Book 1 in the Wicked Series
Released: Aug. 2008
Devin Shaw, front man for the band, Wicked, is forced into seclusion by his manager after his destructive behavior almost destroys the band. Sent to a remote cabin alone isn’t Devin’s idea of fun, but to save his career, he’ll do what it takes.
Holly Baker, escaping the hassles of her big city life, arrives in the mountains of Tennessee and awaits the arrival of her friend, Roxy, to start their two-week vacation. Their plans change drastically when Roxy is called away at the last minute, leaving Holly to fend for herself.
Devin and Holly’s worlds collide when a mix up strands them in the same cabin. Alone with nothing but each other for companionship, how will Holly react when she realizes she’s trapped with none other than the hottest lead singer the country has seen in years? Will Devin be able to work with a constant distraction the pretty brunette offers? Or will the two discover that sometimes temptation is a wicked dessert best served hot!
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What Readers Are Saying…
Hot, sexy fun! Loved it. – Stephanie, Amazon Reviewer
Holly and Devin are HOT HOT HOT!!! – Amy, Amazon Reviewer
Funny, Sexy and enjoyable. – Izette, Amazon Reviewer
Their chemistry is sexy and fun from the beginning. – Capri, Wickedly Delicious Book Blog
“Please tell me you’re joking.” Holly Baker stood wide-eyed, staring out into the vast wilderness surrounding her. She clutched her cell phone tightly in one hand, listening to her best friend’s voice.
“I wish I was.”
“Roxy, we’ve had this trip planned for a year! How can you just bail on me? Especially now. I’m already here!”
She looked down at the multiple bags by her feet, then closed her eyes and tried to remain calm. Her friend’s last minute business trip two days ago had caused the first seeds of doubt to worm their way in. It threatened to ruin the entire trip but Roxy promised she’d be there. Now, as she stood alone staring at the mountains, her fears were realized.
Turning her head, Holly looked at the resort driver. He stood by the van, a bored expression written across his face. He’d yet to say a word as she shrieked into her cell phone and him ignoring her was almost as bad as Roxy’s news.
She turned her back to him, sighing heavily and lowering her voice. “What am I suppose to do now?” she asked.
“Enjoy your vacation,” Roxy said. “I would be there if I could, you know that.”
“Look, the cabin is paid for. You have two weeks to do nothing but relax, forget about your job, and just chill out. Enjoy yourself.”
“How can I do that alone?” Holly asked. “I’ll have no one to talk to but the damn birds.”
Roxy laughed. “I’m really sorry, hon. You know I’d be there if I could but I can’t pass this case up. It would be career suicide.”
Holly ran a hand through her hair, pushing stray tendrils dangling in her face behind her ear. Roxy’s rich clients always came first. When they needed their lawyer, she ran, no matter what disruption it caused in her life. Today was no different.
Shaking her head, Holly leaned back against the van, and once again looked out over the mountains. “You could have at least stranded me somewhere exotic, with sandy beaches and plenty of eye candy. All I get is trees and bear poop.”
“Having a hoard of hot guys wasn’t on your list of requirements,” Roxy snorted a laugh. “And if I remember correctly, you said, and I quote, ‘Somewhere quiet, with pretty scenery’.”
“Yes well, you didn’t have to take me literally. This is the middle of fucking no where!”
“No. It’s Tennessee. It’s on the map. Look it up.”
Holly rolled her eyes at her friend’s laughter and sighed.
“Look,” Roxy said. “I’ll make it up to you. Your birthday is only four months away. I’ll thrown you a party the likes you’ve never seen. I promise.”
“I will,” Roxy laughed. “As soon as you get back from your all expenses paid vacation.”
Holly grinned. “Fine. I’ll be sure to drink all your liquor and call you endlessly when I get bored.”
“You do that.”
Holly disconnected the phone and turned to look at the driver. “I guess I’m staying.”
“Great,” he said, pushing off the van. “I’ll carry your bags inside.”
Holly watched him walk to the cabin, unlock the door, and disappear inside. She stood there, staring out at the surrounding mountains.
Alone for two weeks on the side of a mountain. Could life get any worse?
The driver walked back outside minutes later, smiling as he approached her. “The cabinets are stocked just as requested and everything you need has been provided.”
“Thank you,” she said, reaching into her bag for a tip. He stood patiently and accepted it with a smile.
“Have a lovely vacation, Ms. Baker.”
Holly watched him start the van and pull away, heading back down the mountain. When he was finally out of sight, she turned a full circle, and tried to see the beauty around her without a jaded eye.
Mountains seemed to reach into the clouds, the shadows the sun cast on them made them appear to be colored in shades of pink and purple. Emerald green trees swayed softly in the breeze, the scent of wintergreen and fresh mountain air filled her lungs and replaced the stale, stagnant smells of the city from her body.
The cabin Roxy had rented for them was magnificent. It was small, but still stood two stories tall, and surrounded by nothing but trees.
Holly walked across the pebbled driveway to the front door.
Her eyes widened when she got her first look inside the cabin. High vaulted ceilings in rich dark wood hung invitingly over the upper loft where she could see the only bedroom. Furnishings in dark oranges and reds adorned the entire room. Her gaze scanned the living area and she smiled when she saw the ornate fireplace and soft rugs and pillows that were scattered around.
