Monday, April 22, 2019

BLOG TOUR: Lead the Way by Brittany Carter

Welcome to the Official Blog Tour for Brittany Carter's Lead The Way, the first book in the Dirty South series! Today happens to be release day, too! So... On our tour stop today, we are excited to kick off this tour with an exclusive excerpt! To add to the tour festivities, we also have a tour-wide giveaway to share! So... Check it out and grab your copy today! Follow the tour, HERE!

New Adult
Contempoprary Romance
Dirty South, #1
Publish Date:
April 22, 2019
Swoon Romance

Fresh off the high of college graduation, Melody James is back in her Podunk town. She needs a job, but first, she’ll spend a lazy summer with no agenda at all.

But life’s got other plans for Melody, ones she’d sooner ignore. When the next-door neighbor passes away, his son returns home to take care of his affairs. Thane Cohen hasn’t been home in ten years. The last time he was, someone accused him of murdering Melody’s parents. Now, after major efforts to recover his self-worth and start a construction company, Thane wonders if enough time has passed for him to clear his once good name.

At the time of the murders, Melody was the only person who didn’t believe Thane was responsible. But how could she even suggest otherwise when just about everyone in town was convinced of Thane’s guilt? Her brothers would never allow it. With nothing to lose before, Thane packed up and left, leaving the town and Melody behind. Now that he’s back, rekindling an old flame in Melody and proving his innocence are critical.

When several car windshields get broken and fires start unexpectedly, the world inside their little town is tossed upside down. With Melody’s brother against her, and Thane fighting every attempt she makes at breaking down his walls, Melody’s push for answers leads her to a frightening conclusion. Thane may actually know more about her parents’ death than she was lead to believe. Can she trust him, or has everyone else been right about him all along? Only time will tell if she can let love lead the way

*FREE on Kindle Unlimited*

The sun was still up but had started its descent toward the hills in the distance. Their road was a pretty quiet one. Not too close to town, but not in the country per se. Both houses sat on quite a bit of land, and a nearby wooded area gave them privacy city life lacked. She’d missed that at college.
Her heartbeat was so loud in her head she had a hard time concentrating. Fear brushed against her skin, raising goosebumps despite the heat. Melody placed the mason jar on the porch and tapped his front door several times before picking the jar back up. Sweat trickled down her chest toward her flimsy tank top. I should have changed clothes; I’ve been moving all day.
The door swung open, sending a blast of cool air to rush her. Thane looked the same, but different, older. Was it possible for him to be even more handsome than before? She felt a blush curl around her cheeks, sending fire down to her toes. Yep, those haunted eyes were even bluer and harder around the edges. It explained the fear most people had for him because it made him look dangerous. But all she could see was pain.
Large work boots filled his doorway, his frayed jeans tucked into the tops. Slender hips held them up, fitting him like a glove. A white t-shirt embraced his broad shoulders, tightening around the curve of his biceps. Her eyes found his—again—and her nerves skyrocketed. The same blue eyes stared down at her, unmoving, but so alive. He leaned forward, his right hand hugged the top of the door frame. The woodsy smell of his skin invaded her world. The other hand roughly ran through his raven hair.
Carefully, he eyed her from her unpolished toenails in her flip-flops, up her legs to her short cutoffs, and finally passed her dampened tank top to her eyes.
She should have changed clothes because he seemed to slowly drink her in. Maybe it was her imagination, but she thought he liked looking at her. Leisurely, he lifted a brow.
Right, she did knock on his door.
“I’m sorry about your dad,” she said.
Thane stared at her intently but gave her no indication of what he thought. “Thank you,” he finally said.
Another awkward silence poured over them, and before she could think twice, she blurted out, “I wasn’t watching you earlier!”
Thane licked his lower lip and tilted his head to the side. “No one said you were.”
That was true. Clearing her throat, Melody shook her head. “Sorry. I—I didn’t want you to think I was a creepy neighbor or something.”
He rolled the toothpick that hung from his teeth to the other side of his full mouth. His eyes lowered to the food in her hands, and she willed her mouth to speak. Give it to him. Say something, Melody.
“Is that for me?” he finally asked.
She nodded. “Yes. I hope you like it.”
Thane grabbed the food, his fingers skimming hers sending liquid fire to scorch her soul. A charge circled her from the inside out, threatening to suffocate her. He pulled his rough fingertips back quickly.
There was a second of something on his face, but it disappeared just as quickly. Melody assumed he didn’t think she’d come over at all, and definitely not to give her condolences for his father. Not after the rumors. “It smells good. Thank you.”
“You—” “Melody, get home.” Melody turned quickly to see Jackson standing at the fencepost that separated their houses. There was a look of outrage on his face, and she was afraid he only had a loose grip on it. One balled fist hung at his side, and the other squeezed the fencepost. She hadn’t heard his truck pull up, and she was sure her raging heartbeat had drowned out everything other than Thane’s husky voice. She glanced at Thane to say something—
She clamped her mouth shut, turned around, and started across their yard. Butterflies prickled down her neck, over the curve of her bottom, and down to her toes. She could feel his eyes on her as she walked away. Despite Jackson standing close, she felt her hips swinging harder knowing he watched her. It felt dangerous, and nothing had even happened.
Jackson said something underneath his breath as she walked passed him, but it was too low to decipher. He kept on her heels the entire way inside, but she still felt Thane’s blue eyes on her until the door locked her in.
Melody turned toward Jackson; the fury on his face hung like cement, his scowl unmoving.
“Are you asking for it, Melody? What in the—were you doing over there?”
Placing her hand on her hip, she shifted her weight. “I felt bad, Jackson. No one had brought him any food. His daddy just died.”
Jackson let out a hysterical laugh. “Do you hear yourself right now? His dad died, Melody? Both of our parents died!”
“You don’t know that he did that, Jackson! You have no proof!”
He ran his palm down his face and nodded quickly. “You’re right,” he whispered. “I don’t know anything for certain. But I do know that man is no good. Never has been, never will be. Don’t let me catch you over there again. Understand me?”
“I’m an adult, Jackson. I don’t need to understand anything. I love you, you’re my brother, I respect the hell out of you for raising us, but I have my own thoughts. I don’t plan on having a slumber party with the man; I just felt bad for him because his father just passed.”
Jackson stared long and hard at her. He easily towered over her by six inches or so. The bags underneath his eyes made him look older than his twenty-eight years. Despite the tired look on his face, he was handsome. In a southern, down-to-earth way, like their daddy.
“You’re just like, Momma. So, forgiving—understanding.”
“Sometimes,” she said. “And then sometimes I want to pimp slap my brothers.”
Jackson shook his head. “Promise me you won’t talk to him, Melody.”
Melody frowned. That was not a promise she had room to make, but the sadness in Jackson’s eyes weighed heavily on her chest.
“Okay.” “Thank you. Now get your little butt to bed. I don’t have time for you.”

She smiled and walked upstairs to her room, locking the door behind her. Her curtains were still open from her encounter earlier, but Thane’s blinds were closed.


**About the Author**
Brittany Booker Carter previously writing as Alla Kar. I'm a Christian, lover or romance, a wife and mother to a wild-child!

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