Time to dive in to chapter 6!
Let's have a lookie-loo at what's in this magical piece of literary goodness known as the newsletter:
  1. Greetings and salutations
  2. Pact with a Heartbreaker, chapter 6
  3. Need more Havenbrook? 
  4. What even am I doing with my life? 
Hey, friend!
I think summer is officially in full swing. We've had almost a week of unbearably hot weather, but today it's a gorgeous, gloriously blissful 72º with a nice breeze. That's the perfect weather for writing outside in my gazebo, which, thankfully, is my favorite writing place in the summer. I pop in my earbuds to drown out the gleeful squeals of the neighborhood kids and go to town.
Alas, I did not write chapter 6 while outside because the heat index was 108º most days, so I was inside in the wonderful air conditioning.
Speaking of chapter 6, let's get to it, shall we?  As a reminder, during the summer, I'm releasing a beach read novella via weekly installments right here for free! Keep on scrollin' for chapter 6.
Pact with a Heartbreaker can be read either as your first foray into Havenbrook, my fictional southern small town, or after you've read Second Chance Charmer because I'm crafty like that. 😉

In case you've missed any previous chapters, you can get caught up here. If you're not a fan of reading books in a serialized manner, Pact with a Heartbreaker will be released on its own sometime in the fall.
Quick disclaimer: in order to get these chapters to you every week, they are raw and unedited, so thank you for excusing any mistakes! 

When Hudson came to a stop at the end of the long dirt road leading to his family’s cabin, Kenna waved to him. Goddammit. She was going to be a bear about this win, but even so, he couldn’t find it in himself to care. This was just one facet of many that he loved about her, and he wanted to get in as much of her as possible this weekend.

Under the guise of gathering up his things, he studied her behind his sunglasses. She reclined in the hammock hanging between two giant oak trees, wearing nothing but a minuscule pair of cut-offs and a bikini top. The red one that tied between her breasts. It wasn’t overly revealing, having enough material to keep most of her chest relegated strictly to his imagination, but that particular top had played more than one role in his solo activities. From the first time he’d seen her wear it, he’d had to fight himself over the urge to reach out and just…untie it. 

“Snap out of it, asshole,” he said under his breath before stepping out of his truck.

Kenna smiled smugly at him, and even though he knew what he was in for, he couldn’t stop the grin from sweeping over his mouth in return. 

“Took ya long enough.” She gestured to the grass off to the side, littered with a tackle box, two fishing rods, a bag with a couple towels spilling out, and a cooler no doubt filled with sandwiches and drinks for their day on the water. “Not only did I beat you, but I had time to gather all the fishing shit together, too.”

If he knew Kenna—and he knew her nearly better than he knew himself—he’d place money on her getting here only five minutes ago and then hauling ass to gather up everything before collapsing in the hammock simply to give the illusion of boredom. 

“Ah, but did you get bait?” He held up the container of worms he’d stopped off to buy from a convenience store that catered to Havenbrook Lake’s residents. 

Narrowing her eyes, she said, “That wasn’t part of the deal.”

He shrugged and plopped on the hammock at her feet, making it swing abruptly and nearly knocking both of them to the ground. “I would’ve beat you if I hadn’t stopped for them, is all I’m sayin’.”

She gripped the sides of the hammock, no doubt waiting for it to settle. Once it did, she shoved her bare foot into his thigh and shot him a glare—for his words or his actions, he couldn’t be sure. “You are such a sore loser, Hudson Miller.”

“Or you’re a shady winner.”

She bolted upright, pressing a finger into his chest. “That’s bullshit, and you know it. You’re just sayin’ this to get me all riled up!”

He leaned close to her, so close their noses were nearly touching. Fire and challenge burned in her eyes, but something else simmered there, too. Something he wasn’t sure he had the right to examine too closely. Not when this was their last weekend together before he left. 

Her breathing increased, her cheeks flushing under his appraisal. Fuck, all he wanted to do was reach up, cup her face, and press his lips to hers. He wanted to taste her again—had wanted to for so long. It’d been years since he’d last had his mouth on hers, and it’d felt like decades. If he got another taste of her now, he had no idea how he’d actually force himself to leave.

Needing to right this ship before it crashed, he answered her question instead of doing what he really wanted. “You’re right. Is it working?” he whispered.

She blinked, and, just like that, the spell was broken. Shoving him in the chest, she rolled out of the hammock, giving it the perfect amount of momentum so he tipped backward and crashed to the ground. “Hope that worked in getting your over-inflated, sumo-sized ego under control.”

