January Is for Jackson
Eve London & Dylann Crush
Publication date: January 2nd 2023
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Her mountain man hero must make an impossible choice.
I’ve always been spontaneous, but this time I might have gone too far. Showing up at my brother’s remote cabin to surprise him for his birthday seemed like a good idea. But he’s nowhere to be found, the cabin’s locked up tight, and a snowstorm’s on the way. When his closest neighbor stops by, the gorgeous grumpy mountain man insists on taking me home with him until the storm passes. He’s burly and bossy, but I can tell there’s a kind heart buried under the layers of flannel.
The last thing I need is to be snowed in with my best friend’s little sister. If anything happens between me and the beautiful curvy blonde, he won’t just end our friendship, he might even end me. It doesn’t matter that she’s impossible to resist. The sooner I get her out of my cabin, the better off we’ll both be. But how can I let her go when I know deep down she’s meant to be mine?
Welcome to Mustang Mountain, where love runs as wild as the free-spirited horses who roam the hillsides. Framed by rivers, lakes, and breathtaking mountains, it’s also the place the Mountain Men of Mustang Mountain call home. They might be rugged and reclusive, but they’ll risk their hearts for the curvy girls they love.
“Hey.” Jackson put a hand on my shoulder. “You okay?”
Why did I think it would be a good idea to come to Montana? If I wanted to get away, I should have booked a trip to a spa in Arizona or something instead of trekking all the way up here. If I had, maybe I’d be sweating in a dry sauna right now instead of freezing my ass off on the front porch of a remote mountain cabin. Not that I could afford a trip to a spa. I’d just about wiped out my savings by paying for a last-minute flight and renting the SUV.
Nodding, I swiped at my cheek and lowered my hands. “Yeah. I’m just sorry I missed him, is all.”
“What are your plans?”
Good freaking question. My plan was to escape to my brother’s cabin for a few days so I could figure out a plan. Getting laid off right after the holidays hit me hard. I hadn’t had the guts to tell my parents yet. If I couldn’t find a new job soon, I’d have to move back in with them… every twenty-five-year-old woman’s dream.
“I guess I’ll try to find somewhere to stay in town tonight. If you don’t think he’ll be back for a while, I’ll head home tomorrow.” My lower lip trembled, and I bit down hard to make it stop. I’d really wedged myself into a tight spot this time… and in front of Jackson, too. Not that he’d ever think of me as more than his best friend’s little sister, but a stunt like this would guarantee it. It figured that my attempt at proving to myself I could be competent and capable would turn out like this.
Jackson ran a hand over his beard. “You’re not going to make it back down the mountain tonight.”
The snow had started falling while we’d been talking. Giant flakes landed on his dark green hat. I couldn’t feel my nose anymore. If I stayed out here a few more minutes, I’d probably end up with frostbite. The reality of my situation sank in.
“You’ll have to come to my place.” He didn’t look too happy about it. His lips twisted into a scowl, and I could have sworn his jaw clenched under the thick layer of scruff on his chin.
I didn’t want to put him out. Based on his sour expression, he looked like he’d rather stand out in the snow and freeze to death than take me home with him. The last thing I needed was to be forced to spend time where I wasn’t wanted. I’d had enough of that at home.
“Don’t you have a rope or something you can use to pull my truck out of the snow?” From what Miles had told me, Jackson had lived in Montana all his life. He had to be used to this kind of weather. It couldn’t be the first time he’d come across someone stupid enough to get their car stuck in the snow.
“Yeah, but it won’t do any good. I barely made it up the mountain myself. Until I get out and plow the road, there’s no way you’ll make it back down.”
I tried to cross my arms over my chest, but the fluffy ski jacket I’d borrowed from a friend made it almost impossible. “When do you think you’ll be able to plow?”
“Hopefully tomorrow. I’ll try to get word to Miles too. He usually takes a satellite phone with him when he heads out alone.”
Tomorrow. That meant I’d be spending the night with Jackson Hill. I got tongue tied even thinking about him. How would I be able to hold myself together overnight? My best chance of not making a bigger fool out of myself would be to limit our interaction as much as possible. I could say the trip drained me and head to bed super early. Or say I had a sore throat and couldn’t talk so we wouldn’t be forced to make conversation.
“I don’t want to cause any trouble.”
“No trouble at all. Besides, Miles would kick my ass if I let you stand out here and freeze to death.” He held out a hand to help me down the steps of the porch. “Come on. We’ve still got a way to go up the mountain, and I’d like to make it before dark.”
I grabbed hold of his hand and glove in glove, we walked down the steps toward an evening I’d dreamed about for years.
Too bad it wouldn’t turn out like I’d always imagined. There was no way Jackson Hill would ever fall for a woman like me. Not when the idea of having to spend one night under the same roof made him look like he’d just swallowed a pitcher full of vinegar.
USA Today bestselling author Dylann Crush writes contemporary romance with sizzle, sass, heart and humor. A true romantic, she loves her heroines spunky and her heroes super sexy. When she’s not dreaming up steamy storylines, she can be found sipping a margarita and searching for the best Tex-Mex food in the Upper Midwest.
Dylann co-hosts Romance Happy Hour (https://www.romancehappyhour.com/) with live episodes every 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month and is a founding member of the Romance Chicks group where authors and romance readers can connect.
Although she grew up in Texas, she currently lives in a suburb of Minneapolis/St. Paul with her unflappable husband, three energetic kids, a clumsy Great Dane, a lovable rescue mutt, and a very chill cat. She loves to connect with readers, other authors and fans of tequila. You can find her at http://www.dylanncrush.com.
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When Eve London was a girl she wanted to be a trapeze artist. Instead, she grew up to be like most women – a juggler –trying to keep bunches of balls in the air. Now she spends her days writing about the kind of men she likes – sexy, shameless, and just a little bit sarcastic.