I just wanted to belong…
Sadie had never belonged anywhere other than on stage. A soulful singer and musician, she left home at a young age and never looked back. No one missed her anyhow. Traveling the country with one no good boyfriend or another for work, Sadie settled in New Orleans until another d-bag boyfriend decided she wasn’t enough…and the slutty new bartender was.
She left for Mustang Prairie and the open arms of her half-sister Amelia…or so she thought
I just wanted to protect her…
Dylan Parker was retired at the ripe old age of 34. After catching a serial killer who’d tortured Chicago for a decade, he was ready to turn in his homicide detective’s shield.
Needing distance from his high society parents and their social climbing friends he packed up his truck and bought a bar in Mustang Prairie. Getting reacquainted with small town life would be an adjustment…until he met a copper haired amazon with a voice like warm honey.
Sadie was everything he wanted; a friend, a devil’s advocate, a sister, and a confidante. Theirs was a deeply satisfying friendship so Sadie and Dylan fought their mutual attraction.
Can Sadie & Dylan admit that their friendship feels more like love?
Targeted Age Group:: 18+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Sadie made a brief appearance in A Little Bit In Love and I knew she would get her own story because I fell in love with her. She was a singer with a big heart and a past that colored every aspect of her current life. I had to find the perfect guy for her and I knew that she needed a man with a protective instinct. Who is more protective than a retired homicide detective? I fell in love with their story and knew I needed to tell it.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I wanted a character who was larger than life in her own special way and Sadie is tall, curvy with a head full of bright red curls. She sang and I needed her to have her own story. I had to find a way to explain that her half sister hadn’t mentioned in her book 1 and for most of book 2, which gave me a chance to make her background a bit different from most of the people in Mustang Prairie. Dylan was easy. He was big and tall and dreamy with a mile-wide protective instinct.
“No. Absolutely not.” Dylan shook his head and continued checking off items on his inventory list. Owning a bar was a lot of work, more than he realized when he thought it’d be a good investment after retirement.
“Come on Dyl, why not?” Sadie leaned over the bar, ducking her head into his line of vision and staring into his stunning blue eyes. “Please.”
He pretended to ignore her even though he couldn’t ignore those pouty lips for all the free beer in the land. Or all the cleavage on display. Sadie was hot. She was tall—close to six feet—with the biggest mass of burnt copper curls tumbling down her back. Her eyes were light brown with tiny flecks of gold and green, and they always looked like they knew a joke the rest of the world wasn’t privy to. And her body, well it was a damn work of art. Part gypsy pinup girl and part walking talking wet dream. Curves for days and a sway to her hip that could make a grown man cry. But as gorgeous as she was, and she was, Sadie was also his best friend so he couldn’t go there. Nope, not even a little bit, he constantly had to remind himself.
“You can’t ignore me forever, big guy.” She laughed when his eyes rose to hers at the nickname. “Oh come on you’re huge and you know it.”
He set down his pen and pushed away from the counter, his massive arms folded across his chest as he pinned her with a stare that made grown men and hardened criminals confess their deepest and darkest sins.
The look just made Sadie laugh. “Aww you’re so cute when you go all ‘gritty homicide detective’ on me.” She leaned in to pinch his cheek but he dodged out of the way.
“Cute? Did you just call me cute?”
She laughed again, the melodic sound making it hard for him to withhold his own. “As a button. Big Guy.”
He bit his cheek to hide the grin still fighting to break free at her teasing words. “I’m still a hero you know. They’d never convict me,” he mumbled under his breath.
“Yeah right. You kill me and you lose a friend, bookkeeper and a sometimes bartender and singer. Plus you lo-ove me,” she sang.
His shoulders fell in defeat. She was right, he knew it and he hated it. “You’re right about all of that so I’m not going to kill you. But I’m also not going to let you have a baby shower in my bar.”
“Why not?” Her eyes were wide in shock.
“Because I don’t want pink streamers and diapers filled with chocolate left lying around.”
She perked up at his words. “I’ll clean it up. All of it.” At his skeptical look she clarified. “Well, I’ll make sure it’s clean when the shower is over.”
“Why would I do this?”
