Ever since her parents passed away in a tragic car accident, Eden Cross has been living a quiet, stable and predictable life in inner Sydney – the total opposite of her carefree, relaxed, happy-go-lucky past. Her parents passing and the fact she’s an only child meant Eden was left with her best friend, Jules and Matt, her boyfriend of three years as her only family. That was until she discovered something about Matt that would turn her life upside down. Eden leaves Sydney in a hurry and begins an adventure that takes her across four Australian states before she lands in Pine Creek, Northern Territory.
Jackson Henley has lived in Pine Creek his entire life. He runs a massive cattle and cropping station with his twin brother, Jeremy, which they inherited when their parents retired. He’s had a bad experience with relationships courtesy of The Bitch - Dannika, so lately he’s preferred to play the field. That is, until he comes face to face with the stunning brunette beauty who’s behind the bar at the Cow and Calf. The problem is, she won’t tell him her name, she won’t give him the time of day, and she won’t give him a chance to prove himself.
What’s it going to take for Eden to give Jackson a chance? Does he have the patience to even bother fighting for her? How will he handle the competition?
In the end, will Jackson have what it takes to convince Eden to start living again, instead of just existing?
“Hey, gorgeous, can I get another beer?” I turn my attention from the one-man show and spot Luke, the guy who was here yesterday, and he’s waving an empty glass at me.
“Sure thing,” I reply. I grab a glass and pull his beer, hand it to him, take his money and return his change.
“So, Dory’s put ya to work, has she?”
“Just helping her out for tonight,” I smile, then sweep my gaze along the bar checking that no one needs refills. It’s during this exercise that I spot the man who has just walked in. My breath gets caught in my throat as I watch him take a seat at the bar. I see his lips move and he’s smiling at people but it’s too loud to hear what he’s saying. I’m captivated. He’s utterly gorgeous. The epitome of Cowboy Hot. His hair is dark and his jaw is square. His body is built – broad across the shoulders and narrowing slightly at his hips. He spots someone across the bar and hands them a fully-fledged, bright white, straight-toothed smile. My breath leaves me in a whoosh, and then catches again as what has to be his twin slides onto the stool beside him. Oh my fucking god.
I’ve got a job to do. I have to pull it together. It’s not like I’ve never been in contact with good looking guys before. I worked in one of Sydney’s hottest bars for four years for fuck’s sake. I mentally slap myself across the face and tell myself to pull it together. Then I walk across to where they’re sitting and set about getting their order.
“What’ll it be, boys?” I ask in my most relaxed I’m-not-affected-by-you-at-all voice.
Hotty One unashamedly rakes his gaze over my body. Slowly. So slowly, I feel my blood start to heat – just from him looking at me. I must be going mad. Perhaps it’s the heat up here. I’m not used to it all. I really should have worn some linen shorts instead of jeans.
“You, later,” he winks suggestively when he finally pulls his eyes to mine. Now, don’t get me wrong – the wink was hot. Fucking hot. It was the way he said it that turned me off. You know those guys that can get anyone they want? Yeah, they’re not so bad. It’s the ones who can get anyone they want, and they know it, and they show it – that’s the turn off. Just with that line, Hotty One has shown me he’s a player, unfaithful, untrustworthy and most definitely not the kind of guy I want to get involved with – in bed, or out of. But, as a woman, I’d rather die than have him know how he affected me, so I tilt my head to the side, smile my cheeky smile and say, “Not tonight, handsome. Or ever. Drink?”
* I'm 29 years old
* I've been married to my husband Troy for 10 years and together we have 4 children - Zach, Jovi, Demi & Cruz.
* I live in a small country town in NSW, Australia
* I LOVE to read and write
* I LOVE to bake
* I LOVE socializing
* My friends laugh at me because I will talk to anyone, anywhere. It's funny now but it wasn't so funny for my mum when she had to drag me away from strange homeless people at the train station when I was little, and I may or may not have been going to go in crop dusting plane with a man I'd just met when I was about 4!!
* I read fiction until I was 11 years old. After that I read non-fiction, true crime, bio's etc. When my son Jovi drowned in 2011, I found I couldn't bring myself to read non fiction anymore - it was too "real". Fifty Shades was dominating the media so I got myself a copy and I'm not ashamed to say I read all three of those books at least ten times each. They allowed me to forget my reality for a little while. Then I decided that I was going to follow my dreams and write. I wanted to show my children that just because their brother died, didn't mean they did or our family did. I want them to reach for the stars and chase their dreams, and the best way to do that is to lead by example!
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