Wild For Me by Tam DeRudder Jackson
(Balefire Series, #3)
Publication date: November 18th 2021
Genres: Adult, New Adult, Romance
Annabelle Stewart, all tight leather skirt and hot lace panties, thundered into my life for one night after a rock show and calmly drove away the next day. She should have been like any other one-night stand I’ve had over the last ten years touring with Balefire. But she wasn’t. At odd moments, I catch myself thinking about her, wondering if I made as big an impression on her as she did on me.
Then I walk into the rehearsal for our drummer’s wedding, and who’s standing with the bride? The hottie who keeps me awake with thoughts of our one night together. Beautiful, smart, and sassy as hell, Annabelle sets me on fire with her kisses and leaves me hanging. But I’ve got plans for her.
I never expected to see him again. Two years after hooking up with Dakota Perri after a Balefire concert, I’d convinced myself that night was a fantasy. But the way he looks at me during Jack and Clio’s wedding, like he remembers every second of our one-night stand, lights me up. Too bad I blew it.
Then I score a management internship with the band, an opportunity guaranteed to land me a scholarship with a top graduate program—if I don’t earn a reputation for sleeping my way to success. Which is a problem. I see Dakota every day. Every time we’re together, the sparks fly faster and hotter. If I want to achieve my goals, I have to resist him. But how can I resist a man as panty-meltingly hot as Dakota Perri when he says he’s wild for me?
We flanked Vaughn, and the bartender magicked two beers in front of us. A spark of hope that Vaughn’s story would draw attention away from me flickered out when he replied, “Jamie’s at some teaching conference or some shit. Left me home alone for a week. Can you believe that?” He fist-bumped Blu. “Nice to see you man.” He tossed back the last of his beer and signaled the bartender for another. “How’s Ashleigh?”
“She’s with me. Enough said.” Blu laughed and took a swig of his beer.
“How ’bout you, Dakota?”
Caught with a mouthful of beer, I couldn’t answer right away. Not that that would have stopped Blu.
“He’s got woman troubles. It’s why we’re here.”
Vaughn nearly snorted his fresh beer. “Woman troubles? Dakota? Pull the other one.”
“See, Blu? Vaughn believes me. No troubles at all for this boy.” Except I can’t stop thinking about her.
Blu grinned evilly over his beer. “Oh, he knows. Takes one to know one, right Vaughn?”
“Tell me about this mysterious creature. I didn’t think a woman existed who could keep Dakota’s attention for more than one night, if that.” His smirk made me consider how satisfying it would feel to put my fist in his face. “Have you ever even had a girlfriend?”
“What kind of fucked-up question is that?” I grumbled. But I knew exactly what he was on about.
Twenty-eight years old, and I’d never had a real girlfriend. When we’d started out, I didn’t think a couple of girls who tagged along with the band but confined their sleeping arrangements to my bed counted as actual girlfriends. Truth was, I’d seen up close and personal what it looked like when you gave your heart to a woman and she didn’t want it anymore. I’d seen how it tore up my dad when my mom walked out on us when I was eight. I never forgot for one single day how much it stung to have the most important woman in the world walk away and never once look back. Opening myself up to that kind of heartbreak wasn’t in the cards for me. At. All.
The thoughts I’d been having about Annabelle since seeing her again did not fall into the category of warm and fuzzy. White picket fence and fucking gardening. Having a girl’s name tattooed over and through some of the sweetest ink I’d ever seen on Vaughn’s arm. Not for me. What I wanted was another night of sizzling-hot sex with a gorgeous woman who had no trouble walking away. Who didn’t make a big deal of it—or of me. But I didn’t want to come across as an asshole for wanting that.
Yeah. That’s the story I was going with.
“Girlfriends cramp your style. Get all up in your grill for wanting a night out with the guys, for appreciating a great rack on another woman, for making a mess of your truck when you go out to play. No thank you very much,” I muttered.
Those other two assholes burst out laughing.
“My style’s all kinds of cramped. What about you, Vaughn?” Blu smirked.
“Regular, off-the-charts sex with a woman who likes to kick my ass at the pool table so she can make it up to me in bed? Sucks, man. It really does,” Vaughn deadpanned before the two of them erupted into more guffaws.
The casual tone of Blu’s voice should have warned me. “Ashleigh stopped by the studio this morning ’cause she likes to chat up Emory.”
“That’s another thing. Girlfriends love to gossip,” I said.
Ignoring me, Blu plowed on. “Seems Annabelle signed the paperwork to do a management internship with the band. She starts Monday.”
“Annabelle, huh? Pretty name. Bet she’s gorgeous.” Vaughn tipped back his beer and winked at Blu.
Blu jumped right in. “She’s a little shorter than Ash with dark hair down the middle of her back, beautiful eyes, and a rack—”
“Shut it, Blu. Shut the fuck up.”
He smirked and finished off another beer.
Between them, Vaughn and Blu had me seriously reconsidering my choice of friends.
“So, that’s the way of it, Dakota,” Vaughn said like he was a judge pronouncing a sentence on someone in court. “Bartender, we need a round of Jack Daniels. We’re celebrating our friend’s descent toward a ball and chain.”
Tam DeRudder Jackson is the author of the paranormal romance Talisman Series and the contemporary romance Balefire Series. Her favorite “room” in her house is her back patio where she dreams up stories of romance and risk. When she’s not writing her latest paranormal or contemporary romance, you can usually find her driving around with the top down in her convertible or carving turns on the slopes of the local ski hill. The mom of two grown sons, Tam likes to travel, attend rock concerts, watch football and soccer, and visit old car shows with her husband. She lives in the mountains of northwest Wyoming where she spends most of her free time trying to read all the books. Her TBR piles are threatening to take over her office, and she’s fine with that.
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