Another wingmen meets his match and this time it’s scandalous.
Carter Kelso is a man with a plan. And goats.
Ashley Kingston is a woman with a reputation.
Can he earn back her love before their past catches up with them and destroys everything?
On the island, my last name is synonymous with scandal. With a notorious father and a famous brother, I’ve been on the sidelines of our small town’s gossip circle for years. Nothing to see here. Just a man and his goats, happily going through life. Not a care in the world. Too bad it’s all lies.
I’m tired of trying not to be in love with Ashley Kingston, our very own island jezebel. Some people think she’s a slut. They think they know her. They’re wrong. Screw them.
Reputations can be deceiving. I should know.
Small Town Scandal is a second chance romance standalone novel and the fifth book in the Wingmen series. You do not have to read the other novels first.
“Worried about history repeating itself?” Ashley meets my eyes.
“With you?” Yes, please.
She gives a slight nod in response.
“Never. I’m not some dumb eighteen-year-old kid with his head up his ass. I’m not my father. You’re not your parents. We’re adults now.”
She gazes out over the water for a moment. “I don’t see any, do you?”
“Any what?” I scan the sky.
“Flying pigs.” Her smile is shy and more vulnerable than I’ve seen in years.
I bump her shoulder again with mine. “Stranger things have happened.”
“Says you.” She returns the pressure with her arm against mine with a brief nudge.
“You mentioned dinner? Were you serious?” I circle back to her comment before my random business idea.
“We both gotta eat. Plus, the baristas can close up for me. It’s good responsibility for them to have.”
“You trust them?”
“I do. If they mess up, then it’s a learning lesson for all of us.”
“When did you get to be so wise?” I almost say smart, but she’s always been smart. Definitely has the brains along with the body and the looks. She’s the trifecta. With a cherry on top.
I pick up the stem and then toss it over to the other bench.
“Hey! I thought that was my present,” she protests.
“You want a cherry stem that I’ve tongued into a knot?”
“Your tongue’s been in my mouth, so it’s kind of the same thing.”
We both stare at the stem laying on the concrete in who knows what combination of fluids and dirt.
“I’ll make you another one.”
“I have a better use for your tongue.” She surprises me with a small hop to peck my lips.
We’re going to need some rules of engagement. A SWOT of our own.
First, we need to stick to well lit, public places.
Second, we shouldn’t be alone.
Ten minutes of sitting on a bench together and certain parts of my body are coiled and ready to spring into action, not caring it’s daylight and a few hundred bored people are sitting in their cars with nothing better to do than watch us.
Nah, they’re all on their phones. She could probably straddle me on this bench and no one would pay any attention.
Damn, if I’m not tempted to test this theory.
“Are you coming?” She’s halfway back to the coffee hut.
“I wish,” I mumble, dipping my head and mentally cursing myself for setting limits.
Ashley’s smile says she probably heard me and agrees.
Living life on an island has plenty of advantages and disadvantages. For some – small town life stifles dreams and ambitions. Carter Kelso never imagined that his path would lead him to owning a heard of goats. Making an honest living from those four legged friends. This is one of those times that dreams often find themselves changing with the times.
Throughout his childhood, Carter only had eyes for one gal. Ashley was the one that Carter always imagined he would spend his future with. Then a string of circumstances changed the future that Ashley and Carter saw for themselves. Now – Ashley is running several successful coffee huts on the island with her brother. There’s only one problem. Ashley’s life is constantly under a microscope from everyone on the island.
Reputations can be based on fact or fiction. For Ashley – her reputation stems from an extreme love of gossip, and basing ‘fact’ upon fiction. Carter isn’t one to listen to idle gossip. He has received his own fair share of being the constant talk of the town. The only difference between the two is the fact Carter goes ‘caveman’ whenever someone speaks poorly of Ashley. Carter knows what’s buried deep down in Ashley’s heart. True gold. Something the ‘goat boy’ is determined to uncover once more.
Who doesn’t love a good second chance romance??? Carter and Ashley are a perfect example of young love and the possibilities that paths will cross in the future. If you are a fan of the Wingmen series, then you might remember Ashley from Tom’s story. That was certainly a barrel of laughs for me, so I couldn’t wait to see what was in store from that gal that made me laugh until I cried.
Small Town Scandal has a nice ‘twist’ compared to traditional romance novels. This book is told entirely in Carter’s POV. Each nuance is strictly from the male perspective, and I soaked up every single moment. Ashley’s character wasn’t afraid to live life on her terms. Accepting whatever gossip may have been earned or not. There is a family feud involved within this story that has left Ashley and Carter flailing in the wake. The chemistry between the two characters is the slow burning kind that is just waiting to explode.
As a huge fan of the Wingmen series, I couldn’t have loved Carter’s version of this story any more. A great testament to finding that true once in a lifetime love. Even if it has a few bumps or goats along the way.