Southern Nights and Secrets
by Robin Covington
The Boys Are Back in Town #4
Publication Date: September 19, 2016
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Indulgence, Contemporary, Romance
Being a doctor is everything to me, but I’m not going to let bureaucrats tell me how to practice medicine. It’s about saving lives no matter what, screw them and their paperwork.
When the one woman I could never forget, Ginger Crawford, shows up as my boss all bets are off. The heat between us is tough to ignore but I have to if I want a future at this hospital. It isn’t easy. Every time we argue, I want her even more.
But I’ve got secrets she can never know, and she’s always going to be way too good for me. So it’s best if she hates me…at least that’s what I keep telling myself.
“Hey,” he said as he stopped and joined their circle. “Ladies you look gorgeous as usual.” He stopped to focus on Ginger. “Especially you.”
She locked eyes with him, the slight tilt of her head a quick but silent thank you before she broke eye contact and looked down at the drink in her hand.
The iron woman façade she had in place tonight was light years away from the molten hot lava lover he’d held in his arms earlier today. He couldn’t forget her. It was like the first touch of their mouths had unlocked a reserve of want that he couldn’t lock back up. But nothing about Ginger indicated that she was burning alive like he was.
“What about me?” Lucky asked, looking down at his tuxedo with a bewildered expression on his face. “Aren’t I gorgeous?”
Beck cocked an eyebrow at Teague and Jack. “Is it my turn to stroke his fragile ego? I thought his getting married got me off the hook.”
“Don’t be an ass, we’ve got company,” Teague motioned to a man standing next to Ginger. He was tall, African-American and had his hand on Ginger’s waist. Beck didn’t like the twinge of irritation that flared in his chest.
“Beckett, this is Peter Fox” Ginger said, her voice cool but her glance warm as she looked at her date. “Peter this is Dr. Beckett Sutherland.”
“Pete,” he said, extending his hand in greeting. “Nice to meet you.”
“It’s Peter,” he said with a wry twist to his mouth. “Nice to meet you.”
Beck wasn’t a dick but the sight of the guy putting his arm around Ginger and pulling her in close flipped his switch. He couldn’t help himself.
“So, Pete, how do you know Ginger?” To his right, Teague groaned at his childishness. He ignored him.
The guy’s jaw tightened at the sound of his name abused but then flickered with curiosity as he looked at Ginger. She smiled at him but it was tight, her own irritation just under the surface if you knew what to look for.
“Virginia and I met up again at a law school alumnae event a few weeks ago.”
“Well, that was poor timing on your part.” He flashed a smile at Pete’s confused expression. “Starting to date right before she moves here.” He let out a long whistle. “Long distance is tough. I presume you aren’t from around here.”
“Peter lives and works in DC,” Ginger offered, her eyes flashing a warning just for him. “He’s a lobbyist.”
“Right.” Beck didn’t have anything against ole’ Pete. It’s just that he kept touching Ginger. And he had all kinds of problems with that shit. But her old man would love this guy. Admiral Crawford hadn’t said much to him the weekend he’d gone home with Ginger but he’d referred to him frequently as “that white boy” when talking about him.
Beck spotted a waiter going by and motioned him over. “Jack Daniels. Neat.” He looked at the full wine glass in Ginger’s hand and he remembered that she didn’t drink. Her mother had been an alcoholic who’d drunk herself into a stroke. “You want a club soda with lime?”
She paused, her eyes flaring with her surprise. Her voice was less poised as she nodded. “Thank you.”
Beck took the glass from her and handed it to the waiter, watching her face for any reaction when he deliberately brushed against her fingers with his own. Nothing. Not even a twitch as she kept her gaze mostly on her date. Were they a thing? Was he her boyfriend? He’d never thought to ask and he didn’t like not knowing. Not one little bit.
“You didn’t like the wine?” Peter asked, his glance at Beck showing a little bit of an edge.
“It was fine. I just don’t drink alcohol,” Ginger said, her cheeks tinted a little red as she glanced at Pete and gave him a smile. “No worries.”
“Wait,” Peter snapped his gaze back and forth between the two of them, his face screwed up in the universal expression for confusion. “You guys know each other?”
Biblically. Beck thought and clamped his mouth down to keep from saying it out loud.
It’s been a little over two and a half years since I read book three in the series ( Sweet Southern Betrayal ), so the details of the plot were a bit fuzzy. I’d forgotten all about the suspense parts of the romance, and so I didn’t realize that this one was going to have more to it than lovers-with-a-past with the added complication of the woman he dumped “for her own good” suddenly becoming his kind-of boss.
But then all of the Beck’s really intense past-coming-back-for-him stuff happened (apparently I just kind of glazed over that portion of the synopsis…) and wow, did that make for some really intense scenes past the 80% mark. Like whoa. You know it’s going to end okay, because romance, but still…intense.
