When Brynne left Alaska, she promised herself she would never go back.The day after graduation, she got in her beat-up Honda Civic and drove down the west coast to pursue her dream of becoming a Hollywood makeup artist. Growing up in a rural fishing village with dirty, rundown buildings, and dirty, rundown men, she longed for the glitz and glamour of the silver screen. She had no qualms about leaving behind her dysfunctional family and her nowhere-job at her mother’s fishing tackle shop. She didn’t even think twice about leaving behind the cute boy who came in to buy gear almost every day, shamelessly flirting with her and always leaving a generous tip. Well, maybe she thought about it twice; but she knew that a relationship with Callder Murphy would only be bound to lead her deeper into nowhere. She was sick and tired of being nowhere—and no one.
Brynne set out, determined to prove to the world that she was much more than just a fisherman’s daughter. Unfortunately, her luck and tip money ran out in Seattle when her car broke down. Exhausted from the stress of travel, she decided to take a waitressing job in the city for the time being. “For the time being” ended up being far longer than she would have liked. That was four years ago. Now, a call from home has alerted Brynne to some bad news. She needs to get back to Soldotna promptly, but she has been living paycheck to paycheck and can’t even afford a plane ticket home. Enter a ghost from her past as her knight in shining armor. Unexpectedly showing up outside her restaurant in a red Ferrari, Callder is determined to take her home with him, and keep her there for good.
Perpetually drunken playboy, Callder Murphy, is currently loaded. Of course, that’s only because he stole his big brother’s credit card. He was off in Vegas, doing what he does best (absolutely nothing) when he received the call from home. A name he hasn’t heard in years pulls him out of his mindless haze of stumbling from one wild party to the next: Brynne Ambrose needs his help. Pleasant memories of the rude, tomboyish, and completely adorable girl-next-door come rushing back to him with a vengeance. He drops all of his shenanigans and cleans up his act instantaneously. He uses his brother’s credit card to buy an impressive car, and sets out to win over the girl of his dreams. He knows he’s no good for her, but he can’t stay away.
Callder has been waiting his whole life for the opportunity to be her man, and he’s not going to let her slip away again.
“And is this man you’re traveling with is your boyfriend?”
“No,” Brynne said, while Callder simultaneously answered, “Yes.”
Brynne stared at her rescuer in embarrassment. Callder leaned forward and winked at the border agent in a conspiratorial way. “Give her a few days to come around, and she’ll be begging for the honor.”
The serious woman looked at them both suspiciously before handing their passports back. “Good luck with that. Have a safe trip—also, nice car.”
Brynne groaned as she began to drive away, shoving Callder’s passport back at him. “Really? Begging?”
“You don’t think I can make you beg?” Callder asked innocently, relaxing back into the car seat.
“It’s impossible,” she told him defiantly.
“I love a challenge,” he said, replacing his sunglasses onto his nose. “So why did you lie about your dad being in the hospital? I’m sure that lying to a customs officer is like, some sort of crime.”
Brynne was quiet for a moment as she stared at the road. “I’m too ashamed to say that he’s in prison. Besides, she would have asked so many more questions.”
“Little Brynne finally learned to lie,” Callder said with approval. “The most important skill in life.”
“We have some catching up to do,” she told him, with a raised eyebrow. “You have to tell me how you became rich enough to afford a Ferrari in only four years.”
“Later,” he said, waving his hand. “Can we stop somewhere to get a bite to eat? Maybe a bottle of water? I’m super dehydrated.”
“Too much booze will do that,” Brynne said with a smile. She gestured to the GPS. “It looks like we’re coming up to a city called Abbotsford soon, so maybe we can grab some breakfast there…”
She was interrupted by a very loud snore. Callder had already fallen asleep again.
“Oh, yeah,” she said, shaking her head in disbelief. “This is going to be a really romantic trip. I can see myself begging—begging for you to stop snoring, that is.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Nadia Scrieva lives in Toronto, Canada with no husband, no kids, and no pets. She does own a very attractive houseplant which she occasionally remembers to water between her all-consuming writing marathons. Nadia has a degree in English and Anthropology from the University of Toronto. She likes knives. Her writing always features powerful females and (mostly) honorable male characters. “Ms. Scrieva is clearly a very talented writer with a natural gift for weaving beautiful, sometimes lyrical prose that kept me entranced for hours.” – Stacy Decker, Goodreads reviewer
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