Mustang Sassy ONLY
by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Daire St. Denis
When Sass Hogan catches her boyfriend slow-dancing and doing the tongue-tango with Tori Double-D-Cup Hunter, she pays him back the only way she knows how—by taking a tire iron to his beloved ’67 Mustang Fastback. There’s only one problem. She’s destroyed the wrong car.
Jordan Michaels wants his car fixed, now, and he wants Sass’s auto body shop to do it. But the handsome blond has a secret−he’s really Jordan Carlyle of Carlyle’s Classics, Hogan’s biggest competitor, and he’s determined to prove himself to his family.
As Sass and Jordan get to know each other, the depth of the attraction has them falling in love. But a relationship based on lies will only leave them primed for the worst wreck of their lives.
Title: Mustang Sassy
Author: Daire St. Denis
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 379 pages
Release Date: February 2014
Imprint: Select Contemporary
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An Excerpt from:
by Daire St. Denis
Copyright © 2014 by Daire St. Denis. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce, distribute, or transmit in any form or by any means. For information regarding subsidiary rights, please contact the Publisher.
Sass Hogan reeled between the cars of the packed parking lot of the Snake Pit Saloon, her head buzzing with a swarm of angry bees, stabs of heat stinging her chest. All she’d wanted was a beer and a game of pool, was that too much to ask? It was Saturday night after all, and sort of her birthday—not that she’d told anyone.
But, the minute she’d walked into the saloon, what did she find? Not a surprise party, oh no. She’d been slapped in the face by Carlos, her supposed boyfriend, dancing with Tori Double-D-Cup-Hunter, his hands on her ass, his tongue sucked halfway down her throat.
Oh God. She needed some toilet paper to wipe that barfy image from her brain. Stumbling, she leaned against the nearest car, using her sleeve to swipe the tears from her cheeks. How could this be happening…again?
Her knees gave out, and she slid down to sit on the bumper, her head hanging between her knees. She’d trusted Carlos. He was her friend. They worked together. They’d collaborated on cars together. The other stuff—the make-out sessions and wild sex—had all come later. How could he betray her?
Sass pressed the heels of her hands into her eye sockets. Had she missed something? Were there signs that she’d been oblivious to? Rubbing slow circles against her eyes, she recalled one time in particular when she’d caught him texting at the shop and he said he wasn’t. She shuddered. Had he been sexting Tori?
No! Just when she was starting to care, starting to trust, she was kicked in the gut by some lying, cheating scumbag-of-a-man-whore. Again.
What was that saying? The one about fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, shame on you? No, wait. That wasn’t right. It was, fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
So, what was that supposed to mean? That this was her fault? That she attracted cheating men?
No way in hell!
She pushed herself to her feet and kicked the tire of the car.
Nothing. No relief.
With a grunt, she body-checked the side, but it barely rocked on its axels. With a frustrated sniff, she wiped her eyes with the back of her arm until her blurry vision regained some clarity.
The car she’d been sitting on—a beautifully rebuilt ’67 Mustang Fastback—came into focus. Out of all the cars in the lot, what were the chances that she’d stumble blindly into Carlos’s Mustang, the one she’d helped him restore at her father’s auto-body shop? She slid her hand along the glossy paint, vaguely aware of the sound of her breath, ragged and harsh. A strange sense of déjà vu settled over her as she circled the Mustang, like she’d been here before, not just emotionally, but really here, standing in the dark parking lot, touching this car, on the precipice of something that was as of yet unnamed.
Sass shook her head, the bees still swarming chaotically between her ears.
You know you want to. He deserves it.
She rubbed her palms over her eyes and tried to take a deep breath. She had to get out of there before she did something she’d regret. Like a pinball bouncing between cars, Sass lurched toward the back of the lot. Once she located the Corvette, she collapsed against the hood, hanging her head and doing her best to calm down.
She needed something. Something to make the pain stop.
Her hands shook as she fit the key into the lock and turned.
She fully intended to get into the car and drive off. She really, really did. But then she saw the tire iron. It sat in the cargo space behind her driver seat, sparkling like a magic wand, calling her name.
Sa-ass. Pick me up. Come on, Sass. You know you want to.
She reached for it, dragging the iron slowly and carefully out of the car. She held it up, testing its weight like it was a baseball bat and she was a ball player intent on hitting a home run. Sass looked around. Her vision cleared. The bees still hummed, but not so much with anger as with anticipation.
There was no one around.
Slowly, Sass edged back to the car three rows over. What she was about to do was wrong. Some part of her knew that. But there was another part—one she’d only met a few times, one that was even now clawing at her innards to get out—that insisted what she was about to do would feel right. Oh, so right.
No one saw you in the bar. The tire iron vibrated in her fierce grip. No one knows about you and Carlos anyway. Come on. Do it for all the women who’ve been cheated on.
With one more glance around the parking lot, Sass raised the iron above her head, took a deep breath, and swung it for all she was worth.
The windshield cracked under the force of her blow.
Oh God! The flame licks tattooed on the small of her back came to life, radiating heat and sparks to her extremities until the iron felt weightless in her grasp. The driver’s side window and door caved with no effort.
Sass strode to the front of the car, glanced around and then, while the Carrie Underwood song, “Before He Cheats,” ran on repeat through her brain, she swung like she held a Louisville Slugger, taking out both headlights…pop, pop! They burst in delightful mini-explosions.
Her body vibrated with pure adrenaline as she dragged the rough end of her weapon along the passenger side, making a deep gouge in the shiny blue paint all along the car’s length to the rear fender, denting the chrome hubcaps as she went. Years of pent-up emotions surged through her as she shattered both taillights, the glass tinkling as it fell to the ground.
Leaning her frame on the iron, Sass panted heavily and surveyed the damage: the dented hubcaps, the scratched doors, and gouged side panels. She swallowed hard and squeezed her eyes shut as some weird choking sensation threatened to take over. But with her eyes closed all she could see was Carlos and Tori, swaying to the music.
Would he take her home or go back to her place? Maybe they’d sneak off to the Greenwood Inn.
Out of nowhere, an image of a shirtless Dex Whelan, her first love—the rat!—popped into her head. The door to his room at the Greenwood Inn was open wide enough to reveal a redhead lounging on the bed inside, smoking a cigarette. Just the thought of Dex had the power to throw Sass into a vortex of hurt and shame and she held the sides of her head, swallowing the fire ofhis betrayal mingled with this latest one.
First Dex, now Carlos. With a shake of her head and a grunt of anger, Sass glanced around the empty parking lot. She climbed up on the hood and started to dance, a stomping, boot-grinding jig, making sure to dig the heels of her cowboy boots into the shiny paint and white stripes. Then she lifted the iron above her head and brought it down butt first, denting the roof of the vehicle again and again and again.