Release date: September 15, 2014
Coming home to Beauford Bend opens up old wounds for four sexy, successful brothers, but the love of a few good Southern women will heal their hearts and change their lives forever.
Country music heartthrob Jackson Beauford isn’t used to hearing “no” for an answer. When a tragic fire at one of his concerts stirs memories of the blaze that claimed his family years ago, all he wants is to go back to his childhood home in Tennessee and wallow in his grief. But he arrives home to chaos … and a Southern magnolia with her heels dug in.
After suffering a vicious attack in New York City, Emory Lowell returned to Beauford Bend, a place she’s loved since she was a teenager. Now in charge of Around the Bend Elegant Events, she’s not about to let a spoiled superstar take away her livelihood. The boutique artisan town of Beauford depends on this business, and so does she. With its high walls and around-the- clock security, Beauford Bend is the only place she’s ever truly felt safe.
Jackson insists she close down his late aunt’s business and leave him in peace, but quiet Emory refuses to budge, knowing this is a battle worth fighting. As a passionate attraction flares between these two wounded souls, they discover there’s much more at stake here than business. Jackson may be just the person to help Emory face her past, and if she can help him learn to forgive himself, their love might be the key to turning Beauford Bend back into a real home.
by Alicia Hunter Pace
Sensuality Level: Sensual
Alicia Hunter Pace is a writing team who live in North Alabama where they share a love of football and old houses while having a lot of fun writing romances together.
An excerpt from Forgiving Jackson:
“Emory walked through the crowd. They were still going strong but everything seemed to be fine. They’d either gotten used to the heat or decided to ignore it. She ducked behind the gazebo where the catering tent was set up.
“How’s it going, Gwen?” she asked. Gwen was in charge of food for events, whether she prepared it herself or worked with the Eat Cake Pastry Shop and Beauford Catering from town. Tonight, Beauford Catering had provided the dinner but Gwen and her staff were handling the hors d’oeuvres the clients had insisted on having during the dancing. Gwen looked up from where she was arranging tomato tarts on a silver tray. “Going good! We’re out of bacon and grits fritters but everything else is holding out fine, even for this crowd. They can eat. We’ve never served this much food at one event before.”
“They’re high maintenance all right but we only have a couple more hours. I’m going to check on the bar. Want me to hand that tray off to one of the servers?”
“That’d be great. I need to slice this pork tenderloin.” As she held the tray out, Gwen’s eyes went to a place over Emory’s shoulder and her smile widened. “Well, look who’s come calling!” And Emory’s stomach bottomed out. She knew immediately, before he stepped closer, before she turned and looked, before Gwen said, “Hello there, guitar man. Are you hungry?”
He stepped into Emory’s field of vision and her breath caught like it did every time she saw him in person. On television and in YouTube videos, he always looked smaller and paler, less alive. Sometimes she even tried to convince herself he had shrunk and his eyes weren’t that amazing shade of sage washed around the edges with bright, silvery gray.
But no. Now the truth stood before her—nearly six and a half feet of rock-hard pure male. A man who was so lean and powerful at the same time was truly the eighth wonder of the world. Maybe the ninth, too. Though bandaged from the injury he’d gotten during the fire, the arm that snaked around to hug Gwen was muscular and strong. It was an arm that could make the guitar slung low on his hip laugh and cry all night long without ever getting tired. He’d cut his hair. Maybe it had gotten singed in the fire and he’d had to. Regardless, it suited him, made him look younger, more like he had that first summer she saw him—though his body had come into its own since then. The edge of the tattoo that barely peeped out of the left sleeve of his black t-shirt and the thin, braided leather bracelet on his left wrist were the only things that hinted that he didn’t make his living investing bonds in the most conservative bank in America.
An old feeling came over Emory. It had been so long she barely recognized it as desire. It didn’t surge and take hold like it had in more innocent, more ignorant days. Rather, it drifted in and settled in place like a cloud that wasn’t sure it was welcome. Small wonder; that feeling hadn’t been welcome in a long time. Could be it had settled in now only because the object of her desire was more likely to kill her than kiss her. A little excitement was fun when it was wrapped in safety.
He smiled as he and Gwen bantered in the way old friends did—though Emory couldn’t have reported what they said. She just stood there holding a tray of tomato tarts, wanting what she was never going to have.