Genre: Contemporary Romance
A no-strings-attached adventure with the most gorgeous man I’ve ever seen—this was my alcohol-slash-lust-fueled proposal, and given before I could consider the potential ramifications. While his looks alone are enough to make a girl swoon, it’s the rest of him—a perfect balance of mysterious, sweet, and effortlessly charming—that draws me in. Through his cryptic comments and half-answers, he’s quickly become an enigma I’m determined to solve.
One way or another, this adventure promises to snap the stagnant, lackluster pattern my love life has been locked in lately.
Is it naïve and a little reckless to think this won’t blow up in my face? Probably.
But the bigger question is the only one I need to answer…
Is the chance to soar among the stars worth the risk of being burned when the sun eventually rises?
Love is a mistake I won’t make again.
My rules are simple. Keep things surface-deep. Don’t make plans. And never, ever get attached.
One look at her is all it takes for me to break my first rule.
One conversation with her is all it takes for me to question everything.
Which means accepting her proposal is bound to be a mistake.
She has no idea who I am or what kind of demons I live with, so I tell myself there’s no harm in spending one day with her. But the more I lose myself in her, the more she brings me out of the darkness and into her light, the harder it’ll be to let her go.
When reality comes crashing down on us in the worst way possible, I have to decide between walking away…or risking everything for the woman who breaks all of my rules.
“Hi.” I smiled, coming to a stop next to her.
The scowl she was wearing melted away completely, and the breathtaking smile I’d missed spread across her lips. Her smile, and the warmth it gave off, was far more intoxicating than any alcohol I’d ever had.
“Hi, yourself,” she tossed back, shaking her head gently with disbelief. “Tell me, do you always stare at strangers at bars?” she asked in a light, teasing tone, reminding me of the question I’d asked her at the lake.
I shook my head. “Only strangers who have tried to take my head off.”
Her eyes flitted to the side of my forehead where the stick had landed. She laughed. “You’re really milking that tiny little bump, aren’t you?”
I shrugged. “You know, I think it’s only fair I know your name since you’ve already left your mark on me.” In more ways than one.
She pretended to weigh her options, torturing me for a few seconds before reaching out to offer me her hand. “Jade.”
“Emmett.” I tried not to think about how perfectly natural having her hand in mine felt, or how mesmerizing her green eyes were when they seared into mine.
“Emmett,” she repeated.
Hearing my name on her lips did stupid things to my gut, and I was back to feeling like some teenage idiot unable to control his hormones. “So, Jade, what brought you out here with such a grim expression?”
Her gaze swept past me to somewhere behind us. She sighed, sounding relieved, before bringing her eyes back to me. “I came with my friend, but she was, um, occupied. Some guy inside was being crude and inappropriate and wouldn’t leave me alone, so I came out here to get away. Sounds stupid now,” she added with a shrug.
I nodded in understanding and tried to temper the anger I felt when I thought about some guy being an asshole to her. Knowing there were guys out there who exhibited behavior of that nature infuriated me. I wanted to find the guy and be more than crude and inappropriate to him.
Jade was gorgeous, and I had absolutely no doubt she’d dealt with her fair share of assholes. “On behalf of my gender, let me apologize and assure you the rest of us hate guys like him as much as you do.”
She nodded and sipped her drink. “What about you? Why were you all broody and mysterious out here by yourself?”
Something told me because I followed you and was trying to decide if I could talk to you wasn’t the best answer. With a shrug, I ran my hands along the stubble on my jawline. “Mysterious, huh?” Knowing she’d been watching me too sent a jolt of pleasure through my limbs. “I came with friends as well, and we had a, uh, disagreement, so I just needed a little breathing room.” Vague, but not untrue. My jaw tensed just thinking about the conversation, a reminder of why I shouldn’t even have come up to her in the first place. And yet…here I was. I’m such a fucking idiot.
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About C.R. Ellis
C.R. Ellis is a Texas native who writes contemporary romance novels with plenty of drama and humor, and just enough heat to ignite e-readers and paperbacks everywhere. She can almost always be found attached to her laptop with coffee nearby and her two trusty canine sidekicks by her side. When she’s not writing or plotting, she enjoys going to concerts with her sweet husband, dragging him along to see rom-coms at any theater that serves booze, checking off the next destination on her ever-growing travel bucket list, and trying new recipes.
Her passion for writing stems from her lifelong love of reading, and she often binge-reads entire books in a day. She’s an unapologetic book hoarder, and her paperback collection is rivaled only by her massive shoe collection.