Falling for the Wingman
Kelly Brothers Series Book Three
By: Crista McHugh
Releasing March 3rd, 2014
Air Force pilot Caleb Kelly has come back home with one mission in mind—to propose to the woman whose letters and lucky charm helped him survive his deployment in Afghanistan. But when he finds their apartment empty with a note saying she’s left him, he arrives at her mother’s house in rural Alabama less than a week before Kourtney is about to marry another man. Now he’s out to win her heart again and gets some unexpected assistance from her younger sister, Alex.
Alex Leadbetter has always thought Caleb was too good for her manipulative, social-climbing sister. She had assumed Kourtney’s identity to write letters to him and keep his spirits up until he returned home to the hard truth, never expecting to fall in love with him along the way. After he shows up in town, she convinces him that the best way to get Kourtney back is to make her think he’s fallen for someone new — her. But when a fake romance becomes all too real, her deception may leave them both grounded.
Alex grabbed his T-shirt and pulled his attention back to her. “Kiss me,” she whispered.
She answered him by pressing her lips to his. He stiffened from the initial shock of it, his mind still reeling that another woman was kissing him. Then the next shock hit him—he was enjoying it. Alex ran her tongue along the seam of his mouth, begging for entry to his mouth, and like a stunned fool, he gave it to her.
Kourtney’s kiss had been sharp and electric, a bolt of lightning that surged through him and in a matter of seconds left him harder than a horny teenager. Alex’s kiss was more like a fire on a cold day or a cup of morning coffee. It spread through his veins with the same easygoing nature she embodied. He followed her lead, his tongue twirling around hers until he almost forgot why he was in this small town in the first place. His mind screamed at him to stop, but his body refused to listen. He longed for the warmth and comfort her kiss offered, for the sense of coming home he’d desired when he stepped off the plane. He wrapped his arms around her waist and drew her closer until she was practically sitting in his lap, eager to enjoy everything she so willingly offered.
And that was when she pulled away. Her bottom lip trembled, and her breaths came fast and deep. “Not bad, flyboy.”
Oh, shit, what have I done?
Alex clamped her hands around his cheeks and held his gaze on her. “Don’t think about it, Caleb. Remember our plan.”
Easy for her to say. She isn’t the one getting caught in a compromising position.
“Just look at me and listen,” she continued in a low, calm voice. “The woman who just walked in—what is she doing?”
He glanced over her shoulder at the couple. “She’s pulling out her phone and texting.”
“Good. Now, we’re going to leave here hand in hand and go to your car. Understand?”
He nodded, offering a silent prayer he hadn’t royally fucked things up by agreeing to Alex’s plan.
“Arm around my waist,” she murmured. “Remember, we want everyone to think you’re all into me.”
He continued the ruse until they were safely shielded by his car. Then, he released her and leaned on the hood of his Camaro, staring at his reflection and wondering when everything went to hell. “That wasn’t what I was expecting.”
Alex leaned against the car next to him and crossed her arms, not displaying an ounce of his worry. “Really? I thought it went quite well.”
“What are you talking about? I was groping you in front of one of Kourtney’s friends.”
“Just as I’d expected you to do. Lynette’s probably telling my sister all about the very believable performance you just gave.” She tilted his chin up. “Relax, Caleb. Everything is going according to plan.”
He wished he could share her confidence. Instead, all he felt was disgust at his behavior. It was one thing to fake a kiss. It was an entirely different matter to lose himself in it, especially when his heart belonged to another woman. “I feel like I’m cheating on her.”
“Bullshit. Besides, it’s not like she wasn’t cheating on you while you were gone.”
“Way to twist the knife in my gut. While you’re at it, care to slide a few hundred splinters into my skin and set them on fire?”
“Ooh, I never suspected you were the kinky type.” She took his hands and turned him around so he was sitting on the edge of the hood. “Listen, Caleb, don’t beat yourself up. Remember, I’m in on this, too, and I know the only reason why you even pretended to enjoy kissing me was because of our agreement to help you get my sister back.”