He lay there for a minute, chuckling under his breath, as she gathered up their gear.

“Hey, Mr. Sore Loser. You gonna get up anytime soon, or should I go on without you?”

“Gimme a minute, would ya? You just landed me on my ass.” Once on his feet, he strode up next to her and took the cooler, bag, and tackle box from her hands, ignoring her sounds of protests. “Before you give me any shitty attitude about that, I’d just like to remind you that this isn’t me saying you can’t carry these things. It’s me being a goddamn gentleman, so just let me.”

She stared at him for a moment before snapping her mouth shut and shaking her head. A smile tipped up the corner of her mouth as she bumped her hip into his. “I think when you’re trying to be a gentleman, you probably shouldn’t swear so much.”

He chuckled. “Well, shit. There’s no hope for me then.”

She transferred the fishing rods to her opposite hand, then wrapped her other arm around him and nestled into his side. A grin split her face as she looked up at him. “That’s all right. I like you ungentlemanly, too.”

He wasn’t so sure she’d feel that way if she knew exactly how ungentlemanly his thoughts were while in her presence, and exactly how ungentlemanly he wanted to get with her. 

For as long as he could remember, Kenna had been coming with him to the cabin, which meant words weren’t necessary as they readied to depart the dock. When they’d been younger, she’d tag along with his family. As the two of them had gotten older, they’d sneaked out there on their own. They probably hadn’t needed to do it, because usually all they did was fish or swim or laze head-to-toe on the hammock and relax. 


Except for the time two summers ago when they’d come here to lose their virginities. Yeah, Daddy Haven probably wouldn’t appreciate that very much.

“Since you’re bein’ an ass about me winnin’, I guess that means no bets on how many fish we catch.” Kenna reclined back on her hands in the boat as he motored them toward their favorite fishing spot.

“Aw, c’mon now. Don’t ruin all our fun.” He shot her a smile as he killed the gas to the engine and let them come to a stop in the hidden alcove they’d found years ago. “Tell the truth: you just don’t wanna lose again.”

She bolted upright, and he tried his hardest to ignore the way her breasts bounced with the movement. “Again?” She gripped the sides of the boat and leaned forward until they were nose to nose—and he couldn’t lie…this was nearly as hot as it’d been on the hammock. “I can beat you in anything you throw at me, and you know it.”

“If you say so… I just figured you cuttin’ off the bet before it could even start was because you were scared.”

“Scared? Ha! State your terms.”

He nearly laughed at that, but held it in. Barely. “All right. Bet takes place for two hours startin’ when the first person casts. Whoever has the most fish when time’s called wins.”

“And what’re the stakes?”

Hudson shrugged. “I’ll let you pick your own punishment.”

She narrowed her eyes at him, her jaw tightening. And then she brightened as a smug smile swept over her lips. “Loser kisses all the winner’s fish.”

He tugged on her ponytail before reaching for his fishing rod. “You’re on.”

“Don’t you dare cast that line. I still need you to put sunscreen on my back, and if you want me to do the same, I suggest you do it now. Because I won’t hesitate to watch you turn into a lobster while the bet is runnin’.”

Just listening to her challenge him already had him half-hard in his swim trunks. The minute he put his hands on her, he’d be at full salute in about thirty seconds flat. Thankfully, he’d gotten damn good at hiding his dick’s reactions to her over the years. Either that, or she’d gotten damn good at ignoring them.

She tossed him the sunscreen, then turned and presented him her back, already golden and sunkissed from spending her summer days outside. She pulled her ponytail around front and bowed her head, waiting for him to do as she’d asked.

Once he had his hands full of sunscreen, he rubbed them together before pressing them against the small of her back. And then he just…rested them there. She’d arched her back at the first touch but gradually relaxed into his palms. He’d done this before—a thousand times, no doubt—and hadn’t thought much about it. Had always done it on auto-pilot, more concerned about hiding his body’s response to her than paying attention to who he was touching and how he was touching her.

He was paying attention now.

“It doesn’t work unless you rub it in.” Kenna’s voice had a breathy quality he hadn’t heard…maybe ever.

“Just tryin’ to make sure it’s not too cold.” The lie came out easily, but he couldn’t say what he was really thinking. Who knew when he’d next get this opportunity? Everything he’d taken for granted in the past—having her there when he called, being able to show up on her doorstep on a whim, touching her whenever he wanted to—was suddenly…precious. 

And he wanted to soak in every bit of it. 

