Authors: Jessie Evans
Tags: #Contemporary Romance, #bad boy romance, #steamy romance, #sexy romance, #new adult romance, #sweet romance, #Jessie Evans, #small town romance
Table of Contents
A Summerville Novel
(Always a Bridesmaid #3)
By Jessie Evans
This good girl's about to go wild...
Melody March has always been the sweet little sister everyone could count on, but lately she's longed to let her hair down and try something new. She tells herself it has nothing to do with bad boy, Nick Geary, or the steamy kiss they shared a month ago, but she can't deny the sexy, tattoo artist has gotten under her skin. She's determined to show him she's got what it takes to enjoy a walk on the wild side.
Twenty-two year old Nick Geary has had enough of good girls. His heart was broken by a sweet, southern woman once before and he's determined not to let it happen again. But then, he wasn't betting on meeting Melody, a girl with an angel face, who makes him laugh like a little kid and kisses like the devil's concubine.
As things heat up between them, Melody and Nick soon realize this is more than a fling. But will their new love survive a wild night gone horribly wrong?
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Copyright © 2013 Jessie D. Evans
This book may not be reproduced or used in whole or in part by any means existing without written permission from the author. This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locales is purely coincidental. The characters are productions of the author’s imagination and used fictitiously. Cover image by MJTH for Shutterstock. Cover design by Bootstrap Designs. Editing by Linked In Editorial
The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of the following wordmarks mentioned in this work of fiction:
Prius c. Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha AKA Toyota Motor Corporation
Underoos c. Fruit of the Loom Inc. Jell-O c. Kraft Foods Holdings
Other Novels by Jessie Evans
Betting on You
(Always a Bridesmaid 1)
(Always a Bridesmaid 2)
(A Summerville Short Story, Always a Bridesmaid 4)
(A Summerville Novella, Always a Bridesmaid 5)
(Cupid Island Christmas, Book 2)
And coming soon a NEW series from Jessie Evans:
The Fire and Icing Series.
Small town pastry chefs and sexy, Southern firefighters make for a combustible combination...
Melt with You
(Fire and Icing 1) December 11th, 2013
Hot for You
(Fire and Icing 2) February 5th, 2014
Sweet to You
(Fire and Icing 3) April 30th, 2014
Dedicated to J.L.
Hope to be there when you get your first tattoo!
Melody March was not the sort of girl who drank three margaritas in less than two hours.
She didn’t stay out past eleven, or wear dresses that showed off her ample cleavage, or delete texts from her ex-boyfriend, Brian, without bothering to respond. She didn’t wear eyeliner and lipstick at the same time, or twirl in public, or take off her shoes to wade in the fountain in the middle of the town square.
The fact that at the present moment she was guilty of all of the above would have been enough to make her head spin even without all the tequila pumping through her bloodstream.
She didn’t know what had come over her lately.
Yes, she did. It was him, Nick Geary, the bad boy who had pressed her up against his car and kissed her until her bones turned to mush a month ago, only to treat her like a sweet, baby sister ever since. Melody had done her best to shift their relationship into a different gear, but no amount of flirting or cookie baking or cute dress wearing had been able to catch his eye. He seemed to like hanging out with her—he was always underfoot in the kitchen at work, stealing a taste of her dish-in-progress, helping tease her sisters, and laughing at her jokes—but his feelings for her seemed purely platonic.
Ugh. Platonic. It was enough to dent Melody’s infamously cheery disposition.
She kicked her leg, sending fountain water spraying onto the sidewalk.
“Get out of there! Someone’s going to see you,” her best friend, Kitty, said with a giggle.
Kitty had only had two margaritas, but her cheeks were flushed and her blue eyes a little glassy. But then, Kitty weighed about forty pounds less than Melody. Melody was a curvy girl, which wasn’t likely to change any time soon considering she spent most of her time, both at home and at work, experimenting with new recipes.
Cooking was her passion, and for a long time, it had been enough. But now…
“Do you think I need to lose weight?” Melody asked.
“No,” Kitty said with a snort. “You’re gorgeous. Every guy in the restaurant was staring at you when we walked out.”
“Really?” Melody hadn’t noticed, but lately she’d only been interested in Nick’s attention. Or lack thereof.
“Totally. I was invisible.” Kitty reached back, tightening her long brown ponytail with a firm yank.
