She’ll juggle your balls.
For Stella Allesandro, chaos is good. She’s a rising star at a leading sports
publicity firm. She’s known throughout the industry as the jock whisperer—the
one who can tame the baddest of the bad boys in professional sports without
losing her signature smile.
But Cal Hartshorn is an entirely different kind of chaos.
He’ll fix your broken heart.
This ex-Army Ranger and now-famous cardiothoracic surgeon fails at
nothing…except talking to a woman he’s adored from afar. Whether on the
battlefield or operating room, he’s exacting, precise, and efficient, but all
of that crumbles when Stella is in sight.
Cal always knows—and gets—what he wants, and now he wants all of her. His
But Stella isn’t convinced she’s anyone’s forever.
Kate Canterbary doesn’t have it all figured out, but this is what she knows for
sure: spicy-ass salsa and tequila solve most problems, living on the
ocean–Pacific or Atlantic–is the closest place to perfection, and writing
smart, smutty stories is a better than any amount of chocolate. She started out
reporting for an indie arts and entertainment newspaper back when people still
read newspapers, and she has been writing and surreptitiously interviewing
people—be careful sitting down next to her on an airplane—ever since.
Kate lives on the water in New England with Mr. Canterbary and the Little Baby
Canterbary, and when she isn’t writing sexy architects, she’s scheduling her
days around the region’s best food trucks.
Brooke Markham needs a man. A real good man. But she’s not looking for a keeper. She’s too busy kicking ass, running an empire, and caring for her ailing father to spend time with men who want annoying things like relationships and commitment and…conversation. Brooke knows what she wants and it’s not a future with the growly barkeep.
JJ Harniczek needs money. A whole lot of money. He’s determined to launch his distillery, expand his tavern, and put Talbott’s Cove on the foodie tourism map. But there’s no way he’s asking Brooke for a dime. Not before he takes her to bed and definitely not after. JJ knows where he’s headed and the blonde bombshell isn’t about to change that.
“Maybe it’s just pregnancy hormones but I really want to lick him.”
I’ve ended up in a huge mess… my ex-boyfriend Jimbo wasn’t the dark soul with a heart of gold I thought he was. He knocked me up and then knocked me about. And when he tells me that I can’t keep the baby, it’s time to get out of Seattle.
A fainting episode in a gas station in the Arizona desert leads me to Lawson. A real life cowboy who runs his own ranch, Lawson is easy on the eyes. Muscles… everywhere. Huge package. Those little diagonal indentations that make a big arrow straight to his… toolbox.
But I’m not safe… it seems that Jimbo is still looking for me. Is Lawson the one who can protect me? And more importantly, can he convince me that he’s the man to tie me down?
Brynne Calloway knows that anything that seems too good to be true usually is. Fenton Abbott and his cashmere voice, Adonis body, and a magnetism like no other clearly falls into that category. But what’s life without a little risk?
It was supposed to be a rebound, an uncomplicated escape from reality. But nothing ever goes as planned. Fenton turns out to be so much more … in ways Brynne never sees coming.
“Sexy and hot with page sizzling romance. Fenton Abbott is the picturesque book boyfriend who will have you swooning and wishing you wore bikinis.” – Heidi McLaughlin, NYT and USA Today Best Selling Author
“Wherever It Leads lead me exactly where my heart needed to be. Locke has developed complex characters, a story with depth, unexpected turns, and sexy twists. A ✮✮✮✮✮ read for me.” – SL Scott, NYT and USA Today Best Selling Author
“Locke has a way of always adding an element of danger and intrigue to her stories that’s just understated enough to allow the love story to shine through. This one is no different. I loved it!” – Mandi Beck, author of the Caged Love Series
“Hands down, Wherever It Leads is Adriana Locke’s best work to date!” – Shera, Book Lovers Obsession
“This a fun, flirty and sexy read with a bit of mystery and intrigue. Pure unadulterated fantasy!” – Dawn, Blushing Babes Are Up All Night Book Blog
Chapter One Fenton
“Tell him I got his message yesterday and I don’t need him to blow me. But thank him for the offer.”
Grabbing the nearest shopping cart and sliding it in front of me, I toggle the phone against my shoulder. It nearly slides off my rigid muscles, a mix of workout fatigue and work stress setting up shop across my back.
Duke sighs through the phone, not even pretending to hide his frustration. “Fenton, that’s not true,” he says, exasperation thick in his voice. “He didn’t ask to blow you.”
