around this gorgeous girl does to me.
“This is my family,” she states matter-of-factly, “I was invited.”
Of course she was invited. Coach Morgan is her uncle after all.
Thank you Captain Obvious…
“Sorry, of course, come in,” I barely choke the words out and gesture for her to come in. I catch a trace of her perfume and almost lose my mind. God, I love strawberries and vanilla. She giggles and I realize I said that out loud.
Are you fucking kidding me? Could this get any worse?
Huntley pauses in front of me and smiles. It’s enough to steal the air right out of my lungs.
“Strawberries and vanilla are my favorite too,” she whispers. She stretches onto the balls of her feet to place a feather-light peck on my cheek. I can feel the heat surface in my cheeks and it’s the first time ever that a girl makes me blush.
The House That Built Me – Miranda Lambert
Love Story – Taylor Swift
Holding Out For A Hero – Ella Mae Bowen
Barefoot Blue Jean Night – Jake Owen
I knew You Were Trouble – Taylor Swift
Beneath Your Beautiful – Labrynth ft Emile Sande
Red – Taylor Swift
Hard To Love –Lee Brice
Cruise – Florida Georgia Line ft Nelly
If I Die Young – The Band Perry
I Should’ve Kissed You (Goodnight) – Gloriana
Crazier – Taylor Swift
Between The Raindrops – Lifehouse ft Natasha Beddingfield
Before The Storm – Miley Cyrus ft Nick Jonas
Because You Live – Jesse McCartney
Why Ya Wanna – Jana Kramer
Whiskey – Jana Kramer
God Gave Me You – Blake Shelton
We Are Broken – Paramore
Gone – Phillip Phillips
Life Aint Always Beautiful – Gary Allen
God Bless The Broken Road – Rascal Flatts
Wanted – Hunter Hayes
Tamsyn is a 21 year old blogger turned author from South Africa who has an insatiable hunger for New Adult Contemporary Romance novels, coffee and chocolate. When she’s not getting caught up in yet another steamy romance with a new book boyfriend, she can be found spending endless hours working away on her laptop in pursuit of her Marketing degree and a career in book Publishing. Tamsyn is a Brat when it comes to books and believes that every story, no matter how challenging, should have a Happy Ever After. Tamsyn is currently hard at work on her debut novel Beneath Your Beautiful, set to be available July 2013.
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Cover Models: Lexie Lynn Cain & Carson Fields
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