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Crazy for Your Love (The Boys of Jackson Harbor #5)
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A family wedding with a fake boyfriend, meddling parents, and an obsessive ex . . . What could go wrong?
The only thing worse than being single at my sister’s wedding is finding out that my ex will be there too. Not just any ex—the guy everyone expected me to marry, the man I came to Jackson Harbor to escape.
Now I need a date, and fast. Enter Carter Jackson—the firefighter who’s dealing with an unwanted five minutes of fame ever since a shirtless photo of him saving a puppy went viral. He’s warding off propositions left and right, and he needs a fake relationship as much as I do.
Sweet and sexy, Carter is completely off-limits. See, I have a rule. A no heartache rule. Not only is Carter my friend and a known heartbreaker, but his job as a firefighter puts him in danger daily, and that’s something I just can’t handle.
The commitment between us might be pretend, but the passion all too real. As crazy as it makes me, I have to keep Carter at an arm’s length. Even that might not be enough to spare my heart.
Crazy for Your Love is book five in The Boys of Jackson Harbor series. All books in this series can be read as standalones.
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He’s nervous. Carter Jackson, Jackson Harbor’s most eligible bachelor, viral internet sensation, and the face of female fantasies all over the country, is nervous.
“If you keep pacing, you’ll wear a hole in the floor,” I say from my perch behind the curtain.
Carter stops and spins to face me, those midnight-dark eyes narrowing. “You have to get me out of this.”
I bite back my smile. I shouldn’t laugh. It’s not nice. But my hot friend’s predicament has been a laughter gold mine for me during the last month. Tonight is the first annual Jackson Harbor Brews for Shoes benefit dinner and bachelor auction. Two months ago, Carter agreed to be auctioned off for a good cause. At the time, it seemed like nothing. He was one of many firefighters who agreed to sell themselves for an evening of wining and dining. But one month ago, everything changed, and now the Jackson Brews Banquet Center is packed to capacity with crazy, screaming women from all over the country, ready to rip each other’s hair out to get the winning bid.
“Hero, hero, hero!” The chanting gets louder and louder.
“You want me to sneak you out the back?” I ask, grinning. “Save you from the scary rich women?”
His eyes are wide as he strides toward me. “Think you can?”
To say Carter is a ladies’ man is a serious understatement—he’s the biggest player I know. So why is he scared to let some women bid for a night of his company? I try not to laugh. I try, but it’s just ridiculous. A snort slips out anyway, and then my laughter follows.
Carter scowls at me. “I hate you.”
I hold up a hand. “Sorry. No, really. I get it.” I inch the curtain open and peer out onto the stage, where Molly McKinley is quieting the crowd and segueing into her speech about the good the Shoe Bus will do for the children of Jackson Harbor and surrounding communities. Beyond the stage is a sea of women, many pushing around each other to get closer to the front. “They do all look a little . . . intense.”
Sighing, Carter drags a hand through his dark hair. It does nothing to ebb that rumpled, fresh-out-of-bed look he has going on. I wouldn’t admit it if someone paid me to, but I totally understand why women lose their minds over this guy. He’s hot. So hot. “They’re nuts.”
On Labor Day weekend, Carter rescued a golden retriever puppy trapped beneath the trampoline float at the public beach. Some well-meaning bystander snapped a picture of him striding out of the water—bare-chested, his jaw set with determination, the sopping-wet pup curled in his arms. The Jackson Harbor Fire Department posted the image on their social media, and in the following forty-eight hours, Carter’s world exploded. The image went viral, and he became the face of every sexy firefighter fantasy out there. Carter did a couple of TV interviews, deciding to use his fifteen minutes of fame to speak to the public about life jackets and water safety, but his fifteen minutes lasted longer and stretched further than anyone expected. Suddenly, Jackson Harbor wasn’t only teeming with tourists here for the beach, but with women who made the trip for the scenery of the JHFD variety. Then when word got out that Carter was one of the bachelors up for auction tonight, Carter fever picked up anew, with tickets for the event selling out within five minutes of going live.
“You should have backed out when Molly gave you the choice.” I squeeze his arm through his suit jacket. “She would have understood.”
“I thought it would die down by now,” he grumbles. “There are men and women literally risking their lives saving people every day, and all these ladies are losing their minds because I performed a puppy rescue that my niece probably could have managed.”
My amusement fizzles away when I see the frustration in his eyes. As easy as it is to laugh about how any single guy would want the attention thrown his way the past month, the reality has been an endless invasion of his privacy at best. I slide off my stool and straighten his jacket. “I’m sure most of the women out there are completely normal. I doubt many of them plan to chain you in their basement.”
“Somehow, that’s not reassuring.”
Ava Jackson, Carter’s sister-in-law and one of my best friends, pokes her head through the door backstage, her new dark bob swaying around her jawline. “You’re up first, Carter. Are you ready?”
There’s something close to terror in Carter’s eyes. He’s six foot two, two hundred-some pounds of solid muscle, and he’s truly afraid of these desperate single women. “Ready,” Carter says without taking his eyes off me.
“You’ll be fine,” I whisper.
“I hope you’re right.”
“And if the lady who wins you turns out to be a serial killer, wave me down. I’ll be here all night.”