Dalton Calhoun hadn’t always planned on a life up on the big stage, beneath the bright lights, but that was where he found himself. A second chance of sorts. An opportunity that had come along after his real dreams vanished when he was eighteen years old. Although country music was more than he could’ve expected, he’d never dismissed the notion that there was still something missing.
When Dalton followed his buddy Cooper Krenshaw to Devil’s Bend, Texas, it didn’t take long before Dalton realized just what that was. But just because he has topped the country music charts, and made his fair share of women swoon, doesn’t mean that everything comes easy to him. And when he sets his sights on the black-haired, gray-eyed waitress at The Rusty Nail, Dalton realizes he might just have to work for what he wants.
Katie Clarren’s life has been a series of unfortunate events, starting from the time her mother left on her eighteenth birthday. Not exactly how she had planned to spend one of the major turning points in her young life. Nor had she planned to spend the next five years dealing with the fallout. Somewhere along the way, Katie adapted, doing exactly what she needed to do in order to survive. But Katie has secrets that even her closest friends don’t know. Secrets she has worked hard to protect.
Although she longs for handsome, charming, country music sensation, Dalton Calhoun, she knows that anything that starts between them can’t last. Too bad her heart doesn’t seem to be on the same page. Katie gives in to her love for Dalton, needing that human connection that has been missing for so long. But when it comes time to make the hard decisions, Katie forces herself to walk away from him. To protect her secrets, and him. The last thing she wants to do is hurt Dalton, no matter how much pain she has to endure in the process. She loves him.
Can the two of them overcome the secrets and lies? Can they look to the future and stop living in the past? Or will they keep dwelling on the dreams that vanished, not seeing what is right in front of them? Each other.
Katie Clarren was walking on a cloud, the big, puffy white kind that dotted a brilliant blue sky on a beautiful summer day. Or at least that’s what it felt like as she floated across the rustic, hardwood floors in what had become her favorite bar, taking drink orders and chatting it up with the customers. They were unusually busy tonight, but she knew who to thank for that.
Unlike her mood, the weather outside was dreary, the sky a dull gray, and the dark, heavy clouds were threatening to open up at any time. But that hadn’t stopped anyone from coming out to The Rusty Nail, even on a Monday night. They were here to see him and she certainly couldn’t blame them.
Up on stage, Dalton Calhoun was gearing up to play for the small gathering, laughing with a group crowded by the edge of the stage while he set up, his wondrous smile making him even that much more attractive. And that was saying something. The way he moved reflected his excitement and stirred the energy in the room, and yes, even Katie was infused with it. Yeah, the guy certainly loved to entertain a crowd which was a good thing considering he was so freaking good at it.
Dalton was exactly as he appeared on television and in magazines, his picture probably hanging on the walls of teenage girl’s rooms everywhere. Having gotten to know him on another level, Katie had learned early on that there wasn’t anything fake about him. He was a country music phenom, one who had garnered the attention of women of every age. From his sexy dark hair usually hidden by his signature, black Stetson, to his drool-worthy ass, there was no question as to why everyone loved him. Including her.
However, Katie’s love was a little deeper than theirs was. Or at least she liked to think so.
Not only was she drawn to all six foot two inches of him, and his intense, dark brown eyes, Katie had managed to establish a friendship with the man known for his quick smile and charming drawl. Aside from a few make out sessions, it hadn’t gone much farther than that. Yet.
And each night that she watched him up on that stage was a little different from the last time Katie had watched him play. He was more at ease with every performance, befriending the locals and becoming an integrated part of the town. However, she still recalled the first night she saw him walk into The Rusty Nail. Not to sound like a bad cliché, but that night had been the night that had changed her life.
Nicole is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who was born and raised in Texas. Married with three kids and four dogs, she has plenty of interaction to keep her imagination brewing. Her books have been featured in USA Today’s Happy Ever After segment as well as Indie Reader’s best seller list. She has forged her way as an independent author.
Although she has a bachelor’s degree in Human Resources, she prefers to be hiding out in her writing cave, talking to the fictional characters that have built up in her head over the years.
When she isn’t writing or plotting her next book (sometimes translated to “playing on Facebook”), Nicole loves to read and spend time with her family and her dogs.