Author: Nazarea Andrews
Series: Green County #1
Published by Self-Published
Release Date May 30, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance, Romantic Suspense
More Info: Goodreads
Even when you know better….
There are a million reasons why Hazel Campton is off limits: she’s a journalist. I’m a cop. Oh, and she’s my foster sister.
My secret is I didn’t care. I haven’t stopped wanting her since I slept with her the night before she left.
She’s trouble. Always has been.
It’s hard to resist the thing you’ve always wanted…
Growing up with Brandon Archer means I know him. Good. Bad. Everything in between.
It’s just never mattered.
My secret? That night. The one I stole, that’s kept me from Archer and Green County, for four years.
Now I’m home, and nothing has changed. Except me. And not in the way that means a damn thing.
Because I still want him.
Everything can change with a knock at the door…
Secrets. Everyone has them. Archer. Me. This town.
Perfection only runs surface deep in Green County. When there’s a knock at me door, it’s a familiar face all covered in danger, and all those secrets we hide? They’re about to come tumbling out.
The first in a sexy new series about Green County, and the people who serve there.
Title: Dirty Sexy Secret
Series: Green County #1
Author: Nazarea Andrews
Release Date: May 30, 2016
Green County is a sexy new series of standalone romances, set in a sleepy small town America. It’s the story of the men and women who serve the County–cops and doctors and lawyers and teachers–and the ordinary lives they lead, and the extraordinary loves they find.
It’s sexy and sweet and angsty.
Welcome to Green County. You’re gonna love it here.
Three killers, two cop, and a journalist walk into a bar.
Sounds like a bad joke, right? It’s not.
It’s the end–dear god I hope it’s the end–of the worst two days of my life.
I just hope we all walk out alive.
Some people say you can’t go home again.
And that is a complete pile of bullshit. You can. It just won’t be home.
I should know. I did it.
Green County doesn’t change. It’s been four years since I bolted and six months since I sucked up all my pride and ego and came back. And it still struck me as strange. Green County was exactly the same. Same ridiculous festivals. Same leafy boulevards and parks filled with yoga moms and shrieking children. The same gossips line the coffee shop and eye me when I step in.
They’ll chatter my every move to Eli later, cooing over him while warning that I was too skinny, too wild too rude too too too.
They did the same thing in high school. It was just as fucking annoying then as it is now.
Nothing changed in Green Co. If you want change you go somewhere else and you let it wrap you up tight and fight like hell to keep from being dragged back.
Eli gets pissy when I say shit like that. But Eli never left Green Co. Never felt the need to get out, to see and shape the world. He’s always been more than happy to see and shape the County.
And you know, he was right. He was good at it. I loved that he cared so much about Green Co. That he wanted to save the little Kansas county from itself.
Someone had too.
I flash the ladies a smile as I order two extra-large iced coffees. Cindy grins at me, punching in the order and adding a slice of banana bread and her boxed lunch.
“Long day, Hazel?”
I grin, a half quirk of my lips that passes as a grin these days. “It’s a day ending in Y, Cins. Those are always long.”
She gives me a smirk that tips toward worry. “You need a day off, sugar.”
I make a face, and drop a twenty on the counter as I take my order. “I don’t even know what I’d do with that much free time.”
She arches an eyebrow at me and I grin at her.
“Hazel, my love,” Gabe says, sailing through the door of the coffee shop as I turn away from the counter.
I swallow the grin before it twists into a smirk. “Gabriel,” I say, almost frosty and he laughs.
“We should carpool, love, if we’re going to keep meeting like this. Save the planet and all.”
“Because you care so much about the damn planet,” I scoff, and he makes a face, all wounded dignity.
The problem with that face is that I know Gabe. I’ve known him my whole life.
Gabe is everything I ran away from when I left Green County. Everything I wanted to forget. The smirk that means trouble and the too sharp eyes that sees right through my quick easy lies and watches with concern when I isolate.
Fucking bastard is my neighbor. He’s too damn close for comfort and too damn nosy for his own good.
And coming from an investigative journalist, that’s pretty fucking nosy.
“I’ve got work, Gabe. So as much as I’d love to spar,” I shift my boxes and nod at the door.
