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Southern Moon [One Hot Summer Series Book 2] [MultiFormat]
eBook by Eve Asbury

eBook Category: Romance/Suspense/Thriller
eBook Description: Southern Moon features Charlie's half-brother Mason Aldrich, who spilled a shocking secret at the end of book one (One Hot Summer). Once the wild rebel in motorcycle boots and torn jeans, Mason came back to town two years ago and started a youth center. But the sexy bad boy who still knows how to drive the ladies wild holds more secrets. Unveiling these dark secrets would not only reveal Mason's alter ego--but shake the entire town to its very foundation.

eBook Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press, Published: 2007
Fictionwise Release Date: July 2007


14 Reader Ratings:
Great Good OK Poor


5 Angels! "Southern Moon is the second book in the series, continuing a storyline begun in One Hot Summer Night. I did not read One Hot Summer Night but it wasn't necessary to have read that one in order to understand the plot, characters and action in Southern Moon. It would have been nice to have had the background on the characters but I was still able to follow along in this second story without any trouble. I totally enjoyed reading Southern Moon, mostly because of the candid, realistic relationships between her characters. There are remaining characters in these two families and it is my sincere hope that Ms. Asbury will consider carrying this series forward. Well done!"--Carly, Fallen Angel Reviews

"This story is wonderfully written and it would be hard not to fall in love with the characters. SOUTHERN MOON introduces the more private side of Mason Aldrich and Rain Jessup the same way ONE HOT SUMMER took you into Charlie Aldrich and Beau Jessup's relationship. They let you into their past and share their joys, heartaches, passions and inner demons. This book is hard to put down as the stories slowly unravel and take heart wrenching turns. This reviewer just hopes Ms. Asbury follows this with the stories of the remaining Jessup men and Aldrich women."--Mandie, Love Romances and More

"The follow up to One Hot Summer Night continues in Southern Moon. Mason has spilled the secret between Rain Jessup and himself. Elijah is his son. Here in lies their story. Ms. Asbury did very well. This story was well written. I liked the camaraderie among the families involved and absolutely loved the description of Charlie's wedding gown. This is a story that I can recommend to others, without feeling that they will be upset by language used. It portrays sexuality tastefully, more imagery than explicit."--Robin, My Book Cravings


Prologue

Jessup Farms

4th of July picnic

Rain Jessup screamed her son's name, "Eli!" as she jumped up from the picnic table and rushed for the lake. She kept yelling while she ran and dived into the lake, swimming furiously--vaguely aware that Mason Aldrich had dived off the dock and outswam her brothers, both Beau and Jake, to reach the overturned boat. Eli hadn't surfaced yet!

"Eee-li!" Rain's screams echoed around the trees and hanging vines.

Beau and Jake were yelling. Suddenly, Jake had Rain around the chest. She was floundering in her panic, but she had to reach her son.

The boat flipped. Mason broke the surface holding Elijah. What seemed like moments later, Mason heaved himself and the husky boy out of the water, and immediately began C.P.R.

Everyone was out of the lake, breathing harsh, coughing, gasping with their stares glued to Elijah as he finally spewed out water and opened his eyes.

Mason grabbed Eli up off the dock and held him to his chest. He looked at Rain, who was sobbing in Jake's arms. With a raw look in his eyes, he rasped, "It's over. Do you hear me, Rain? I can't do this anymore, dammit." He swallowed with his hand cupping the boy's head and his arm protectively around the shivering child. He got up and carried Eli over to the fire pit to get warm.

Charlie, Beau's girlfriend, and Dana, her cousin, led Rain to the bench and wrapped towels around her. They sat on either side of her, rubbing her back and comforting her, while she cried and looked at the ground, shaking her head over and over.

"Don't cry, Mommy."

Rain lifted her head, looked at her son. then hugged him tight. "You scared me."

"I was watching a fish and flipped over; I got my shoe hung on something. I'm sorry."

She held him back from her and said raggedly, "You're wearing that life jacket from now on. I don't care how good you swim--or how much you fuss."

"I will." He hugged her again. When her crying turned to sniffles, he said, "You okay now? I gotta go pee."

She laughed helplessly and nodded. "Me too. Thanks to you." Rain stood, her clothing stuck to her and shivering too. Then she glanced at Dana. "You want to drive back to the house with me to get some dry clothing?"

"Sure." Dana nodded. They walked off after Rain kissed her son again.

When Rain and Dana returned, Rain's hair was down, flowing over her back. She wore a plain straight sundress split on the sides, with flowered shorts beneath. She had a change of shorts for Eli and thermoses of coffee and some wine coolers Dana joked about. She went down and talked to Gunner awhile, then sat on the edge of the table, looking in the direction the men had walked.

Charlie Aldrich Van Diver leaned against the table beside Rain, their arms touching. "You know what they're talking about?"

Rain nodded, her brown eyes shifting to Charlie, then away. "Here they come," she breathed, shaky.

The men entered the clearing. They glanced where Elijah was sitting on the bank fishing, with a towel around his shoulders. Then they all looked at Rain.

Tension built in her, but Rain said with false calm to her brothers, "It's none of your business."

It was Mason who glared at her unblinking, and murmured, "I made it their business." His jaw tightened as he pointed at the river. "He could have drowned out there, Rain! My son. Mine. I don't give a shit what you want anymore. I'm not asking, I'm telling you right now, I've got a right to be in his life. He needs me there."

"No." Rain shook her head. "We've done j--"

"Don't you dare," he snarled. "Don't you dare insinuate I didn't claim him by choice. I came back a dozen times and you wouldn't let me near him."

Rain grit out, "He doesn't need you. He's fine. He has men in his life."

"Not a father, Rain!" Mason nearly shouted, then lowered his voice. "Knowing how mine was ... oh, no, that's right, you don't know. Because you don't give a shit, Rain. You think because you don't need anyone, he doesn't either. He's a kid. A boy. And I'm not letting him grow up not knowing who his father is, or thinking I don't want him." His eyes turned a stormy green. "It's over, Rain. I'm not playing by your rules anymore."

"If you tell him now," Rain said quietly, "it will make things worse."

"I already know."

The men stepped aside in surprise, parting to reveal the boy who stood with his pole and towel, just looking at them calmly.

Rain groaned and closed her eyes.

Beau said, "Know what, son?"


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