Conner Burke never expected Sofie Callahan to come back.
Where she’s been for the last two and half years is a mystery, and so is the reason she left in the first place. Now, though, she’s back in their hometown of Shelton Bay, South Carolina, at the same time Conner’s band Dirty B is home on a tour break.
Sofie Callahan has spent the months since her father’s death avoiding anything to do with her home town. But with her brother in Afghanistan, she has no choice but to return and sort out her father’s house, even if it means facing the boy she fell in love with and revealing the reason she left.
Conner has questions, and when his broken heart and her guilty one collide, Sofie has to start answering them. Their present is rocky, their future unknown. Only one thing is certain:
Sofie’s daughter will change everything.
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I doubt that will give you much of an indication as to my feelings towards the book, author, other characters, storyline or my overall feelings. So here goes.
Emma Hart never ceases to amaze and astound me. The emotions that Dirty Secret evoked from me haven’t dissipated or faded. From start to finish I experienced the full range. Sad, happy, angry, upset, amused, hot under the collar, the lot.
I instantly felt a connection to Sofie and I empathised with her situation. She did what she thought was the right thing. But my God, I wanted to shake her at the same time. What were you thinking woman? How perfect is Conner? Yes, they fight, they both have such strong personalities but we allllll know what follows a heated argument, right? These two did not disappoint. *hot flush*
Conner Burke. I’ve said it already. He is a handsome devil who seems to dislike clothes. And I have no problem with that! He is a talented musician, a driven man and the ideal partner. He’s also the perfect father. His reaction to Mila was expected. Shock. Despair. Anger towards Sofie. But once he overcame it he totally came through for his daughter who – fair play to Sofie for teaching Mila – knew exactly who her Daddy was. And my ovaries burst and my heart swelled whenever Mila was included in a scene. Best. Child. In. A. Book. Ever. I want a Mila! Adorable.
So, Dirty Secret. Yes, Mila was that “Dirty” Secret but for the right reasons. Not that she stayed a secret for long. Damn gossips and paparazzi. But it turned out well for them! Sofie was torn the whole way through. Stay away from Conner and allow him to hate her as she believes he should not allow herself to love and be loved.
“We can’t do it like this. We keep fightin’, and I can’t do that. Mila’s yours whenever you want her, but I don’t want to have anything to do with you anymore.”
I turn and run into the woods, regretting every word but meaning it with my whole heart. It’s not fair to either of us, and it’s not fair to Mila.
I won’t deny him her, but I’ll sure as hell deny him me. And I’ll deny myself him, too.
Conner knows he should be angry. He is angry. But other feelings override the anger and heartache. These are things he never thought he’d feel again.
A sense of rightness overcomes me.
This is how it’s supposed to be. Both of them, both of my girls, wrapped in my arms first thing in the morning.
Except they should be there last thing at night and every damn minute in between, too.
Now. The Burke boys. HOT DAYUM! Tate, Kye, Aidan and Conner. Four Southern musically talented
boys men, going to be four awesome books! The banter, the relationships, the one night stands, the bad boy, the “oh-my-God-weak-knees”! I can’t wait for every word, page, chapter and story about these Burke boys!
My favourite character, though. She needs a special mention. Mila. Such a hoot! I fell in love with her and she’s not even mine! I wish she was though! So wrapped everyone around her little finger, even big bad Uncle “Tay”!
5 stars and a whole galaxy more!
“Any reason you’re faceplanting the wall?”
“Yup. I’m trying not to talk to you, so you should leave before I get mad.”
“Mad at me?” Conner responds incredulously.
I stand up straight and face him. “Yes. So go, because I don’t have the energy to be mad today.”
“What the fuck did I do?”
“Your asshole move at dinner!” The words snap out of me. “Bringing up the pregnancy rumor. What, you think I don’t beat myself up enough in private and I need to do it in public, too? That it?”
“You’re mad at me for something you did? Fuck, Sof!”
“No, I’m mad at you for bringing up somethin’ you didn’t damn well need to!” I yell. “Now I’m not in a position to be talking about feelings but, damn, Conner! How do you think that made me feel? I’m a bitch, I know. I’m every-fucking-thing under the sun that’s bad, but at least save it for private!”
“I was adding to the conversation!”
“In the most asshole way ever!” I push past him.
He grabs my arm and spins me round, his eyes blazing. “I’m entitled to be an asshole, don’t you think, princess?”
“When we’re alone! You’re not entitled to be an ass when your family is around!”
“I think I am! Especially when I want to hate you so badly!”
“Then hate me!”
“I can’t! You make it fucking impossible for me to hate you.”
“I don’t do anything!”
“You’re here! That’s it!” His nostrils flare and he dives his hand into my hair, cupping the side of my head. “You’re here, and it’s like nothing fucking changed. You look at me the same, you talk to me the same, and it pisses me off because I wish you weren’t still the girl I fell in love with.”
“I’m not her,” I protest. My skin is tingling where he’s holding me, and there are goosebumps all over, and oh hell, my lungs are constricting. “I’m older and I’m wiser and I’m more resilient than she was. I’m ten times the girl you fell in love with.”
“And there’s the biggest problem,” he breathes, his eyes pained and angry and heated all at the same time. “You’re her but you’re not, and it’s the same but it’s not, but I still can’t hate you.”
His lips, against mine. They’re hot, soft, smooth. Gliding over my mouth, probing, pressing, pleading. Desperate, angry, sad, needing. They’re everything, every sensation, every feeling, just everything.
Shivers cascade down my spine as he pulls me into him. I slide my fingers up his chest and around into the messy hair at the nape of his neck, winding its softness through my fingers, kissing him back, because I can’t not.
I’m powerless in his arms.
It’s slow and it’s easy, but then it’s hard and it’s rough, but it’s still everything, it’s still everywhere. Until he pulls away, and it’s nothing but a swollen memory lingering on my lips.
“I do hate you,” he growls, releasing me fully. “I hate you because you’re still fucking mine, and I don’t want you to be.”
And I’m cold, so cold, now that he’s not there. The warmth that is his solid body is gone and I shiver, wrapping my arms around my middle, desperate to alleviate it.
Because running back to him isn’t an option.
“Then don’t let me be,” I say, barely making a sound. “You’re not mine, Con, not anymore.”
His chest heaves as he takes in an audible deep breath, and I know I’ve hurt him again. But it’s the truth, he’s not mine because I won’t let him be. I won’t tie him to me that way. I won’t open myself to the hope of something only to end up with nothing.
Just when I think he’s going to step back, he grabs me and tugs me to him. His lips are on me once again, searing into me. His hands are gripping me tightly, his fingertips burning my skin.
I hold the collar of his shirt, leaning up on tiptoes as he kisses me roughly and harshly. His hands are under my shirt, tugging up, and mine are doing the same to him, and we part. We come back together, bare skin against bare skin, and I wind my fingers into his hair.
He pulls me back toward the door and grabs my thighs, lifting me up. I wrap my legs around his waist and he carries me upstairs, his lips travelling down my neck, his fingers digging in harder and harder, no time for tenderness.
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About the Author:
By day, New York Times and USA Today bestselling New Adult author Emma Hart dons a cape and calls herself Super Mum to two beautiful little monsters. By night, she drops the cape, pours a glass of whatever she fancies – usually wine – and writes books.
Emma is working on Top Secret projects she will share with her followers and fans at every available opportunity. Naturally, all Top Secret projects involve a dashingly hot guy who likes to forget to wear a shirt, a sprinkling (or several) of hold-onto-your-panties hot scenes, and a whole lotta love.
She likes to be busy – unless busy involves doing the dishes, but that seems to be when all the ideas come to life.