All right, everyone! After the blur that was last weekend and missing putting this post up last Monday, I was going to put this off till after the weekend, once preorders were running. BUT...I received the files for Trust Me to begin preorders last night, and I just can't wait any more!!! So, without further ado, here is the much-awaited cover for TRUST ME, book two in the Southern Nights series:
Not only am I so, so happy with the work Kelli Dennis (Book Cover by Design) did with this cover, but I am also blessed to feature a cover quote from reader Pat Fordyce from Tea and Book. Her appreciation for romance knows no bounds, and she has been a great encouragement to me. Now I get to share her sweet words with you as well!
TRUST ME will hopefully be up for preorders at major retailers by this Sunday, January 25th. As the preorders go live, I'll be sharing the links here and on Facebook and Twitter. And like Teach Me, this book will be available at the "Reader Appreciation" price of $0.99 until one week after its release date of February 1st. So snatch it up as soon as you can! And let me know what you think as well. I'd love to know if Jack lives up to your expectations like he did mine!
Want a little excerpt to whet your appetite? Okey dokey...
Jack Quinn hit the heavy wooden doors that led into the Halftime Bar like a runaway train on the downside of a mountain. Even the hard slam didn’t help his frustration. His muscles swelled with it, his skin so tight it could burst. He wished it would so he could finally get rid of the feeling that he wasn’t at home in his own body. He didn’t recognize himself anymore, and deciding what to do about it was a drive pushing him closer and closer to the edge. Tonight might just tip him over. The crash of music against his senses as he crossed the uneven planks of the floor into the darkened interior of the country bar was a welcome reprieve. The beat pounded in his head, his body, matching the adrenaline-laced rhythm of his heart and telling him he wasn’t alone in his need to pound something. Preferably his best friend, Con. The minefield of dancing couples was lighter than usual tonight. Jack didn’t swerve; he made his own path straight to the bar. Anyone in his way could take one look at his face and see they needed to be the one to move aside. They moved. He saved a civil nod for Taylor, the tall blonde waitress who so often served him, as she wove her way through the tables on the far side of the dance floor. Most of them were empty, save a few clustered around the three high-definition TVs hanging along one wall. Ignoring everyone else, Jack zeroed in on his favorite bar stool, the one that should have the shape of his ass tattooed on its surface considering how much time he’d spent on it lately. The stool was the only one positioned where the long mahogany bar top took a sharp turn into the wall. The short span on that end and the wall at his back meant no one shared his space while allowing him to see everyone and everything around him. His guard could stand down and he could relax for just a little while. Maybe. If—and that was a big-ass if—he could stop wanting to punch Con just one time. But then Jess would complain about her pretty-boy husband’s black eye, and Jack wouldn’t hear the end of it for a while. He sighed as he sat on his stool. Probably wasn’t worth it after all. “You’re early, Jack. Run out of asses to kick? People to intimidate?” Jack grunted at the big bruiser of a man making his way down the bar toward him. John, Halftime’s regular bartender, had the shoulders of a defensive lineman, football pads and all. Except he wasn’t wearing any. Jack sometimes held his breath as he watched the man maneuver behind the bar, waiting for one wrong turn to throw John against a shelf and send bottles of liquor and glasses crashing to the floor. Tonight he flicked a bird in John’s general direction as payment for the sarcasm and pretended interest in a couple of women preening at one corner of the dance floor. Yeah, he was in a pissy mood. That wasn’t unusual lately. Didn’t mean Con had the right to send him home like a little kid. Time off wasn’t going to help. John laughed as he stopped in front of Jack. “If you’re needing to relieve a bit of tension, they’re probably up for it,” he said, nodding toward the two women. “Pickings are otherwise slim tonight.” “I bet.” Shirts a bit too tight, a bit too small, makeup a bit too heavy for the eyelashes batting his way. Not out of their early twenties, he’d guess. Way too young for him, especially tonight. Even at their age, he hadn’t felt as young and innocent as they looked; he sure as hell didn’t feel it now, at thirty-four. Besides, quick and dirty and meaningless wasn’t what his gut churned for. He’d seen the real thing now, every time Con and Jess were together—hell, every time the man said something about his wife or even thought about her, it seemed—and Jack had a bad feeling that meaningless wasn’t going to do it for him anymore. If he had a sweet something waiting at home for him like Con did, Jack wouldn’t have to be told to go home; he’d rush there voluntarily. But he didn’t. Work was all he had, and if he wanted to put in extra hours to avoid the silence his house practically throbbed with? That was his choice, not his best friend’s, business partner or not. The best friend who was currently at home, probably curled around—or inside—his wife’s warm body, while Jack was stuck with the occasional one-night