Title: Chirp, A Bluebird, Texas Romance
Author: Ann Everett
Genre: Romantic Suspense
A woman hiding from her future…
Heiress to the largest steel company in America, twenty-year-old, socially awkward Blaze Bledsoe hides out at Dessie Bishop’s farm. For the last three years, Blaze has eluded one investigator after another, but just when she thinks she’s safe, a PI closes in. Her luck is about to run out in more ways than one.
A man running from his past…
Rance Keller, a tough, hard-living ex-con, fresh out of prison for a crime he didn’t commit, arrives to claim the house his grandmother left him. Finding a strange girl living there, his plans for a solitary life take a turn. Her lack of modesty, no filter, and word of the day fetish baffles him, but those big green eyes and sweet mouth have him losing sleep.
Welcome to Bluebird, Texas
Where two damaged people with secrets, discover trust can lead to passion.
The closer Rance got to Gran’s, the faster he drove. On the road for fourteen hours, he was ready for a relaxing soak and feather bed. As he turned onto the home stretch, his heart accelerated. He barreled over the narrow bridge where he and his brothers used to catch tadpoles, then past Mr. Henderson’s hayfield.
The last few miles flew by. He’d not seen the house in over seven years. His grandmother always said she’d leave it to him, but he’d never wanted to think about her dying.
Silhouetted by the moon, the homestead looked eerie, and the hair prickled on the back of Rance’s neck. The bathroom light was on, and as he brought the motorcycle to a stop, he wondered whose car was parked in the drive. Maybe Gran had hired a caretaker. It was after midnight, though—strange hour for maintenance duties. He removed his helmet, dismounted, unstrapped his duffel, and stepped onto the porch. Finding the hidden house key, he slipped inside.
Nothing seemed disturbed. Actually, the place appeared neater than he’d ever seen it. Housekeeping hadn’t been one of his grandmother’s strong suits. As his eyes adjusted to the darkness, he noticed more changes. When did she get a big-screen TV? And computer?
A sappy love song played from the other end of the house. He grabbed the baseball bat Gran had kept in an antique milk can by the hutch, then edged down the short hallway to the bathroom.
A girl who looked no more than seventeen lay in the tub with her eyes closed. Mostly nipples and areolas, her small breasts flattened against her chest. Bubble clouds floated over her spindle-thin body.
Shame thickened in his throat. He shouldn’t be staring at her, but he couldn’t turn away. He didn’t know if it was the shock of seeing a stranger here or that the intruder was a teenager. Whatever it was, he found his voice.
“Who the hell are you?”
Blaze recognized Rance Keller from the stack of pictures Miss Dessie kept in a leather box on the mantel. But he looked different in the flesh. An unkempt beard and mustache surrounded full lips. Long brown hair fringed beneath the edge of a knit beanie. Menacing blue eyes stared back at her.
Blaze rose from the water, reached for the towel hanging on the rack, and wrapped herself, tucking in the corner to secure it.
“Did you escape?”
He blinked like it was a stupid question, but it wasn’t. Letters she’d read said he’d been denied parole twice because he wouldn’t admit guilt.
“I’m asking the questions. Who are you?”
He half grinned, as if her answer was a punch line, then snarled. “Blaze? I don’t think so.”
“Well, I don’t care what you think. That’s my name, and I live here because Miss Dessie said I could.”
“New owner. New rules. Get your crap and get out.”
His lips barely moved, and she thought of all the villains she’d seen on Perfect Crime, but despite his demeanor, he didn’t scare her because Dessie had shared plenty of stories about him.
She dried off, folded the towel, laid it on the commode, then pushed past him into the bedroom, where she took panties from the dresser and stepped into them. Next, she pulled a faded Madonna T-shirt over her head. “No.”
“This is my house, and you’re trespassing,” Rance said.
His voice was low-pitched, and when Blaze faced him, his mouth clamped into a thin line. A muscle in his jaw worked. She reminded herself this was a man just out of prison, yet she still didn’t feel threatened. Not after Dessie’s tales of how he’d cared for injured animals and his eagerness to help with any chore. Blaze folded her arms under her breasts. “I have work tomorrow. We can talk in the morning.”
At first, he said nothing, just scanned the full length of her body, and she felt more naked than she’d been minutes ago. He locked his eyes on hers, and his gaze darkened. “I’m twice your size. I can throw your scrawny butt out the front door, and you can’t do anything about it.”
“I know. But you won’t.” Turning down the covers, she switched off the lamp and crawled into bed.
Too road-weary to deal with conflict, Rance cursed under his breath and slammed the bathroom door. Where did she get off telling him what to do? She was as stubborn as Gran, and his grandmother didn’t take crap from anyone. Couldn’t help but admire that quality. Yet this little wisp surprised him. He could chew her up and spit her out, but she hadn’t flinched. Hell, she wasn’t even embarrassed to be naked in front of him. She’d taken her own sweet time drying off, and when she’d pulled on those black bikinis, his heartrate kicked up. Dammit, he was turning into a pervert.
Stripping off his clothes, he refilled the tub and spied the bottle sitting on the sink. He brought it to his nose and inhaled. Not sure about the amount to use, he gave it two squirts and bubbles formed. He sank into the foam, leaving nothing but head and knees above water. He was too big for the claw-foot, but it felt good to lie back and let the heat loosen his bones.
His eyelids weighed heavy, and a vision of the stranger’s thin, naked body popped into his brain. He dunked his head, hoping the hot water would melt the image away. Not one damn thing sexy about the girl. Barely had boobs and a nonexistent butt, and a rocker name like Blaze had to be a joke. He didn’t trust her, and he didn’t need complications. She had to go. But this first encounter told him bullying wouldn’t work, so he’d have to come up with a new tactic.
Why is your featured book a must-read?
He’s an ex-con. She’s on the spectrum. Named a Kindle Scout Winner, Chirp is not your typical love story.
Enter to win an e-book bundle of all 23 books featured in the Super Reads Bookish Event:
Runs September 22 – 27, 2020.
Winner will be drawn on October 5, 2020.
Award-winning and Amazon Best-Selling author, Ann Everett embraces her small-town upbringing and thinks Texans are some of the funniest people on earth. When speaking at conferences and to writing groups, businesses, book clubs, and non-profit organizations, she incorporates her unique brand of wit, making her programs on marketing, self-publishing, and the benefits of laughter, informative and fun.
A top reviewer on thenextbigwriter.com, she lives in Northeast Texas where she writes, bakes, and fights her addiction to Diet Dr Pepper.
Social Media Links:
Blog URL https://www.anneverett.com/blog/
Amazon author page https://www.amazon.com/author/ann.everett
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