Here's your final peek of my upcoming Friessens release! THE BAD BOY will be released tomorrow, but here's an exclusive look at Chapter 5!
As the youngest brother, Mark Friessen refuses to answer to anyone. He’s been called a restless bad boy because responsibility for his father’s ranch has never rested on his shoulders, even though he loves everything about the life of a cowboy. Working with the horses and the land, being in charge, and doing all the hard work on the ranch has always settled his restless nature—that is, until a rodeo queen broke his heart by running off with his best friend after two-timing him for six long months.
The funny thing about broken hearts is that they make people do things they wouldn’t do if they were thinking clearly, as his mother so succinctly advised him during his ensuing dating spree. This is likely why Mark has now signed up to be a deputy in the next county over, with a badge, a gun, and the kind of power he thought he wanted.
When he pulls young mousy librarian Daria McKenzie over for speeding, she is speechless and furious when she realizes he doesn’t remember who she is. This bad boy has left a trail of broken hearts in his wake—including hers.
THE BAD BOY (The Friessens, Book 25) is available for pre-sale at:
Did you miss your sneak peek of Chapter 4? If so, click here.
“So how’s life treating you? Haven’t seen you in a while,” said Henry Lewis, the bartender at the Horned Toad, as he settled a pint of lager in front of Mark where he stood at the bar. Henry was tall, light haired, and at least five years his senior. The place was packed with a few familiar faces and a lot of unfamiliar ones.
“Life’s good,” Mark said. “Got a job over in Skagit County with the sheriff’s department as a deputy.” He almost lifted his hand to gesture to his badge, but he was no longer in uniform but a blue and white shirt and faded blue jeans. He lifted the mug instead and took a swallow of beer.
Henry wiped the counter in front of him and gave a practiced smile. “That’s fantastic. Was wondering what happened to you, considering all the time you spent in here.”
Right, drinking, picking up women, and doing his best to drown his hurt. Then there was Daria. Wasn’t it here that he’d picked her up?
“Can I have a glass of white wine, pinot grigio?” said a woman at the end of the other side of the bar, between three other women.
Henry made his way over, and Mark watched as Daria slid onto a stool, wearing a short skirt, boots that went to her knees, and no glasses. He just leaned against the bar and took in her expression—watchful, confident. She was cute, and he realized something had changed her from the librarian with glasses he’d seen earlier to this casual, classy woman who fit in. Henry settled a glass of wine in front of her, and she lifted it and took a drink. It took him another second to realize she wasn’t with anyone, as the three women beside her paid her no mind.
Before he knew what his feet were doing, he was walking her way, one step and then another over to her, carrying his beer. He set it down on the other side of her where the stool was empty and took in the shock in her expression. She dressed up nicely, with makeup and mascara, a smoky look that added an allure he hadn’t expected.
“Well, didn’t expect to see you here,” he said.
She squeezed the stem of her wine glass between her fingers before lifting it to take another swallow, and for a split second, her eyes widened, likely from the shock of seeing him again. “Why? Because I’m a woman, or is there some other reason I shouldn’t be here having a drink?”
The way she said it, he wasn’t sure how or whether to answer. It seemed he could be walking right into one of those loaded questions.
“You just don’t seem the type to frequent bars, is all I’m trying to say. I mean, being a librarian and all, I guess I just can’t picture it. But here you are.” He allowed his gaze to slide down over her, nice rounded breasts under a silky tank, slim waist under a short black and purple skirt, and long and slender legs. No, this definitely wasn’t Cindy. And this also wasn’t Daria, the librarian he’d met earlier.
“So what you’re saying is being a librarian means I can’t stop into a bar for a glass of wine, that I’m supposed to, what, go to a teahouse? Are you saying being a librarian means frumpiness and tea and crumpets?”
He was pretty sure she was setting him up to walk right into something, so he continued to lean against the bar, seeing how straight she sat on that stool, her leg crossed so her skirt rode up on her thigh. The hint of skin hidden under her sheer black stockings was just enough to tease him.
She cleared her throat, and he lifted his gaze back to hers. Yeah, she noticed, and she raised a brow.
“As I was saying, that’s stereotyping and is absolute bullshit. I don’t drink tea, and I go out for a glass of wine sometimes. I like wine. What is it with you guys? Somehow, it’s okay for a man to go to a bar alone, but if a woman does it, I suppose you automatically assume she’s looking for something and she doesn’t quite fit, like she’s not supposed to be there, or if she is, then she’s free game for some loser. Again, stereotyping, Mark. Don’t do it, because people will surprise you. I mean, look at you. I never would’ve figured you for some deputy. I mean, I would’ve said you were a useless jock.” She angled her head, and those blue eyes packed a punch. Her hair was shoulder length and straight, and her earrings were dangly hoops that she wore well. Something about them made her neck appear longer.
How could he have forgotten her? It was then he realized she’d just insulted him. “Point taken. So we’ve both misjudged. How about starting over?” He wasn’t sure what she was going to say, as this time she allowed her gaze to slide down over him. It wasn’t teasing but had him wondering if she was trying to make a point.
“Start over in that you, what, want to get to know me? Or is this another move of yours, saying let’s have a drink? I pay for mine, you pay for yours, and you’re hoping to get more free sex out of it.” She was direct. He’d give her that.
“Maybe I deserve that, Daria, but yeah, I’d like to get to know you. What do you say we grab a table? I’ll order us another drink, and…”
She said nothing but leaned in. She wasn’t going to give him a break.
“We’ll talk,” he said.
Maybe she hadn’t expected that. “I don’t believe you, because guys like you aren’t interested in just talking.” She pulled out her wallet, tossed a ten on the counter, and swallowed half her glass of wine, then pushed it back and stepped off the stool. “Thank you,” she called out to Henry, who lifted his hand and gave Mark an odd look.
“What are you doing?” he said.
Even though Daria was taller than Cindy, the top of her head just passed his shoulders. She tilted her head back, slid her purse over her shoulder, and glanced around as if he’d asked the stupidest question. “I had a drink. I’m good now. I’m going home,” she said. Then she lifted her hand. “Good night, Mark.”
She turned on him and started walking to the door, and he took in her rounded ass, the skirt, the boots, the tank. She was one hot librarian.
“You’re losing your touch, I see,” said Henry, who took the ten Daria had set on the counter.
Mark just lifted his mug and downed the rest of his beer before setting it on the counter, seeing the door close behind Daria. No, not losing his touch. He was getting his head together.
“Do you know who that is?” he said as he pulled out his wallet and tossed some bills on the counter.
Henry took the money and lifted his gaze, his eyes questioning. “No, but I have a feeling you’re going to tell me.”
“A challenge, that’s who—and one I’m definitely up for.”
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