What is your name?
Max Grayson. Nice to meet you.
Who is your best friend?
I have two, actually. Which is surprising since I grew up a loner until the age of sixteen. There’s Gracie Gable whose sad eyes drew me in almost as much as her spunk, and Kevin “Tuck” Tucker who introduced me to the concept of a loving family with the loud and rambunctious Tucker clan.
If you have a family, how do you get along with them?
I don’t have a family. Not a real one, anyway. My grandmother doesn’t count, since she rejected me when I was orphaned in my early teens. The Tuckers fill my need for normalcy, and I’d do anything to protect their friendship.
Do you have a birthmark? Scars?
No birthmarks, but life on the street leaves scars. Especially those that can’t be seen.
When you’re angry, what do you do?
When I was a kid, I pulverized anyone who made me angry, and did a stint in juvy because of it. As an adult, I’ve learned to control my temper, channeling my hard-won street-fighting skills into a lucrative career in the cage fighting game.
If you had to make me a meal right now, without going to the store, what would you find in your refrigerator to feed us?
Growing up on the street, I ate what I could steal. I’m far more particular about what I put in my body these days. Give me five and I’ll whip you up an arugala salad with pecans, apples, and cranberries tossed in a lemon vinaigrette.
What’s the one thing you’re afraid of losing?
Until recently, I would have said the friendship of Gracie and the Tucker clan, but that was before I gave in to my feelings for Jessi, and she made me want things I had convinced myself didn’t exist. Not for me, anyway.
What makes you laugh out loud?
It’s hard to pick one particular thing. As I said, my friends are a rambunctious crowd—and not above a practical joke or two.
Has anyone broken your heart?
Jessi breaks my heart every time I look at her because there is no way I can keep her. She deserves more than a street rat with blood on his hands.
What’s the one thing you want out of life that you don’t think you can have?
I don’t think it, I know I can’t ever have the promise of love and a family of my own that I see in Jessi’s eyes.
In order to protect her, they’ll both have to let their guards down…
Country music’s It Girl Jessi Tucker is fed up with her family’s stifling security measures. The threat of a dangerous stalker has gotten the men in her life—including her football star cousin, Tuck Tucker—monitoring her every move. To get the freedom she yearns for, Jessi hatches a plan to recruit Max Grayson, Tuck’s sexy brawler best friend, to play the role of her new boyfriend. But if her scheme works, will she be forced to hide her true romantic feelings for the sake of her independence? Or will she finally steal the heart of her dream man?
Max has been pining for Jessi for years and would do anything to protect her, but a professional cage fighter with too many skeletons in his closet has no business being with one of America’s sweethearts. Yet while Max does his best to keep Jessi at arm’s length, the Tucker family persuades him to accept her offer.
Max believes he can keep Jessi safe from danger, but can he shelter her from his own dark secrets, the media’s unforgiving spotlight—and a mutual desire that’s harder to resist each day?
Wife, mother, and really young grandmother, Mackenzie lives with her high school sweetheart husband, a neurotic Pomeranian, and a blind cat. She calls Phoenix home because the southwest feeds her soul. Though her friends claim she’s a princess, she disagrees. After all, one can’t raise two rambunctious boys to wonderful men without getting a little dirt under their nails. A lover of the romance genre, her resolve to share her stories with others was sharpened by a bout with breast cancer. Today she is an award-winning author and eight-year survivor, living the dream. Her friends call her Mac. She hopes you will, too.