Beck and Ginger are absolutely fantastic together. They had major sparks back in college, until he blew them apart in the spectacular fashion that only a truly stupid college kid can manage. Neither was planning on seeing the other ever again–until she realizes her brand new dream job just happens to be at the hospital where he’s vying for the head of the ER team job. Beck’s always been more of a get-the-right-results-what-do-you-mean-there-are-rules? kind of guy, so even though he’s got mad skills and real leadership ability, there’s major resistance to him getting it. Ginger just might have the deciding vote.
So, yeah. Complicated. Because now that they’re spending major amounts of time together in the same space? Chemistry. All over the place. Pretty much everybody in the small town of Elliott can see it, and their attempts to deny it don’t go very far. (All the better for the readers, anyway! ;))
The one aspect of the book that bothered me is that Beck pulls a “Ginger’s dad” maneuver on her in the midst of all of the intense street/Beck’s past drama by high-handedly deciding what was best for everyone involved (read: Ginger) without having a grown up discussion with her about it. That’s been one of her triggers, from having to pick up the pieces every time her military father picked up and left for another duty station, and she was way too quick to forgive him for that bit, I thought.
Not that I didn’t want her to, mind you. And man, did he pull off a grand gesture with style. Plus, an oh-so-sweet epilogue. So…overall, a solid read, and a nice ending to the series with just a few blips along the way.
(Hmmm. Just re-read my review of Teague’s book , and nope, I didn’t manage to get Jack and Lucky’s books read before reading Beck’s–darn it! Too much school and work, grrrr–but they are definitely still on the list. Even only having read two of the four books, I love the dynamic between these guys!)
Rating: 4 stars / B+
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
CATCH UP WITH THE OTHER BOYS IN THE BOYS ARE BACK IN TOWN SERIES BY USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR ROBIN COVINGTON!
Detective Jackson Cantrell never imagined that one night with an irresistible stranger would turn his life upside down. He’s spent years living in the shadows, but Dr. Michaela Roarke awakened a passion inside him he’d buried years ago.He never expected the woman would turn out to be the governor’s daughter…and his next assignment. The governor blackmails Jackson to secretly watch over Michaela and protect her from a stalker, or kiss his dream job at the FBI good-bye. Swearing to keep things strictly professional, Jackson moves in with Michaela. Too bad his heart can’t keep the same promise.
But when the stalker’s attacks quickly escalate beyond mere photographs to bodily harm, Jackson must race to save Michaela’s life. And he’ll have to figure out how to keep her once she discovers his lie.
Some women are bad. Some women are a bad idea. The best ones are both…
As a Black Ops assassin, “Lucky” Landon has had more than his fair share of close calls. Now he’s turned in his sniper rifle for the simple life of his small hometown. So the last thing he ever expected was to end up at gunpoint. Or that the woman holding the gun would be his best friend’s little sister and Lucky’s on-again/off-again lover.
Taylor Elliott is Trouble, and she likes it that way. And seeing Lucky again? Well, he’s been her dirty little secret for the past few years and everyone knows that secrets in a small town are almost impossible to keep. But Taylor has bigger problems on her plate. Like the local mob boss who wants her dead.
And right now the only thing standing between Trouble and disaster is a hottie named Lucky…
Privileged and ambitious attorney Teague Elliott is on the fast-track to getting everything he wants. All he has to do is stay on the straight and narrow and a high-profile political career is his for the taking. Until he wakes up naked with a Vegas showgirl…
Risa Clay has worked hard to put her showgirl past behind her and start fresh. But she owes ten grand to the wrong people, and to pay off her debt, she agrees to betray a stranger. . .but she ends up with a husband and guilty conscience.
Savvy and determined, she double-crosses the mob, goes on the run, and turns up on Teague’s doorstep armed with a dangerous secret, a marriage license, and the power to ruin his well-planed future. She thought using Teague again would be easy, but the passion that exploded between them in Vegas didn’t stay in Sin City and betrayal is the last thing on her mind.
Now Teague has to choose between the future he’s planned for all his life, or the one with Risa that he can’t turn away from.
A USAToday bestseller, Robin Covington loves to explore the theme of fooling around and falling in love in her books. Her stories burn up the sheets. . .one page at a time. When she’s not writing she’s collecting tasty man candy, indulging in a little comic book geek love, hoarding red nail polish and stalking Chris Evans.
A 2016 RITA® Award nominee, Robin’s books have won the Golden Leaf Award and finaled in the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice, the Book Seller’s Best and the National Reader’s Choice Awards.
She lives in Maryland with her handsome husband, her two brilliant children (they get it from her, of course!), and her beloved furbabies, Dutch and Dixie Joan Wilder (Yes – THE Joan Wilder).
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