Title: Playing With Fire
Series: Portwood Brothers, #2
Author: Emily Robertson
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 22, 2016
Jackson wants the one thing he can’t have, his brother’s girlfriend. He tried to forget her, but even spending nine months Afghanistan didn’t make him want her any less. Now he was heading home, a home he shares with his brother and the woman they both want.
Emma believed that you should never follow your heart. She tried that once, and she ended up alone and broken. After she put the pieces back together, she decided she’d rather forget about love and just have fun. Who needed someone special anyway? Certainly not her.
When both of them realize they are on the same page, they embark in a hot, no-strings arrangement that satisfies their needs without getting their hearts involved. But when you play with fire, someone always gets burned.
Pulling open the door to the local bar Jackson was hit with a wall of sound. Josh hadn’t told them they were going to a karaoke bar, but he was cool with that. He loved karaoke bars. While Josh had a voice that would make grown men cringe and have babies crying, he had been lucky enough to end up with a pretty decent voice. Get a few beers in his system and his inhibition usually went out the window.
He couldn’t see who was on stage at the moment, but they were tearing it up. The duo was damn good. When he finally got to a place where he could see the stage, he was shocked to see that it was Emma and some guy singing with her. He never would have guessed a voice that powerful could come out of such a petite woman. And just like that, the awe he had for her was replaced by annoyance when he saw how touchy she was with the jack off she was singing with. Sure they were singing about needing each other, but it didn’t mean they had to touch each other like that. In fact, she was so into the song, she didn’t even see him come in and take a seat at their table.
When the waitress came over, he ordered a beer and listened as Josh introduced the people at the table. Then he found out that it was Blake, the same Blake who asked Emma out a billion times, on stage with her, and he was just irritated. He shouldn’t care. He knew that, but he did. He didn’t care if they weren’t really in a relationship or not. The guy looked like a weasel.
Blowing out the breath he was holding when the song ended, Jackson finally sat back in his seat and tried to relax. Seeing the stunned look on Emma’s face was all he needed to put his mind at ease and be ready to enjoy the rest of the evening. He could tell as they walked off stage and as they walked to the table that while they may have been chummy on stage, they didn’t look like anything more than friends off.
Emma took her seat, and thankfully it was next to him. He wouldn’t have wanted to spend his evening next to Blake the Snake. Payton had just finished telling a horrible joke when Jackson saw Emma’s hand up on the table. The urge to touch her came on strong so he reached up and laced their fingers together, loving the way their hands fit. Emma tensed up and when she gave him a dirty look, he dropped her hand like an electric current had just run through it. He wasn’t sure what had just happened. A few seconds later his phone buzzed in his pocket.
What the hell are you doing?
Jackson smiled as he read the text. She was getting worked up over nothing. Uh, why are we texting? You’re sitting right next to me.
Because I don’t want to have this conversation with others listening.
Sorry, I didn’t realize we were secret friends. What’s it matter if I hold your hand? You’re damn sexy, and I just couldn’t help myself.
When he saw her crack a smile, he knew all was forgiven. Just didn’t think it’d be a good idea to present ourselves as a couple when we aren’t.
That made him laugh. Too late.
Josh and Payton think we’re dating.
Emma choked on her drink and Jackson patted her back until she caught her breath. After she had recovered from her coughing fit, she went back to her phone. This was stupid, but he’d let her do things her way. They were, at least, getting somewhere.
I didn’t know that. Well, guess you can hold my hand since we both know what’s really going on here.
That was more like it. Jackson reached over and grabbed her hand and this time, Emma laced their fingers. A smile spread on his face when he saw Blake’s eyes widen and the smirk on Josh’s face. Smug bastard.
The story flow is perfect and really highlights the effect of how true love can literally knock you on your ass when you least expect it!!!
~Tracy (Ladies of Love Blog)
Emily Robertson (evil genius and author of this gem) starts off letting us know that Jax is in love with Payton, his twin brother’s girlfriend.
~Becky (Reviews from The Heart)
Payton always had one rule she lived by, no boyfriends until after college. No one seemed to agree with her, even her own mother who had her at age sixteen. Returning to school after an accident that flipped Payton’s world upside down left her feeling out of control. Holding on to her rule seemed to be her only lifeline.
Josh had been letting the past rule his life for too long. Finally being at school, he’d become his own man, and he’d been putting all that behind him. Just when he thought he had it all put together, life got crazy. Not only did his ex show back up, but Josh also found he couldn’t get Payton Whitmore out of his head.
Once Josh convinces Payton to give him a shot, she’s so closed off that he wonders if it’s even worth it. Josh can tell there’s something special about Payton though, and as soon as he goes all in, he’s ready to show her that some rules are made to be broken.
Emily Robertson graduated from Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas with a degree in Theatre. She is an avid reader and enjoys reading New Adult and Romance as much as she does writing them. She currently resides in the Washington D.C. area with her husband and two children. She loves connecting with and talking to other readers by e-mail, or on Facebook or Twitter. You can get information on her upcoming works by signing up for her newsletter.