Large picture windows made up most of the outer walls and brought the lush greenery of the outdoors right inside her little paradise. She walked toward the sliding-glass doors that led to a small wooden deck and stepped outside.
A stream ran through the trees and trickled small waterfalls right below the deck. The sound was hypnotizing. She leaned against the railing, staring out across the mountain and spotted a well-beaten path along the pebbled drive.
Walking back inside, she made her way to the front door. There was only one way to find out where that path led and besides, what else did she have to do?
“Enjoy your stay.”
Devin gave the driver a nod. He watched him pull away, picked up his bags, and started for the cabin.
The door opened easily and he shrugged at the idea of the cabins not being locked. Walking inside, he couldn’t help but smile as he took in his surroundings. It was everything his manager said it was and more.
He noticed the lack of TV upon entering. Even though he came to lay low and work on his music, he wasn’t sure how long it would take before he went stir crazy with no outside noise other than that of nature.
Walking into the large kitchen that sat to the left of the front door, Devin made his way to the refrigerator and opened it. His eyes widened when he saw the wine bottles. “Trying to test me, Curt?” He grinned, shutting the door without another look.
He walked to the living room, grabbing his guitar on the way, and sat on the sofa facing the fireplace. He pulled the instrument from its case and his fingers leisurely strummed the strings, the soft tune he’d been working on coming to him easily.
The gentle sounds of the stream outside lulled him into playing the soft melody he’d been toying with for weeks. It was nothing like the other songs he’d written but something about this tune calmed him. Of course it was only a few riffs. The lyrics eluded him. He wasn’t even sure there were any. His fans probably wouldn’t go for it anyway. They preferred their music hard and raw. This stuff would make them think he’d lost his touch. Maybe he had.
Sitting back, he laid his guitar aside and stared into the unlit fireplace, leaning his head against the sofa and closing his eyes.
The past year of his life played behind his closed eyelids, each memory bringing another bitter thought to his mind. He was screwed. No doubt about it. His band mates hated him, his reckless behavior doing more harm to them than he’d thought. If the band couldn’t get work, they suffered as well. His only hope was Curt, his manager.
Devin knew if Curt couldn’t repair the damage he’d single-handedly created, he could kiss his career goodbye. His band mates were already thinking of moving on to other things.
Curt had a lot of ass kissing to do in his absence.
He didn’t know how long he sat there contemplating his existence. Opening his eyes, he saw the darkening sky outside the picture windows. The sun rested low over the mountain, the tree limbs swaying softly in the breeze, and the room had chilled in the short amount of time he’d been there.
Standing, he made his way to the fireplace and began building up the wood to start a fire. Although he knew the days were quite comfortable, the nights could get cold. You would think living in New York would have prepared him for the chill but he knew the breeze blowing through the mountains stung to the bone once the sun set.
As the first flames danced to life and the wood began to pop and burn, Devin stood and went to his bags. Grabbing a few things, he made his way down the hall to find the bathroom.
Holly’s body protested when she moved. The hot spring she’d found at the end of the path washed away every doubt she had about spending her vacation alone. Every burden she’d been carrying seemed to melt away the longer she sat there and she wondered if she would ever want to leave. Not having Roxy there sucked, but this was heaven.She opened her eyes, noticing the darkening sky, and watched small woodland creatures scurry along the spring collecting their food.
The entire area looked like something from a dream. The steam from the hot spring hung heavy around the pool. The strong scent of pine perfumed the air and the breeze that rustled the trees limbs carried with it the scent of mountain laurel.
She raised her arms over her head, stretching out her limbs. “My own little slice of paradise.”
Looking around her, she grinned before standing and climbing out of the spring. She quickly grabbed her clothes, draping them over her nude body. Who would have thought, standing naked in the forest would be so liberating? Hooking her shirt under her arms, she laughed and darted up the path to the cabin.
She rushed in the front door, shivering as the cool mountain air stung her wet skin. The room was dark except for the light coming from the burning embers of the fireplace.
She stopped just inside the door, staring at the fire, before looking around. Her brow rose in confusion. “Automatic fireplace?”
She grinned and shrugged her shoulders. “One more reason to love this place.”
Walking quickly across the room to the fireplace, she dropped her clothes, sighing as the warmth from the fire engulfed her body.
She closed her eyes, smiling as the heat bathed her skin. She shivered once, opening her eyes before looking behind her. A blanket draped across the back of the sofa caught her eye and she turned, walking toward it. She hadn’t taken three steps when she heard a door slam from somewhere inside the cabin.
Devin froze when he saw her. He blinked repeatedly, raising a hand to rub at his eyes before looking back across the room. He wasn’t seeing things. Someone was in his cabin.
If the look on her face was any indication, she was every bit as surprised to see him as he was at seeing her. A jumble of thoughts rushed through his head but it only took him a second to realize that there was a beautiful brunette standing in front of him wearing nothing but skin.
With a growing smile, he leaned his head to the side. “Well, hello there gorgeous.”
Her eyes widened before she took a deep breath and screamed.
End of excerpt
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