The inspiration for each of my books has always surfaced either from a past experience, mainly from my childhood, or from someone I’ve recently met or encountered in some way. This series was literally written after recalling an afternoon spent in a park that was no different than any of the others I’d spent there.
I grew up in a small town in West Texas with a population of around 3,000 people. With no movie theatre, no bowling alley, no shopping mall or any kind of real entertainment, kids were forced to create their own ways to kill time. Hanging out in parks, on the side of a highway, in a parking lot, or in a tunnel (yes, a tunnel) were basically what we did.
This series is extra special to me because it’s written with three very close friends in mind.
Call Me Sugar was written on a mere whim after a phone conversation with an old friend. Like always, we were talking about old times and all the silly things we used to do in our little town. Once our conversation ended, I immediately remembered a particular afternoon spent in the park. Bees kept chasing one of us (not me thankfully). They seemed to appear out of absolutely nowhere. We laughed so hard that day watching him run from those bees and even today, I can remember him yelling, “Why the hell do they only chase me?” It’s funny how simple things like that are the things you never forget. I have dozens of silly memories from that little town, some that I think of often, others that I’ll take to my grave trying to forget. Anyway, after I ended that conversation I thought, “Hmm. I feel a story here.”
The park and museum this story revolve around are both real places. All four characters in both Call Me Sugar and soon to be released book two, Call Me Sweetheart, are real people. Of course, I have to mention that the sex is all purely fictional. Sadly, one of the heroes, aka Jason, died tragically at an early age, while one of two heroines, aka Rylee, didn’t truly have an abusive mother, nor did she take her own life. In addition, the other hero in the book has been happily married (to a woman) for many years. Being that I’m still friends with him, I figured he may have me murdered if I didn’t clarify that one small fact. As for the other female character in the book, I guess you can figure out who that was meant to be.
Again, ALL FICTION.
One last little thing. Anyone who knows me also knows that music is a big part of my life. I take it to heart if that makes sense. I’ve had playlists for each of my books with a list of songs that make me feel closer to the characters. I’ve included those just for kicks.
SUGAR & SIN PLAYLIST:
Highly Suspect – “16”
A Day to Remember – “Resentment”
Tool – “Forty Six & 2”
Seether – “Breakdown”
Keith Urban – “We Were”
Starset – “My Demons”
Breaking Benjamin – “The Dark of You”
Crown the Empire – “Blurry”
Killswitch Engage – “I Am Broken Too”
Five Finger Death Punch – “Question Everything”
Seether – “Forsaken”
Godsmack – “Under Your Scars”
I Prevail – “Hurricane”
Eli Young Band – “Always the Love Songs”
Bad Wolves – “Hear Me Now”
Shinedown – “How Did You Love”
10 Years – “Fix Me”
Thirty Seconds to Mars – A Beautiful Lie”
301 Scenic Drive had once been a simple little house covered in white siding, the windows dressed with sky-blue shutters, and a long row of shrubbery winding down the entire length of the large yard and hiding it from the street. Just after dawn on Saturday mornings, like precise clockwork, my brother stood outside trimming the hedges to an even perfection, while I had the chore of dusting and vacuuming as my mother tackled the laundry of four and mopped the kitchen and bathroom floors.
With the trailer only inches from the driveway edge, I finish easing the Jeep underneath the attached carport, my heart racing in my ears.
Holy shit, this place is nothing like before.
As I scan the yard, the first thing I notice is that the shrubbery is replaced with a charming scalloped-spaced white picket fence separating the lawn from the street and the next-door neighbor. The house’s siding is the same, still white, only newer. Black shutters replace the blue. When I see the missing swing that once hung from the roof overhang on the side of the house, my throat tightens, but then just as quickly, I’m staring at its replacement hanging on the end of the newly built wraparound porch, which brings a massive smile back to my face. Suddenly, I’m chomping at the bit to hang ferns down the length of the porch and hoping this West Texas sunshine will keep them thriving.
With dozens of memories shuffling through my brain, some wonderful, some melancholy, life had seemed so much simpler. Scratches at my windowsill late at night.
