A Small Town Southern Romance
- If I Didn't Care
He has one mission
Since they were children, career cop Judd Hamilton has built his life around taking care of his best friend, Autumn Buchanan. While he might once have dreamed of a different future for them, everything changed the day her father tried to kill them both. Determined to keep her safe, Judd put his feelings aside and turned his focus to protecting her, always.
She leads a double life
Nobody in their small town would ever dream that Autumn, Wishful's friendly librarian, is really successful erotic romantic suspense author, Rumor Fairchild. No one knows that the swoon-worthy hero of her series is based on her best friend, Judd. He's been fulfilling her rescue fantasies for years, and now she's ready to catapult them out of the friend zone to make her real life romance come true.
“You could’ve warned me.”
He could tell by the look on her face that she knew he knew. With obvious resignation, she uncurled from the sofa and strode toward him. “What would I have said? How would that conversation go?”
“Oh, I don’t know. Maybe, ‘By the way, Judd, I poured every detail of our own private hell into a book that hundreds of thousands of people have read.’”
Dimly he registered surprise from his parents, his brothers, but he couldn’t take his eyes off Autumn. He’d expected some kind of contrition or embarrassment, but what he saw in her eyes was a spark of temper. When she spoke, her voice was deadly quiet. “I had to put it somewhere.”
Autumn rarely lost her temper. Growing up in a house of violence, she considered it the ultimate loss of control. But Judd could see the simmer and bubble of it in her eyes. Fine. If she wanted a fight, he’d give her one.READ MORE
“How exactly did you decide what to keep, what to change? Cooper walked away. I stayed.” And damn, that chapped his ass.
“No, you didn’t walk away. What you did was almost worse.” She turned away from him, head dropping, shoulders slumping, as if he’d hurt her somehow.
Insult added fuel to an already raging fire. “What the hell are you talking about? Everything I’ve done has been to protect you!”
Autumn rounded on him, hands fisted, eyes blazing. “I don’t need you to protect me, I need you to love me!”
The shot hit him straight in the heart. It took everything he had to recover, to try and salvage something of what was. He aimed for reasonable. “Of course, I love you. You’re my best friend.”
“No.” She stalked toward him, the expression on her face dialed to a level of fury he’d never seen in her before. “You don’t get to hide behind that excuse. I’m done being quiet. My father spent seventeen years trying to make me and nothing ever worked. Not his hand, not the switch, not the flogging with his thick leather belt. Seeing you take the bullet meant for me is the only thing he’s ever done that scared me into silence. Not because he meant to end me—because I resigned myself to the fact that he hated me a long time before that—but because you were the only thing I ever cared about, and I saw how easily he could rip you away from me. So I’ve stayed quiet, swallowing down everything I feel because you seemed to want it that way. You decided—without ever giving me a say, giving me a voice. But I’m done. I wouldn’t be quiet for him, and I’m done being quiet for you. I won’t let you ignore what’s between us anymore.”
Before Judd could process any of her accusations, her hands fisted in his shirt, hauling him against her. Her mouth crushed his in a savage kiss, and he stopped thinking at all as every drop of his blood drained south. Shock held him immobile as she assaulted his senses.
She tasted of devastated fury and desperation and heat—so much unrestrained heat, he wondered she didn’t incinerate them both. With his head full of every erotic image she’d written, his traitorous hands curled around her hips and dragged her closer. He couldn’t keep up, couldn’t stop himself from responding to the demanding thrust of her tongue against his. He growled, every possessive instinct he had roused beyond belief.
But just as he slid his hand into her hair, she shoved with both hands, propelling him back a full step. “I’m moving out,” she snarled. “Good luck putting me back into your goddamned box.” Without a backward glance, she stalked out.COLLAPSE
Sharon Hughson on Amazon wrote:
There are absolutely no words to express the BIG LOVE I feel for this book!!! I have enjoyed the entire Wishful series and this certainly is no exception!!! Judd and Autumn had me from beginning to end, laughing, crying, smiling and cheering (with a bit of frustration) to the point that I did not want the book to end!!! This has to be one of my all time favorite books and these two characters are on the top of the list of my favorites. This book is well worth the read and if you haven't read the rest of the Wishful books, please read them, they are well worth it. I would also like to become a Southerner!!!
Miz N on Amazon wrote:
Kait Nolan hits it out of the ballpark with the first book in a new Wishful spinoff series. Wishing for a Hero? Then you will want to snag this book right now. Obviously, that means five stars for this romantic suspense novel.
As always, Nolan's shero is well-rounded, dynamic, relatable and so realistic that you want to hug her when she has a bad day. And boy does she have a string of those. Autumn had a rough childhood but has built a pretty good life with her family-of-choice. When her father gets released from prison, things start to go down the drain.
Judd is over-protective, and I have to say the most irritating hero Nolan has ever written. I guess his hovering came across as possessiveness or something to me. It just rubbed me the wrong way. He's tough...except on the inside when it comes to Autumn.
This is a great story that I could hardly put down. If you've avoided Wishful because you need a little more meat in your romances, this dandy is a four-course steak dinner. Read it. You won't regret it.
Kait's clever writing and relatable characters make this book a dream to read. A bit reminiscent of La Nora's category romance novels that have the perfect blend of romance and suspense (heavy on the romance, seasoned to perfection with suspense), the emotional stakes are high and the characters believable enough that I wanted to slap Judd upside the head a time or two and then kiss it all better. And take Autumn out for a spa day so she and I could dish about Judd.
If you are a fan of small town romance, intriguing mysteries, and strong women, this is the book for you!