Sam Westbrook has always been the
family hell-raiser, but as an adult he’s enjoyed not being under the constant
watchful eye of his family. That was until his great-grandfather passed away.
Forced to move to the small coastal town of Magnolia Sound, Sam can’t escape
the reputation that has followed him since his teenage years. But he’ll have to
do it to get his inheritance.
Shelby Abbott was always the good girl – it’s what happens when you’re the pastor’s daughter in a small town. Now, she’s ready to leave that image behind. For years she’s heard about wild Sam Westbrook, but she never though she would be the one to catch his eye. And being the center of Sam’s attention isn’t something Shelby ever prepared for.
Sam’s time in Magnolia Sound has an expiration date and Shelby’s not sure she’s the kind of girl who can be just another one of his flings. But Sam’s ready to make some changes. And a girl like her is just who he needs.
She was so bad at figuring men out, she thought miserably.
“I want to say no, but…” She yawned again. “Sorry.”
“It’s okay, Shelby.” Standing up, Sam reached down for her hand and gently pulled her to her feet. “Can I see you tomorrow?”
Frowning, she looked up at him. “You mean to hang out again?”
His dark eyes blinked at her several times as if not understanding her question. “Um…I was hoping to take you out properly – dinner and whatever else it is you might like to do. Other than sailing, you never really answered my question that night.”
Taking a step back, now it was Shelby who didn’t seem to get it. “Why do you want to take me to dinner? We…we hung out tonight and…there’s no hard feelings. I mean, I’m still sorry for not being honest with you the night we met, but…don’t feel like you need to keep hanging out with me.”
The fierce look from earlier was back as he took a step toward her. “Are we back to that again? Why exactly do you think I’m here, Shelby?” he asked, frustration practically bristling off of him.
“I…like I said…I figured we were just hanging out to…you know…talk things out. And we have.” Hopefully he couldn’t see her slight tremble. She wasn’t used to someone questioning her like this.
But then again, she wasn’t used to dealing with anyone quite like Sam.
He took another step toward her. “Is that why you agreed to let me come over? Because you needed to clear your conscience? Or thought that I needed to?”
“Um…I don’t know. Maybe.”
Another step toward her. “You want to know why I’m here?” He didn’t wait for her to respond. “I’m here because for two damn weeks you’ve been all I can think about. Seeing you earlier in the library parking lot had me feeling like I won the damn lottery – like I was getting a second chance with you!” Another step and now he towered over her. “But more than anything, I’m here because you’re someone I want to know better, dammit!”
“But if that’s not what you want – if I’m not someone you want to know – then say something right now, Shelby,” he demanded. “Right now, before my feelings grow even deeper. Because believe it or not, what I felt for you that night at the bar is nothing compared to how I feel right now.”
She gasped softly and her foolish heart began its wild dance again. Swallowing hard, she looked up at him – saw the sincerity and the anguish in those dark depths. “I…” She paused and collected her thoughts which were going a million miles a minute in her head. “How do you feel?”
It was something she needed to know. It was one thing if he was casually interested in her – which was what she expected him to say. But what if it were more? What if it were something deep and warm and wonderful and scary and everything she was feeling too?
Reaching out, Sam cupped her face in his hands and rested his forehead against hers. “I feel like you’re someone I need to know.”
His voice was low and gruff and rumbly enough that she felt it all the way down to her toes.
How could she possibly explain to him that she was too afraid to believe him? That she didn’t have the confidence in herself to believe him?
As if sensing her thoughts, he quietly said, “You’ve been brutally honest with me all night, Shelby. Don’t stop now. Tell me what you’re thinking.”
There really was something about Sam that made her feel like she could say anything – even if she shouldn’t.
“I guess I’m afraid to believe that you really want to get to know me,” she admitted softly. “I’m nothing special, Sam. I’m not the type of girl you usually…”
He placed one finger across her lips to stop her flow of words. “Please don’t keep throwing that back in my face.” He closed his eyes as if in pain. “I know I’ve done a lot of stupid things and I’ve made a lot of bad choices, but that has nothing to do with you and me. When I saw you that night, all I remember thinking was…finally, there she is.”
Her eyes went wide at the intensity of his words. No one had ever said anything like that to her before. She wasn’t the kind of girl or woman who caused that kind of reaction – she knew that and she was okay with it. But after seeing the look on Sam’s face as he spoke, Shelby knew she had to have more – needed to see where this went and what would come from an admission like his.
“Wow,” she whispered, because it’s all she could force herself to say.
