This is my stop during the blog tour for A Shot of Bourbon by A.C. Land. This blog tour is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 29 March till 11 April, you can view the complete tour schedule on the website of Lola’s Blog Tours.
A Shot of Bourbon (The Bourbon Series #1)
By A.C. Land
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: March 29, 2016
Publisher: BookFish Books
In the little highway town of Bourbon, Missouri, deadly secrets lurk behind Southern charm.
Seventeen year old Charli Valentine didn’t expect to spend the last few weeks of summer break nursing a broken heart, icing a black eye, and watching her ex kiss another girl. Since being a good girl has gotten her nothing but heartache, Charli decides to give rebellion a try. She pigs out, drinks, and hangs with Luke Parker, the son of the infamous Bourbon Butcher.
But there’s more to Luke than meets the eye. His tough exterior and terrible dialect hide a good person despite his bad boy reputation. No matter how hard he tries to fight it, Luke is drawn to Charli’s innocence and finds her clumsiness too charming to resist. Though they’re from opposite sides of the tracks, neither can resist the magnetism drawing them together.
When Charli discovers a box in her mother’s closet, she pieces together the truth about Bourbon’s past and uncovers a deadly secret about her family. And once Luke learns of it, he vows to protect Charli no matter the cost.
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A Shot of Bourbon Excerpts
My lungs burned for a cigarette. I had one left that I’d been saving until I absolutely had to smoke it. I twirled the filter between my thumb and forefinger as I watched my brother fold a pair of gym shorts and slide them neatly into the duffle he’d packed.
“I put the cleats under the c-c-compression…you still listening to me?” Colly asked.
“The cleats are under the compression shorts. Y-you got some new T-shirts. We b-both did.”
“The Boosters was nice this year. T-shirts. How they ever gonna afford that?”
“Don’t start.” He tossed the new duffle bag at me. It smelled like tennis shoes and burnt plastic. The scent was a reminder that, even though the stuff inside the bag was new, it was all donated and cheap. Colly had been handed a five-hundred-dollar pre-paid credit card and told to take care of both of us for the year. We each played three sports.
The Boosters only used to buy us new stuff every other year after Mom died, but then Colly started showing them how good he was at football. I’m pretty sure they gave him the money to spend on himself. I was an unnecessary stipulation.
“You gotta s-sign the receipt,” he said, uncurling the folded piece of paper and sliding it across the desk.
“If you drop out or get kicked off the team, you gotta pay them back f-f-for your stuff.” His expression deadpanned.
Well now, that was a new condition.
I tucked the cigarette behind my ear and took the barely wrinkled receipt. Unfolding the straight edges, I stared down at it. A smile tugged at the corners of my mouth. “You didn’t sign it.”
“Yeah.” He licked his thumb and bent to wipe at something on his white tennis shoe. They weren’t new. They weren’t even gently used. But he’d just sent them through the washing machine a couple days ago. The less often they had to be washed the longer they’d last, and he needed white shoes for work.
“They trust you?”
He still didn’t look at me. He rubbed his temples with his middle finger and thumb. “Luke, just sign the damn p-p-paper.”
I barked out a laugh. I didn’t know what was funnier, that he was trying to tell me what to do, or that he stuttered his way through it. I scratched a sloppy signature at the bottom of the receipt. Not because those Booster people wanted me to, but because my brother had asked. Glancing up at him, I smiled. “They know I won’t pay ’em back though, right?”
Colly rolled his eyes. “I’m sure they know that.” Meticulously, he folded the receipt and put it into his pocket.
I laughed again. I Yanked off my faded blue Parker’s Garage uniform shirt and the white T-shirt underneath—at least, it used to be white. Unlike Colly’s shoes, this shirt had seen the underside of too many engines.
Thankfully, Colly had thought to get black and gray T-shirts this time. I tore open the duffle and then the package of shirts. “Those are f-for ball,” he said, but he didn’t press it because he knew I was gonna do what I wanted.
I waited while his fingers uncurled around the back of my neck. With the distant light, I could just make out the deep, thoughtful lines etching his face. He stared at me like he’d never really looked at me before, eyes dancing over my cheeks. I leaned into his touch.
Clearing his throat, he pulled away.
I sucked in a breath that wasn’t tinged with the heady smell of his bar soap and laundry detergent. Okay, as much as I’d wanted him to kiss me, or maybe profess his unwavering devotion to me, it was probably better this way. There was a small voice in the back of my mind that kept reminding me: Pandora’s Box. Box. Box. I could not let myself get distracted by his unbelievably attractive charm.