Whispers through the screen.
Bees in the park with the sun beating down.
My mother running her two-day-old car straight through the living room wall. It’s these silly heels I wore today. My foot slipped right off the brake.
This house is a bittersweet reminder of shared meals, household chores, arguing over curfews, tending to a sick parent.
And now, 301 Scenic and its new porch swing, white picket fence, and all the thick green grass blanketing the yard is owned by none other than the man who took my virginity, betrayed me, and broke my heart, which makes Keith not only my new boss but also my landlord.
My God, I’m really doing this. I must be crazy.
Hands shaky and heart thundering wildly, I reach underneath a bronze flowerpot full of blooming pink and white begonias to retrieve the key. With only seconds passing after I unlock the door, a sudden eagerness sends me traipsing through the three-bedroom house and looking inside cabinets and closets, opening and shutting shades and wood blinds, staring out windows.
Holy shit balls, this is a brand-new house!
Dark distressed wood covers the floor in the sunken living room while beautiful white crown molding runs between the freshly painted gray walls and ceiling. Built-in shelving, finished out in white with a niche in the middle for a flat-screen television covers the wall where a large antique buffet table once stood, and flat Roman shades in a lighter gray than the walls showcase the four white windows facing the street, which was originally a long picture window. Surprisingly, he’s left the large walk-in closet in the corner of the living area, which I’m thankful for since this house never had much storage. When I open the door, my chest tightens for a few seconds and I almost sense the faint smell of gun oil with visions of my dad’s gun collection, along with the vacuum cleaner, spare luggage, winter coats, and men’s hunting apparel that once filled the moderate-sized space. Keith has ironically done exactly what my daddy used to say he was going to do before his health got bad. He’s added three rows of shelving and a stack of built-in drawers that weren’t here before.
Jesus, I love the thought of no longer having to stash odds and ends underneath my bed.
After throwing myself into bringing in what I can and spending the next two hours rummaging through suitcases, hanging clothes, and emptying half a dozen boxes, I sort through a few toiletries then blow out an exhaustive breath. My body feels like it’s been run over by a semi and I need a shower, some food, a cold drink, and a bed. Four AM, the early hour I’d pulled out of my apartment this morning, seems like a century ago.
Bone weary and ready to drop, I unpack a towel, grab fresh panties, and strip out of my clothes then stare into the floor-length mirror still hanging on the bedroom door just as it was over a decade ago. Once trimmed in white, it’s now a deep, brushed bronze to match all the door handles and fixtures throughout the house.
Emotions swirl in my belly like choppy sea water as I take a long glance into the mirror at the bags underlining my eyes, the little to-no makeup left on my face, hair that is stringy, straight, and in need of a good washing, and my body that’s slick with sticky sweat. I take a deep breath, another, then another, then close my eyes and rake my hands down my sides, my nipples tightening at thoughts of Keith. The hay barn behind his house. Those lips covering every inch of my body. Those hands exploring and discovering all my hotspots. The rope he used to bind my wrists. The belt he used on my ass and inner thighs, and the pain that turned to hot pleasure as his thick erection severed my hymen for the first time, while he controlled me. Empowered me. Dominated me.
Changing me for life.
Smooth hands run down the length of my naked body as I lose myself in every single detail of that day and burn hot with need for a man’s touch, a man’s mouth, a man’s weeping erection. Desire pulses deep in my core as dark images course through my mind, images of his hands—large and rough—all over me. Fingers—lengthy and flexible—probing inside me. Lips—warm and moist—teasing and tasting me. Dear God, I want to be on my knees, bowing my head, offering, giving, ceding, submitting.
One finger grazes my clit while another pushes hard and deep into my sex. My eyes squeeze tightly shut as I plunge inside, my thumb gently rubbing the swollen peak. It feels good. So damned good. Still, it’s not enough … not enough.
Shit, Jen. Forget him. Your best vibrator is right inside your travel bag.