“Obviously it’s not fucking true. I just want to hear him have to deny it.”
“You know what? Just forget I called. I’ll come up with a response myself.”
“That’s probably the best idea you’ve had yet.”
Duke sighs again, louder this time. I’m sure I’ve been an asshole to deal with since I hired him, but I gave him plenty of warning what he was getting into. This entire situation, the one he was hired to deal with, has been a complete clusterfuck from the start. There’s nothing more vexing than being able to fix a problem and having your hands tied behind your back while being needled that the problem exists. I know it exists. I’m keenly aware and no one wants it fixed more than me.
“I’ll just tell them the status hasn’t changed.”
“I could’ve taken care of this,” I bite out.
“I know. I know.”
“And they wouldn’t let me.”
“I know you know. Try to impart some of that knowledge to them. I’m playing by their rules right now, but I’m starting to lose patience with their—”
“Fenton, you have to play by their rules. Otherwise—”
“I’m heading into the store,” I interrupt. “The service is going to get shitty.”
“Talk soon,” Duke says, ready to end the conversation anyway, and the line clicks off. I shove my phone into the pocket of my black athletic pants. My jaw pulses, the buzz from this morning’s workout now vanished.
Ignoring the eyes of an uptight man perusing the apples, I skirt my cart left to avoid interaction. I have no idea why I chose today of all days to do my own grocery shopping. I could’ve waited three damn days until my housekeeper gets back from vacation.
Steering clear of the apples and the negative energy rolling off the shopper, I head towards the bananas. I need to find the optimism I had five minutes ago before Duke called from the office and ruined my Saturday morning.
The bananas are organic and perfectly ripe, so I pluck a bunch off the podium. I start to push away, but the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. A ruffle of unease scatters through my subconscious. I pause mid-step and glance around the store. People mill about, minding their own business, nothing out of the ordinary. I start to push away again when I spy the offender. A black piece of plastic peeks out from behind a bundle of bananas, the overhead light ricocheting off it and catching my eye.
I reach behind the produce and pull out a black cell phone. Turning it over in my hand, it looks no worse for wear. I press the round button on the bottom and the screen lights up.
Staring back at me are two gorgeous girls, probably a couple of years younger than me. Mid-twenties, I’d say. The dark-headed one is flashing a peace sign in a barely there white bikini. She’s hot as fuck. But it’s the blonde that draws my attention. She sits crossed-legged in shorts and a tank top on the beach, her hair falling around her narrow shoulders. Her body is covered, her stance demure, but there’s something striking about her that I can’t pinpoint. I almost can’t look away. Her blue-green eyes taunt me, tease me with a look that’s downright beguiling. The touches of vulnerability hidden behind her confidence intrigue me, make me want to hear her voice and know what she’s thinking.
Laughing at my ridiculousness despite the heat rolling in my blood, I skim the store again. No one seems to be searching for the phone.
I glance back down and my gaze goes immediately to the blonde. The curve of her hip has my thumb gliding over the screen.
I should turn the phone in to management. It’s the logical, responsible thing to do.
My feet don’t move.
Losing your phone in the bananas doesn’t exactly shout responsibility.
Taking a deep breath, I ponder my options. I can turn it in to Lost and Found and hope that they actually give it to her if she comes looking. Or . . . I could try to get in touch with her myself.
Keep telling yourself you’re playing the Good Samaritan.
Leaning against the produce display, I do a quick analysis. The odds of her finding it at the Help Desk aren’t great. Maybe fifty-fifty. Some bagger boy will probably see the lock screen and take it to the bathroom and jerk off. The odds of that are phenomenal. The odds of me breaking the passcode aren’t great either, but if possible, would greatly increase her chances of getting it back.
And the chance for me to see those eyes in person.
I type in 0000.
“Try again” flashes on the screen.
Steering the cart with my elbows towards the customer service desk, I run through possible passwords before I commit to my final try. I have one more chance before it locks me out for good and I have no choice but to turn it over to Bagger Boy and his bathroom break.
I go for 1111, another overused password.
It makes a clicking sound and the lock screen opens. The phone toggles in my hands, my jaw dropping in disbelief. It worked. The home screen is filled with apps over shiny gold wallpaper, waiting to be explored.
Should I or shouldn’t I?
My thumb glances over the photo album and I see the first photo.