Synopsis: Ethan was Ashley’s secret crush, until he became an asshole.
Asshole is too good a word for him. It’s bad enough that he stopped talking to her brother, who was his best friend since preschool. It’s even worse that he went wild and got involved with criminal types. But the worst thing of all is the way he trapped her on this ridiculous road trip.
That’s what it is. Ridiculous. It just isn’t normal for a girl to get dragged from Virginia to South Dakota in a stolen car with just $1000 in cash. With Ethan Moore, who is way too hot and way too infuriating to be tolerated. But she’s stuck with him on a trip that is taking way longer than it should, sharing cheap hotel rooms, destroying cars, and eluding bad guys.
Yep. There are bad guys chasing them. Even worse guys than Ethan, and that’s saying a lot.
Plus, she’s having trouble keeping her hands off Ethan. In fact, she’s falling for him hard—when she isn’t wanting to wring his neck.
So, for two crazy weeks, her pride, her heart, and her life are all threatened. Ashley isn’t sure which she’ll lose first.
They had been driving for about two hours when they reached the outskirts of Charleston, West Virginia.
“I’m getting hungry,” Ashley said, looking at the road signs advertising various restaurants.
Ethan shook his head. “It’s not even lunch time yet.”
“Well, we didn’t have breakfast. I have to have some sustenance if I’m going to be stuck all day and night in this car with you.”
“It will have to be inexpensive. We can’t waste all our money on filling your infinite belly.”
Ashley let out a squeak of outrage. Peered down at her stomach. It wasn’t perfectly flat, but it looked pretty good. Her body certainly went in at the middle—a lot of guys liked her shape.
Ethan was shaking his head again and evidently reading her mind. “I wasn’t insulting your body. Just your appetite.”
“Oh,” Ashley said, feeling ridiculously relieved. “Anyway, I’m used to eating cheaply. It’s not like we’re rolling in money, you know. Especially now.”
“What do you mean, especially now?”
“Especially after the thing with Mark. It was really hard on our family, including on our bank account.” She felt a surge of resentment again towards Ethan, overwhelming any soft feelings she’d had before. “We can’t afford million-dollar boats, you know.”
“That boat didn’t cost a million dollars.” His voice was natural, but his expression was stiff. She hoped he felt terrible, remembering what he’d done to Mark, who had always loved him.
“That’s not the point. The point is you’ve obviously made plenty of money in a really horrible way, while you’ve hurt a lot of people—including us. And then you act like we don’t exist—even Mark, who was supposed to be your best friend.”
“You think it would be a good idea for you and your brother to hang out with me for the last year?” His tone sounded a little strange now, like it was edged with something he couldn’t express.
“No. Of course not. But that should be our decision. Not yours. You and Mark were friends since you were four years old. Don’t you even miss him?”
She missed her brother. A lot. And she missed Ethan too. At least, the Ethan she used to know.
Ethan was looking at the road and not at her now. “Yeah,” he murmured. “I do.”
Her heart skipped at beat at the poignant note in his tone. “So why did you drop him that way?”
He opened his mouth but didn’t say anything immediately.
She waited for his response, her heart again pounding wildly, her breath coming out in strange little gasps. It felt like something was about to change the nature of her world, but she didn’t know what it was.
Held her breath. Waited.
And waited some more.
“Ethan?” she prompted sharply, irritation rising once more like a tide.
He was studying his rearview mirror. “There’s an unmarked police car behind us,” he muttered.
Ashley made a choked sound of frustration, “Of course there is. They’re coming to arrest us. You stole a fucking car!”
About the Author: Noelle handwrote her first romance novel in a spiral-bound notebook when she was twelve, and she hasn’t stopped writing since. She has lived in eight different states and currently resides in Virginia, where she teaches English, reads any book she can get her hands on, and offers tribute to a very spoiled cocker spaniel.
She loves travel, art, history, and ice cream. After spending far too many years of her life in graduate school, she has decided to reorient her priorities and focus on writing contemporary romances.