Burned (Beautiful Mess, #1)
New Adult Contemporary Romance
By S.C. Rosemary & S.N. Hawke
Release date: Feb. 20th 2014
Every girl carries the hope to find the one when she goes on a date.
Many a time, the date is disappointing.
Miraculously one day, the date is amazing and she thinks that she meets the perfect guy.
But only time can tell what kind of man she is really getting.
So what is she getting?
Ethan Lancaster has everything. He has the sexy body of a demi-god, eyes of prince charming, admission to the top law school and endless supply of dollar bills. Better yet, he is also searching for a girlfriend.
Dana Watson needs a boyfriend, regardless she actually wants one or not. The life as she knows is crumbling down and she is running out of time. Failing the college dating games miserably, Dana pushes her limits and finds Ethan. Both have their own secret agendas, but the spark between them is undeniable. Little do they know that secrets can get them burned.
This is a 3-part New Adult Contemporary Romance series. Approx. 20,000 words per volume.
*Burned 2 of Beautiful Mess will be released on March 1st, 2014.*
About the Authors
S.C Rosemary lives in North Carolina. She likes all kinds of mint and has to put some in her tea every day.
S.N Hawke resides in North Carolina. She likes chocolate but thinks yogurt is becoming her favorite snack lately.
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Great intro to the Beautiful Mess series. I look forward to more from the series to find out what will happen between Ethan and Dana. They were just getting to know each other in this first installment but its obvious that despite their different personalities and upbringings, there is a connection there. The story line is fast paced and a little mysterious which keeps the reader interested. Can’t wait for the next volume. I’m giving it a with 4 out of 5 books.
Everything told me that meeting someone from the internet was a bad idea. I had a feeling that I was going to regret this date tonight. But I was told that a life without regret couldn’t be a fulfilling one.
Oh heck, I was already a sophomore. It’s about time to make some mistakes. Comparing to my friends, I already started too late. Plus, I was on a mission-a justified mission. I was looking for a boyfriend. And I needed one fast.
I had never needed something so desperately. For 19 years I had been fine without a guy, until now. Well, life happened. It happened like a giant tornado. Usually around this time, a prince or a ridiculous sex god would fly out of nowhere and save the girl from her torment and kiss her brain out, right? Sadly, that didn’t happen to me. So I decided to step out of my comfort zone and look for someone who would be willing enough to be in a relationship with me. After quite a few terrible failed dates with real life acquaintances, I adventured online.
Thinking about my date this evening, I almost forgot his name. What was it again? Right, Ethan. His post on the Internet said: “Looking for a nice girl. Not into the bar scene. Prefer a smart, intelligent lady with adequate manners.” I wasn’t sure if I would fit his description but at least he didn’t mention something crazy. Also, if he was honest about his information, we were both students and actually went to the same university. So I contacted him. We exchanged several emails and he asked me out on Saturday. He even sent me a small blurry photo of himself. I couldn’t make out anything other than that he had hair.
I paced around the parking lot behind my dorm. We said to meet here at 6:00pm. I checked my watch again. It was 6:02pm. My date was only two minutes late and I was already getting anxious. I took a deep breath and tried to put myself at ease. It was not working. My chest was still tight and my heart was beating against it. I was not in any good condition to meet a stranger from the Internet-so many scary stories came from there. Maybe I went too far this time. I paced around the parking lot again. I didn’t know why I was so nervous. Maybe this guy wouldn’t show up. Maybe I should go back to my dorm and hide in the corner.
Just as I started headed toward the dorm, a shining black SUV finally pulled in the parking in lot. Was it Ethan? I slowed down and glimpsed at the SUV. The door opened and someone stepped down. I stopped completely in awe with just one glance. This guy was hot, capital HOT. He was standing there like a living Michelangelo scripture. He had thick blond hair that reflected the golden sunlight. He was wearing a light blue shirt, matching the color of the early-spring sky. I could make out the perfect outline of his muscles beneath the shirt. I would bet all my part-time job earnings that he had at least a six-pack. My eyes traveled down along his back, taking in the sight of his firm and proportional waist, hip and…oh my Gosh, I blinked rapidly. The hot guy had the car key in his hand. He casually put his fingers in the pockets and looked up. His movements were so mesmerizing. His confidence was unmistakable- he was one of those people who could own any space he stood in. More importantly, this guy could not be Ethan. No guy this hot would end up on an Internet personals ad listing. I was clearly out of his league. I should hide somewhere before I embarrass myself.
Too late. His turned toward my direction and those bright green eyes caught mine instantly. Oh no, I was staring. I grasped for air and forced myself to break eye contact. I turned around trying to walk normal and fought the urge to run. My high heels did not help along.
“Dana?” A sexy male voice called behind me. I could hardly recognize that it was calling my name. The voice was so magnetic. Was it for real? Was it really calling me?
I turned around slowly, unsure of myself.
“Hi there,” the hot guy advanced toward me. I didn’t dare to look up at his eyes. But I felt his eyes on me, scanning. My gosh, I hope he wouldn’t tell me that he had an emergency and run off after he took a look at me. “Beautiful dress,” he said. His magnetic voice sent a pleasant wave and went through my body. I was bond by it and didn’t dare to move.