With thrusts growing deeper, breath becoming fervent and rapid, I bend the tip of my finger and brush the hidden, velvety inner spot that sets my body on fire. My head drops back as the familiar tingle in my belly grows deeper, one man entering my mind as a climax is only seconds from ripping through me.
Vulnerable, defenseless, and mortified, I spin on my foot with the color draining from my face and a scream tearing through me at the familiar honeyed voice and sight of the provocative cowboy in the doorway. My mind is an instant blank as we stare in frozen silence, his eyes searching mine as I search my brain for any kind of reasonable words to speak while feeling like a blithering half-witted idiot
But when his dark brown gaze does a slow, gradual, nearly painful sensual downward slide before lifting and locking onto mine, lacking even a trace of embarrassment, politeness, or courtesy, it takes only a split second to know that there’s only one kind of danger I’m in—the kind that can wound my pride and most definitely my heart. Awareness flickers in his amber-colored stare, which makes me shudder and hits me deep in the stomach. For seconds I just stand there in all my naked glory, motionless, staring just as hard, shocked, appalled, flushed with humiliation, and turned on out of my mind.
Sweet merciful fuck!
God, I’ve missed him.
After he tips back his black cowboy hat, he gives me a beautiful close-up of that handsome face that I’ve never forgotten, and his hands dip into the pockets of faded black jeans hanging low and snug around his waist, hugging his ass and thighs just right, and paired with a wrinkle-free, lightly starched, black button-down shirt that pulls tightly across the width of his chest and shoulders. Shiny, square-toed boots covered in exotic leather hit every single one of my hot spots being a true Texan woman who loves a man in a fine pair of boots, and from what I can see, his hair is much shorter now but still shiny and dark with deep brown sideburns leading into a neatly trimmed beard that I can literally feel brushing up my thighs. He’s cowboy, businessman, and jock all combined into one, and I can’t keep from sucking in a breath at the sight of him.
Need powers through every inch of my body and I want to experience every sexual act that two people can with this man. Vile things, shocking things, sinful things. I want his mouth, his hands, his body. I want his control, his influence, his reign. And that damn facial hair … I want it touching me absolutely everywhere. Greed radiates through me in an almost unnerving force, when in fact, I know I should be feeling indifferent and resentful.
But I want him. I want us.
With a wicked gleam in his eyes, when they rake hungrily back down my body as he takes in every inch slow and steady, a blistering swelter licks over my skin and comes to rest deep inside my core while my nipples stiffen to hard peaks, all which leaves me with two choices here. First, I can act like what I’m doing is perfectly normal and just utter something stupid like “Miss me, cowboy?” Or I can try acting like my female scent isn’t making it perfectly obvious what I was just doing and pretend he’s simply barged into my home without the common courtesy of knocking and caught me in the middle of changing clothes, maybe scratching my leg or smoothing lotion on my skin, instead of relieving the ache in my sex that’s been lingering since I drove through San Alba.
Right, Jen. He’ll fall for either of those things. When. Hell. Freezes. Over.
But rebounding on pure instinct, I grab the towel beside me and wrap it around myself like it’s a crucial life preserver while he shifts awkwardly and moves those addictive eyes slowly upward. Our gazes cling, transfixed, as his yellowish-tinted irises flicker with the same strength, determination, power and command as they had before.
My God, he was striking before. But now, he’s sexual magnetism. He’s charisma, strong muscle-bound, small rural-town hotness. He’s heat, sex, and sin.
I shiver, shift restlessly, then take a deep breath, and he does the same. Something crackles in the air between us and shoots a sea of flames straight up my spine, the magnitude of sexual tension between us after all these years surpassingly stronger than when we were teens. My pussy throbs as it perfumes the air with my arousal, and for a quick moment, I can sense the sting of leather from his worn belt, hear his relentless unyielding demands, and feel every thick vein of his slick girth sliding in and out of me desperately and mercilessly while he grasps my neck.
He’s the reason I need to submit to a man.