He’d already taken off, walking swiftly across the turf. “Please slow down and tell me what this is all about.”
He came to a stop again, this time at the top of a sandy pit. Lucas only stilled for a second before sitting on his bottom and sliding down. I’d been to this course a few times, and I was ninety-nine percent sure that wasn’t how you did it.
Then again, he did it so well…
He wiped his pants and held out his hands to me. “C’mon, Charli Chip, I won’t let nothing hurt ya.”
Making the wise decision, I walked fifteen feet around the small obstruction. It was either go around or inevitably hurt myself. There was no way I could slide with as much swagger as Lucas had.
He glanced at the clubhouse in the distance. Wiggling his brows playfully, he whispered, “We’re breaking in.”
I spun on one foot and started marching back to the car. “Have a good night, Lucas.”
Strong arms wrapped around my middle, and he tossed me over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes. My chest smacked against his back, and my legs slung forward, over his pecs. My chest heaved as I tried to catch my breath. “Put me down!”
“We’re breaking in,” he repeated, having the audacity to sound amused.
I pulled out my cell phone and a cigarette—the fourth one I’d smoked since Charli left. She was bound to be the leading cause of death among seventeen-and-a-half-year-old males named Luke who could hardly contain their hardons when her perfume wafted past.
I stared at an empty text box for too long. I needed to say something. It didn’t have to be important. Maybe I'd tell her what a bitch she’d been for leaving with them. Or something nicer. Something that might make her smile. Just something to let her know how pretty she looked tonight. There was no harm in that.
-You took my breathe away, Charli Chip.
Realizing I’d messed up, looking like the white trash idiot she probably thought I was, I hurried to type another one.
–Breath. Fuck. I meant breath.
Shit, I’d said fuck.
–I didn’t mean fuck. I just meant…you’re beautiful. I’ve never seen anyone so gorgeous in my entire life. I wanted to wrap you in my arms and keep you forever.
Did that sound creepy? I didn't want her thinking I was actually going to kidnap her. My words were figurative, she’d know that, right? I wanted to keep her until I was done bagging her, and then I’d be done with her. So…not forever. For tonight. Maybe tomorrow morning.
-Not trying to be weird or nothing. Just saying. You’re…you. So…yeah…
Oh damn. Was there any way to un-send messages? I stared at the screen for several minutes, expecting something. She wouldn’t just not respond. Charli wasn’t like that.
I was alone in the grocery store parking lot analyzing what Charli Valentine would and would not do with her text messages. There was something wrong with me. I was sick. I’d caught some sort of virus.
I shoved my phone into my pocket. I wouldn’t look at it again. I wouldn’t message her again. Fuck her. She didn’t want a compliment, then she could go straight to hell.
When Colly finally locked up the store, he was business-as-usual. “Did you bring h-home the finance report from the garage?” He walked around the truck and crawled behind the wheel.
“Uh, was I supposed to?” Finance report? Hopefully he meant the little book with carbon copies of receipts. I slid into the seat, very aware of him not looking at me.
“I w-was going to figure the months…” Shaking his head, his fingers tightened on the wheel. “You don’t think she’ll sleep with him after h-he pulled that, do you?” Hunching over in defeat, he breathed “Don’t answer that.”
“If it makes you feel any better, she looked miserable with him. Not just, like, a little, but a lot.” Whether she’d sleep with him was a whole other story. From what I’d heard, Lonna Stuart would take her clothes off for just about anyone.
Anyone who didn’t have the last name Parker, that is.
Not that I’d ever tried. That was a fine line I’d never cross. She’d never tried either, probably not wanting to ruin my brother’s infatuation with her.
Her crazy, female brain fed off of shit like that, and she thrived knowing he was dying just to be near her. His obsession would pass, eventually. It made me feel better to know one day he’d be a famous football player, and she’d be a washed-up housewife. Fat. In my fantasy she was fat.
I was dying to rub that in her face.
About the Author:
A.C. always dreamed of telling big stories about small towns.
Residing on a cattle farm in Missouri, A.C. loves playing with her rambunctious Jack Russell, Riley, making decorative cakes, taking pictures, drinking pumpkin spice coffee, and hanging out with her nephews.
You can find and contact A.C. Land here:
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