The 4th book in the Fairhope series is here!!! The Fear of Letting Go released today!!
She’ll have to let go of the past in order to find a love that could last a lifetime.
All I wanted when I moved to Fairhope was to disappear. I wanted to become a ghost. A stranger to everyone who knew me before, including my parents. Especially my parents. I never expected to become someone. A friend. A faithful employee. A scholar. And least of all, a lover. Love is a word I never truly understood until I moved here and witnessed it with my own eyes. My own heart.
I always believed love was a fairy tale, and now that I’m starting to fall for Fairhope’s most eligible billionaire, Preston Wright, it all feels like some cruel joke. A dream I need to shake myself out of before it’s too late. Before I make the same mistakes my mother made and end up right back where I started.
I know I should stay as far away from him as possible, but fate keeps pulling us back together. I’ve never been so afraid of something in my life. And I’ve never wanted someone more.
**This is Book 4 of the Fairhope series. While each book can be read as a stand-alone, some characters interactions and events will be more meaningful if you follow this series from the beginning.**
The music is loud tonight, just the way I like it.
“Can I get another beer down here?”
I slide my empty bottle across the counter toward Knox. He nods and pulls a cold one from the cooler beneath the bar.
“Keep ’em coming,” I say.
Next to me, my best friend, Leigh Anne, laughs. “You’re like a bottomless pit,” she says. “How can you eat almost an entire pizza and still have room for a six-pack of beer?”
I shrug and grab a handful of peanuts from the bowl in front of me. “It’s a gift,” I say. I don’t mention that it’s probably a product of being hungry most of my life, never entirely sure where my next meal might be coming from. When I was growing up, when someone put food in front of you, you ate as much of it as your stomach could fit.
It’s a rare Saturday off work for me, and with school out for spring break, most of the college crowd is ready to party. It’s good to see so many people out at Rob’s tonight. Since Knox took over, helping his uncle and his cousin Jo get the business back on its feet, they’ve been growing into the best hangout in Fairhope.
“We should dance,” I say. I grab Leigh Anne’s hand and drag her protesting ass onto the dusty dance floor.
“You know, I always took you as more of a rock and roll kind of girl,” she says, shouting over the music.
“Me? No way. I’m a country girl, through and through.” I take her hands in mine and twirl her around. Between school and my job at the restaurant, I’ve been working entirely too hard lately. I need a little bit of fun in my life, and dancing is just what the doctor ordered.
The small dance floor is crowded with sweaty bodies, and I pull her right into the middle of them. All I want to do right now is dance until I feel sweat trickle down the back of my neck. For just a little while, I’d like to forget about my ghosts, and let go.
An old George Strait song comes on, and I loop my arm in Leigh Anne’s and pull her around. She finally gives in and smiles.
Half an hour later, we stroll back to the bar, our hearts racing and our eyes shining.
I down the rest of my beer, which isn’t quite so cold anymore, and ask for another. “That wasn’t so bad now, was it?”
Leigh Anne shakes her head and laughs. “Everything’s fun when you’re around.”
“Damned straight,” I say, knocking the bottle on the counter twice for emphasis. “I haven’t had a weekend off in ages.”
“I haven’t either. Not here in Fairhope, anyway.” Leigh Anne has been traveling up to Boston most weekends lately, getting ready for her upcoming testimony against a famous movie star who raped her a couple of years back, when she was in school there. “It’s nice to be home for a change.”
I squeeze her hand. “How have things been going up there?”
She shrugs. “As good as can be expected,” she says. “Some of the media has died down for a while, but I know it’s just going to start back up as soon as the trial begins in a couple of months.”
“Assholes,” I say. “They don’t care about the people involved. They just want a good story, however they have to spin it.”
“It’s only going to get worse,” she says. “I’m scared to death.”
“It’s going to be fine,” I tell her. I know how difficult it was for her to stand up and tell the truth about what happened. “No matter what happens, in the end you can know you told your side of the story.”
“Yes, but I’d also like for Burke Redfield to spend the next ten years rotting in some jail cell instead of making multi-million dollar movies.”
“He will,” I say. “Five different women testifying about what he did to them? There’s no way that bastard is walking free. I promise you.”
Only, I know I can’t promise anything. With the money and influence a guy like Burke has behind him, there’s no telling what will happen come May. She knows it, and I know it, and nothing I can say is going to take that fear away from her.
Which is why we both could use a little let-loose time in our lives.
“Either way, I’ll be right there behind you every step of the way,” I say. “I just have to figure out where I’m going to stay while the trial is going on. I need something cheap and from what I’m learning so far on the internet, Boston doesn’t really do cheap.”
She laughs. “That’s true, but don’t worry about it,” she says. “I told you Penny and Preston’s family is already making arrangements for everyone.”
Preston. Dammit. Why does the sound of his name always send tingles down my spine? I can barely be in the same room with him these days without getting a hot flash. And Preston Wright is not the kind of guy I need to be getting all hot and bothered about. In fact, he’s exactly the kind of guy I need to stay twenty feet away from at all times.
“I know, but it doesn’t feel right to take charity from them.”
“It’s not charity,” she says. “They want to help. Besides, it will be great to have everyone together in one place, away from the media circus. They’re looking into renting a couple of neighboring houses in a nice gated community. No press access. If you stay in some hotel, we’ll barely see each other.”
I nod and plant a big kiss on her forehead. “I’ll do whatever you want, sweet-cheeks. Just say the word.”
“Don’t go kissing my woman in public,” Knox says, sliding another beer toward me. He leans over the counter and pulls Leigh Anne into a whopper of a kiss. The kind that makes your knees go weak.
The kind I haven’t had in entirely too long.
“I can’t help it if she’s in love with me,” I tease.
“I love you both,” Leigh Anne says, but her eyes are locked on Knox’s.
God, I want what they have someday. How exactly does one find a love like theirs? I guess they say it happens when you least expect it, but I have never expected it. Not a single day in my whole life have I ever really believed someone like me could ever have something like that. Where I come from, true love is nothing more than a fairy tale. And fairy tales are dangerous.
I take another sip of my beer, letting the cold rush of it go straight to my head. My eyes roam across the crowd, and I’m feeling that itch again. I don’t need true love. All I need is someone good enough to get me through the night.