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Title: The Bars Between Us
Author: A.S. Teague
Genre: Contemporary Romance
About The Bars Between Us:
I don’t have a damn thing in common with the beautiful rich girl who walks in to my bar. She’s southern class, fancy cars, and designer shoes.
I’ve got a drunk for a mother, a cheater for a father, and a reputation for trouble I’ve more than earned.
I look the other way, pretending I don’t notice how perfect she is. She wouldn’t give me the time of day anyway. Until she shatters that first impression and shows me she’s so much more––everything I never thought I deserved.
After a lifetime of being a disappointment, I want to prove to her that I’m better than my past.
We have one tragic thing in common, and the thread that binds us together will tear us apart as it unravels.
Are we strong enough to break through the Bars Between Us?
I let out a frustrated sigh and turn the engine back on. After putting the car in reverse, I begin backing out of the space, my gaze still glued to the river in front of me. I should focus on work, on my new beginning, on anything except a man that had been short and snappy with me the day before.
A sharp banging pulls me back to reality and I slam on the brake, my eyes darting to the rearview mirror.
My stomach drops when I realize there’s someone behind my car.
I almost hit a person!
I throw the car in park and jump out.
“I’m so sorry!” I shout as I fight off a wave of nausea.
The man’s brows are drawn together, his mouth twisted in a scowl. But the moment our eyes meet, his face relaxes.
It’s Bronn, the bartender.
“Oh my God! I am so so sorry,” I sputter, rushing over to him. “Did I hit you?”
My stomach is still threatening to revolt, but instinct takes over. I run my hands over his arms, looking for any signs of injury. His low chuckle causes me to pause, my arms lingering on his muscular biceps.
“I’m fine. You didn’t hit me.” His voice is filled with humor, and I look up to see that he’s no longer glowering at me.
When I realize that I’m still touching him, my relief flips to embarrassment, and I snatch my hands away. Unsure of what to do with them, I shove my hands into the pockets of my shorts and rock back on my heels.
His face that was so serious yesterday is lit with a smile, and my breath catches at the brilliance of it.
Dear Lord, he’s beautiful.
He’d probably lament the fact that I use that word, but there’s just no other way to describe him. If I thought he was attractive yesterday, then today, with the wide smile that’s still gracing his face, he’s almost entering god-like status.
My belly somersaults as he continues to smile at me, and I fight to keep my voice steady. “Are you sure you’re okay?”
He crosses his arms over his broad chest and my eyes are once again drawn to the colorful markings that cover them. “So, where ya headed in such a hurry this afternoon?”
Unable to drag my gaze away, I stumble over my words. “Oh, well, uh, I spent the morning unpacking and realized I hadn’t eaten much. Thought I’d find somewhere for a late lunch.”
I’m nervous and can barely think. It makes no sense. It’s not like I’ve never been in the presence of an attractive man before. Maybe it’s the fact that I nearly ran him over, but whatever it is, I can’t stop the squeak in my voice and the shake of my hand as I answer his questions.
His eyebrows rise. “You already eat?”
I shake my head. “No.” I’m not even hungry anymore.
He pulls a toothpick out of his pocket and sticks it between his teeth, his lips still slightly tipped up in a smile.
“Well, I’m on my way into the bar, but I was gonna stop and grab some food first. I wouldn’t be opposed to some company.”
Is he asking me to eat with him?
“Oh, no. I couldn’t impose.” I mean, I want to, but I know that I shouldn’t.
Looking me over, he insists. “A meal with you would not be a hardship, I assure you.”
Suddenly the hunger returns. Stronger than ever.
Lunch with him wouldn’t be a hardship either. He’s easy on the eyes, and surely the conversation can’t be any more awkward than it was yesterday. Besides, I need a way to make up for almost killing him with my car. “Well, buying you lunch would be the least I could do after almost running you over.”
About the Author:
A.S. Teague enjoys the warmth of South Carolina with her husband and two daughters. The stereotypes about peach cobbler and sweet tea are not overstated. After years in the medical field, she is now enjoying every minute of being a stay-at-home mom. She loves wine, the beach, wine on the beach, and crying at Disney movies. When she doesn’t have a book in her hand, she can be found pestering her husband with pictures of animals she wants to rescue, as well as debating whether to exercise or take a nap.
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