Welcome to the Jilted by Rachael Johns book tour!
She'd left him at the altar, but her heart was always his……
After more than ten years away, Australian soap opera star Ellie Hughes returns to the small town of Hope Junction, determined to fly under the radar while caring for her injured godmother, Matilda.
But word spreads fast in the tight-knit community. It isn't long before the people of Hope Junction are gossiping about the real reason for Ellie's visit and why she broke the heart of golden boy Flynn Quartermaine all those years ago.
Soon Ellie and Flynn are thrown back together, forced to deal with the unresolved emotions between them. Because Ellie is not the only one with secrets. Flynn has his own demons to battle, and Matilda is hiding something from her much-loved goddaughter.
When all is uncovered, can the ill-fated lovers overcome the wounds of their past? Or is Flynn destined to be jilted again?
Ellie let Flynn lead her into the living room where he gently eased her onto the couch. Her head fell against his hard shoulder, which was anything but uncomfortable. She watched her tears splash down onto his jumper, unable to stop them, unable to care. All she could think about was Matilda. All the things she wanted to say but she’d never have the chance to.
Flynn put his hand on her back, rubbing the heel of his palm in tiny circles. Although it was platonic, she felt sparks of awareness shooting down her spine and lingering in parts of her that hadn’t seen a spark in years. She stiffened, so minutely that he didn’t seem to notice, not because she didn’t like the feel of his touch – the complete opposite, in fact – but because his attentions were taking her mind away from where they’d been. Away from Mat.
What kind of a daughter, what kind of a friend did that make her, if she could be so easily led astray? And when, as far as she knew, Flynn wasn’t even aware of the effect of his actions? He was just being Flynn. Kind-hearted, always-there-for-a-friend-in-a-crisis Flynn. He said she wasn’t a fool but he was wrong. She’d let herself be taken from him by one cowardly decision. And that made her the most foolish person she knew.
She looked up and twisted her head so she was gazing into his sea-green eyes. He looked back as if he too were lost in serious contemplation. Without thinking, she raised her hand and palmed the stubble on his jaw. Rough as sandpaper, she could run her fingers over his face all day and never tire of it.
‘You’re beautiful, Flynn Quartermaine.’
‘Don’t, Ellie,’ his voice warned, but it wasn’t irritation she saw in his eyes. A muscle twitched in his throat; she had muscles twitching all over her body.
‘But it’s true.’ Boldly, she crept her fingers up his face and into his mussed-up hair. A moan escaped her lips. He echoed it, his eyes closing and his head rolling back against the couch. She took the opportunity, moving quickly to straddle him. He opened his eyes and before he had the chance to voice any opposition, she pressed her lips against his. And kissed him.
Hard. Deep. Aggressively. Gently. Imaginatively. She couldn’t stop, couldn’t make up her mind. His lips were divine, too fabulous.
But the best damn thing was that he kissed her back. Wholeheartedly. Roughly. Lovingly. As their tongues entwined, his fingers slipped through her hair, drawing her closer to him. Deepening their kiss even more.
Once upon a time they’d been able to make out like this for hours, but right now she wanted more. Emotionally exhausted, physically wrung out, mentally drained, she wanted something that would help her forget all else. If there really were such a thing as right and wrong, then being with Flynn would definitely be categorised as the latter, but losing Mat had given her a different perspective. Life could be short. If she lost hers tomorrow, she didn’t want it to be with any regrets.
Her cheeks flushed, her body sweltered. She broke her connection with Flynn just long enough to peel her sweater over her head. The expression on his face gave her all the encouragement she needed.
She climbed off him, stood up and smiled, offering her hand. For a brief moment, he hesitated. Staring at her hand but not making a move with his. He hauled in a breath, running his fingers through his already tousled hair before placing them in her palm.
Her heart lifted. She grasped his hand and pulled him towards the bedroom where she’d lost her virginity. To him. He stopped at the door and glanced around.
She hadn’t changed anything since she’d returned, so it still looked much the same as when she’d left, ten years ago – aside from the wedding dress, of course. She shuddered at the thought of him seeing it and sent up a prayer of thanks when she saw that the wardrobe was closed.
Not wanting to think about her bedroom, or the past, or the future for that matter, she turned back to Flynn and stepped close. Fingering the bottom of his jumper, she lifted it up over his head. He didn’t help but neither did he struggle. Underneath he wore a simple, tight black tee. She inhaled and held her breath at the sight of his muscled torso.
‘Don’t just look,’ he whispered, his eyes glazed and dreamy. She knew then that he wanted this as much as she did. To hell with the consequences.
She slid her hands around his back and under his shirt. He sucked in air at her touch – she guessed her hands must feel like icicles against his burning skin.
‘Sorry,’ she whispered.
‘Don’t apologise,’ he said gruffly, leaning down and capturing her mouth. Where she’d been the instigator up until now, he suddenly became the assertive one. And if she’d ever been kissed like this before, she couldn’t recall. It was how two lovers would kiss in the middle of a bushfire, breathless and urgent, desperate to hold onto a forever they may not have.
And then Ellie couldn’t think anymore.
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Rachael Johns is an English teacher by trade, a mum 24/7, a supermarket owner, a chronic arachnophobic, and a writer the rest of the time. She rarely sleeps and never irons. She writes contemporary romance for HQN and Carina Press and lives in rural Western Australia with her hyperactive husband and three mostly-gorgeous heroes-in-training. Rachael loves to hear from readers and can be contacted through her website at www.rachaeljohns.com