Going Wild is now available from Amazon Kindle Worlds!
Here’s a sneak peek from Chapter One. For more excerpt and behind the scenes info, stop Pendragon’s my FB reader group!
“I do not need a cowboy.”
The sincere announcement earned Angel Lancaster a few curious looks from the few afternoon patrons of the Come Again and one severe frown from a burly looking gentleman in a lumberjack shirt nursing his beer at the far end of the bar.
“Country boy,” her friend clarified with a laugh. Scottie set a glass of wine in front of Angel. “And every woman needs a country boy, at least once in her life.”
The word country was the only part of that sentence that held any interest for Angel and was the sole reason she’d let Scottie talk her into visiting Sapphire Falls in the first place. The small Nebraskan town wasn’t the most ideal place to figure out her next move, but it was the last place her family—her father in particular—would expect her to go.
Not only did Sapphire Falls give her a chance to catch up with Scottie after not seeing each other for nearly three years, it also gave Angel the opportunity to spend some time with her grandmother. Closing in on eighty-five, her grandmother still insisted on living on her own in a slightly rundown cottage at the edge of the farming property she’d sold when Angel’s grandfather passed away years ago.
Angel picked up her glass. “What this woman needs is to stay far away from anything with a penis, and that includes any and all country boys.”
This time, the guy at the bar choked on his beer, his cough briefly drowning out the music Angel had been tapping her foot to since she sat down.
She held up her glass, assessing the crimson liquid. “I thought you were going to give me a real drink?”
Scottie laughed, wiping at something on the counter as if she did it all the time and wasn’t just filling in as a favor. “You love wine. And I’d rather not have to tuck you into bed with aspirin and a gallon of water before my shift is even over.”
“Borcher’s is not that strong.”
“That’s because you can barely remember what happened the last time you had some.”
The real problem was that she remembered too much. “I remember the hangover very clearly.” And the fallout that destroyed her father’s trust in her. And he was going to lose his mind when he heard she’d ditched her cultural responsibilities for a trip to the one place he’d made her promise never to go back to.
Angel took a long drink of her wine, reminding herself that she was an adult and perfectly capable of making good choices. Her phone chimed and a text from her brother popped up on the screen.
Where are you?
So her mother hadn’t told anyone. Yet.
She’d thought Angel’s trip to Sapphire Falls was a great idea, despite Angel’s initial reservations. Her mother wouldn’t be able to keep the destination of her impromptu trip to herself forever, though, especially when her father learned Angel had dropped off the grid.
She tucked the phone into her purse and took an even bigger drink.
“That bad?” Scottie tucked her long, red-gold hair back in a ponytail and paused long enough to pour another beer for a customer.
Angel shook her head. “Worse.”
“Worse than the time you threw up in Michael’s lap when he proposed?”
“It wasn’t a real proposal,” Angel pointed out, trying not to cringe at the memory.
“Or the time you found a ring in Steven’s sock drawer and bolted so fast you crashed into a police car.”
“I was trying not to hit a cat,” she pointed out.
Scottie cocked her head. “And how did that turn out?”
“The cat lived.” And she’d paid for all the stray’s vet bills before adopting the one-eyed cat that didn’t like anyone except her.
Scottie’s eyes widened. “Oh no. Lewis didn’t…did he?”
“Propose? No.” She hadn’t let their relationship get that far. Her heart wasn’t in it, hadn’t really been in it with any of them.
She could have a good time and enjoy their company, but none of them compared to the fantasy guy she’d built up in her mind.
“Don’t look at me like that. I’m not crazy.”
Scottie opened her mouth to respond, cut off by the sound of a door slamming into the wall. They turned in enough time to catch the blur that darted past half a dozen people before hopping the bar and dropping out of sight.
The move sent two glasses and the carved pumpkin on the corner of the bar toppling off the counter where they smashed at Angel’s feet.
What the hell?
She leaned to the side and glimpsed the man crouched next to one of the beer fridges.
He stared up at Scottie, finger pressed to his lips. “You owe me.”
Scottie scoffed. “Oh no. You’re on your own, Cade.” She came out from behind the bar, pausing next to Angel. “I’ll be back in a minute.” She disappeared through a door marked Employee’s Only.
Curious about the exchange, Angel slid off her stool to collect the chunks of busted pumpkin. She couldn’t remember Scottie mentioning dating anyone named Cade, but the pair clearly had a history of some kind.
Conscious of being watched, she lifted her head to find Scottie’s friend staring at her.
She hadn’t burst into the bar or dove behind a counter, but she might as well have. His piercing gaze followed every move she made as if there wasn’t anything as interesting as her in the room.
She glanced away to focus on cleaning the mess only to sneak another look at him a few seconds later.
He didn’t seem to notice that he was staring at her, his lips curving in a slow smile. A curl of dark hair fell across his forehead, his eyes a deep forest green that studied her so intently a thousand molten butterflies spread their wings at once inside her.
She lifted her hand to her stomach, a flicker of something familiar…
The door banged open again, and he put his finger back to his lips, silently pleading with her not to give him away.
Who was this guy?