From the New York Times bestselling author of the Marked Men books comes the next installment in the Saints of Denver series.
Everyone else in Dixie Carmichael’s life has made falling in love look easy, and now she is ready for her own chance at some of that happily ever after. Which means she’s done pining for the moody, silent former soldier who works with her at the bar that’s become her home away from home. Nope. No more chasing the hot as heck thundercloud of a man and no more waiting for Mr. Right to find her; she’s going hunting for him...even if she knows her heart is stuck on its stupid infatuation with Dash Churchill.Denver has always been just a pit stop for Church on his way back to rural Mississippi. It was supposed to be simple, uneventful, but nothing could have prepared him for the bubbly, bouncy redhead with doe eyes and endless curves. Now he knows it’s time to get out of Denver, fast. For a man used to living in the shadows, the idea of spending his days in the sun is nothing short of terrifying.
When Dixie and Church find themselves caught up in a homecoming overshadowed with lies and danger, Dixie realizes that while falling in love is easy, loving takes a whole lot more work…especially when Mr. Right thinks he’s all wrong for you.
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“Dixie Carmichael was the nicest girl I had ever met. She didn’t have a mean bone in her perfectly curvy and petite body. She was always smiling, always laughing, and there wasn’t a moment spent in her company where it didn’t feel like the sun was shining directly on you. She embodied warmth and care. Someone behind a computer monitor would never understand that. They would never feel the way her innate ability to make everything seem like it would be okay made the world seem like it was worth saving. There was a lot of bad shoved at us all on a day-to-day basis but somehow Dixie was a filter for it, and when you were around her it seemed like the only thing you could focus on was the good she let through.”
Losing two very important women early in his life taught Dashel “Church” Churchill that nothing good ever lasted and that anything he valued would be cruelly taken away from him, so to protect his heart he keeps his distance from his family and doesn’t even entertain the idea of love. Having been estranged from him family for ten years the threat of losing another important person in his life has him heading back to Mississippi but he can’t make the trip alone. Since he convinced his family that he couldn’t return home right after he left the service because of a very special girl, he can’t very well show up without this girl.
Dixie Carmichael is a good girl, the positive thinker the “I’ll find the silver lining in every dark cloud you give me” type of girl. Everyone likes her and she tries to like everyone. She loves her friends and family and tends to put their needs before hers. But there’s something missing from her life, that one of a kind love, that fairytale romance that her parents have. She’s found the one person that she thinks can be her fairytale and even though he’s attracted to her, he’s determined to keep her in that “friend” category. So when Church approaches her about taking a road-trip home with him, she agrees knowing that this might be the only chance to be front and center in Church’s life and show him just how good they can be together.
Jay Crownover stalker here…when I see her books I right away want to read them and I find myself trolling the internet for any clues of future books to come. I haven’t given all of her books five star reviews, but I have enjoyed every single one of them I feel the need to purchase the actual hard/paper back versions.
Dixie has been hanging around in the peripheral for quite some time now, so much so that every time she was ever mentioned I’ve always wondered “hmmm, wonder what her story is?” and during the last book I more than curious about Church and even wondered if it would be his story or Wheeler’s that would be next. Getting to read about these two made me quite giddy. While this may not be my favorite storyline from the Denver crew, it’s definitely one of the most interesting; primarily because the majority of this book took place outside of Denver which is totally different from the other storylines. I wasn’t sure how I was going to like reading about them but not having the usual suspects front and center. Even though Ayden and Jet moved to Texas, there story didn’t take place there. Towards the end I realized that these two weren’t meant to be in Denver, their story wasn’t a Denver story.
