Charmed by Chase ebook
Charmed by Chase ebook
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- Enemies to Lovers
- City Girl Moves to Small Town
- Man in Uniform: Firefighter
After a scandal, Bex Shepard flees LA and finds herself in the quiet town of Red Maple Falls. Crushing on a local fireman is the last thing on her mind, but Chase Marshall is different from other guys… Can they take a chance on love?
Sparks will fly when a small-town firefighter meets Hollywood's It Girl.
Drowning in scandal, Bex Shepard leaves L.A. behind for the small town of Red Maple Falls. She only plans on hiding out until the media storm blows over, never expecting to fall head over heels for a local fireman.
Chase Marshall's life hasn't always been easy, but he and his siblings have managed to make the best of it. He loves his job, but when he gets sent to rescue another damn cat from another damn tree, his patience is tested. Though he soon realizes the owner of the one-eyed cat isn't as crazy as he suspected,and he can't seem to get enough of her.
When the world Bex is hiding from discovers her and exposes Chase and his family to the spotlight, old secrets will be revealed, making Chase question the life he thought he knew. Will their love be enough to weather the storm? Or will they crash and burn, becoming another Hollywood love story that is over before it even begins?
Intro Into Chapter 1
Intro Into Chapter 1
Bex Shepard, Hollywood’s It Girl, disappears after drowning in scandal.
The headline had been flashing in her mind from the moment she’d read it. There’d been others, but this one in particular summed up her week of bad luck best. Everything that could possibly go wrong did. Each night was another disaster, and each morning, a new headline broadcasted it to the world. She’d barely managed to keep her head above water on the last round of tabloid articles then this one—shrewd in delivery with photos exposing her to anybody who knew how to search the internet.
It was a hellish week, and hiding in her Los Angeles penthouse, surrounded by paparazzi out to capture her next slip up that would no doubt lead to more scandal, wasn’t going to do. She couldn’t leave her building without those bloodsucking cameramen following her every move, from going to her early morning gym session to getting her glorious caffeine fix. Every step she took, they’d document, they’d haul questions at her, and the strength she prided herself on would diminish layer by layer until she broke.
That’s why she had to get as far away from L.A. as possible, and exactly why she was currently driving through the White Mountains of New Hampshire to a small town she’d never heard of.
Red Maple Falls seemed to be the perfect place to hide until the media storm blew over. A five-and-a-half-hour plane ride followed by a two-hour drive from the airport… it had been an excruciatingly long day, but once she reached her destination, she’d be far away from prying eyes, and could rest easy.
“Only a little longer, Willy,” she said to her one-eyed cat. Sprawled out on the seat, he didn’t even respond with a purr. The spoiled king was probably dreaming about food and getting into mischief, which he was notoriously good at. He was probably scheming up something new at that very moment.
She reached over and rubbed his soft white fur, and in response got a pathetic attempt at a tail wag.
Her phone rang, and she ignored it like she’d been doing since she landed. A text flashed on the screen from her best friend Calla Lily, but she wasn’t ready to speak to her. In time, maybe, but right now she had nothing to say.
The phone continued to ring, and she turned the volume of the radio up. She’d surely regret not answering later when her agent, publicist, and manager all finally tracked her down. Though, she hoped it wouldn’t be anytime soon, which was the main reason why she didn’t head back to her childhood home. Her parents didn’t need to be subjected to the spotlight, and truth be told, she didn’t want to be photographed coming and going out of the trailer she grew up in.
She had tried so hard to get her parents out of that park, but they were too damn proud for their own good. They wouldn’t budge, not even when she’d presented them with a deed to a house. They’d thanked her for the gesture, but refused. It had been a swift kick in the gut. All she wanted was for them to have a nice place to retire in, but her daddy still worked three jobs, and her momma—up until six months ago when her chronic pain became too much—worked sixty hours a week at the local diner.
Proud was an understatement. It wasn’t just that, either. She got out of the trailer park, moved to L.A., and became someone. How was she supposed to go back home after everything that had happened in the past week? Everyone in the park had rooted for her, believed in her, and supported her. The shame was too much to bear.
Thank heavens for her jewelry designer, Sarah, who had mentioned she lived in the middle of nowheresville. Sarah had always been a sweetheart, and when Bex had asked if she knew of a place nearby where Bex could stay and hide out for a while, Sarah happily offered up her fiancé’s vacant house.
It was small, Sarah had made sure to mention that more than once, but since Bex had grown up in a trailer, small didn’t bother her. It’d been awhile since she’d stayed anywhere other than her two-story penthouse in Los Angeles, and she was kind of looking forward to living in obscurity for a while—away from the intrusive paparazzi, and from her friends who she was starting to think weren’t really friends at all.
Her GPS had been cutting in and out since she turned onto this road, but it sprang back to life and told her to turn right. She put her blinker on, and once she found Basil Hills Farms, she moved over to Sarah’s directions since the house didn’t exactly have an official address.
