Erin Nicholas, July 16, 2014
Getting Out Of Hand
Sapphire Falls, Book 1
Sapphire Falls has few good memories for Mason Riley. So what’s he doing in the middle of the annual town Festival/class reunion eleven years after leaving town without a look back?
Letting the most popular girl in town—then and now—kiss up to him.
Mason has come a long way from the nerdy outcast Sapphire Falls remembers. His genius IQ has helped him make a name for himself with everyone from the World Health Organization to the White House. He’s also got the bank account to make the Mayor of Sapphire Falls herself—the girl who broke his heart in high school and the one who now wants him to donate to the town’s big building project—take notice.
He can’t wait to tell her no in person.
Adrianne Scott loves Sapphire Falls. The sleepy little town where her college roommate was elected Mayor has been the perfect place to escape the fast-paced, high stress sales job she had in Chicago. She’s happy, healthy and the new project means her dream candy shop can now become a reality. Everything is good in her quiet life. Until Mason Riley comes home.
Mason sure doesn’t look—or kiss—like a socially awkward geek. In fact, he makes Adrianne’s heart pound like nothing she’s ever experienced. Which means she needs to stay far away from him.
A great plan, until her friends inform her that Mason’s donation to the project is dependent on keeping him away from the Mayor while he’s in town.
Now all Adrianne has to do is keep Mason busy, distracted and feeling good about—and generous toward— his hometown… oh, and avoid falling for the world-saving, nerd-turned-hot-guy in the process.
© copyright Erin Nicholas, 2014
“’Kay all, Adrianne’s next.”
A hand shot up in front before Jack even asked for a bid.
Jack chuckled and started the action at thirty dollars. It quickly climbed to two dances and fifty dollars.
Adrianne. Mason had no idea who she was, but it was obvious she was damned popular. She was no Hailey Conner, and in Sapphire Falls she never would be, but at least the guys around here hadn’t missed the silkiness of the blond waves that fell to her shoulder blades, or the sweetness of her smile, or the perfect curve of her ass—
Mason straightened. What the hell was that? His type was about four years younger than Adrianne, twenty pounds lighter and not from Sapphire Falls.
“What’s her story?” he asked Drew.
“Adrianne Scott,” Drew said with an appreciative sigh. “She’s new.”
“Yeah. I noticed.”
“Been here a couple of years. She’s friends with Hailey. Everyone wants her.”
He’d noticed that too. And it bugged him.
“She’s not dating anyone?”
Drew chuckled and shook his head. “Nope. Not for lack of trying. She never dates. The first guy to kiss her gets a hundred bucks.”
Mason raised an eyebrow. He didn’t necessarily approve of guys kissing a woman to win money, but then again, he was quite sure that no man would want to kiss Adrianne just for money.
“Everyone wants her.”
The guys in Sapphire Falls might have more taste than he’d given them credit for.
He drained the beer he didn’t want and disliked immensely and decided to place a food order to go. This was all of no interest to him.
“Okay, sixty-five dollars and three dances with Miss Adrianne Scott. Going once—”
Then she laughed at something the woman next to her said.
And Mason was in trouble.
“Three hundred dollars,” he called out.
Every single pair of eyes in the room turned to look at Mason at the same time.
He’d never been the center of attention without a microphone in front of him and a conference logo behind him before.
Certainly never in Sapphire Falls.
He stepped forward. He’d opened his big mouth, couldn’t really go back now. He should probably be more surprised that he’d bid like that, but he wasn’t. He was a genius after all, and while his brain and mouth almost never disconnected, paying a few measly bucks for a chance to dance all night with Adrianne Scott and hear that laugh again was a genius move.
“Did you say three hundred?” Jack demanded, pointing a wooden gavel at him as if challenging him to take it back.
“Yes, sir,” Mason replied, looking at Adrianne when he added, “For the rest of the dances tonight.”
Adrianne’s cheeks were pink and her eyes wide. She wore no makeup to enhance the features that were completely captivating him. Her hair was loose and she wore a simple white cotton tank under a denim shirt with blue jeans. Simple, unadorned, and yet he had never been more drawn to a woman.
Jack looked around the room. Obviously, it was unprecedented for a man to monopolize a woman for the entire evening.
“But it’s only—” Jack started.
“Four hundred,” Mason answered, still watching Adrianne.
“Maybe we should let the lady decide,” Mason interrupted, walking toward Adrianne.
“I can’t,” she said, shaking her head as he advanced. She was breathing a little fast and she darted her tongue out and wet her bottom lip.
He took another step toward her. “Then what are you worth?”
She swallowed and glanced around. “There’s only three dances left,” she said. “I can’t let you pay three hundred dollars for that.”
“I offered four,” he reminded her, moving in closer still.
She smiled and he couldn’t stop staring at her mouth.
“I meant that even three was too much.”
He was directly in front of her now, and only those within about ten feet of them could hear the conversation. “I didn’t tell you what I expected those dances to be like for four hundred dollars.”