Thanks to a flamboyant, small-town gossip blogger, Ivy Turner’s lily-white reputation has just been unceremoniously muddied. Rumor has it Ivy has succumbed to temptation and slept with one of the Deathridge brothers. Sources can’t confirm which of the four, sexy cowboys she’s taken up with, but everyone in town is weighing in.
Ivy would gladly step forward and defend her good name, except that the rumor happens to be true. Perplexed that her little indiscretion has somehow made it into the public eye, Ivy sets out to find the rumor’s source. In the process, she becomes the unwitting keeper of all the Deathridge brothers’ rather formidable secrets.
Now, not only does she have to keep taking hits to her reputation to protect the brothers, but all these secrets and lies are keeping her from exploring her burgeoning feelings for one of them. But if Jake, Cody, Dallas, and Boone think that Ivy’s patience is limitless, they’re in for a shock. Because when Ivy breaks, she’s taking everyone down with her.
Jake was all-out scowling, now. His big arms folded over his big chest. Not many men could look anything but menacing or childish when they were pouting…Jake was dead sexy. His dark eyes bored into hers. “It’s the dress,” he said.
“I beg your pardon?” She sat her coffee mug down. It rattled once on its saucer. She withdrew her hand and folded it in her lap.
“The dress. I know that dress. Intimately.”
“Listen, if you don’t want to talk business, then—”
“If you wanted to talk business you’d be in one of those prissy black skirts with your hair in a bun and your nails all manicured.”
“This is ridiculous.” She turned and started to scoot out of the booth before he could see the heat in her cheeks. But he propped his boot on the seat next to her, trapping her. “Move your big, dumb foot, Jake.”
“Know what I think?”
“Nope. And I don’t care.” Time to get the hell out of there and have a ritual burning of that bad luck dress.
“I think you’re angling for another off-the-books meeting down by the creek. That what you want, Ivy?”
“We agreed never to mention that.”
“You got a lot of nerve wearing that dress in here,” he said with a smirk. “You wanted me to mention it, admit it.”
“Let. Me. Go.”
“I’d be happy to meet you again, you know. Been thinking about asking you out.”
Ivy searched her mind for the low-blow and found it. “It’s not that I’m not interested, it’s just that I don’t think I can spare the two and a half minutes.”
He dropped his foot and his smirk, his eyes widening and the color draining from his face. “That was a mean thing to say, Ivy.”
She snorted as she stood and grabbed her cell phone. “Don’t get your ego in a twist, baby. At your age, there are worse problems to have.” With a wink, she turned and sashayed the hell out of there before he could think of a comeback.