Cross My Heart
(Lone Star Crossed Saga, #1)
Publication date: October 5th 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
The star-crossed love affair starts with a lie…
Real-estate mogul Carter Cross has spent his life toiling for another man’s legacy. Then, a phone call unlocks his true destiny as part of the country’s wealthiest oil dynasty. With his famously cool command, he’ll stop at nothing to seize the Cross family’s birthright.
When an infamous oil baron drops dead in a most scandalous fashion, tabloid reporter Nisha Donovan gets assigned to dig up dirt on the new J.P. Star Energy executive—the filthier, the better.
Neither of them counts on their undeniable attraction derailing their plans, but sometimes a star-crossed love can’t be denied. Can Carter and Nisha escape the snares of power to build a new legacy together?
Cross My Heart is book one in The Lone Star Crossed Saga and has a happily ever after. The family saga unfolds with soapy dramatic fun in each book, but there are no romance cliffhangers. Book one has a slow burn but heats up—way up—at the end, so grab a fan!
I hoped I wouldn’t miss him. The only downside to these loosey-goosey barbecues was not knowing who was going to be there and when. I got to Victoria and James’ early to position myself on a barstool in the huge, eat-in kitchen with a wide view of the backyard.
If he came in the front door, he’d have to pass through to get outside, and if he walked around and went directly into the yard via the side gate, I should be able to catch him.
Doing another visual sweep of the patio and pool area where other guests enjoyed the warmer weather, I lost track of the conversation with my host temporarily. Victoria snapped a finger over my head while holding a knife in the other hand. “Hello, Nisha?”
I smiled and turned my gaze back to her, and she continued chopping onions and tomatoes for guacamole.
“What? Oh, yeah. Maya’s doing okay. She’s still staying with me.”
“You’re going to keep her?”
“Hopefully.” I sighed. “All Maya has to do is get through the next three years.”
Of course, I knew nothing about how to raise a teenager except worrying every day we were crammed into my townhouse. And now Lisa was back. My spine stiffened until my neck hurt.
It would be okay. Maya knew what she wanted. And I’d handle the rest. I reached out to my lawyer. He agreed to help, but representation would cost a couple thousand dollars I didn’t have just to get started. I would figure it out.
Lord. Today wasn’t for worrying about Maya. Today was for meeting the guy at the heart of the story that would help me not have to worry.
That’s why I’d asked Victoria about one particular hot, successful guy on the guest list. I hadn’t wanted to get her involved, but I needed to make sure he was going to be here. Otherwise, I’d have to get much more creative.
“Well—oh, hey.” She lowered her voice. “Your hookup is here.”
“What’s up, Victoria? I brought beer.”
The back of my neck tingled at the masculine rumble behind me.
I knew before I swiveled around that he was handsome.
All the news clippings and online pics told me that. But they couldn’t warn me about the earthquaking timber of his voice that surely registered on the Richter scale. The vibration made my toes curl around the footrest of my barstool. The only shakes like that around here came from fracking. The tremors in my stomach told me he might be as dangerous as his new oil magnate employer.
I drew in a steadying breath and turned.
“Hi.” The wicked energy of his grin swayed toward me in time with samba-like way his hips moved when he walked.
What I needed from him didn’t have anything to do with his hips. Or the sinewed ripple of his forearms as he reached past me to set a case of Mexican beer on the counter. He wore a plaid shirt with the sleeves rolled up. It was open. His dark, smooth chest rippled and narrowed to hard abs that cut arrows pointing down into the waistband of his long swim trunks.
He started to say something else, but Victoria interrupted.
“There’s a tub of ice outside for the drinks. Then, come back in, and I’ll let Nisha introduce herself.” Victoria took a break from chopping and wiped her hands on a dish towel.
The slash of his smile spread across his face again. My heart swelled and thumped to the beat that had played in my head as I watched him walk in.
“Or we could do that now before I head outside.” He extended a hand. “Carter Cross.”
Even his hands were sexy. Callused, but smooth at the same time. Strong, but elegant. His fingers wrapped around my hand, and I thought about having the grip sliding up my arm, over my shoulder, and down, down, down.
I was sweating like Victoria’s A/C wasn’t cranked to a chill for the party.
Straightening my spine lifted my chest in my magenta bikini, and his eyes flickered down and back up to my face. Normally, that would have irritated me, but instead, my stomach did another salsa dance.
Let go of his hand, creeper. I’d clung on a nanosecond too long, then dropped it. “Nisha Donovan.”
“How have we never met before?”
“Are you sure we haven’t?” I crinkled my brow as if maybe I remembered him from somewhere else and not the days of research I’d done.
“No. I have an expert eye for faces. Yours”—he paused and pointed at me—“I haven’t seen before.”
I grinned. “Well, now you have.”
Kris Jayne is a devoted writer, reader, and traveler, crafting addictive contemporary romance novels with heat and heart. She spends her days blissfully sweating out the writing process in the Dallas area with her dogs, Otis the Shih Tzu, Rocco the Terrier, and Red the Foxy Mutt.
Her passion for writing is only matched by her passion for the adventures of travel. In 2008, she let a friend talk her into sleeping outside for the first time in her life when she climbed Mount Kilimanjaro.
P.S. If you're buying her a gift, she has a penchant for single-malt Scotch and scarves.
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