Sadie huffed as though she was exhausted from the conversation and stole a few olives from the condiment bin. “Let’s see. How about because Alex is your friend and this can be your gift to her, unless you want me to sign your name to the diaper dispenser I bought?” At his blank stare she continued. “I didn’t think so. Okay, how about because you’ll get $1,500 for letting us make use of your esteemed establishment.”
Shit. Now he couldn’t say no and she knew it. That was a good chunk of change, too much to pass up without feeling it. “Fine. Five hours, free champagne and cleanup.” He stuck his hand out but Sadie ignored it and reached over the bar to wrap her arms around his neck. “Thanks Dylan,” she patted his cheek affectionately. “You’re the absolute best.”
He grumbled at her, “Don’t you forget it.”
She pulled back with a cheeky grin. “Don’t get beside yourself, Big Guy. Shellie is handling food and Luna has booze taken care of. We just need your space.”
He nodded and turned his attention back to the dreaded inventory sheets, trying not to watch his best friend’s ass as she sauntered away. Note to self, call Ty soon to hang out.
“I think fuchsia and magenta would liven this place up real nice.”
Her throaty laugh made it hard to stay mad. “As long as they’re gone before I arrive, you can do what you like. Within reason.”
She turned at the door so the sunlight bathed her body, highlighting every curve hidden beneath that long white dress. Her eyes lit up nearly as bright as the midday sun, “But you’re the man candy and bartender Dylan, so I figured I should clear it with you first.” She laughed again, giving a quick finger wave as the door closed behind her.
Dylan smiled to himself inside the empty bar. Sadie was a nut, a beautiful nut, but still a nut, and she had quickly become his best friend and his greatest source of unfulfilled desire. The closest friend he’d ever had actually. It was a first for him, having a female friend. Dylan didn’t have women who were his friends. For him there were two types of women, those he was related to and those he wanted to take to bed. His fellow officers weren’t exempt from his desire, but he never muddied the waters at work so he only looked. He didn’t do workplace drama and nothing started it like sleeping with a coworker.
Yet here in Mustang Prairie his closest friend was a woman. An incredibly attractive woman he could laugh with and even watch sports or jam with on his guitar. And that wasn’t the only change since leaving the force and the city behind. Down here, away from the constant sirens and endless violence, Dylan went for walks at night and stopped reaching for a gun that no longer took up residence at his waist when a patron entered the bar. He did still remind Sadie to lock her doors and carry mace, at least three times a day. Some habits didn’t die as easily as others.
Once a cop, always a cop.
Not anymore, he thought. Now he was a full time bar owner, sometimes bartender and resident of the sleepy town of Mustang Prairie. It felt good to be back. He hadn’t visited since he left at age 15 after his father’s attempt at academia proved a spectacular failure. It had taken him four years to admit defeat and return to the family business of making money. Apparently Maurice Parker found it impossible to live on just fifty thousand a year, which his father had ordered once Maurice left the business and his allowance was cut off. Quickly the small bucolic town of Mustang Prairie became a distant memory for the Parkers. Except for Dylan who had never forgotten the town.
He loved the small town with tree lined streets, homeowners who took care of their own lawns or hired teenagers rather than landscapers to do the job and they welcomed new neighbors with fresh baked casseroles made up of mystery ingredients. His favorite had been the tuna, broccoli and cheddar casserole made by Shirl, who owned a diner in town. The people of Mustang Prairie had made him feel welcome, they had cheered for him on the football field and most important to a teenage Dylan, they didn’t care that he didn’t want to follow in his father’s esteemed footsteps. In fact since his return nearly the entire town had stopped by the bar or his house to welcome him home or congratulate him on his distinguished career. Some even thanked him for putting Jebediah Wainwright behind bars. He was proud, if uneasy, about all the praise but he accepted it all with a warm smile.
Being here felt nice. He felt nice, like a real person instead of a person sloughing through the dark and grimy underbelly of urban life.
This was his shot to start over and he would not let the darkness consume him. Eventually it would fade to grey until that grey became white. He would learn, dammit, to bask in the light and do everything right.
Links to Purchase eBooks – Click links for book samples and reviews
Is this book in Kindle Unlimited? Yes
Have you read this book? Tell us what you thought! All information was provided by the author and not edited by us. This is so you get to know the author better.