Erin Evans is the kind of girl no guy wants to be in a relationship with. She’s controlling and never backs down when she thinks she’s right. Knowing this, and rightfully fearing her last few years in her twenties will be like the last five, she looks for some adventure. That’s when her best friend convinces her to go on vacation with her to the Bahamas. On the land of white sand, coconut rum, and a cloudless sky, what she never expects is to meet Tyler Weston, a local bartender with a sweet tongue for the pretty girls. He’s tattooed, entertaining, and living the dream in paradise as he sets her drinks and her world on fire. As the moon lights the city, Erin unexpectedly becomes infatuated with Tyler and his bartending skills when he offers her the challenge of trying his Black Magic drink her first night on Paradise Island. Hoping to get some more alone time with Tyler, she sets out on a mission to try every drink on the menu while on vacation. And after one night and one Black Magic drink, both of which she can barely remember, results into two weeks of exciting possibilities she never saw coming. Can Erin put aside her cynical side and let the dirty-mouthed bartender show her what island life and love are really like?
I had never been on a jet ski before, and after ten minutes of skimming over the gentle waves, I wasn’t sure I ever would again. Tyler thought it was hilarious to dump me off the back when I thought I saw a shark.
True, it wasn’t a shark, but a dolphin.
“Even the sharks won’t hurt you,” he said, still laughing as I clung to his back, fearing for my life.
“The fuck you say,” I wailed, refusing to even look at the playful dolphin nudging the side of the jet ski. “Where I come from, sharks bite.”
Tyler ignored me and reached down, running his hand over the dolphin’s nose. “He’s just curious about you.”
I wasn’t so sure about that but when we got to the swimming pigs, I had another momentary freak-out.
“Holy Jesus, are those pigs?” I was practically standing on the jet ski trying to distance myself from them.
Tyler looked up at me as he treaded water with them. “What do they look like?”
“Well I suppose they’re pigs then.” He rubbed the top of a gray and black one’s head.
“Jump in.” He gave a nod with his head, the pigs all around him now, like they were old friends.
I gave him a horrified look. “No. Pigs shouldn’t swim.”
“Me. I say that.”
“Don’t be a pussy. It’s a fucking pig. He ain’t gonna bite.”
Tyler wouldn’t lie to me, would he?
“No.” He looked at me and his eyes darkened. “I might.”
Pigs apparently don’t bite. Well at least they didn’t bite me. They sniffed me and invaded my space, but no biting.
Being out in the water this way offered some sights you wouldn’t usually see on the beach. I saw pigs swimming, tasted a fresh pineapple, went through a secret canyon, kissed under another waterfall, and ran my hands over a stingray.
“I can’t believe how blue the water is,” I said, my chin resting on Tyler’s shoulder when we stopped about a half mile from the beach.
“It’s the way the light reflects off the water that gives it that clear blue appearance.”
My favorite part, maybe the most memorable?
I was straddling Tyler on his sun-drenched jet ski, when his palm met my breast over my bikini and I knew where it was heading again. His thumb grazed my nipple, his other hand brushing over my sun-sizzling skin until it was wrapped around my neck and pulling my kiss to his. My lashes fluttered closed. His lips were so soft and tender, pouring emotion and sweet desperation into his touch…something you wouldn’t think someone having just a short-lived island romance would do.
The kiss deepened as he gathered me up drawing me into his chest. My legs fell to the sides and squeezed, rubbing against his hardness. Shivers shot through my entire body at the contact. “You’re addicted, aren’t you?” he asked, his lips at my ear.
I moaned and he grunted at the contact, his hand moving to wrap around my waist, grinding me into him once again. “I am.” I kissed him again, slow and deep. “Are you?”
As the jet ski rocked in gentle movements, his hands untied my bikini strings, lifting me slightly so my bottoms were fisted in his hand at my hip. He lifted me again, his hands fumbling between us. His eyes found mine, shades of blue revealing a sweet sadness. “I’m obsessed,” he murmured, the warm glow from the waters dancing against his skin as sunlight reflected off each ripple.
1. Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke
2. Talk Dirty – Jason Derulo
3. Short Change Hero – The Heavy
4. Cruise – Florida Georgia Line
5. When The Lights Go Out – The Black Keys
6. Radioactive – Kings of Leon
7. Toes – Zac Brown Band
8. Won’t Let Go – Black Stone Cherry
9. Ordinary World – Duran Duran
10. I Love A Rainy Night – Eddie Rabbitt
11. Drink You Away – Justin Timberlake
12. Freaks – French Montana
13. Almost Lover – Jasmine Thompson
14. Dancin’ Away With My Heart – Lady Antebellum
15. Dust to Dust – The Civil Wars
16. Happiness – The Fray
17. Am I Wrong – Nico & Vinz
“Hey, city girl, what’s your pleasure?”
“I’ll let you in on a little secret, though…city girl, if you want me to take you home…you could just ask me.”
“I told you” — he took a drag from his cigarette and then flicked it away — “I would be anything you needed.”
“You make me lose my mind,” he said.
“You help me keep mine.”
“Your whiskey sour set my soul on fire.”
“I blame you for my inability to walk in a straight line. Your drinks suck,” I said, wiping sand from my lips and cheek.
“Or you could…” he said, gesturing to our current position with me cradled in his lap.
“It doesn’t matter how you look at it, Erin. A heart is always on the line.”
It was one night, one fate and something tragic destroying something beautiful. Heavy sheets of smoke curling and rolling together constricting my visions of this life I had. You see that there? That wrenching pain in your gut knowing not everything as it seems? Look closer. That nervous energy you now have, stumbling over words you can’t say, a voice muffled under a mask, a moaning plea to be saved, slurred words on the tip of your tongue, there’s the something tragic. When I have nothing left to give, nothing left to say, it’s him that brings me back to the moment, in the arms of my firefighter, the warmth of his heart and body, struggling to save his family.
I want out of this town. I want to leave and never look back. He doesn’t knock when he comes in, he never needs to. He knows, as well as I do, my door is always open, waiting. I crave him. I do. He knows this, I think, I know, and I believe he craves me too. Why else would he come back? It’s his determination and his will that gets me. That determination keeps me waiting for him in a dreary bay. I’ve always heard my friends say they wanted the rich guy to take them out of this small town that seems to hold us all captive. Lincoln wasn’t that guy. At first look, he’s a fisherman, married to the sea and weighted by her waves. Who is he to me? He’s someone who gives just enough. He shows me a different way of thinking. A way to give more than just enough.
A stay-at-home mom, Chelsea spends her days drinking entirely too much caffeine, baking sugar-sweet treats she never eats, playing on Pinterest, and jotting down notes for her novels. A dreamer at heart, she’s been creating happily-ever-afters. She’s a lover, a writer, a dreamer, would rather type than speak, wants to remember everything, loves lots of ice in her drinks, and is slightly introverted.