The storyline for these two was nothing like I expected. What was most different about these two was the fact that it was stated from the beginning that they were head over heels for each other; even if one half of this duo wasn’t willing to admit it. While Dixie made no point of hiding the fact that she was into Church and wanted him more than anything, Church on the other hand did his best to fight it or so he thought. These were two very strong characters who knew exactly what they wanted but where one didn’t quite know how to go about getting it, the other was afraid to actually go after it. What I also liked about this book was that it touched on the social issues of interracial dating and racism without making it the sole message in the storyline, (I have to admit, the description of Jules didn’t do much for me…I’m not a Shemar Moore fan). I also loved how Church came into his own with his emotions when it came to not only Dixie, but his dad, younger brother and Miss Elma. Once he let his feelings start to flow, there was no stopping this guy. I think one of the sweetest and sexiest lines from Church…
“I told you that you deserved to come first, so I’ll be wherever you want to be. You want to stay here then we’ll stay. You want to go back to Denver then we’ll go. You want to move to Austin and be Jet and Ayden’s neighbors then we’ll go there. I want you to be happy Dixie.”
If that didn’t just turn me into a puddle of mush!
Another hit from Jay!
She kissed me.
Her lips touched mine and she destroyed me. This tiny ray of light that seemed determined to chase the darkness inside of me away unraveled me with nothing more than the brush of her very soft lips against mine.
I should’ve pulled away, either that or gone all in. The attraction between us was only going to end one way, with me inside of her as we scorched through one another, so a real kiss with tongues and teeth and grabbing hands was inevitable, especially if she was holding the door wide open in invitation. I was already struggling with the friend thing and this wasn’t helping at all. I stood there, holding her, feeling her as she rubbed her mouth over mine, the barest hint of pressure as she took a taste, as she feathered her lips against mine like she was trying to memorize the shape, the feel, the flavor of them. It was the singularly softest touch I’d ever experienced and yet it had the power to make my knees weak and my blood pop with a desire so sharp it felt like it could pierce right through my skin.
Her hand cradled my jaw, her fingers shaking with some of the same things I was feeling. This thing that lived between us was hungry and tired of being ignored. It buzzed around us, electric and hot, refusing to be cooled by the chill in the night air that surrounded us. If we weren’t careful the passion that was hungry and needy between us would consume us, devour us, and leave us nothing more than hollow husks filled with fading satisfaction and jagged disenchantment because no matter how good we were together it couldn’t and wouldn’t last. I didn’t want any part of me to be responsible for burning her out. I liked that her light chased my shadows away and that meant I wasn’t going to have any kind of hand in dimming her internal glow.
Her breasts pressed into the center of my chest as she leaned more fully into me and I could feel the pointed peaks of her nipples stab into my skin. The sensation made my dick twitch behind my zipper and had all the available blood that was still above my belt rushing south. I’d always liked the way Dixie was built. She was on the shorter side, but every single part of her small frame was curved and lush. She looked like a woman that you could grab ahold of without having to watch yourself. She was delicate but in no way did she come across as fragile or breakable. She looked like she could take everything I had to give her, all the pent-up longing, all the nights of frustration I spent hard and alone, all the denied hunger that made me want to eat her up and then go back for seconds and thirds because I knew there was no way I was going to have my fill of her honeyed lips and velvety skin in one go.
There was so much of her to experience, and I wanted to know what all of it felt like, tasted like, sounded like. I wanted to watch her come from every possible position I could get her in, and then I wanted to find some new ones, ones no man had ever had her in before, and watch her come in those, too. Because I knew once I got her she would let me have her in ways she hadn’t let anyone else. Her eyes, so pretty and dark, made me all kids of promises, and I wanted to take her up on every single one of them. But there wasn’t anything I could promise in return, and that always kept me from crossing the invisible line.
She ran the tip of her nose along the edge of my jaw and that little nuzzle made my entire body shudder. She had the ability to bring down all the walls I’d so carefully built up around us in order to keep both of us safe. She didn’t have any clue the kind of damage I could do if I ignored all the warning bells ringing loudly in the back of my mind. I knew the ways in which I could wreck the women in my life that I cared about and there was no way on God’s green and often unforgiving Earth that I would subject her to that. I barely survived the loss of the last woman I loved. I knew if I let Dixie sneak her way inside my heart and something happened to her there would be nothing left of me. There wouldn’t be anyplace left for me to run.
About Jay Crownover:
Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men, The Point, and the Saints of Denver series. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she'll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs.