New Adult Contemporary Romance and Mystery
Released September 22, 2014
The one secret she can't stand to keep is the one she can't afford to tell.
I would never forget the summer the Outlaws had caught me playing hooky with Aubree and Verity. Of course I had been the instigator. Verity had been on board almost from the start, because she was way more than the perfect preacher’s daughter everyone believed her to be. Aubree was the holdout. In high school, she was so wrapped up in her need to be perfect she was terrified of doing something naughty. But two against one wore her down.
I was feeling restless and talked them into sneaking out to the swamp with me. I had snagged a bottle of really good wine from my dad’s collection. Which he missed and my brothers guessed it was me. They had taken the blame to protect their little Princess of a sister. Shoot. I could spit. I was so sick of the label.
Anyway, we’d sneaked into the swamp with the triple alibi that each of us was spending the night at one of the others’ house. We’d just been swimming. I had on a bikini which didn’t cover much. That’s when I’d heard it. An air boat. It wasn’t long before the three of them spotted us.
The Outlaw trips had been sixteen then, pure, adolescent renegades, and in my whole life, no one had ever looked at me as intensely as Brax did that night, me standing there in my itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny bikini. His brothers had only paused, but not Brax, with his lazy, hip-shot stance and heavy-lidded gaze. They’d been frogging, had the filled burlap bags in their hands. His T-shirt had been white, damp, and dirty, his arms tanned and thick with muscle, the veins running prominently in relief down his forearms to the backs of his hands. The bright blue fire of his eyes had caressed me everywhere, stroked my skin, stirring something exciting and reckless in me. It had been the most powerful encounter I’ve ever had with him.
I had no shame in high school, and I never ever backed down. It was just my nature, and Braxton pushed every one of my buttons, the sassy ones as well as the sexy ones.
He looked so damned fine in his tight jeans, which had done nothing to hide his reaction to me. I’d noticed his reaction right before he turned to walk away, and if he hadn’t, I might have done something truly crazy that night.
Not sex, I hadn’t been ready for sex, but the way he looked at me had definitely made me long for a hot, wet kiss. It would have been my first kiss and I wondered what it would feel like with him. His moist mouth, his hot tongue. There had been no doubt I wanted to feel his arms around me, and to look into those impossibly blue eyes and taste him. To slide my fingers up into his silky dark hair, to touch his skin and feel his warmth surround me in a safe way. Maybe to feel, for a moment or two, like something besides a damn Princess.
Though why I’d thought I could feel safe with a bad boy Outlaw who broke hearts as easily as he breathed was beyond me.
Now he was physically even stronger, harder, his face still knee-melting, and his hair still too-long and sexily mussed up. He hadn’t looked at me the same way again—until only an hour ago.
It had been four years since the night in the swamp, but I had gone to bed every night since then with his face in my mind—which was ridiculous, since he’d never, not once, made a move on me.
He finally looked up.
We stared at each other like adversaries. He was determined not to give in, and I was determined to make him do just that. It was a battle of wills, and Brax was perhaps the most formidable opponent I’d ever faced. He’d done an admirable job of keeping me at a distance. But Aubree opened my eyes, and I was on to his strategy. He also had revealed it today himself. Before this summer was out, before I went back to New York City, I would have him. I swore it. I would no longer have anything on my list of regrets when I was a sassy old lady. Not a cotton-picking thing.
I would bring him to his knees and make him beg.
Facts About A PERFECT DILEMMA
By Zoe Dawson
ü Before Braxton sang with his brothers in Outlaws, he was in a band in Lafayette called the Bad Boys and River Pearl would go there and watch him perform in secret.
ü I had only planned to write about 80K and I had so much material I went to 109K. I had to cut out the whole scene I was going to write with everyone at the Cajun cousins’ barbeque.
ü For this book, I had to do a little research on the Civil War. It was interesting.
ü Each of the Outlaws can play several instruments. In fact, Braxton is very proficient on drums.
ü River Pearl’s current house was built on the same land that housed her ancestor, Colonel Beauregard Sutton. The original house was raised and the newer home built.
ü River Pearl’s family owns a pecan store called Nuts ‘N Honey in town where they sell the nuts and other items.
Zoe Dawson is the alter ego of Karen Anders, award winning, multi-published author. Her writing journey started with poetry and branched out into fiction. With a couple of college English courses under her belt, she penned a historical, then moved onto contemporary romance fiction. Today, she is happy producing romantic suspense, romantic mystery, urban fantasy and paranormal novels. The words feed her soul and the happily ever afters feed her heart.