When friends become lovers . . .Firefighter and former Marine Jackson Wilder has tough guy down to an art, but he’s learned the hard way that promises were made to be broken. Abigail Morgan was once his best friend, his first kiss, his first love, his first everything. He’d just forgotten to mention all that to her and she blew out of his life. Five years later, she’s back and he’s battling a load of mistrust for her disappearing act. But for some reason he just can’t keep his lips—or his hands—to himself.It can lead to disaster or . . .When her stint as a trophy wife abruptly ends, Abby returns home to Sweet, Texas, and comes face-to-face with Jackson—her biggest and sexiest mistake. Time and distance did nothing to squash her love for the act-first-think-later stubborn hunk of a man, and when he suggests they renew their old just-friends vow, Abby realizes she wants more. She’d cut and run once. Could she do it again? Or could she tempt him enough to break his promise?The Sweetest Mistake
About the Author
Candis Terry was born and raised near the sunny beaches of Southern California and now makes her home on an Idaho farm. She's experienced life in such diverse ways as working in a Hollywood recording studio to chasing down wayward steers. Only one thing has remained the same: her passion for writing stories about relationships, the push-and-pull in the search for love, and the security one finds in their own happily-ever-after.
Read an Excerpt
By Candis Terry
HarperCollins PublishersCopyright © 2013 Candis Terry
All rights reserved.
In the split second before hell exploded, Jackson
Wilder picked up his weapon and pounded the
bastard back. His hands were steady. His mind fo-
cused. Sweat rolled down his back from the heat
and the adrenaline.
He shoved away any weakness that taunted
him from the edge and dared him to fail.
He would not.
In his book, fighting a fire that threatened to
destroy lives was no different than combating the
enemy on the parched soils of Afghanistan.
The only variation? This war he had a better
chance of winning.
2 Candis Terry
He ignored the ache in his bones from the busy
shift he'd just completed with the San Antonio
Fire Department and gathered all the oomph he
had left to fight this structure fire for the Sweet,
Texas, volunteer station.
He'd do anything to protect his hometown.
Hell, he'd even gone to war.
Still was if anyone paid attention.
Except he wasn't really the heart- on- your- sleeve
kind of guy, so most folks couldn't see what went
on inside his head or heart.
Those battles he fought alone.
On the battlefield, it didn't matter if the weapon
was a hose or a military assault rifle— it felt good
in his hands. Felt right. It gave him a reason. A
purpose. An opportunity to help others and sink
his thoughts into something other than his own
colossal fuck- ups.
And he'd made plenty.
As fire licked up the side of the house, he
moved forward— daring it to jump to the roof.
Like a living, breathing entity, it paused, seemed
to look at him, and accept the dare. When it made
its move, he shook his head.
He who blinks first gets their ass annihilated.
One slight shift of the hose shot bullets of water
that split the flame. Weakened its power. Forced it
Today, he could claim victory.
Tomorrow? Who the hell knew.
Minutes later, he finished helping with over-
haul, then climbed back up into the engine. Head
dropped back and eyes closed, he endured some
Sweetest Mistake 3
good- natured ribbing on the way back to the sta-
tion from the group of volunteers made up of
ranchers, lawyers, and shop owners. The cama-
raderie he shared with them was different than
the one with the guys from the big- city station.
But no less important. He'd grown up with some.
Learned from others. Respected the hell out of all
Back at the station, he'd barely kicked off his
boots and shrugged out of his turnouts before fa-
tigue sank deep. Too tired to stop and shower, he
tossed a wave to the crew, and, behind him, the
steel door slammed shut.
Anxious for a quick combat nap before he
picked up his baby girl for their Wednesday- night
visit, he shoved his sunglasses on and headed
toward the big silver truck parked in the back lot.
Once inside the cab, he stretched, yawned, and
stuck the keys in the ignition. The engine turned
over with a low growl, and he eased out toward
In his thirty- one years, traffic in beautiful down-
town Sweet had never been more than a trickle or
two of farm vehicles or mom taxis on their way to
pick up the kids at school or shuffle those same
kids off to soccer practice or a 4- H meeting. But
lately, since a few businesses had been revamped
by the TV show My New Town, tourism had picked
up. The traffic flow as well. He didn't like it, but
there wasn't much he could do.
The county sheriff's SUV cruised by, with its
black deer guard gleaming in the late- afternoon
sun. Jackson lifted his hand with the locals' two-
4 Candis Terry
fingered version of a wave. Instead of continuing
down Main Street, the patrol car swerved into the
fire station driveway and stopped. The window
rolled down with a squeal.
“Been looking for you, Wilder.”
“Aw, hell. What'd I do now?”
Deputy Brady Bennett— childhood friend and
local chick magnet— chuckled. “I'm sure there's
something. Lucky for you I don't need to haul out
the handcuffs this time.”
“Ever,” Jackson reminded him.
“Only because you never got caught.” Brady
grinned, knowing he'd been in on some of those
wild- ass and death- defying capers too. “And
might I add that you aren't dead yet.”
Jackson rolled his tense neck muscles. “Feel
“Four structures in the big city. Just mopped up
one here too.”
“Eckels's place.” Brady pushed back his Stetson.
“Heard that over the radio.”
“Yeah. The missus set a hot pot of fryer oil next
to the gas grill to let it cool off. The mister popped
on the grill to cook some Brats for lunch.”
“Yep.” Jackson flexed his fingers on the steering
wheel. “Caught it before it hit the roof.”
“Lucky for them.”
Jackson nodded. “So what's up?”
Brady squinted against the sun. “She's back.”
“She who?” Jackson nearly shook his head at the
pointless inquiry. He knew who by the immediate
Sweetest Mistake 5
tingle up his spine. The instant rush through his
“Ms. Abigail Morgan.” Brady glanced down
at the computer between the seats, then back up
again. “Or I guess she's Mrs. Rich now.”
In more ways than one. “When?”
“Rolled in yesterday around noon. She's over at
her folks' place.”
“They come back too?”
Brady shook his head. “Saw one of those per-
sonal storage containers and a foreign car in the
driveway, so I stopped in to check on things. Rent-
ers moved out. Abby said she's there to fix up the
house and put it on the market.”
A tangle of emotion coiled in Jackson's soul. It
took everything he had to stay cool. Keep his tone
even. Neutral. “How'd she look?” Sheesh. That
hardly sounded superficial.
Hell, he knew
Excerpted from Sweetest Mistake by Candis Terry. Copyright © 2013 Candis Terry. Excerpted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
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