The Rebel, an all-new steamy opposite-attract small-town romance full of heat from bestselling author Lena Hendrix is available now!
I was supposed to lay low while my Hollywood drama blew over. Not fall for a man with golden retriever energy who isn’t afraid to take what he wants.
When I find myself back in the odd little town of Tipp, Montana, the last person I expect to fall for is an army vet turned cowboy.
Let alone discover he was my first kiss all those years ago. Back then, I never even knew his name.
Josh Laredo is smart, successful, and sexy as hell.
When my efforts to sneak onto his federally protected ranch blows up in my face, he covers for me.
Bit by bit he breaks down the walls I’ve created to protect my heart. And there’s a filthy mouth buried beneath all that good guy bravado.
He’s determined to peel back every one of my layers and give us the second chance he thinks we deserve. All he wants is to see the real woman beneath the Hollywood smile.
But I’m searching for answers, and as more secrets are revealed, I’m learning that things aren’t always what they seem in Tipp, Montana.
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“One dance.” Even as the words left my mouth, I knew it was probably a lie. From his scuffed boots to the way his shirt strained against the muscles of his shoulders, everything about him was my type. Carefree. Charming. Dangerous. A mixture of small-town boy and wild, roguish charm. There was just something that told me if he asked for a second dance, I’d say yes.
My heels pinched my toes, but it was a familiar feeling, so I stuffed the discomfort down and concentrated on the ruggedly handsome man in front of me. God was he beautiful. His dark hair was long around his ears, curling the tiniest amount at the ends. I couldn’t tell if the stubble on his cheeks was intentional or if he’d just not bothered with a shave, and I could see how easily the local girls must moon over him. His movements were slow. Languid. Even the casual way he moved across the room screamed, Big Dick Energy.
But it was his smile that did me in. It was all white teeth and earnest charm.
As the music pumped from the speakers, his solid arms pulled me around the dance floor. Despite not knowing the steps, he led with confidence, his hand at my lower back, pushing and pulling me into the correct position. From the outside, it may have even looked like we knew what we were doing.
I let myself smile at him. Not the polished, demure smile that had been drilled into me since I was young, but my real, too-wide smile that rarely appeared.
He didn’t have a clue.
When he’d made the comment about rolling out the red carpet, I thought maybe he knew, but the flash of recognition never came—that dawn of realization when someone discovers I am the Madison Colt. It wasn’t there.
Maybe Des was right about my hair after all. Dyeing my typically platinum-blonde hair back to my natural auburn was an act of defiance and a night of one-too-many glasses of red wine, but it did a damn fine job hiding the fact that a celebrity was drinking watered-down cocktails and dancing with the sexiest man in the bar.
For the briefest moment, I was free of her.
As the song died down, Josh kept his strong hands planted at my lower back, our hips pressed together. We’d laughed and stood, breathing in each other’s air, as the room continued to dance around us.
His hand stroked up my back as he leaned toward a table of people staring in our direction. “Come hang out for a minute.”
I wanted to. More than anything I wanted to be Effie Pierce, normal girl passing through town. A thousand reasons to stay flipped through my mind. I could enjoy a night out, free of the expectations and schedules and rigidity of my life. I could be a different version of me.
Until someone recognized me.
They always did.
I smiled up at him. “I should go.” I pulled away and took measured strides toward the door.
“Wait a second,” he called at my back. “Can I see you again? Get your number?”
I closed my eyes as the pang of what-ifs shot through me. But I knew how this ended. If I left now, I’d be saving myself from the uncomfortable conversation later. “Thank you for the dance.”
My name was liquid over gravel in his throat. I flushed with heat as he leaned over me.
Kiss me. Kiss me and I’ll stay.
We stayed locked.
Lena Hendrix is the author of steamy, contemporary romance novels. Her love of romance started with her grandmother’s Harlequin paperbacks and now Lena’s stories are full of heart, humor, and plenty of strong Alphas with marshmallow insides-she likes her coffee hot and her heroes hotter!
Lena lives in the midwest with her husband, three children, and two derpy Australian Cattle Dogs. When she’s not writing or devouring new novels, you can find her hiking, camping, fishing, and sipping a spicy margarita!
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