Soft whimpers rise up my throat and I no longer care about the fact that he once broke my heart or that he stopped
communicating with me altogether two years ago. Don’t care … don’t care … just don’t. My stomach is quivering wildly, my pulse quick and heavy like a barrage of bullets.
He stiffens then swallows hard. “Jesus, I’m sorry, Jen.” His concentration strays to the boxes stacked beside me and his hands leave his pockets and reach for the back of his neck to crack the tension. “The door was open, and I wanted to make sure you got here safe and sound and let you know I’ve a got a couple of ranch hands who …”
For what seems like a boundless minute, he pauses then drags his eyes back over my towel-clad body.
"Fucking hell. Finish … getting dressed, or get some rest … or Christ, do both. Tomorrow is gonna be a long day, sugar.”
The edge to his tone brings another pool of arousal between my thighs while my stomach flutters with delicious thoughts of rough, controlling, extraordinary sex with this man. Heat simmers through absolutely every inch of my body, which leaves me with a strong but petrifying inclination to drop the towel, ask him not to leave, and show him just how heavy and tight my breasts are, how swollen my clit has become, how wet he’s made me.
My God, I want him in ways I don’t understand.
With a parting nod, I shove away the need crawling between my thighs and release some kind of ridiculous-sounding giggle that resembles more of a cackling then respond with a near silent, “Cool,” because not only am I little shaky, dumbfounded, and rattled, and a whole shit-ton of mortification and humiliation, but also because I haven’t the slightest idea of what else to say.
With his fawn-tinted eyes blazing hot like fire, he drags a hand down his face then turns to leave with what I think is a small bend of a smile and definitely a bulge behind his jeans, while I’m left cringing at the sound of his boots against the wood floor, my pulse marching through my ears, and wishing I knew what to say, what to do, and how to make him stay.
"Lock the door behind me, Jen.”
Just like that, he’s walking away while every part of me wants to shout, “Please come back,” then drop to my knees, remove his boots and jeans, and take his thick cock between my lips. But when I hear the front door slam, it’s obvious that he has other ideas.
An unpleasant ache flickers inside me.
I don’t belong to Keith. I never have.
Why are you doing this?
Through an ocean of tears, those were the last words she ever spoke to me, the words that left me yearning to die a long painful death. I remember every minute of that day and the long lingering silence between us, the first tear sliding down her cheek, the minute Jason got in my face, so fucking livid at what I’d done that his eyes sizzled like a raging fire.
I remember it all like it was yesterday.
“You’re nothing but a spoiled pretty boy,” he’d said while stabbing a long finger into my chest. “A rich little ranch kid who gets all the pussy he wants and only cares about his own needs and no one else’s.”
“You talking about her being hurt?” I’d countered. “Or you, Jason?”
“Fuck you, Keith. Fuck you and your egomaniacal attitude.”
Guilt plows at my chest all over again as I pull out of the driveway and onto Scenic Drive with blood surging hot and fiercely to my groin while I try to process what I just walked in on. Christ, I should have called her before I just waltzed through the door like I had a right to do so.
Another thoughtless shit move on my part.
I swallow the last drops of lukewarm bottled water wishing like hell it were something strong and smooth. Frustration pulls at my chest with a compelling need to pull over and curb-stomp something.
Fourteen years ago, she’d been stunning.
But Christ if she’s not beautiful today, still radiating that smell of vanilla and fresh-cut flowers, her body lean but curvy, tits small but made for my palms, a shaved pussy carved for my tongue and cock, an ass just full enough to enjoy the forceful sting of my palm, and those jade-green eyes flashing with their cock-hardening, whitehot fire look of a woman who knows just exactly what her body needs and wants. Jen Boylan is strong. She’s determined, desirous, and sensual.
Sweat beads over my brow, and my dick is still rock hard.
“Fuck.” I adjust the steel brushing my zipper while fantasizing about my fingers in that pussy, my mouth on that pussy, my cock inside that pussy.
She belongs here. In Springhill. With me, goddammit.
I thirst to touch her. I need to touch her. I ache to touch her.
I loved her then. I love her now. This time, I won’t let her get away.