MORE THAN ONCE (Chasing The Dream #4)

She’s trying to be good. He loves it when she’s bad.

Andrew West is done being the nice guy. After a marriage proposal gone wrong, he’s started over in a new city and he’s never risking his heart again.

Becca Collins is done being the bad girl. After quitting the band she played bass for, she’s going to prove to her family that she’s really changed.

When Becca’s dumped by her boyfriend and fired from her job on Christmas Eve, all seems lost, until she runs into a former one night stand—Andrew. To impress her parents, Becca convinces him to pretend to be her perfect boyfriend for their holiday dinner.

After Andrew shows Becca he’s all bad boy in the bedroom, neither wants to pretend anymore. But when Becca's invited to rejoin her band for a show and Andrew's forced to face his ex, they both wonder if they're ready to take a leap again—or if they're doomed to fail in life and love a second time.






Bonus Goodies:







Excerpt:

I’d discovered hell on Earth, and it was working in a department store on Christmas Eve.

I wasn’t sure I could take even one more minute of it without losing my damn mind. Customers rushing around. Babies crying and children screaming. Clothes strewn about in every place but the racks they belonged on. Cash registers slamming open and closed. Not to mention the music. Good lord, the music. If I heard that sugary sweet, pop rendition of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” one more time, I was seriously going to murder someone.

The second it slowed down and my line emptied out, I made my escape. I ditched my register, grabbed my leather jacket from the employee lounge, and rushed to the store’s exit. But on my way out, my manager’s voice stopped me in my tracks.

“Becca! What do you think you’re doing, missy?” Marcie asked me, hands on her wide hips. She was probably in her mid-fifties and, as far as I could tell, had been working retail her entire life, which probably explained why she was always so damn cranky.

“It’s time for my break.” Way past time, actually. But I was trying to be a good employee and all that, so I’d kept working even though my head had begun pounding something fierce about an hour ago.

She gestured back at the chaos. “Look at the lines. You can’t leave right now!”

I pinched the bridge of my nose, trying to ease the pain. “Give me ten minutes at least. This is the slowest it’s been in hours. Otherwise I’m wringing the neck of the next person who asks me a stupid question, and I sure as shit won’t be any help to you in jail.”

Her lips pursed and her eyes narrowed. “Fine, take ten, but then get your butt back at your register. We still have two more hours before we close and we need everyone available.”

I turned to the door but paused when she said, “Oh and, Becca? Cut the attitude. Don’t think I can’t hire another washed-up college dropout to fill your spot in a second. Y’all are a dime a dozen these days.”

I took a deep breath and closed my eyes. Don’t, I told myself. You need this job, just for a little longer.

It took all my energy to hold back a sharp response, but I managed to get through the sliding glass doors without a word. Little white puffs danced through the gloomy afternoon sky and onto the cars in the parking lot, which I wasn't prepared for—it didn’t often snow this early in Dallas. I shivered and reached instinctively for a cigarette in my jacket pocket, but found only empty gum wrappers. I’d quit a few months ago, but working retail during the holidays was enough to drive anyone to reach for a fix.

I made my way across the lot to my beat-up old Buick, a hand-me-down from my grandmother, and climbed inside. The heater chugged on with a groan, and once it warmed up enough, I pulled out my phone. Brett had texted me earlier and said to call him when I got a chance.

“Hey,” I said when he answered. “What’s up?”

“Hey, doll,” he said, his Texan accent strong. “Listen, about tonight…”

I tensed up, my head pounding again. “Oh, no, don’t you dare bail on me.”

Silence on the other end. That son of a bitch. He was supposed to come to my sister’s house to meet my family for our Christmas Eve dinner. I was counting on him to impress them with his good looks, great job, and wealthy family. He had all the perfect credentials for the “nice guy” they kept telling me I needed to settle down with.

We’d met a few weeks ago in the store—I’d rung up a gift for his sister, and he’d asked me out with that sexy drawl of his. His father was one of those millionaire oil tycoons, and Brett worked for his company doing finances or something. He was blond, blue-eyed, and he’d even sported a cowboy hat when I’d first seen him. He wasn’t my usual type of guy, but I figured that was probably a good thing since I was trying to change and all. Too bad he was boring as hell, and kissing him practically put me to sleep. But whatever. On paper, he was the perfect boyfriend, which was exactly what I needed right now.

“Doll, I don’t think this is going to work out between us,” he said. “You and I… We don’t exactly run in the same crowds.”

My hands tightened around the steering wheel. “What the hell is that supposed to mean?”

“Let’s be honest. We had a fun couple of weeks, but now it’s time to move on. You’re not really long-term material. My family expects me to date someone a little more…”

“A little more what?”

“A little more…sophisticated.”

I was speechless for a second, and then I exploded. “I’m the one who’s not sophisticated? You’re the one breaking up with me on Christmas Eve! You are a bona fide, prime grade asshole, Brett McKinley!”

I hung up before he could answer and slammed my hands against the steering wheel. Dammit! Now what was I going to do?

In the past six months, I’d done everything I could to get my life straightened out. I’d sold my motorcycle and moved back to Dallas to live with my sister and her family. I’d washed all the dye out of my hair, letting it return to a natural blonde, and removed all my piercings. I’d gotten a job and started helping out with the bills as much as I could. I’d even stored my bass guitars out in the garage, where they were collecting dust.

Now I had to convince my parents that I was no longer a complete screw-up—because if I didn’t, they wouldn’t give me the money I needed to go back to college next year. Introducing Brett, my perfect boyfriend, to the rest of my family had been the final part of the equation.

But now he was out of the picture, and I was doomed.