Daisy's Back in Townby Rachel Gibson
Daisy Lee Monroe thought she'd brushed the dust of Lovett, Texas, off her high-heeled shoes years ago, but she's come back home only to find that little has changed. Her sister is still crazy, and her mom still has pink plastic flamingos in her front yard. And Jackson Lamott Parrish, the bad boy she'd left behind, is still so sexy it hurts. She'd like nothing… See more details below
Daisy Lee Monroe thought she'd brushed the dust of Lovett, Texas, off her high-heeled shoes years ago, but she's come back home only to find that little has changed. Her sister is still crazy, and her mom still has pink plastic flamingos in her front yard. And Jackson Lamott Parrish, the bad boy she'd left behind, is still so sexy it hurts. She'd like nothing better than to avoid this particular man, but she can't. Daisy has something to say to Jackson, and she's not going anywhere until he listens.
Jackson learned his lesson about Daisy the hard way, and now the only word he's interested in hearing from Daisy's red lips is good-bye. But she's popping up everywhere, and he doesn't believe in coincidence. It seems the only way to keep her quiet is with his mouth, but kissing Daisy had once been his downfall. Is he strong enough to resist her now? Strong enough to watch her walk out of his life again? Is he strong enough to make her stay?
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Daisy's Back in Town
Heat waves drifted across the concrete as the '63 Thunderbird slid from the shadow of the garage. Her big V8 and Holley two-barrels purred like a satisfied woman, all warm and sexy and throaty. The hot Texas sun made a hundred little bursts of light within her wire wheels, slid along the chrome fins, and poured over the glistening black paint. The owner watched as she rolled toward him, and he smiled in appreciation. Several months ago, the Sports Roadster had been little more than a home for mice. Now fully restored to her former glory, she was dazzling -- a reminder of a time when Detroit had been more interested in cracking sixty in eight seconds than miles per gallon, safety features, or where to put the cup holder.
Jackson Lamott Parrish sat within the red leather interior of the big T-Bird, one wrist hanging over the red steering wheel. The light caught in his thick brown hair, and fine lines creased the corners of his green eyes as he lowered his lids against the blinding sun. He revved the big engine one last time, took his hand from the steering wheel, and shoved her into park. He swung the door open, and the sole of his cowboy boot hit the pavement. In one smooth motion, he stood and the owner of the restored Roadster stepped forward and handed him a check. Jack glanced at it, noted that all the zeros were in the right places, then folded it in half. He slipped it into the breast pocket of his white dress shirt.
"Enjoy," he said, then turned and walked into the shop. He moved passed a nineteen-seventy 'Cuda 440-6, its huge Hemi engine suspended from a cherry picker. Over the sounds of air compressors and power tools, Jack's younger brother, Billy, called out to a mechanic beneath a '59 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer.
The space just vacated by the T-bird would be filled the next day with a nineteen-fifty-four Corvette. The sports classic had been found in a dilapidated garage in Southern California, and Jack had flown out three days ago to take a look at it. When he discovered it had only forty thousand original miles and all the numbers matched, he bought it for eight grand on the spot. Once fully restored, the 'Vette would bring ten times that. When it came to restoring vintage cars, Parrish American Classics was the best. Everyone knew it.
Ground-pounding, ear-assaulting muscle cars were in the Parrish boys' blood. Since they'd taken their first steps, Jack and Billy had worked in their daddy's garage. They'd yanked their first engine before either of them had grown their short-and-curlies. They could tell a 260 V8 from a 289 with their eyes closed and could rebuild fuel injectors in their sleep. Proud native sons of Lovett, Texas, population nineteen thousand three, the Parrish boys had grown up loving football, cold beer, and tearing up asphalt on the flat open roads -- usually while some big-haired, loose-moraled female repaired her lipstick in the rearview mirror.
The boys had been raised in a small three-bedroom house behind the garage. The original shop was gone now. Torn down and replaced by a bigger, more modern space with eight bays. The yard behind the garage had been cleaned up. The old cars and junked parts had been towed away long ago.
The house was the same, though. Same roses their mama had planted, same patches of dirt and grass beneath the towering elm. Same concrete porch and the same screen door that needed a good dose of WD40. The house had just been given a fresh coat of paint, inside and out. The same white color as before. The only real difference was that Jack now lived there alone.
Seven years ago, Billy had married Rhonda Valencia and had happily given up his wild ways for domestic bliss. As far as anyone in town could recall, Jack had never been tempted to give up his wild ways. As far as they knew, he'd never met a woman who'd made him want a one-on-one. Aforever.
But they didn't know everything.
Jack made his way to his office at the rear of the garage and closed the door. He stuck the check in a desk drawer and pulled out his chair. Before he'd purchased the '54 Corvette, he'd searched out her history then flown to California to inspect her to make sure there wasn't any serious damage to the structural integrity of the car. Searching the history of a vehicle, finding replacement parts, and restoring it, compelled him and kept at him until the vehicle was once again perfect. Fixed. Better. Whole.
Penny Kribs, Jack's secretary, walked into his office and handed him the day's mail. "I'm leaving to get my hair done," she reminded him.
Jack looked up at the wispy black pile on top of Penny's head. He'd gone through all twelve years of school with Penny, and he'd played on the football team with her husband, Leon.
He rose and set the mail on his desk. "You goin' to get yourself beautiful for me?"
She had rings on just about every finger and long pink nails that curled like claws. He'd often wondered how she typed without hitting extra keys or managed to put on all that mascara without poking out an eye. He didn't even want to think about her wrapping her hand around Leon's johnson. The thought sent a shiver down his backside.
"Of course," she said through a smile. "You know you've always been my first love."
Yeah, he knew. In the third grade, Penny'd told him she loved him then she'd kicked him in the shin with her black patent leather shoes ...Daisy's Back in Town. Copyright © by Rachel Gibson. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Meet the Author
Rachel Gibson lives in Idaho with her husband, three kids, two cats, and a dog of mysterious origin. She began her fiction career at age sixteen, when she ran her car into the side of a hill, retrieved the bumper, and drove to a parking lot, where she strategically scattered the car's broken glass all about. She told her parents she'd been the victim of a hit-and-run and they believed her. She's been making up stories ever since, although she gets paid better for them nowadays.
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