Release Date: September 27, 2016
From New York Times Bestselling author Tracy Wolff and International Bestselling author Katie Graykowski comes a sexy tale of love, laughter and lingerie …
Lyric Wright is an off-beat astrophysicist whose life is falling apart around her. After losing her fiancé to a hula dancing astrologer and losing her dress to an ill-fated leap of faith, she’s sure there’s nowhere for her life to go but up. At least until she sits down on a trans-Pacific flight next to the one man she never wanted to see again—the boy she’d lost her heart and her virginity too back before she’d learned that friendship and football don’t equal true love.
Broken down quarterback Heath Montgomery is on a plane ride to nowhere. Dodging the phone call he’s certain will end his professional football career for good, he might be Texas bound, but he knows there’s nowhere for him to go but down. But that’s before his childhood best friend and confidante plops back into his life wearing nothing but duct tape and a bad attitude. Determined not to lose her again (especially since he isn’t sure why he lost her the first time) and desperate to outrun his own shadowy future, Heath sets out to take Lyric on the ride of her life. Too bad she only dates men who actually know what her butterfly nebula is … and can find it without the help of a star chart.
Add in one passive-aggressive flight attendant with delusions of couture, a cherry red car with a crush on Neil Diamond, an over-protective sister with a black belt in Krav Maga, two parents determined to marry their spinster daughter off to the hometown hero no matter the cost, and a whole lot of lingerie popping up in all the right places at all the wrong times and you’ve got an unforgettable love story that fans of Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Rachel Gibson won’t want to miss!
Thirty minutes later, Lyric stood outside of the airport and stared in a mix of horror and utter disbelief at the block long, red, low-rider, 1980s-era Cadillac Eldorado. She peered closer. Were those curb feelers? And spinning rims?
Wanting to bend over to get a better look but conscious of the fact that all she was wearing was Heath’s T-shirt and a pair of boxers he’d scared up in a gift shop that had “Don’t Mess with TexAss” on the butt, she opted for a slight lean. “Is pimp-mobile a special upgrade at Avis?”
SETI only paid for the sub-sub-tennis-shoe-sized compact, so she didn’t know. Maybe rental companies didn’t offer new Cadillacs.
“I know. It’s pretty awful, but by the time we got you dressed, all the other cars were gone. I tried everyone from Alamo to Thrifty—nothing. I bought this off a baggage handler. He called it his ‘Sweet Cherry Cherry.’”
Heath clicked a button to unlock the door and neon-blue chaser lights ran around the under carriage. “Oops, wrong one.” He clicked another button and hydraulics hummed. The back half of the car lowered while the front half bounced up and down like it was hopping on one foot.
Lyric took a step back. “Keep clicking, maybe it’ll explode.” She was pretty sure walking to San Angelo barefoot in TexAss boxers would be better than riding in that thing. Thank God her tetanus shot was up to date.
“It’s alive.” He clicked again. The chaser lights blinked green and purple. “Damn, it’s a ride at Six Flags Over Studio 54.”
Heath clicked the last button on the key fob and the doors finally unlocked. He stepped forward, opened the passenger-side door for her. “Your chariot awaits.”
The unmistakable scent of marijuana wafted up in waves. She held her nose. “Christ, we’re going to be stoned from the contact high.”
He walked around to the driver’s side and slid in. “Damn, you’re right. Roll down the windows.” Thunder boomed, and then lightning blazed across the sky. “Okay, roll ’um up. No wonder he sold it to me cheap—he needed to support his drug habit.”
With a shudder, Heath plugged the key into the ignition and turned it. As the engine roared to life, so did the radio. The words “Baby loves me” blasted through the speakers at top volume.
“What the hell is that?” Lyric clapped her hands over her ears.
“I think its Neil Diamond.” He reached over to turn off the radio. The button wouldn’t budge. “Here, let me.”
She shoved his hand out of the way. “I’m good with mechanical things.” She pressed down on the button a couple times, but nothing happened. Finally, figuring there were more ways than one to handle the situation, she turned the volume knob all the way to the left. The sound level didn’t change appreciably, so she tried again. Still nothing.
Beside her, Heath was laughing his ass off as the chorus came on. “No wonder he called it Cherry Cherry.” He wiped the tears of mirth rolling down his cheeks. Eyes narrowed, she hit the eject button. She designed satellites for a living. She could damn well conquer this radio. The stereo whined as it ejected the disc, and blessed silence finally filled the car.