“Hazy,” he says, and it draws me up. Because once, we were friends. We were impossibly close. He was my rock, and I threw him away. Because I was so fucking determined. To be more. To get out. I fucked up and I ran, and I left Gabe behind with all my other mistakes.
I always regretted that. Hurting Gabe.
“Wine night?” he asks, slightly pleading, and I flinch, falling back a step.
It’s still too soon for that shit. And he sees it in my eyes.
His smile dips, just a little. Just enough that I notice. Because I know him better than he knows himself, and I can read his sadness in the line of his shoulders.
“Maybe next week,” I offer, shuffle stepping closer to the door. Aware of all the church ladies watching, and Cindy, standing at the counter, her lips pulled down in a frown, and worry.
And Gabe shrugs it off. Beams at me like a fucking lunatic, and nods.
Gives me the out.
I flash him a quick smile and move toward the door, and he steps to the side, giving me a sardonic smile.
Because he’s Gabe.
And this is Green County.
And nothing here changes. Not really.
The door opens and Brandon Archer steps through, all long legs and wide shoulders and a face that’s so fucking pretty it’s almost painful. His green eyes, so expressive and alive find me, and go blank. And I almost drop my bags.
Because if there was ever a mistake I made, it was him.
Eli steps in a half step behind, and a half foot taller, all big smiles and big shoulders and big hands. My brother is big everything.
His eyes brighten when he sees me and he pushes past Archer to wrap me in a hug.
It’s been about twelve hours since I saw my foster brother, so of course he’s tackle hugging me in CinSations. While Archer watches, those moss green eyes probing me. I squeak and Elijah relinquishes me reluctantly. I drive an elbow in his gut. “Dumbass. You spill my coffee, you replace it.”
He doesn’t even blink. He just shoots a quick look at Archer, an eyebrow quirked in question.
Because of course they don’t talk. How silly. Why would they?
See—this right here? This is why I left. Because I can’t handle seeing the epic fucking bromance that is Elijah Beasley and Brandon fucking Archer.
I shift, and Archer smiles, a slow curling thing that I want to smack off his face. “Hazel, sugar, you need a hand?”
My smile feels more feral than sweet, and his eyes are sparkling, that fucking amused she’s so cute light I’ve seen for so many years. “Thanks, but Gabe is helping me. Right?” I side eye my friend who gives me this extravagant bow that doesn’t say, you just blew me off.
Thank Christ for Gabe.
I twist and give Archer a smug smile. “Have a good day, Officer.”
Gabe snorts at that as he takes my bag and one of my coffees. I think I’m in the clear. That I’m safe, and out of the danger zone that is Archer.
And then his hand closes around my arm, and it pulls me to a stop.
He’s always been ridiculously able to pull me to a complete stop with almost nothing. “You can’t hide in that farmhouse forever, Hazel,” he murmurs, and I flush.
Damn fair skin. A blush is too fucking easy to see and he’s always been too fascinated with pulling them from me. I can almost feel the low chuckle he gives as he lets me go, and I fall back a step.
It’s a retreat, and that’s just another reason I scowl at him. “Tell Eli I’m making dinner on Sunday. Mama Nora is coming over.” I push past him and Gabe slips an arm around my shoulder, ignoring Archer’s sharp spike in tension. “You aren’t invited,” I add, all sugar sweet. And then I’m gone.
“Tension between you and Green Co’s finest, love?” He asks, and I should. I know I shouldn’t, but I relax into him, for a moment. Let all the years and time and secrets fall away and let him be my friend. Just for a moment.
“I’m not ready for this, Gabe,” I murmur, and he pushes a blond curl out of my eyes, watching me with those strange honey warm eyes of his. And then he nods.
“Ok. Not now. But we will talk. Soon. I just painted a target on my back and Archer’s never liked me to begin with. You owe me.”
I huff out a breath, and let my gaze dart up to him. Gabe gives me a patient, waiting look and I nod.
Because apparently things do change.
Gabe can grow up, even just a little.
“Ok. Tomorrow.” I say, and he nods. Brushes a kiss over my hair and hands me my bags as I slide into my truck.
And then he stands there, watching, braced between me and CinSations as I drive away. He was my best friend, a lifetime ago before I fucked up everything.
I wonder if maybe he could be again.