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Travel back to the loveswept world of Fortune’s Island with New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shirley Jump.
His voice pierced the darkest corners of her heart.
Waitress Jillian Matheson needs a life makeover. The first thing on her “Get it Together” to-do list is breaking up with her fiancé, Zach Gifford, a struggling rocker who refuses to grow up. With Zach on the sidelines, Jillian pursues the dream career she’s secretly craved for decades and finds romance in the arms of a hot, mysterious visitor on Fortune’s Island. There’s just one kink in her plans. Zach’s band has a regular gig at The Love Shack where she works. And, she can’t deny the effect of his velvet-cloaked voice, a voice that can still reach places she no longer allows his hands to touch.
She’s the only song he ever wanted to sing.
Zach thought he had everything figured out—a music career on the edge of a breakthrough and a gorgeous fiancé—until Jillian left her engagement ring on his amp one night and walked out of his life. He is sure that he can get her to remember their shared passion and realize that they belong together, until a new man enters the picture and begins to sway Jillian’s heart.
Is it ever too late for true love?
Just as Zach begins to break down Jillian’s walls of resistance, a dark secret from his past comes to light and threatens to ruin their second chance at love. With shattered trust pushing them farther away from each other than ever before, can these two wounded hearts find their way back to each other before the last song?
Excerpt from Can’t Get Over You
Jillian unlocked her empty apartment, and tossed her purse on the table by the door. Her cell rang just as she was getting ready to shower. “Hey, Dad, what’s up?” she said.
“It’s a slow night tonight,” her father said. “Carter came in to work and has it all under control, so if you want the rest of the night off, it’s good with me.”
“That’s great. Are you sure?”
“Yup. See you tomorrow, honey.”
She ended the call with her father, then headed straight for the shower, peeling off her clothes as she went. The hot water hit her body like a balm, and the scent of cocoa butter and shea body wash filled the air. She kept her face under the warm stream for a long time after she’d rinsed out the shampoo and conditioner, as if answers could come from a Waterpik showerhead. They didn’t.
Jillian turned off the water, then wrapped a towel around her body. She drew a comb through her hair, slathered on a little moisturizer, then paused when she heard the doorbell. She tightened the knot on her towel, then padded down the hall. She figured it might be Darcy, stopping by for a quick drink. Or maybe Mrs. Pederson across the hall, looking for her newspaper that she had probably already read and forgotten she recycled.
But it was neither of those people. On the other side of the peephole stood Zach, wearing the same T-shirt and shorts he’d had on earlier. Looking a little rumpled, a little sweaty, and a little uncomfortable. The complete opposite of pressed, neat Ethan, who never seemed to even break a sweat. Jillian hesitated, but then Zach turned and she saw his eyes, round and worried. Her heart clenched, and before she could think twice, she was opening the door—
And forgetting she was only wearing a towel. “Zach. What are you doing here?”
“Can we talk?” Then his gaze dipped and he noticed her wet hair, the towel. She was very, very aware that she had nothing on under the little scrap of terrycloth. “Uh, unless you’re busy.”
“No, no, I’m not at all. Come on in and I’ll…get dressed.”
He stepped across the threshold and into her apartment. She was still holding the door, intending to shut it, but not realizing that doing so meant Zach would be close, very close. And she wasn’t wearing much of anything at all. Her entire being remembered what it was like to make love to him, how very sweet and tender and sexy and wonderful that was—and would be—and how very much she still wanted him.
The electricity she’d been missing earlier with Ethan roared between her and Zach, filling the few inches of space separating them. Her heart raced, her pulse rushed, and a deep aching spread through her veins.
His gaze dipped again, then rose to her eyes, and she knew he was as hyper-aware of her, of how close they were, as she was. “I…I probably shouldn’t be here. You’re…well, naked.”
“I have a towel on.” But it didn’t feel like much between them, and she was extremely aware that all she had to do was let go and the terrycloth would fall to the ground.
“True. But I know what you look like underneath that towel and in about five seconds, I’m going to forget why I came over here.”
She knew she should go inside her room and throw on a snowsuit or a caftan or something suitably unsexy that would diffuse the tension between them. But all she could think about was how she was sitting in a car with a man who should be Mr. Right just ten minutes ago and feeling zero sparks of desire. Then Zach walked into her apartment and her hormones went on high alert, and every inch of her craved his touch. His smile. Him.
She knew that when he made love to her, he would take his sweet time, kissing along every inch of her, as if he was worshipping her. He was the kind of man who gave more than he took in bed, and she liked that. A lot. She’d missed that.
A real lot.
And that, she realized, was what she had intentionally been forgetting. She kept telling herself that she had done all the giving in her relationship with Zach, when really, that wasn’t how it had been. Zach had loved her, and shown her in his own ways. Ways that melted her heart to this day. So maybe he didn’t open up about his career. Maybe he hadn’t made the best financial decisions, but in the dark, when it was just them…
He had been sweet and tender and wonderful. And every single inch of her yearned for that again.
“Me being naked makes you forget?” she said, her voice flirty, light. Because she didn’t want him to know how much she was forgetting in this moment, too. Forgetting they were over. Forgetting she had vowed to move on.
“Being around you, period, makes me forget.” He swallowed, and let out a long breath. He lifted his gaze to hers, and in his dark brown eyes, she saw regret, desire, need. “God, Jillian, you are beautiful. I still want you. I never stopped wanting you.”
His voice broke on the last few syllables, in a vulnerable, gruff way that erased whatever resolve Jillian had been clutching. He still loved her—she could see it in his face, hear it in his voice. For all her bluster and determination to stay away, she knew she still loved him, too. Missed him like she had cut off a part of herself. She wanted, no, needed, to be in his arms, to hear him whisper her name, to feel him enter her and hold her.
And just like that, as if they’d never broken up, she released the towel and let it tumble to the floor. “Then show me, Zach.”
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shirley Jump spends her days writing romance and women’s fiction to feed her shoe addiction and avoid cleaning the toilets. She cleverly finds writing time by feeding her kids junk food, allowing them to dress in the clothes they find on the floor and encouraging the dogs to double as vacuum cleaners.
Look for her Sweet and Savory Romance series, including the USA Today bestselling book, THE BRIDE WORE CHOCOLATE, on Amazon and Nook, and her new Sweetheart Club series for Berkley, starting with THE SWEETHEART BARGAIN.
Visit her website or read recipes and life adventures at Eating My Words. You can also visit Shirley at: Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads or sign up for her Newsletter