stand or a not so satisfying handjob. Jack was damn jealous, not of Jess but of Jess and Con’s relationship. No wonder he was spending so much damn time at the neighborhood bar. He needed a life. A hobby. A dog. Jesus, he was losing it. His expression must’ve given his answer, because John snickered. “Didn’t think so. What’ll ya have?” “The usual.” John nodded. Twisting to look over his shoulder, he yelled, “Maddie, Sam Adams.” “Who’s Maddie?” John turned sideways, showing what his bulk had hidden up till now. Jack glanced down the long service area behind the bar and almost swallowed his tongue. A woman. A blonde woman, but not the same kind of blonde as the waitress, Taylor. This woman had a straw-colored mane, thick enough it almost didn’t fit in the claw clip holding it in a graceful twist at the back of her head. Spikes stuck from the top of the clip to fall along the sides, pointing to the creamy curve of her ear as she bent her head to focus on the frosted glass she was filling at the tap. A slender neck led to a body encased in a tight white T-shirt and short black vest. The clothes silhouetted her tucked-in waist and a sexy strip of bare skin above Levi’s he would swear were painted on. And boots; God, he had such a thing for boots on a woman. And this woman wore them with the ease of longtime use, confirmation that balancing on them was second nature. One look at those boots and his dick shot straight up and strained in her direction as if she were true north and he was a compass. Damn. “Roll your tongue back in your head,” John told him, laughter tangling with the words. Jack glanced at the bartender, over at the woman, back to John. Swallowed. “Right.” John shrugged, and his easy smile widened. “I had the same reaction. Heck, every red-blooded male that’s walked through the door since she was hired Monday has had that reaction. She is something.” “Damn straight.” The towel resting on the new bartender’s shoulder slid off, landing with a plop on the ground. She bent to grab it. Both men groaned. The woman glanced over her shoulder. John startled, actually blushing. Jack kept looking, appreciating the view from the front as much as the back when the new bartender stood to face them. She had a sweet body with curves in all the right, mouthwatering places. “Can I help you gentlemen?” she asked, interrupting his reconnaissance. Jack met her eyes, a brown so dark he couldn’t tell iris from pupil, though the narrowing of her eyelids might’ve had something to do with it too. Her lips were tight, pressing together in a way that made him want to tug them apart with his teeth. The brittle edge to her expression had him narrowing his eyes too. His mama had taught him manners, even if she hadn’t insisted on them for herself, but it wasn’t like he was leering. He believed in appreciating what was before him; nothing crude or ugly about that. Most women he knew basked in the attention. And maybe you’re getting a bit too arrogant, dickhead. He answered her look with a wry smile of his own. The dish towel got a toss into the nearby hamper as the new bartender made her way toward them, Jack’s lager in hand. John tucked himself against the back wall so she could make her delivery. “Maddie, this is Jack.” “Nice to meet you.” Jack extended his hand to shake, the anticipation of touching her forcing his erection harder against his zipper. Down, boy. Maddie shoved his beer into his hand. “You too.” Her voice was feminine, husky, arousing. Which was a ridiculous thought, because she didn’t sound like it was nice to meet him. John sniggered. Jack ignored him, bringing the cold glass mug to his lips. The deep, earthy bark of hops settled in his nose as he took his first drink, but his eyes stayed on Maddie’s. She didn’t back down, didn’t blush, just raised a brow and stared right back. Why in hell did that make him so hot? When he set the beer on the bar, Maddie nodded toward it. “All right?” “Absolutely, darlin’,” he said, the endearment slipping out automatically. The eyebrow got higher. “Good.” He kept staring as Maddie returned to her end of the bar. The spikes of hair sticking up from her clip bounced with every step. Jack imagined his fingers fisting the long length, holding her still for him. Taming the shrew, so to speak. He had not a single doubt that she’d be feisty as hell. Yeah, he’d definitely like to get his hands in that hair. John’s laugh sliced through his sexual haze. He shot the bartender a sharp look. “Shut the hell up.” John laughed harder.
Maddie Baker spent four years seeking vengeance against the man whose abuse destroyed her life. That search has led her to a small town outside Atlanta and a missing teenage girl. Nothing will stand in the way of her mission, including a jackass of an ex-soldier who reawakens emotions best left to die.
A man on the hunt…
Jack Quinn learned to recognize trouble in the marines, and he sees it in Maddie the minute he lays eyes on her tending bar. Her secrets are hidden deep, but secrets are his specialty, and peeling away her barriers only makes him want her more. He’ll do whatever it takes to get her to trust him with her body and her heart.
An old threat whose time has come…
Staying hidden kept Maddie safe, but the search for justice will bring her into the open and face-to-face with her treacherous past. Risking her life is one thing, but risking her heart is another. In love and in danger, she must trust Jack to lead her—and pray they both come out alive.