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Coming April 2016 from Avon Impulse.

An Excerpt from


VIOLET DOUGLAS HAD never thought of herself as brave when it came to men, but after several drinks, she couldn’t stop staring at the tall, hard-looking man across the bar.

And now she was stroking his chest like he was a big, cuddly kitten, and her fuzzy brain wanted to slide her palm lower. To find out what other muscles he was hiding under his T-shirt.

Her question seemed to surprise him for half a second, and then the corner of his mouth kicked up into a sexy half smile that tied her insides up in the best way possible.

“I didn’t know you were waiting long.” His voice was a deep, rumbling timbre that reminded her of Sean Connery without the Scottish accent.

“I’ve been watching you since you walked in,” she said breathlessly. Realizing that could be construed as slightly stalkerish, she added, “I just mean that you’re hard to miss.”

“So are you.”

Violet’s cheeks warmed under his heated gaze. It was the first time she’d ever considered picking a man up in a bar, but after months of work and family drama, he looked like a desert oasis after a long dry spell.

Suddenly, a hand shot between them, and her friend Tracy Macdonald said impatiently, “Hey, I’m Tracy.”

Violet sighed loudly. Tracy had been her best friend since they were in preschool, drawn together by their deep love of Play-Doh and music. Now, at twenty-four, their similarities and common interests were more complex and heartbreaking, but without her, Violet wasn’t sure she’d have survived her childhood. Tracy was her rock, her lighthouse in a storm . . . She adored Tracy.

But as his attention turned toward Tracy and he took her petite hand in his, Violet’s heart squeezed. While she was tall and gangly, Tracy was a little curve factory with gigantic blue eyes and raven’s-wing black hair. Men had always been instantly drawn to Tracy, and it had never bothered Violet before.

“Dean,” he said, releasing Tracy’s hand swiftly. A relieved breath whooshed out when his gaze flicked away from Tracy and back to Violet’s. “And you are?”

Violet slipped her hand into Dean’s large, rough one and squeezed. “I’m Violet.”

She couldn’t tear her eyes or her hand away from him, swaying toward those hypnotic onyx eyes.

“Okay, well, nice to meet you, but I see . . . something, so I’m going to take off.” Tracy’s voice broke through their spell, and Violet released Dean’s hand.


“You just text me when you’re ready to leave,” Tracy said.

Violet knew Tracy was just giving her space, knowing full well that Violet was too responsible to go home with a stranger, but ditching her friend seemed like a dick move.

But when Violet opened her mouth to protest, Tracy opened her eyes wide, nodded her head toward Dean . . .

And started making kissy faced at her from behind Dean’s back.

Violet laughed, and when Dean turned around, Tracy’s expression was pure innocence before she turned and headed into the crowd.

“I didn’t mean to run her off,” Dean said.

The fact that he seemed worried about hurting Tracy’s feelings made him even hotter in Violet’s eyes. “That’s sweet, but she’s on the prowl. Most of the time, I’m the one who ends up taking off to sit in a corner.”

“But not tonight,” he said.

Locking her gaze with his, she shook her head. “No, not tonight.”

Over the deafening hum of the bar, Dean asked, “Can I buy you another drink?”

No, you’ve had enough for a while.

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