Shining the spotlight on HEAT, a new adult romance by Cassidy Springfield.
Their love is a secret until it's not...can they stand the HEAT?
from the back cover...
Kiley Ross and Leo Marshall have a secret. He's her indulgence, her vice. She's his compass, his impossible dream.
Kiley is home for the summer between graduating the University of Colorado and attending graduate school out-of-state in the fall. Everything is changing—friends are scattering across the world, her long lost brother has appeared out of nowhere, a wildfire is threatening the family home, and her secret affair with the local outsider—Leo—is exposed.
As the wildfire ravages the forest around the small town of Ouray, she realizes what really matters and what truly doesn't. Her resistance toward change forces her to come to terms with her own failings—or risk losing the friendships and relationships that mean so much to her. Can she break free of the expectations that have held her back in time to rescue her love affair with Leo? Can he forgive her for wanting to keep him a secret? Confronted with seeing everything she has ever known burn to the ground, can Kiley rise up and step into her own power?
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Ever since my big brother Devon dropped off the face of the earth ten years ago, I have heard every lecture imaginable about the dangers of being reckless and flighty, the perils of being a dreamer. That's what my brothers had been—Brandon who died when he was only seventeen had wanted to be a photographer, maybe work in film one day and Devon who vanished had always had ideals about being an explorer. So my parents made sure that Diane and I were practical—always have a plan, always be responsible, always maintain control.
I look at Leo and bite the edge of my glass. It's as if he knows I am looking at him despite the sea of writhing bodies in front of the stage. He stares right at me. I know he's seeing me—sometimes I think he is the only one who has ever truly seen me. Desire churns in the pit of my gut.
Leo and I have a secret.
He's my indulgence. He's my vice.
If anyone ever discovered the truth, my family would disown me and my friends would freak. There are lines I know I can't cross—but I do anyway. I like sneaking around, like having a side to me that no one knows. Yet there are moments when I feel like the secret is just a lie to hide behind because I'm too afraid of being who I really am.
When the band takes a break, I make an excuse to disappear. I weave past women in line for the bathroom until I find the door leading into the back alley. There he is, waiting, taking a long drag of a cigarette. He crushes it under his foot as he watches me walk toward him. That's the thing about Leo. He watches—not just me, he watches everyone and everything. He leans his shoulder against the building and waits.
"Good set. You guys are really setting the place on fire."
"Thanks." He scoops me against him and tilts my head back with the tip of his finger. "You're looking extra hot tonight."
"Same." I crush my lips against his. The rhythm of my heartbeat ramps up with the slide of his mouth against mine.
He spins me around and presses my back against the hard bricks of the building. His hands are under my crop top and on my breasts. His leg is parting my thighs.
I can't get enough of touching him, especially when he's sweaty like this and hungry for me. There's something intoxicating about knowing that almost every girl in the bar wishes they were me right now, wishes they had access to his full mouth, wishes his hands were on their bodies, wishes they could grab his ass like I'm doing.
And what a fine ass it is.
"My break is only ten minutes," he whispers into my open mouth.
"I should be getting back to my friends anyway." I slide my fingers through his hair. "What's with calling me a pampered princess?"
He bites his lower lip, eyes half-closed, and traces my mouth with his thumb. "When I'm on stage, I speak only the truth."
"You can be a jerk, Leo."
"Same." He sucks my lower lip until I moan with need.
I hold onto his shoulders and wish we had a few more minutes and a more secluded location.
His hands roam over my exposed abdomen before sliding over my ass. His fingers scrunch the material of my skirt up until he's touching bare skin. He kisses my neck before moving his mouth to my ear and whispering, "Later, Princess Ki."
I smack his shoulder because he knows I hate nicknames, especially that one.
With a wink, he steps back and drops his hold on me. He bows slightly and motions for me to walk ahead of him into the bar.
I'm shaken but not from his kiss. There is so much I wish I had the courage to say, not just to Leo but to everyone. There is always this part of me that wants to stop in the middle of the street or wherever and scream.
I want to be wild. It's like there is this voice inside of me that wants to shake off the good girl image and embrace being bad.
But I can't do that. I won't do that. I'm Kiley Ross and there are things I can't do because my family would be too disappointed—and they have already suffered too much tragedy.
"You coming? You look like you're about to...I don't know what. Are you okay?" He tilts his head to the left and looks at me with those green eyes of his that make me want to confess all my secrets.
But I don't. I won't. I'm Kiley Ross and there are expectations.
"Why didn't you tell me that you and the band were going on tour later this summer?"
He shrugs and looks away. "You're going to be gone by then and talking isn't something you and I do."
I hold my head high and strut past him like the princess he thinks I am.
I'm Kiley Ross. Pretending to have confidence is what I do.
As I walk back to the table where Naomi is getting overly friendly with the cute waiter, I am aware that a group of girls stopped Leo to talk about his music, but I don't look back. We're a secret. I need our relationship to stay hidden in the shadows—to be ours alone. Private.
Then why do I want to scream?
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