About DEEP IN THE HEART (January 8th)
She's mending guitars and her life. He's trying to forget the war with music. Will one broken instrument make their love a smash hit?
Jenna Olsen isn't sure she'll ever escape her terrible choices in love. Becoming a skilled guitar craftsperson helped with the anxiety, but she dreams of the day when she can trust someone again. When an up-and-coming country star asks for a custom guitar in an impossible time-frame, Jenna falls for the challenge… and the man.
Camden Grace loves his music and adores his fans. His passions help him cope with the physical wounds he sustained in Iraq, but he remains haunted by his fractured family history. After his latest angry outburst leaves an expensive guitar shattered, he doesn't expect to find a strong-willed woman whose struggle echoes his own.
As the instrument and their feelings start to come together, an old would-be flame attempts to sabotage their relationship with increasingly aggressive behavior. Will a jealous rival kill more than their careers or will Jenna and Camden rise above the rage to heal their hearts forever?
I cradled the phone between my ear and my shoulder, mainly because my hands shook too hard for me to hold the device in place.
“Hello?” Cam’s deep voice caused a pleasant ripple through my belly. Not caring about my dates the last few years made the situation both easier and harder— I didn’t know how to deal with my flutters or the heat sweeping through my torso.
“Hi. Cam?” Breathy Marilyn Monroe and I had never met before this moment.
“Speaking. Is this Jenna?”
Much as I wanted to clear my throat, that seemed worse than going with the breathy version of my voice. “It is.” Wrong. I cleared my throat. “I’ve picked out some samples for you to approve. After you have the wood chosen, we can go over the schedule for the build out.”
“I’m tied up until five-thirty, maybe a little longer. Want to meet up then?”
Pop-pop liked to take off at four for his weekly bingo game. The thought of spending another hour or more in Cam’s company, sans supervision both thrilled and terrified me.
I drew in a deep breath through my nose.
This was a sale. Another instrument I’d create, get credit for. That thrill proved stronger than the fear.
“It may take a couple of hours,” I said. “Maybe it’d be best—”
“I don’t have anywhere else I need to be this evening, and I got the sense you wanted to jump on this project fast.”
“True. I’ll need every minute of the next few weeks to get this right. In fact, that’s one of the details I’d like to go over with you.” I pressed my lips together to stop more words from pouring out of my mouth. Cam waited, as if knowing I wasn’t finished. “So, Pop-pop’s packed up by four. Why don’t you call me to let me know you’re out front? I can unlock the door and disarm the system.”
“Glad to hear you’re taking precautions. See you then.”
My grandfather looked over and smiled, dipping his head in approval. What had I just agreed to?
I wandered back to the studio, inhaling the sharp tang of fresh cut wood, sawdust and the wood protectant Pop-pop developed and patented back in the sixties. While the guitars were a source of joy and creativity, the three patents my grandfather held were the main source of the business’s income.
For the first time in years, my heart rate picked up at the mere thought of a man. My body ignited at the memory of our one touch. I settled back onto my stool, forcing Camden Grace’s gravelly voice, those thick biceps and luscious brown eyes from my mind. Which meant I must stop dwelling on the fact I wanted to spend more time with Cam. I pulled my hands from the table and balled them into fists. I had work to do. Work that required focus. Desiring Cam was one thing. Acting on it another.
I would not act on my newfound crush. Because Cam might well turn out to be another Robbie. Or, worse, another Ben or Charles.
Then, he’d be one of the long line of men who screwed me over.
Been there, done that. Not looking for a repeat.
Deep in the Heart is a new adult contemporary romance with a melody of music. If you like sizzling chemistry, raw emotions, and wounded heroes, then you'll love Alexa Padgett's compelling novel.
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About Alexa Padgett
With a degree in international marketing and a varied career path that includes content management for a web firm, marketing direction for a high-profile sports agency, and a two-year stint with a renowned literary agency, award-winning author Alexa Padgett has returned to her first love: writing fiction.
Alexa spent a good part of her youth traveling. From Budapest to Belize, Calgary to Coober Pedy, she soaked in the myriad smells, sounds, and feels of these gorgeous places, wishing she could live in them all—at least for a while. And she does in her books.
She lives in New Mexico with her husband, children, and walk-loving Great Pyrenees pup, Ash. When not writing, schlepping, or volunteering, she can be found in her tiny kitchen, channeling her inner Barefoot Contessa.