Finally, he moved, tracing the indentation of her spine, pressing his thumbs into the twin dimples just above her ass, massaging her skin under the guise of making sure she was fulling protected from the sun. When he slipped his fingers under the band of her top, she sucked in a breath and glanced at him over her shoulder. 

His dick was rock hard in his trunks, and if she bothered to glance down, there’d be no hiding it. She didn’t though. Instead, she stared straight at him, a thousand questions swimming in the depths of her eyes. Trouble was, he didn’t have any answers to give her. 

So instead, he dropped his hands from her back and broke their gaze. “Don’t wanna turn into a lobster, so I guess it’s my turn.”

If she heard the husky quality of his voice, she didn’t comment on it. Instead, she waited for him to turn and remove his shirt, and then she returned the favor. He couldn’t be sure if it was simply wishful thinking on his part, but it felt like she allowed her hands to linger on him a bit longer than she usually did. Allowed them to wrap around his sides until she was nearly running her hands along his abs. Allowed them to sink a bit lower, her fingers dipping briefly into the waist of his trunks. 

After what felt like an eternity of torment and a mere second of bliss, she dropped her hands from his skin and tossed the bottle of sunscreen next to him. She cleared her throat, but her voice still came out raspy. “All done.”

He twisted around to look at her. Her lips were parted, her cheeks bright and pink, though he had a feeling it wasn’t from the sun. And, dammit, he shouldn’t have looked, but he couldn’t stop his gaze from dipping to her chest any more than he could stop his body’s reaction to what he found. Her nipples pressed against the material of her suit, two pebbled peaks begging for his hands. Or his mouth. 

And he’d never in his life wanted to reach out and tug that damn knot more than he did right now.


UNTIE THE KNOT, HUDSON! DOOOOOOO ITTTTTTT!!! Want a place to talk about the latest chapter of Pact with a Heartbreaker? Join my reader group, the Brigade! Gossip on all things Havenbrook is welcomed and encouraged.

Want more of Havenbrook in between weekly installments of Pact with a Heartbreaker? Second Chance Charmer has what you need...

He was the resident bad boy. She’s small town royalty. Their love was doomed from the start.

Finn spent his childhood living so far on the wrong side of the tracks, he couldn’t even see them through his trailer window. When he moves back to his small, southern hometown to open the first bar in a formerly dry county, he’s no longer the boy who left—he’s a man with something to prove. As long as he doesn’t allow himself to get sidetracked by the only girl he’s ever loved.

Willow learned a long time ago to protect her heart at all costs, so her walls are firmly in place when her ex comes strolling back into town, all cockiness and charm. When they're thrown together on the job, she knows better than to give in to the tug of attraction that still simmers between them. She might be drawn to him, but she certainly doesn't trust him. It's time for her to prove she's not the brokenhearted girl he left behind.

There’s no room for second chances in Havenbrook. And Willow’s daddy—the mayor—will do anything to keep it that way.

My house is so quiet. My boys have been gone at their grandparents' lake cabin since Saturday. They always have a blast, and I have to admit the peace and quiet is lovely, but I miss them like crazy. It's so boring not listening to them tattle on each other or complain there's nothing to eat (even ten minutes after groceries have been put away). We won't talk about how much I miss the snuggles and random hugs, lest I get weepy.

It's been hotter than Satan's balls around here, so there hasn't been much outdoor activity going on. Fortunately, Jack and I were able to go for a walk along Lake Michigan on the single day we had beautiful weather. The beach was bustling with locals and tourists visiting for the Fourth. One of these days, I'll drag a comfy chair and my laptop down there and go to town for hours.

Do you get to spend much time by a beach? Reply and let me know!


As always, I love to hear from readers! Reply to this e-mail or swing by Twitter, Instagram, or the reader group on Facebook to keep up with me between releases! 
Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest Email

GDPR + Privacy Policy Update

You've no doubt been innundated with emails galore about policy updates and changes from numerous businesses thanks to the new European Union law effective May 25, 2018.

If you're receiving my newsletters, it's because you signed up to do so at some point. I've never added anyone manually to my newsletter who doesn't wish to be there, and would never do so in the future. If at any point you'd like to know the details of your sign up, I can get you that information. 

If you'd like to read my updated privacy policy, you can find it on my website, or by clicking  here .

Should you wish to unsubscribe at any time and no longer receive these newsletters, you can click the unsubscribe button located at the bottom of each and every email I send out.

Bright Publishing, LLC

PO Box 580238
Pleasant Prairie, WI 53158