Lone Star Book 2
by Gerry Bartlett
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Lyrical Liaison
Publication Date: June 4, 2019
Scarlett Hall followed a job and a friend to Texas, but that cost her more than she’d bargained for. Now, wounded but determined to get past one of the worst days of her life, she decides she has to pull herself together. First step: cover up the physical scars left from her ordeal. That’s easy. But the emotional scars are proving harder to handle.
Then she meets Ethan Calhoun. This bad boy seems ready to make his own changes and might be just what she needs to start a new chapter in her life. When he offers her a job as manager of his new bar, she decides to go for it. A change of pace and a hot guy who makes her forget her troubles while she’s in his arms are a great cure. But it soon becomes clear that danger will be in Scarlett’s life no matter how many changes she makes. As Scarlett comes face to face with her worst nightmare, it seems happiness was just an illusion. Maybe Texas is just too much trouble.
Breathe. Turn the lock. She flipped the dead bolt and waited. Someone jiggled the knob, but it held. God. God. She sagged to the floor. Safe. Please let her be safe.
“Are you all right?” A man’s voice came from across the dark room.
No, she was not all right. What had she done? Locked herself in with him. Scarlett searched for a weapon. Shit. She didn’t even have her shoes.
“Calm down. I’m not going to hurt you.” He was coming closer.
“That’s what they all say.” Scarlett jerked her cell out of her bra. She’d started keeping it there after the attack. “Don’t come any closer. I’m calling 9-1-1.”
“And say what? That you broke into my bar?” He was too close. He hunkered down in front of her. “Ethan Calhoun. How can I help you?”
“You own this bar?” Scarlett hit reality. Hard. He was right. What was she doing here? She tried to catch her breath, her heart stuttering as she looked around. She stared at the long wooden bar across the room as she tried to regulate her breathing. The room was empty except for the man who just sat there, still too close. She wanted to shove him away. Common sense finally returned as she gripped her phone and realized he wasn’t making a move, just staring. Of course, she was acting crazy.
“Yeah, I do. Something scared you. Do I need to go outside and kick some butt?” He still hadn’t moved.
Scarlett checked him out. Tall, good-looking, a little young, but not too young. He looked like he could enjoy some butt kicking but would prefer something more civilized in his vintage rock band tee and jeans. She waited, still breathing in and out, her heart finally settling down. If he tried anything that screamed danger, she had her fingers on her phone. But he just sat there, patient and, damn it, kind. She finally made a decision.
“You can buy me a drink.”
“That I can do.” He stood and held out his hand. “Usually, it’s no shoes, no service, but I’ll make an exception if you tell me your name.”
“Scarlett Hall.” Scarlett took his hand and let him pull her to her feet.
“I have to warn you, I’m a head case right now.”
“Honey, I’m way too used to those.” He pulled her to the bar, then walked around and put two glasses in front of her. “Name your poison.”
“Tequila. I’ve had a rough day. Rough month, rough year.” She sighed. “Told you I was messed up.”
“Then you’ve come to the right place.” Ethan smiled and poured them each a splash of top-shelf tequila. “I think I’ve lost my mind too. Never owned a bar before. Now here I am probably about to lose my shirt. Moved to Austin because I loved going to college here. It’s a common thing with Texas exes.” He picked up his glass, waited for her to pick up hers, then clinked it. “Here’s to crazy.”
“Crazy.” Scarlett threw back the shot. She wasn’t about to turn to alcohol to solve her problems, but she liked Ethan’s smile and that was a start. She needed her purse and her shoes. She had to go back and apologize to Casey. And she wanted that damn tattoo. She shook her head when Ethan offered her a refill.
“No, I’ve got to go back next door.”
“To Casey’s? You getting a tattoo?” Ethan walked her to the door.
“If I can find my nerve.” Scarlett looked around. The only light came from the dusty windows and a laptop on the bar. No furniture yet, so obviously he wasn’t ready to open.
“Want me to hold your hand?” He grinned.
Scarlett could imagine that. For the first time since the abduction, she didn’t want to throw up a stop sign as soon as a man showed interest. And Ethan was definitely interested.
“No, thanks. This is something I have to do myself.” She handed him her phone. “Can I call you if I need moral support?”
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Lone Star Book 1
A million-dollar idea. A city girl in the country. And a man who brings out her wild side…
Anna Delaney is thrilled to leave Boston for Austin, Texas, when her small tech company is bought out by a conglomerate. Born into a family of over-protective brothers, this is her chance at true independence—and a name-making professional breakthrough.
Even when gorgeous billionaire rancher King Sanders forms a one-man welcoming committee, Anna insists that she doesn’t need a tour guide—or another bodyguard. But after she narrowly escapes a kidnapping attempt, she can’t say no to King spiriting her away to someplace safe…and very private.
Someone wants the valuable software Anna’s developing, and King is determined to keep her safe until the culprit is caught. The hunky cowboy lights her up brighter than the Lone Star sky at night, but neither one of them is prepared for just how wild Texas can get—and just how hard they’re willing to fight to stay together…
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Gerry Bartlett is a native Texan who lives halfway between Houston and Galveston. She has an antique business on the island and in Alvin. When she's not treasure hunting, she loves heading to the Texas capitol of Austin where she attended the University of Texas. She's managed to set most of her Real Vampires series there and now a new Lone Star Suspense series, coming in November. She also loves writing about her hometown of Houston in her contemporary Texas Heat series.
She lives with Jet, a whippet, who keeps her company when she's at the computer. Gerry collects cookbooks, but rarely cooks, and little boxes that she brings back from her travels. She also has a weakness for purses and posts pictures of her latest finds on Pinterest. When she has time, Gerry loves to read just about anything with a happy ending. Check out her reviews on Goodreads.
This former elementary school teacher is lucky enough to have more than twenty published novels. You can read more about Gerry at http://gerrybartlett.com and sign up for her newsletter there for news and giveaways. There are also dozens of articles for aspiring authors on her website under the Perils of Publishing tab. Once a teacher, always a teacher. Whether it's contemporary or paranormal, Gerry Bartlett writes romance with a Texas twist.
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