When destiny fails…
Singer-songwriter Lucy Moore thought her life was perfect. At just twenty-one, she’s already met her soul mate and together they’ve landed a recording contract. But when her father dies and the love of her life betrays her in more ways than one, she returns home to pick up the pieces. On the shores of Mendocino, California, Lucy has some decisions to make. Should she start a solo career? Or should she leave it all behind for some semblance of normalcy in the quiet town she grew up in? And what about Seth, the tortured artist who always seems to be there when she needs him?
Seth Keenan has demons of his own. Eighteen months ago, he was involved in a horrific accident that he never talks about. His career as an accomplished oil-paint artist has been abandoned, replaced by the buzz of his tattoo gun. And women—well, he never sticks around for longer than a few hours of pleasure… until he meets Lucy. After one evening of listening to her seductive voice, he’s pulled under. But what about the vow he made to never get close to anyone again?
In a world where everyone has one true soul mate, can these two find love in the arms of each other?
“Dude.” Derek leans over the bar and grabs a bottle of water from a bucket of ice. “Of all the nights to ask me to be the designated driver, you had to choose this one?” He twists the top and takes a long slug. He’s just come from work and is still wearing his blue firefighter T-shirt. He’ll have five girls begging him to take them home within forty-five minutes. Or less, if he starts buying them drinks. “How am I going to get through this without something to take the edge off?”
“Get through what?” I purposely ignore the way he’s looking at Jax. He’s had a slight obsession with her for as long as I can remember, yet he’s never made a move. And as far as I know, he never plans to.
He lifts his water bottle to the crowd. “A night of barely dressed hot chicks. Are you fucking blind?”
I might as well be, because right now, I don’t see anything except the girl strutting out onstage in her sex-bot boots, swaying her hips and seducing the crowd with her eyes before she even opens her mouth.
Jesus. She’s going to kill me. I’m going to combust right here in the bar just staring at her pouty lips. She picks up the microphone and smiles tentatively at Mike, waiting for his cue.
“Omigod!” Jax squeals and grabs my arm. “She’s actually going to go through with it.”
I glance down at her and smile at her huge grin. Jax hasn’t looked this happy in months. Not since before the big breakup. “You were worried she wouldn’t?”
She lets out an ironic huff of exasperation. “Are you kidding? I wasn’t even sure I’d get her to the bar, let alone near the stage.” Her pretty blue eyes meet mine and her smile fades. “Whatever happens, promise me you’ll be nice to her.”
“What the hell, Jax?” I pull away slightly and frown at her, offended she has such a low opinion of me. “What do you think I’m going to do? Mock her and throw beer bottles?”
She clutches my arm and pulls me back. “No. Sorry, I didn’t mean to imply anything. It’s just that this is a huge deal for her and I want it to go smoothly. She belongs up there. She’s not herself when she’s not singing.”
Onstage, the band starts to play, and the girl who’d wobbled her way backstage has transformed into a dazzling, confident crowd-pleaser. She’s standing with her feet shoulder-width apart, her head held high, a seductive smile on her face as she scans the room. Her eyes land on me and she grips the mic with both hands. Then she starts singing. I instantly recognize the song as a popular Mandy Taylor number my sister is always playing. But instead of Mandy’s pop sound, Lucy’s voice is huskier, and she sings it slower. Seductively. She’s fucking mesmerizing.
“Holy shit, dude.” Derek leans forward, eyeing Lucy as if he’s mentally calculating how fast he can rip her clothes off. “Who the hell is that?”
“Don’t even think about it, asshole,” I growl. Where did that come from?
“Awww.” Jax laughs. “You’re such a softy. Look at you, all protective of my friend.” She slips her arm around me and gives me a sideways hug.
“Yeah, softy,” Derek mimics and gives me that guy look that says he knows exactly what’s going on with me and it has nothing to do with being protective.
I glare at him, making sure he knows it doesn’t matter my motives. She’s off-limits to the likes of him.
“God,” Jax whispers. “Look at her.”
My gaze automatically shifts to the fiery pixie onstage.
“I didn’t think it was possible, but whoa. She’s even better than I remember.”
The entire club is riveted, watching her strut around the stage. Then the band pauses and Lucy freezes, the mic held close to her lips. Her eyes scan the crowd, and my breath gets caught in my throat when her gaze lands on me. Something foreign in my gut flips over as her lips turn up into a secret smile I swear is meant just for me.
Jesus, this girl knows what the hell she’s doing. She’s holding me in the palm of her hand, leaving me salivating for more. And though I’m sure I’m not the only one, I can’t tear my eyes away from her to confirm the effect she has on the room.
Her gaze never shifts and she starts singing in the sexiest voice possible, “When it’s just you and me in the dead of the night, I get reckless… reckless… reckless.”
USA Today bestselling author, Deanna Chase, is a native Californian, transplanted to the slower paced lifestyle of southeastern Louisiana. When she isn’t writing, she is often goofing off with her husband in New Orleans, playing with her two shih tzu dogs, making glass beads, or out hocking her wares at various bead shows across the country. For more information and updates on newest releases visit her website at www.deannachase.com
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