Sarah’s fiancé had built the house on his parent’s property, though Sarah said it was far enough away from the main house to maintain her privacy. The backroad was nothing more than a dirt path, rutted and full of unexpected turns.
Willy popped his head up and glared at her with his one bright blue eye.
“Sorry, kitty, I wasn’t expecting to go off-roading. I would have rented an SUV if I had known.” She gripped the steering wheel and wondered if there was a place around where she could make the trade. The black convertible had seemed like a good idea at the airport. Now with her brown hair tossing around her face, and the car dipping in and out of ruts, she wasn’t so sure.
That was Bex’s problem though, everything seemed like a good idea initially, just like taking a nude selfie for her boyfriend at the time to help spice up their love life. How was she supposed to know her files would be hacked two years later, and that picture was now up for grabs to anyone who knew how to use a search engine?
There was a reason she had a body double. Her body was private, something she only shared with a man she loved, and now even that was taken away from her. Not to mention that the American Sweetheart image she portrayed was now nothing but a sham. She never wanted that image; it was thrust upon her by the media, but she embraced it and used it to her advantage. Unfortunately, it set expectations of her high, and with the string of scandals, she looked like nothing more than a lying train wreck.
How was she ever going to rise up from this?
She shook her head, forcing the thoughts away. “No!” she declared, jolting Willy to attention. He gave her a petulant glare before curling back up into a ball. “This isn’t the end of me,” she said, much quieter as not to disturb the temperamental king. “It will pass. Just like Daddy used to say, ‘Rise above the dark clouds and you will find the sunshine.’”
She glanced up for a moment, the sun basking her in late day rays, and smiled for the first time in what felt like forever. She found the sun; now she just had to find a way to keep it shining.
A tiny shed came into view, and Bex slowed down. “That can’t be the house,” she said to herself. She picked up her phone and scrolled to the picture Sarah had sent her, and held it up to the shed. It was identical. It just looked much bigger in the picture.
When Sarah had said tiny, she wasn’t kidding. The thing could be a jungle gym in her penthouse. Bex put the car in park and turned in her seat, taking Willy into her lap. She stroked his fluffy white fur, then picked him up, kissing his nose. “I guess this is home for the next couple of weeks. What do you think Willy?” She turned Willy to face the house, and he gave a weak purr. “I’ll take that as you love it. Let’s go inside, shall we?”
She slipped out of the driver side with Willy in her arms, and headed up the short staircase that led to a teeny porch—if that’s what you would even call it. A rocking chair sat to the right of the red door and a welcome mat sat at her feet, saying, ‘you have reached your destination.’ Bex laughed. Sarah’s fiancé was a popular travel blogger who’d travelled the world before coming back home and settling down. From what Bex knew about Cooper, this mat summed him up perfectly.
The door was unlocked just as Sarah had told her it would be, so Bex let herself and Willy in. She didn’t even need to do a spin to see the place in its entirety. A gray cushioned couch with black throw pillows sat to her left with a TV across from it, a mini fridge, and the tiniest of stoves in a kitchen area. A ladder led up to a loft, where there was a bed and possibly enough room for her to stand. At that moment, she was happy for being only five-foot-two.
“I thought the trailer was small,” she said, placing Willy down on the gray cushion. On the counter was a basket filled with toiletries and other necessities. Sarah was always prepared, and more than that, considerate. Bex admired that about her.
A piece of paper hung on the fridge with a bottle opener magnet. Bex walked over to it. An insignia of a tree with the words ‘Five Leaf Brewery’ adorned the handle of the bottle opener. She took the paper in her hand and smiled as she read.
Hope you found the place okay. Make yourself comfortable, and get settled in. Call me and we can grab a coffee. And don’t worry, you’re safe here. Paparazzi never travel this far north.
P.S. the WiFi password is Cooperisawesome. Don’t ask.
Bex really wanted to meet Cooper. He seemed like he had a great sense of humor—a quality she liked best in people. She stuck the paper back on the fridge with the magnet and pulled out her phone. She typed in the WiFi password and sat down on the couch next to Willy.
She knew she was going to regret what she was about to do, but she couldn’t stop herself. She typed in the website for the most popular gossip blog and waited for it to load. Even with WiFi, the service was ridiculously slow.
The first post appeared, and her stomach twisted in knots. The dreaded pictures stared back at her, her most intimate parts covered with bright pink stars. At least the site had the decency to cover her up. Not exactly a noble quality since they could’ve refused to post the pictures at all, but she would take what she could get at this point.
The headline read just like the one that had been haunting her all day. Hollywood It Girl Disappears Amid Scandal. She skipped over the article, fully aware of what it would say, and scrolled down to the comment section.
She had no idea why she cared what people thought, but she did, and unfortunately the comment section brought out brutal honesty—or as her team liked to tell her, the worst in humanity.
The best thing would be to click out of the article, but the desire to know what people were saying about her was too strong to fight. It was a sick addiction that always left her depleted and broken, but she couldn’t seem to walk away from it.
With a deep breath, she read the first comment.