Yay so excited that Burned, Bold and Brazen in Whispering Cove releases from Samhain Publishing today!
In my story, Brazen, Adam is one of my favorite hero’s and I had such a fun time writing his story.
A woman on fire with desire. A man with the right equipment to fan the flames.
Josie Wells’s libido is in an uproar. Her psychic promised she’d meet Mr. Right—two months ago. Her good-girl image is wearing thin, and when she gets the chance to have a little fun with town bad boy Adam Collins, she decides to go for it. The notorious playboy will be perfect for some no-strings play time until the real thing comes along.
Knowing he goes for the brazen type, Josie pours on the heat to seduce him at the town’s Festival. The kiss they share touches off an explosion of passion she never saw coming.
Adam’s always been crazy about Josie, but he’s never been willing to expose such a nice girl to the Collins Curse. She deserves the big house with the white picket fence—with a man who doesn’t have failed relationships written all over his family tree.
As their brief affair starts to become something more—and the town psychic predicts that Josie is destined to be his—Adam dares to hope there’s a chance. But then he learns a secret that makes him question what’s real…and what isn’t.
Adam Collins leaned against old man Henningar’s fifteen-hundred-pound, prize-winning pumpkin and plucked a piece of straw from the bales of hay surrounding the freakishly large gourd. He plopped the dry strand of grass into his mouth and glanced around the bustling fair grounds, noting that there seemed to be a new energy and excitement in the air this year. Perhaps it was because all his friends were either hooking up, getting married, or having babies. Or perhaps it was because the small town had an influx of people since Katy Wilson’s, or rather, Katy Parker’s cooking show put their quaint fishing village on the map.
Either way, as he thought more about Katy, and her recent marriage to his best friend and fellow firefighter Trent Parker, a delicious medley of tastes—everything from sugary cotton candy, rich, buttery popcorn to greasy, hand-cut french fries—settled on the back of his tongue and had him realizing just how alone he felt in the crowd.
There was no denying that he loved this time of year. Loved when people from the neighboring communities ventured into his beloved town of Whispering Cove to celebrate the land’s rich harvest and the ocean’s lush bounty. Loved when friends, old and new, all came together in the downtown core to partake in the annual fall festival.
But when the giggles of small children and the laughter of their parents cut through the noise of the fair’s activities and wrapped around his heart like a tight vise, it was simply a reminder of what he wanted. And what he could never have.
Fortunately, before he had time to dwell on that disheartening truth, Errol Wilson came hobbling up to him and poked him with his cane, dragging his dark thoughts back to the present.
“Get off your keister there, boy, and try to rustle us up some victims…err, I mean, customers for that dang psychic booth. How do you think we’re gonna raise money for the new community center if we ain’t drawing in paying folk?”
“Errol,” Adam greeted as he removed the butt of the cane from his gut and placed it on the yellowing, sunburnt grass at his feet. “I see your leg is bothering you again.”
Errol snarled. “Dang thing’s been stiffening up on me. Must be the cooler weather…”
Before Errol could finish his sentence, his thoughts drifted off and his gaze shifted to a distant spot behind Adam’s shoulder. If Adam didn’t know better he’d think the old guy was losing his mind. But he did know better.
Despite his age, Errol Wilson—bright, energetic and wily—was the spark in every fire, the crest in every wave and was to never, ever be underestimated. Adam twisted to follow Errol’s gaze, wondering exactly what it was that caught the old guy’s attention and managed to distract him from his constant pestering.
When he spotted Trent, Errol’s new son-in-law, hugging his wife Katy, who looked to be putting on a fair bit of weight—right around the mid section—Adam couldn’t help but smile. He was happy for his friends, happy to see them moving forward at a breakneck speed in an attempt to make up for the ten long years they’d spent apart.