The smile Sam gave her was one of sweet relief. Unable to help herself, she placed her hand on his chest, and, feeling his rapid heartbeat, she grew bold. Her hand smoothed up and over his shoulder and then raked up into his hair. Up on her tiptoes, she pressed her lips to his and prayed she wouldn’t panic or freak out again.
When his arms slowly banded around her waist, Shelby knew this time was different. He was being cautious and careful and, undoubtedly, holding back so he didn’t spook her. The kiss was chaste – slow and sweet. Only this time, she was the one to seek more. Her tongue tentatively reached out and skimmed along his bottom lip and she heard his sharp intake of breath. It made her bold. Pressing herself more firmly against him, she reveled in the feel of his warm, hard body. And when he maneuvered them back over the sofa, she felt her excitement grow.
Sam sat and gently guided Shelby down so he could cradle her in his lap and, if anything, she thought it was the perfect position for them. His arms were around her, holding her securely to him, all the while their kiss just continued. There wasn’t the same intensity as there was the night they met, and that was more than okay with her. She was enjoying this – the way they were slowly getting acquainted with each another.
Squirming slightly against him, she gulped for air when Sam broke the kiss and gazed at her face. His breath was coming just as raggedly as hers and she wished more than anything that she didn’t need oxygen quite so much because she already missed the feel of his mouth on hers.
One of his hands came up and took the clip out of her hair. She let out a small moan of pleasure because it had been bothering her all night, but when that same hand anchored up into her hair and began massaging her scalp, it felt like she had died and gone to heaven.
Good lord, if a three-second scalp massage feels this good, what would sex with him be like?
Hopefully she’d find out.
Diving in for another kiss, Shelby was pleasantly surprised that Sam seemed just as anxious as she was for another taste. She twisted and turned in his lap until she was straddling him and it was like she didn’t even recognize herself. She wasn’t normally this forward or – dare she say, aggressive? – but there was no way for her to fight what she was feeling. For two weeks she had kicked herself every day for running like she did and now that she was getting a second chance, she was taking it.
With everything she had, apparently.
They kissed, they rolled over and stretched out on the sofa until Sam was on top of her and Shelby wrapped herself completely around him. So many times she thought to break their kiss and simply ask him to stay – to move things into the bedroom – but his hands and mouth kept distracting her until she didn’t know her own name, let alone where they were half the time.
At some point – it could have been minutes later, it could have been hours – Sam raised his head and smiled down at her. He was so handsome, so sexy, so…everything she ever fantasized about…and he was here with her.
“Shelby,” he said, low and thick. “Damn.”
Yeah. She knew exactly what he meant.
Her hand smoothed up his back and up into his hair in hopes of guiding his mouth back to hers, but…he moved.
She stayed where she was on the sofa and looked up at him in confusion.
“I should go,” he said after a long moment.
He nodded. “Dinner tomorrow night, right?”
He was leaving? Now? Seriously?
Doing a move that was clearly becoming his thing, Sam reached for her hand and gently pulled her to her feet. He kissed her one last time on the lips before letting out a low growl. Clearing his throat, he said, “You know how badly I want to stay, right?”
Shelby nodded and wanted to say she felt the same, but she couldn’t seem to make her voice work.
He hugged her tight. “But I don’t think it’s the right thing to do,” he said, and her only consolation was that he sounded as miserable about it as she felt. “Let me take you out tomorrow.” He pulled back and studied her face. “I want to do this right. I feel like I came on too strong that night and…and I’m not willing to do anything that you might regret.”
Well, damn. He was sweet, sexy, funny, and considerate? How was she supposed to resist?
“That night…that was my own issue, Sam. It wasn’t about you. Not really. I want you to know that.”
With a lopsided grin, he pulled her back into his embrace. “Thank you for saying that.”
“It’s the truth.”
Slowly they broke apart and walked over to the front door. He opened it and kissed her one more time. “You are pure temptation. You know that, right?”
Blushing, she shook her head.
“It’s true.” Tucking a finger under her chin, his expression turned serious. “Thank you for inviting me over and for giving me another chance. I’ll pick you up tomorrow at seven. Will that work?” He reached into his pocket and pulled out his phone so they could exchange numbers. Once that was done, he kissed her one last time and walked out the door.
And Shelby swore part of her heart went with him.
Don’t miss the other books in the Magnolia Sound series:
About the author:
Samantha Chase is a New York Times and USA Today bestseller of contemporary romance. She released her debut novel in 2011 and currently has more than forty titles under her belt! When she’s not working on a new story, she spends her time reading romances, playing way too many games of Scrabble or Solitaire on Facebook, wearing a tiara while playing with her sassy pug Maylene…oh, and spending time with her husband of 25 years and their two sons in North Carolina.
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