That was the problem—he hadn’t been pretending.
“I know I’m Kourtney’s hideous little sister—”
“You’re not hideous.”
“I’m not her.”
“No,” he agreed. Kourtney screamed sex, from her pale blond hair to the generous cleavage and hourglass curves that made him the envy of every man in his unit. Alex was tall and slender, her boyish figure complimenting her tomboyish disposition. “But you’re cute.”
She groaned. “Now it’s my turn to have a knife twist in my gut. Calling a girl cute is the equivalent of telling her she has a nice personality.”
“You do have a nice personality.”
“Stop it!” she teased, her laughter infecting him and driving away his guilt. “And I suppose you’d love to introduce me to one of your friends, but they’re already all in relationships, right?”
“Actually, I was thinking one of my brothers…”
“Enough!” She released his hands and wrapped her arms around his neck. “A girl can only take so much.”
Before he realized what he was doing, his hands were back around her waist, and they were leaning against his car like a happy couple. It surprised him how easily it happened, as though they’d been out on a real date rather than setting a plan in motion to deceive everyone around them.
“So you’re not mad at me for jumping the gun and kissing you in front of Lynette?”
“No, I’m not.” He stared at her, wondering why he hadn’t noticed how well her thick lashes framed her warm brown eyes before. “And I was wrong about the cute thing—you’re actually kind of pretty.”
“Keep it up, flyboy, and you may be battling your baby brother for the best acting performance of the year.” A wave of color rose into her cheeks, and her attention shifted to the Camaro. “You know, I’m seriously in love with your car.”
“Is that so?”
She nodded. “You wouldn’t believe the fantasies I have about it.”
“Now who’s the kinky one?” He’d intended just to give her a friendly jostle, but it ended up pressing her body against his and awakening a whole new level of awareness. She fit well in his arms. Almost too well.
Her breath caught, and she stilled against him. Her fingers grazed the nape of his neck, setting off a flurry of erotic explosions from the seemingly innocent touch. That little voice of warning begged him to let go, but he needed to find out if that kiss in the bar was nothing more than a fluke.
This time, he initiated the kiss and controlled it. No tongue. No open-mouth devouring of the other person. But it didn’t matter. Just the pressure of her lips evoked the same reaction as before.
Correction—the reaction was even stronger than before. He ran his hands up her back, pulling her even closer until they were connected from their lips to their thighs. This was what he’d imagined it would be like when he got home and kissed Kourtney after all those months apart. This was what he dreamt about when he closed his eyes in the barracks every night.
But when he opened his eyes, he caught a glimpse of Alex’s wild red hair and froze.
My Review: 4 1/2 stars
Crista does it again. These Kelly brothers are fantastic, I'm telling you. Caleb comes into town determined to win back Kourtney. Alex, her sister, comes up with a sure-fire plan to get Kourney back into Caleb's arms. But does she really? Or has she come up with a plan to make Caleb see her for who she is? It's a dangerous game of the heart, especially when Caleb starts feeling things for Alex that he thinks he shouldn't be thinking. Or acting on. Alex really wants Caleb to choose her, the girl that really cared for him while he was away. Caleb and Alex spend time together, and both realize that they have potential together. They also realize that things are so easy between them, like they should be. But sometimes deception comes back to bite you when you least expect it. Can Caleb see past the deception and Kourtney to really see Alex for who and what she really is? What will he do when he realizes that things aren't really what he thought they would be? Who will he choose? You've got to read this book to find out! It's a fantastic read with an ending that surprised me, but in a definite good way. I am loving this series!! I cannot wait for the next Kelly Brothers book.
Crista McHugh is a multiple award-winning author of fantasy romance and paranormal romance with heroines who are smart, sexy, and anything but ordinary. She currently lives in the Audi-filled suburbs of Seattle with her husband and two children, maintaining her alter ego of mild-mannered physician by day while she continues to pursue writing on nights and weekends.
Series website: http://www.thekellybrothers.cristamchugh.com
Series website: http://www.thekellybrothers.cristamchugh.com