Grief brought them together A hospice center is no place to fall in lust. But with his world cracking during his estranged mother’s last days, Hayden Crewe needs something sweet to focus on. It doesn’t matter that he’s the backbone of Australia’s hottest international rock group—here, watching his mother die, he’s more alone than ever. So when he meets long-legged, clear-minded Briar Moore, he suddenly knows exactly what will fill the hole inside. Fortune will drag them apart Briar has just escaped a job and relationship that nearly crushed her. Crawling out of the wreckage of her previous life, she’s done playing it safe. Sexy, vibrant Hayden is what she wants, and Briar is going to take him. For as long as she can… Out of heartbreak comes hope With their time short and the ghosts of their pasts haunting every moment, Briar and Hayden know they’ve fallen too deep. While those few, intense days changed them both forever, everyone knows a connection this intense should burn out as fast as it ignited…
I stared into those beautiful blue eyes. The tightness eased. Breathing wasn’t a chore. “I’m not saying tomorrow will be better.” Her lips flipped up in a sardonic smile. “It’s possible tomorrow will be worse. This is hospice after all.” “I’m expecting worse.” I tilted my head back and groaned. “I don’t want my mum’s death to drag out. Too many people are counting on me.” “You’ll do the best you can.” “Doesn’t feel good enough.” “Welcome to the club. Speaking of, my sister doesn’t believe I met you, Mr. World Famous Rock Star.” I raised my eyebrow. I cradled her shoulders. I liked holding Briar. Wasn’t a briar some kind of rose? Sweet but with enough defenses to bloom. I liked that—she’d fight for her chances. “We’ll have to take a selfie. For digital proof.” “Thought you didn’t like digital proof and journos, as you call them.” “Reckon I don’t. But . . . I’m making an exception.” Her lips curved up and her eyes sparkled. The weight from my chest eased a little and I could draw a full breath. “I’d like that. Ready to go?” “Photo first.” I grabbed her phone and positioned us together before snapping a few photos. “For posterity or whatever.” She smiled again and the world shone brighter. I didn’t want to turn around and look at the building again. “I know just the place to go.” She snagged my hand, her cool fingers sliding between mine, our palms fusing softly. Something in me clicked, like I’d just latched into a safety belt. I followed behind her as she pulled me toward her car again. After she unlocked it, I opened her door and waited for her to slide in. Instead, she stepped in closer, her body heat mingling with mine. “I’ve done a lot of soul-searching these past few months, Hayden. But today, with Ken’s comments, my purpose clicked.” She closed her eyes, reliving something. “I’m tired of closing off, pushing people away,” she whispered. “It’s all I’ve done for years.” She opened her eyes, filled with the fire of new determination. “So I mean it when I say I’ll be here with you. Through this. As your friend.” I ran my knuckle down her cheek, marveling at the smooth, firm texture of her skin. “I don’t know how I got so lucky in the friend department, but I’m chuffed you’re here. And such a gorgeous lady at that.” She rolled her eyes, and I winked. Walking around the car, I curled my fingers tight to hold in the fading heat from her skin. I glanced up at the building. Whatever my mum needed to tell me, I needed to hear. I could process her reasons and come to terms with her years of rejection later, but for now, she wanted me to know her side of the story. And I’d listen. As I eased into the car, Briar’s floral scent wrapped around me, cradling me almost as well as her arms had just moments before.
With a degree in international marketing and a varied career path as a content manager for a web firm at the height of the tech boom, marketing director for a high-profile sports agency and a two-year stint with a renowned literary agency, Alexa Padgett has returned to her first love: writing fiction. She is a card-carrying member of RWA, or would be if Romance Writers of America had cards. She’s also a member of Land of Enchantment Romance Authors (LERA), and Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal (FF&P) chapters, where she’s met fabulous writers. She aspires to be as witty and kind as her writing family is.
Alexa spent a good part of her youth traveling. From Budapest to Belize, Calgary to Coober Pedy, Alexa soaked in the myriad smells, sounds, and feels of these gorgeous places, wishing she could live in them all – at least for a while. And she does in her books.
Alexa loves to read, especially her friends’ stories. She also spends a great deal of time in her tiny kitchen, channeling her inner Barefoot Contessa.