Melanie Kincaid is a trust-fund baby with a knack for sassy comebacks and unnecessarily complicating her privileged life. So, of course she would have to fall in love with a man she can't have.
Jameson Hayes is a NYC firefighter for Manhattan’s oldest ladder company with big shoes to fill and a city to protect. He’s strong, sexy, and not looking for the complications Melanie brings. But he can't stay away from her either. The attraction between them is immediate and the pull between them is crazy powerful. But she's only home for the summer and long-distance relationships never work.
Unfortunately, Melanie’s beauty and smart mouth are a lethal combination and Jameson isn't the only Hayes who's interested. As if his brother isn't enough to compete with, now the city's most famous arsonist wants to claim her as his next prize. Jameson can't stand to watch Melanie get hurt and she can't seem to keep herself out of trouble.As a child, JC was fascinated by things that went bump in the night. As they say, some things never change. Now, as an adult, she divides her time between the sexy law men, mythical creatures, and kick-ass heroines that live inside her head and pursuing her bachelor's degree in English. JC is a San Francisco Bay Area native, but has also called both Texas and Louisiana home. These days she rocks her flip flops year round in Northern California and can't imagine a climate more beautiful.
JC writes adult, new adult, and young adult fiction. She dabbles in many different genres including science fiction, horror, chick lit, and murder mysteries, yet she is most enthralled by supernatural stories-- and everything has at least a splash of romance.
“You don’t like it,” he says quietly. I don’t miss the disappointment in his voice. I could throw myself at him, wrap my arms around his neck, and never let go. I could climb him like he’s a goddamn tree and I’m a monkey in need of a banana. I could kiss him like my life depends on it— my heart certainly does— and I could regret never telling him any of this if I don’t say it right now. I could tell him every stupid fucking feeling I’m having, and how much this beautiful gold necklace means to me. I could do all of this, but at the end of it, he still wouldn’t be mine. He would still be my friend— assuming I didn’t scare him off— and if he let me do all of this he wouldn’t be the guy I think he is. He wouldn’t be the man I’ve built up in my head as being strong and courageous and worth every painful moment I spend away from him knowing he’s with her and every trying moment I spend with him knowing he’s not mine.
I let the silence hang between us, as uncomfortable as it is, and focus on breathing steadily so he doesn’t know everything that this stupid beautiful necklace means to me.
“I didn’t—,” he begins. I cut him off because after the long stretch of silence it’s all I can do not to lose my shit over a stupid beautiful necklace from a fucking asshole who I think I’m falling in love with.
“A wishbone?” I ask.
“It’s stupid,” he says and reaches for the box. I pull it away from him, cradling it to my chest. “They’re supposed to be symbolic or something. Like you wish on ‘em and… you wish for something you want.” He’s uncomfortable trying to explain it. I know the symbolism behind a wishbone, but I had to hear his explanation.
He wants me to have what I want.
I have everything I want except for one thing: him.
I let my imagination run wild with thoughts of me, panting and unfolding with every moment he touches me. Large hands—check. Long legs—check. I’d like to say I’m never like this, but that’s a lie. I still have a few celeb crushes that turn me into a panting hoe. But this guy isn’t a celeb crush. He’s a real person so that kind of makes this a bit unprecedented.
“Run a marathon, did ya?” he asks. He’s got to be around six feet tall and he’s got these sexy gray-blue eyes with light brown hair and a complexion that’s almost a light peach color.
“No,” I stutter. Why he would think I’d been running a marathon, God only knows. I place a hand to the base of my neck only to find that I’m perspiring. Shit. I really need to get myself under control. It’s been a while since I’ve been with anyone and it’s showing. I’ve always been that woman who sees what she likes and goes for it. Not that such tactics have worked out well for me in the past.
“Why?” I try to cover up the mess I’m making of myself. I just… like him. I like the way he’s standing here in the doorway and the way he’s studying me. His eyes linger as he drags them up my body, spending more time than appropriate on my breasts that peek out the top of my dark red dress, and finally rest on my face. I just hope my makeup isn’t fucked up. I made sure that both my dress and the makeup met with my mom’s approval before we arrived. Classy not trashy, that’s the motto. These things matter to her so, by extension, they matter to me even if I don’t want them to.
He opens his mouth to respond but clamps it shut almost immediately. There’s a silence for a long moment before he rubs the back of his neck and looks back at the landing behind him. A smile forms that overtakes his entire, gorgeously chiseled face. He can’t be too much older than me though he’s definitely more mature than the guys I go to school with. His features have lost that youthful boyish look that’s common to those in their early twenties but they have yet to acquire any gray from what I can tell and he doesn’t look seasoned just yet. He’s practically perfect in every way I can see. Oh, screw practically. All I can see is perfection which means he must be a serial killer or he collects parakeets or has some kind of strange fetish with corn because perfect never means perfect. It means I’m in trouble because this guy is going to crush me. Hopefully naked as I come apart around him.
“Every time you think about me you touch your necklace.” His eyes fall from mine to the gold wishbone that hangs from my neck and rests against the hollow at the base of my throat. I remove my hand from my necklace. I don’t even realize I’m doing it half the time. I could lie, that I’m not thinking about him, but he wouldn’t believe me.
“You hear my voice and you touch it,” he says slowly with a soft smile that creeps up on his lips. “You see me walk by and you touch it.”
“And we’re friends,” I say, reminding both of us of this fact.
“Kind of hard to be friends when one of us is refusing to participate,” he says.
“This is stupid. We’re attracted to each other, but we’ve chosen not to do something about it. I’m going back to New Orleans until graduation and you’re stuck in a lease with Miss Cranky Pants. That’s our lives and every time you start being all Mr. Gorgeous, you make it hard for me to remember that.”
His shoulders shake as he laughs, looking carefree for the first time in over a week, and he breathes deeply as he calms himself. “Miss Cranky Pants, that’s a good one.”
I don’t even have the decency to be embarrassed for letting my nickname for Lydia slip in front of him. It’s bad enough I said it in front of Roy, his dad, who’s now using it on an almost exclusive basis. Thankfully, Jameson doesn’t call me on referring to him as Mr. Gorgeous.
“I want to be your friend but we need boundaries,” I say. I don’t really want friendship, but I’ll take what I can get.
“List your demands and I’ll list mine.”
Christ, this man is ridiculous.
When I asked who her favourite Hayes brother is, JC Emery said:
"I love all the Hayes brothers for different reasons, but Jack has a special place in my heart. He's such a dedicated and fiercely protective dad that it's impossible not to fall in love with him. When Jack falls in love, it's like nothing you've ever seen."
My favourite line in the book is when Jameson's dad says.
“Man, I hate it when my brother refuses to exclusively date the woman I’m in love with,” Dad says humorously. I pause my thoughts long enough to let his words sink in. “What a tool.”