A Double Shot of Bourbon
(Bourbon Series #2)
Publication date: October 18th 2016
Genres: Romance, Young Adult
Lonna Stuart is proud to be the most beautiful girl most people have ever seen. But on the inside she’s dying. Her mother’s grating comments and her boyfriend’s obsessive control are suffocating her.
There’s only one person who sees the real Lonna.
Son of the infamous Bourbon Butcher, Collin toes an invisible line of perfection; he’s a football prodigy; a hard working employee; and, what Lonna’s boyfriend considers, a retard. A slight stutter keeps Collin back from making too many friends, but he observes better than anyone, and he sees things most people miss. He sees the pain in Lonna’s eyes and the sadness in her frown. When she nearly drowns, Collin’s the only one willing to sacrifice himself to save her.
Inspired by Collin’s overwhelming kindness and drawn to the sheer greatness of him, Lonna begins to pull away from her asphyxiating life. But unbeknownst to both of them, Collin’s father, busy planning an epic escape from prison.
Collin rinsed the pan and then dried it, stopping only to grab a third piece of bacon and devour it.
He set the pan back on the stove and glanced up at me. Swallowing, he coughed into his palm, and smiled up at me sheepishly.
I laughed. “What’re you doing, maniac?”
“Sorry, do you like eggs?”
He nodded toward a wooden barstool. “I f-figured. I tried to get the bacon out of the way before you saw it. Sorry. Made you oatmeal and toast. Hope that’s okay. There’s a banana, too.”
I stared at the plate.
He freaking knew.
“I’m a vegetarian,” I mumbled, remembering the last time Gage had taken me to a restaurant and ordered me grilled chicken. Talk about fight. If I’d told him once I’d told him a hundred times that I didn’t eat meat, and he always forgot.
“How…?” I shook my head. How did Collin know anything about me?
Because he observed, because he cared, because he wanted to know me. I fell down at the counter and pulled the steaming oatmeal toward me. “This is way more than—”
“Eat as much as you can,” he said, having the decency not to watch me. “I’m sorry, I don’t have any juice or-or anything. The p-place is pretty bare.” He’d been with the Van der Kamps for over a week. All the perishables had perished, I guess.
I fingered the end of the banana. It was ripe. “Where’d you get it?”
Smiling guiltily, he nodded his chin toward the front of the trailer. “Neighbor.”
As if I needed further proof that he was too good for me. He’d gone door-to-door for my breakfast.
Because he’d went to so much trouble, and because he’d busted me making myself sick yesterday, I gave eating my most valiant of efforts. I wanted to play that down as much as possible. Halfway through the oatmeal—which had a distinct cinnamon and maple taste—I pushed it away.
“I’m sorry.” I shook my head at the bowl. There was no chance that I could eat the toast, but I picked up the banana.
Collin didn’t say a word. He grabbed my bread and the oatmeal and ate all of it for me. He didn’t bother dirtying another spoon. I watched the first bite disappear into his mouth. He chewed around a smile.
When he was done he washed all the dishes. I was a terrible—hungover—houseguest because I watched him and didn’t volunteer to help at all. Wiping my mouth with the back of my hand one last time, I asked, “Can I use your toothbrush?”
He dropped a dish, jumping when it clinked off the metal basin. “You wanna…uh…y-yeah? Tooth… Sure. My…my blue one is still here. It’s…” Gesturing with his chin, he pointed down the hall.
Unable to fight my smile, I turned away from him. He didn’t need to know how cute he was when he was tongue tied.
The blue toothbrush sat on the sink as far away from a green one as possible. These brushes were perfect examples of their owners. The blue one was neat and straight. No dried toothpaste dribbled down the handle. And it sat upright inside the holder.
The green one—which could only belong to Luke—had jagged bristles, like it had been used to scrub the back of a porcupine. Dried toothpaste covered the thing. The slob was too messy to rinse it off. “Ugh.”
“What’s wrong?” Collin appeared in the doorway, his gaze flickering from me to the clean brush.
“Your brother’s gross,” I said, picking up the blue one and filling it with generic toothpaste. He seemed dazzled, watching me put the thing in my mouth and move it around.
Then I realized I’d never used anyone’s toothbrush before. I’d never had to, Charli always kept a spare for me at her house. Maybe this was a little more intimate than I’d realized.
Author of the Bourbon series, A. C. Land has been a lover of stories since she first read about Peter Pan giving Wendy an acorn and teaching her to fly. She always dreamed of telling big stories about small towns.
Residing on a cattle farm in Missouri, A. C. loves playing with her rambunctious Jack Russell, Riley, making decorative cakes, taking pictures, drinking pumpkin spice coffee, and hanging out with her nephews.
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