She sighed in relief. “Thank God. I hate that song.” At that exact moment, the car hiccupped, coughed, and then—with a particularly violent shimmy—the engine died.
“What happened?” Lyric demanded.
“I don’t know.” Heath turned the keys in the ignition, trying to get the engine to turn over, but nothing was happening. He pumped the gas pedal a couple of times and turned the key again. Nothing. “Personally, I think the more appropriate question is what did you do?”
She was getting damn tired of that question being leveled at her. Especially since Heath channeling Tre was a scary sight. “I didn’t do anything. You’re the one who bought a lemon.”
“She’s a cherry, not a lemon.”
“Seriously?” Lyric rolled her eyes at him. “Pop the hood. There must be a loose wire or something.”
“I will, as soon as I find the damn doohicky. It’s not where it’s supposed to be.” He felt around under the dash. As he angled his body down to feel under the seat, his elbow brushed against the CD that was still resting at the mouth of the CD player. It slid back in, and as “Cherry Cherry” started to play from the beginning, the car roared to life.
They froze and looked at each other. “You don’t think …”
“Of course not. You’ve obviously been reading too much Stephen King. This is not Christine’s younger, sluttier, disco sister.” Lyric cocked her head to one side and shot him a look.
“You sure about that?”
“Of course I’m sure.” Indignant now, she jabbed a finger at the eject button. Once again, the CD slid out. Seconds later, the car gave an angry groan, and with a very loud backfire, it died once again. She tapped the CD and it floated back into the player. The beginning of “Cherry Cherry” started again, and the engine roared to life. She ejected it and the car died.
Okay. Demon possession— especially of inanimate objects—was impossible. Then again, most people believed that humans were the only intelligent beings in the universe … she rolled her eyes. On the whole, Homo sapiens wasn’t afflicted with broadmindedness.
Gingerly, she touched the dash. Was this car the unholy vessel of some crazed Neil Diamond fan? Oh dear God. She sat back. She was obviously losing her mind.
“Okay, that’s it,” Heath exclaimed, pushing the CD in one more time. “If you want to get to San Angelo this year, forget God. Neil Diamond is our copilot.”
“That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.” Lyric peeled her legs from the seat and tucked them under her.
Still, he had a point. If it meant getting to her daddy, she could handle four hours of “Cherry Cherry.” Maybe. As long as she didn’t spend too much time wondering about what it was that made these seats so damn sticky.
Heath rolled down the windows as he pulled out of the airport parking lot. They were between storm clouds. “No wonder the guy smoked so much pot. He had to be stoned to put up with this much Neil Diamond.”
Was it her imagination, or did the volume go up?
“Sorry.” Heath glanced around like he was looking for the spirit of Cherry Cherry. “Nothing personal.”
The car hiccupped, but the volume went back down.
“Thanks, Cherry,” he said as he pulled out onto Highway 71. “
You’re not actually talking to the car, are you?” Lyric demanded. “It can’t hear you, you know.”
“You sure about that?” Heath asked with a raised brow. “Because I’m not.” “
You’re being absurd. There’s obviously a loose wire somewhere under the dash.” The car wasn’t possessed … okay, it might have a small crush on Neil Diamond. But that was all she was going to admit to.
About the Authors
Tracy Wolff collects books, English degrees and lipsticks and has been known to forget where—and sometimes who—she is when immersed in a great novel. At six she wrote her first short story—something with a rainbow and a prince—and at seven she forayed into the wonderful world of girls lit with her first Judy Blume novel. By ten she’d read everything in the young adult and classics sections of her local bookstore, so in desperation her mom started her on romance novels. And from the first page of the first book, Tracy knew she’d found her life-long love. Now an English professor at her local community college, she writes romances that run the gamut from contemporary to paranormal to erotic suspense.
And for all of those who want the unedited version:
Tracy Wolff lives with four men, teaches writing to local college students and spends as much time as she can manage immersed in worlds of her own creation. Married to the alpha hero of her dreams for twelve years, she is the mother of three young sons who spend most of their time trying to make her as crazy as possible.
Tracy Wolff also writes as Tessa Adams
I write romantic comedy with lots of heart. I like scuba diving, Mexican food, chocolate cream cheese frosting, movies where lots of stuff gets blown up, and sparkly things. I have a husband, a daughter, and three K-9 kids. I'd love to hear from you. Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org