Kitty was a tomboy who owned her own auto repair shop, and who Melody had rarely seen out of jeans and a t-shirt. Tonight was no exception. Still, Kitty managed to make dark wash jeans and a tight black t-shirt look edgy and cool. She had a tough, lean, sexy thing going on that made it hard for Melody to understand why, aside from Melody herself, Kitty was the only other girl from their high school graduating class not engaged or already married.
Hard to understand, but still, Melody was grateful not to be the odd girl out. She’d been in ten weddings since her eighteenth birthday and had just been asked to join her friend, Dinah’s, wedding party last week. At this rate, Melody would have a dozen bridesmaid dresses collecting dust in her parents’ garage by the time she was twenty-three.
A collection of bridesmaid dresses, but not even a hint that her own wedding would occur anytime in the near future. Melody’s dating life had been dismal lately, even before she started crushing on Nick. Every allegedly sweet boy her Nana set her up with proved to be more annoying, self-centered, and uninspiring than the last.
It was enough to make a girl want to give up the opposite sex altogether…if there wasn’t an irresistible bad boy in tight black jeans strutting around under her nose every day at work.
“I guess I should try a makeover or make-up or something,” Kitty said, giving her ponytail another frustrated yank.
“I think you’re hot the way you are, mama,” Melody said with a wink that made Kitty roll her eyes.
“And I think you’re drunk and falling out of your top,” Kitty said.
Melody glanced down, blinking in surprise at the amount of flesh showing above the V-neck of her purple dress. She had picked the dress for that exact reason, but it was still a little shocking to see so much of herself on display.
Shocking, and a little exciting, too.
It wasn’t just her attraction to a boy like Nick that had been different lately. She’d been feeling experimental, drawn to pushing the limits and bending the rules in a way she’d never been before. A part of her said it was just a risqué dress and not a big deal, but another part wondered what the heck was happening to her. How far would things go before she reverted to her old self?
“Tug that thing up and get out of there,” Kitty pressed. “Let’s go have coffee and doughnuts. Sober up. I shouldn’t drive right now.”
“Me either,” Melody said, wading to the edge of the fountain, enjoying the way the cool water swished between her toes.
Her high-heeled sandals had been killing her. It made her eager for the late September Indian summer heat to fade so she could pull out her comfy boots with the wool lining and slip back into her cozy fall sweaters and, hopefully, a less tumultuous state of mind.
She stepped out onto the sidewalk and slipped her damp feet into her sandals with a resigned sigh. “Where to?
Donut Time Diner
. Obviously,” Kitty said. “Having to dip my donut in coffee to make it taste good is a sacrilege.”
“Agreed,” Melody said, looping her arm through Kitty’s as they wandered down the street toward the older part of downtown Summerville.
The downtown area was quiet at eleven-thirty on a Thursday night, the only sound the click of Melody’s heels on the pavement and the muffled music pulsing from behind the thick, metal door of
The Horse and Rider
at the very end of Main Street.
The Horse and Rider
was the only place—aside from Summerville’s many churches—to hear live music in the sleepy town. The bar also had a reputation for attracting a rough crowd after ten o’clock. Melody had only been old enough to get into a bar for a little over a year, but she’d never even thought about going to the town honky-tonk.
Although she’d been a fan of live music since her sister, Aria, took her to an all-ages show in Atlanta when Melody was sixteen, Melody was a “nice girl” and nice girls didn’t go to places like
The Horse and Rider
Instead, as a nice girl, Melody spent at least one day a month volunteering at the retirement home—conducting baking classes for the sweet old ladies and gentlemen who had become her friends. She went to church at least once a week, she watched her language and did her best not to let a curse word slip her lips, and she still believed kindness was a human being’s highest priority on earth.
But for some reason, the throbbing beat pulsing from behind the honky-tonk’s door called to her in a way it hadn’t before…
She was about to ask Kitty if she wanted to duck into the bar for a look around before they headed to the diner, when Kitty stopped dead in the sidewalk and squeezed her arm.
“Melody, is that who I think it is?” she asked beneath her breath.
“Who?” Melody glanced around, but there was no one else on the sidewalk on either side of the street. “Where?” she asked.
“There, in that tattoo shop,” Kitty hissed.
Melody’s eyes widened as she took in the neon sign affixed to the brick edifice above the store. The shop had been a scrapbook supply store a year ago, then languished empty for several months after
went out of business. The Main Street area was a hopping place, but this end of the street was older and more faded looking than the fully refurbished buildings closer to the square. The landlord of this particular store always seemed to have a problem retaining renters. Every business that had opened, had closed within a year or so, and Melody doubted the newest tenants would do much better.