Burnt Sugar (ACE Series #2) by Layne Harper
Release Date: June 28, 2017
He left me crumpled in a ball on the worn hardwoods where my living room furniture used to be. He fed me to the paparazzi. He teased me with his new album—full of songs written about me. Then, I never heard from him again.
Did I let Aaron Emerson break me? Of course not. I’m MK Landry. I turned my mess into my message. I poured my heart out to my fans on NoPinkCaddy.com. Then, I picked up the phone and made the scariest call of my life. The rest, as they say, is history.
She dropped the worst line in the history of breakup lines: be the man I deserve. What does that even mean? I ran. I had no idea how to handle her injury, anger, and disappointment. She gave up on me when I needed her the most.
My life has marched forward. I’m in the middle of my comeback, sold-out tour. I have a model girlfriend. On the outside, my world looks rock star perfect. But Mary Kay Landry left a void in my soul that no amount of fame or time spent with others can fill. I’m stuck in MK purgatory where she haunts my nights and fills my days.
Burnt Sugar is the second book in the ACE series.
In an instant, I’m sure I’ve slipped back in time—ten months exactly. My mind doesn’t have a chance to register who is standing outside my hotel room door before I’m pushed up against the wall just inside my room, and his mouth slams into mine. His tongue, not asking for permission, swipes over my clenched teeth. He uses one arm to pin my hands over my head as the dollars tumble to the carpet just like my defenses. His knee works to spread my thighs. He’s frenzied and wild and smells of whiskey and sweat. His hair gets trapped between our lips, and his free fingers yank it angrily away.
Stunned is an understatement. I never thought I would see or hear from Aaron again, let alone find his tongue attempting to persuade my jaw to loosen.
This feels surreal and unbelievable as if I’m watching this happen to someone else. I’m numb. Did I fall asleep while brainstorming? Is this the equivalent to a wet dream? The warm breath tastes of Aaron. The lips feel like Aaron’s—soft and full. But surely this isn’t him. He’s ignored me. He’s done things to purposely hurt me. He’s a bastard who turned his back, leaving me in his cold, dark shadow.
Finally, my brain registers that yes, this is indeed Aaron manhandling my body, and I’m not okay with it. My head jerks to the side, breaking our kiss. “Get off me. What do you think you’re doing?” My voice is high-pitched and cracks as I try to catch my breath.
His eyes meet mine as he steps back but not far enough that I would call him out of my personal space, and he doesn’t release my hands. “I can’t help myself,” he pants as he drags his fingers through his much-longer-than-when-we-were-together blonde hair.
Wiggling my hands free, I push him further away as my eyes glance to Shannon. I think I may have shocked the woman who’s seen it all. “Everything okay?” She’s got her phone in hand as if she’s not sure if she should call the police.
Aaron turns to the door apparently just now realizing that there’s someone else in the room.
“Is everything okay?” Shannon asks again, this time more demanding.
That’s a great question, and I have no idea. “Shannon, why don’t you head home? I’ll meet you at the airport tomorrow. Thanks for all your help today.”
Aaron remains facing the doorjamb as if he’s put himself in time out.
She mouths That’s Johnny Knite.
Nodding, I roll my eyes. I’m not sure why. It feels childish, but right now, I just can’t seem to process anything so I blame it on the Aaron affect.
She shakes her head as Aaron keeps his back to her as he walks over to the hotel room window, looking at my view of the parking garage.
As soon as the door closes I ask, “Are you crazy?” My voice has lost the squeaky effect, and it’s dropped an octave sounding as if I’m a monster in a horror film. “We aren’t even friends, acquaintances. You have a girlfriend, and I have a new life. What’re you doing here?”
His hands clasp behind his head, and he leans forward pressing his forehead against the glass. Back muscles strain against the thin cotton shirt. In a deep, soft voice, he gulps, “I can’t move on.”
My blood pressure must hit stroke levels because my face feels as if it’s on fire. My heart is beating loudly in my ears. I want to hit him. I’ve never in my life so badly wanted to throw a punch, breaking his straight, perfect nose. “Lucky for you, I have,” I reply through my clenched jaw with nails embedded in my palms. “I waited, Aaron. I messaged you. And called you. I gave you chance after chance and made excuse after excuse as to why you walked out of my life and never returned. You told me you were working to fix yourself. You . . .”
He turns around, shoving his hands deep into the pockets of his worn jeans. His chin almost touches his chest. Blonde strands of hair shield either side of his face. “You abandoned me.”
Licking my lips, I reply, “I don’t have time for this or you. Get out of my hotel room, and stay out of my life.” My body vibrates with anger. Aaron’s reappearance is the absolute last thing I need right now.
“You’re shaking.” When he picks his head up, his cheeks are flushed, and he looks as if he’s aged five years since I saw him last. He takes two steps toward me, but my hand flies out in front.
“Stop.” Tears slide down my cheeks, and I’m furious with myself for crying. I’ve shed enough tears over Aaron Emerson. He doesn’t deserve any more.
“Sweetheart, I didn’t come here to make you upset.” His forehead forms a V as if he’s completely confused.
My fingers swipe under my eyes. “Well, you have. Go. Get out of my hotel room. Whatever we had is dead and buried. Go pour your heart out in a new album about the new girlfriend and forget I ever existed.”
One of Five ARCs of Burnt Sugar by Layne Harper
No Pink Caddy must be read first. Winners will also receive No Pink Caddy if needed.
No Pink Caddy (ACE Series #1) by Layne Harper
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2sSBR21
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Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2sV7J5m