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Country Liquor (Sugar County Boys #4)
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He’s a country devil with a heavenly tongue.
First he made me scream, then he made me gasp for more.
I made a deal with the devil. I’ll be his fake wife for a cut of the huge inheritance he’s about to land. It’s all supposed to be pretend. But that’s before I get lost in those gorgeous, fierce eyes. That’s before I fall for that filthy mouth, those tempting lips, and that body carved out of marble.
…That’s before I wake up hungover, half-naked, and totally actually married to the hottest, most toe-curlingly alpha moonshine-making outlaw in Sugar County.
I’m so screwed.
Being a Marine sniper left me a little wild. But seeing her? Well, that makes me crazy.
The moment I lay eyes on her, I know one thing: she’s mine. That firecracker mouth, those curves that beg for my filthy hands to hold on tight, and that *ss a man could sink his teeth into. She has me obsessed and driven to claim by any means necessary – even if I have to throw her over my shoulder caveman-style.
Sweet as pie and hot as summer rain. She’ll be my captive. My prize. My perfect country bride. I’m gonna show her how we do liquor out here in the country.
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The fire crackles, twigs snapping and catching as the kindling takes light. I smirk to myself, laying some bigger sticks across the growing flame and sitting back on the log I dragged over to my little fire pit.
The smug look on my face grows. Yeah, this city girl can do the shit out of some camping.
It’s been years since I got out into the wilderness, longer still since I was even in Kentucky. Camping used to be something I did to get away from it all sometimes. But then, it was usually with my dad before. And ever since his passing a few years ago, it’s just felt like I’ve never had the time anymore.
Time. The smugness drops from my face as I’m suddenly reminded of the reasons why I’ve now got all this free time for a three-day-long camping trip into the hills of Kentucky. Reasons like getting fired from my job with the ad agency back in Atlanta. Reasons like finally being single.
I wrinkle my nose, glaring into the fire. A getaway is great, but I know this trip is more of an escape than anything else. My dad would’ve called this running from my problems, and he’d be mostly right. No job, a failed, shitty relationship, and a dwindling bank account. And here I am basically off the grid in a place called Sugar County with a tent, a backpack, bad cell reception, and a trashy romance book most people I know would roll their eyes at me reading but that I can’t wait to dig into.
I poke the fire with a stick before I toss a larger log on top to get it going. Dinner is lasagna with mushrooms and lemony asparagus, and I’m going to need some hot coals to get things cooking after I go for a swim in the stream. No, I’m not the world’s most accomplished woodland chef — this dinner and the rest of my meals are all pre-made, air-sealed “camp cuisine” dishes from the same place I bought my new tent and the plastic water bottle with the wide screw-on cap.
I stand, stretching before I kick my hiking boots off, bending over to peel off my socks. Today was a light hike day, mostly just poking around up in the hills looking for old coal-mining camps in the area. I pause for a second and roll my eyes, thinking of the old guy working the counter at the gas station back in town where I filled up my car and the backup “just in case” generator.
“Where you off to up in those hills, miss?”
“Oh,” I smile. “Just a little light camping. Looking for old coal mines.”
His face darkens. “You’re staying up there? Overnight?”
I smile again. “I’ve been camping all my life sir, it really won’t be—”
“Not up there you haven’t.”
His lips tighten as he shakes his head.
“Not up there in the hills with the Sugar Devil.”
Back at the gas station, I brushed off the old man and his stories about some maniac living up in the wilderness. The Sugar Devil. “Liquor King” was his other name, apparently. But c’mon, I’ve heard ghost stories before. Okay, I’ll admit that I jumped that first night at the sound of rustling off in the trees, and at the sound of snapping twigs. But please. A devil? More like a white-tailed deer — maybe a coyote hoping for some dinner scraps.
But beyond that? Yeah, right. I even heard the twigs snapping again last night, when I’d come out of a pre-bed swim in the stream. I’d scowled, pissed that the weird old guy at the gas station had even tried to spook me with his bullshit. C’mon, I needed this. I needed to be outside and away from it all and thinking about nothing but which trail to find the next day and if the batteries in my book-light would last long enough for me to finish the next chapter of my trashy romance book before bed. What I did not need was creepy bullshit folktales about the “Devil of the hills.”
Please, the only devil was Lyle, my ex. The devil who’d cheated on me with another girl from my office, knocked her up, and then tried to tell me he was “ready to settle down with me” a month after he’d left.
Uh, yeah, no. Check please.
I scowled as I unbuttoned my jean shorts, shoving them down and kicking them away before I peeled my t-shirt off.
Hell, if there was a “devil” up here? Well, it had to be better than the douchebag I’d dated for two yea—
The sound of a twig snapping has me whirling, my heart jumping into my throat a little as I scan the early evening tree line behind my camp.
Stories. That’s all there is to it. Hell, the gas station guy probably saw my out-of-state driver’s license and decided to fuck with me. And I hate that it’s working.