Adam knew the two had a secret but it certainly wasn’t his place to let the cat out of the bag. Hell, as a local fire fighter at station 415, the only cat he planned on freeing was the one trapped in a tree. Those two would tell Errol, one of Whispering Cove’s biggest gossips—the other two being Harold Adair and Bryon Mitchell, Errol’s partners in crime—when they were damn well ready.
Errol narrowed those inquisitive eyes of his, now dark and cloudy from old age, but Adam didn’t miss the seed of hope blossoming in their murky depths when he asked, “You think she’s got my great-grandbaby in there?”
Adam pushed himself off the pumpkin and stretched out his arms, feeling a bit stiff himself after last night’s softball game. “I don’t know, Errol. You’ll have to ask Katy and Trent that yourself.”
“I have. They ain’t spilling.” He paused to offer Adam a mischievous smirk and gave a slight nod of his head when he said, “But no worries, lad. I know just how to find out.”
Fallen maple leaves, crisp and colorful from the changing season, crunched beneath Adam’s sneakers as he began walking toward the psychic booth. He cast Errol a warning glance and arched a brow as the older man rushed to keep pace. “I thought your days of meddling were supposed to be over.”
Although as of late, after watching Hauk and Vic, as well as Reece and Tabby find love during the fall festival, Adam had begun to suspect the gruesome threesome were up to their old matchmaking ways. Of course the whole town knew those two couples belonged together, and while the meddlesome grandfathers all swore they had nothing to do with it, Adam still had his suspicions.
“Ain’t nothing wrong with a little digging, boy.”
“Errol,” he cautioned.
That brought a grimace to Errol’s weathered face. “You youngins are always telling us old folk how to run our business when y’all know nothing about nothing.”
Ignoring Errol’s rant, Adam stopped a few feet away from the psychic booth, although he could hardly classify it as a booth, not with the long draping curtains Tabby had breathed new life into and sewed together to form exterior walls. With its flowing entrance, soft welcoming pillows and numerous, multicolored scarves shimmering in the slight breeze, the elegance of the sultan’s tent hadn’t gone unnoticed by him. Perhaps the classiness was to hide the fact that Madame M, the so-called clairvoyant inside, was as phony as Errol’s convictions that he’d stopped interfering in other people’s lives.
Adam jammed his hands into his pockets and scoffed as he rocked on the balls of his feet. “Whose idea was it to put up a psychic stand this year anyway?”
“Mine. Why? You got something against psychics?” When Adam gave Errol a dubious look, Errol probed, “What? You don’t believe in them?”
“That’s right.” But before he could elaborate and tell the old man that he believed in psychics about as much as he believed he was the marrying kind, sweet Josie Wells walked by.
As his heart picked up tempo, he fisted his hands inside his pockets and tried to appear unaffected, a difficult task considering the prettiest girl he’d ever known had just passed in front of him. A girl he wanted in the worst fucking way.
Wearing a pretty dress that hugged her soft feminine curves in all the right places, Adam couldn’t help but watch the easy, casual way she moved, couldn’t help but take pleasure in her innocent sensuality as she sauntered by, or the way that innocent sensuality seeped under his skin and settled deep in his groin.
Her hips swayed seductively and a beautiful smile lit up her blue eyes as she moved past them, but Adam was too damn preoccupied thinking about how that sensuous body of hers would feel beneath his, how that long silken blonde hair of hers would feel running along his naked flesh to formulate any sort of a response.
As a kindergarten teacher at the local elementary school, not only was Josie compassionate, caring, soft spoken and patient—basically she was the antithesis of the wild and wicked women he was accustomed to—she had flawless skin made for touching, full sensuous lips made for kissing and a lush body made for making love. Simply put, Josie was real, natural and sensual. With a girl like her, a girl with no hidden agendas, what you saw was what you got. And what he saw made his dick hard. So goddamn hard it was all he could do not to excuse himself and head straight to his bedroom so he could take the edge off.
Before he could stop himself, he made a choking sound, a half growl, half gurgle.
To learn more head on over to Cathryn@cathrynfox.com