“Me?” My voice was so small but my eyes were opened infinitely wide. I looked like an idiot with that expression for a whole three seconds. I couldn’t believe my ears- not when such a magnificent guy stood right in front me and was complimenting my dress. I already forgot that I was wearing a dress. I hope this dress did make me look a bit better. It was dark blue with a V-neck. I looked sort of like my history TA, but I was slimmer.
“Yes, you,” he smiled, all the sunshine leaked out of his perfect white teeth. I never knew a hot guy smiling under the sun could look so sexy. I was staring again. Wake up! I reminded myself. I couldn’t keep looking at him and drooling at the same time. I had to be cool. Well, at least cooler. But I had no way to cool down the temperature on my cheeks right now. I had seen hot guys before in the campus. I appreciate them from afar just like fancy displays in the museum- I knew I would never be able to afford the luxury to take the paintings home with me. Now this handsome, charming…Oh, I should I describe him? He was walking and leaking sexiness all the way as he walked up to me. Every inch of his skin and muscles were radiant with androgen. He was getting closer and I had never felt so helpless. Did he enchant me with magic?
“Unless there is another girl around named Dana,” he teased as he walked up to me, stepping in a little too close.
“Well, that’s my name,” I trailed off. I couldn’t believe he was talking to me. I was still staring. I needed to say something. Anything. I gathered my courage. “You are really Ethan?” I heard myself asking. What a stupid question. I could say something much better. But now I was not typing papers on my laptop. I couldn’t just erase what I said. Darn it.
“Of course,” he smiled wider. “Sorry I didn’t send you a current photo,” a witty smile appeared on his face. “But yeah, I am Ethan. The real Ethan.” He opened up his arms and stepped closer, gesturing for a hug.
He was going to find out that I was shaking if he put those strong arms on me. Avoiding the hug, I quickly held out my right hand and shook his hand instead. “Pleased to meet you,” I managed to speak in a steady voice. Ethan narrowed his eyes for a brief moment. I almost regretted not hugging him.
“Nice to meet you, too, Dana,” he squeezed my hand. He looked a bit surprised about my rejection to a friendly hug, but he was not mad. Actually he sounded quite delightful. “You are formal. I like that.”
“You do?” I couldn’t believe my ears again. I looked up and saw his green eyes staring right down at me.
“Mhm.” Ethan gestured the parking lot, pointing at his car. “Ready for our date, Dana?”
Not even close to ready. My heart was beating way too fast. I didn’t even know if my brain was filled with water or something. I just couldn’t think. I read a study about boys became stupid in front of hot girls-I wonder if the case was true for me the other way around.
“Yeah,” I nodded at him, pumping some confidence in myself. He was just a guy-an amazingly hot guy but he was not a scary bear. Why did I have to be so nervous? I could do this.
We walked to his SUV. My eyes were on Ethan earlier so I didn’t pay attention to his car. Now I was up close, I saw he was driving a fancy luxury car. No wonder the car looked so shiny. But why did Ethan have a car like this? A big question popped in my head. He said he was just a student. How could he afford such an expensive car?
“This ride is okay?” Ethan asked, seeing my hesitation. “I have an Italian collectible sport car but I don’t normally drive it into campus.” He sounded like I was not impressed by his car. But I was more concerned about it.
“You have more than one car?” I looked at Ethan. “You said you are a student…”
“Law school first year, actually,” he said.
Oh thank goodness he was not some legendary gangster. I sighed in relief and waited for him to explain about the fancy cars, but he just opened the car door for me. Oh, he was the type who opened doors for girls. I smiled at this surprise. What a gentleman!
I peeked inside the car before getting in. I saw the parking permit of our university for graduate students. What a relief, he was telling the truth. He was really a student. I turned to Ethan. I was so shy I couldn’t look him in the eyes, so I eyed his shoulder and thank him with a smile as I got into his car.
In my memory, I never had a record of sitting inside a luxury car. The fancy interior design of the Ethan’s SUV was not something I saw in person and up close. I was unsettled. I was sitting on soft leather seat but my back was stiff. I couldn’t relax. The air in the car smelled like a mixture of genuine leather and jasmine. I thought of an advertisement about a man as hot as Ethan, or less, driving a car with the hood down. And a blonde super-model with shorts and bikini top was sitting next the driver. They were driving toward the beach, toward the beautiful sunset. As they parked the car by the beach, they embraced each other, they drink champagne, kissed and…I did not dare to think further.
I knew nothing about Ethan other than he was hot and drove luxury cars. I didn’t even know where we were heading. I should have planned ahead somehow. But how was I to prepare unexpectedly meeting a hot guy from the Internet?
“Um, Ethan,” I cleared my throat.
“Yes?” He looked at me with amusement.
“I am not trying to be awkward,” I paused. This was awkward. “But I just want to make sure this isn’t a ‘casual encounter’.” Casual encounter was the code for no strings attached hook ups on the classified ad website. There was a whole section for it. Ethan and I briefly mentioned that we were looking for a long term relationship but I didn’t want to take the chances. No matter how hot this guy was.
“No,” he answered quite earnestly. “I don’t look for casual encounters on the Internet.” He paused for a second like he thought of something. “This is kind of new to me.” He said in a low voice. I wasn’t sure if he was talking to me or thinking out loud. I didn’t know what “this new thing” was to him, but I heard seriousness in his tone.
Whatever “this” was, I hope he was referring to a standard dinner date. I didn’t think I could handle too much more.