Friday, March 20, 2020

Read an #Excerpt from Drive Me Crazy by Samantha Chase

50365192. sy475 Drive Me Crazy
(RoadTripping #1)
by Samantha Chase
Kindle Edition, 230 pages
Published March 17th 2020 by Chasing Romance, Inc.
One car.
Two strangers.
Infinite possibilities.

Grace Mackie is having the worst day.

Finding out her fiancΓ© only proposed for the sake of a promotion is one thing. But discovering he’d also knocked up his assistant? There’s no coming back from that. Desperate to escape her own destination wedding, she’ll do just about everything to get back home and put the whole mess behind her. Even driving cross-country in a rental car.

Finn Kavanaugh’s day is even worse.

What had started as a brother bonding trip has now left him stranded three thousand miles from home without a car or credit card. Because his brother took off with both. So much for bonding, right? As much as he might want to throttle his brother, he first has to find a way to get home. His only option? A rental car and a cross-country trek.

Neither of them expected their trip would come complete with a surprise passenger. But desperate times and all that.

Warning — This sweet, sexy and laugh out loud funny romance is filled with all the most ridiculous road trip stories you can imagine and sure to drive you crazy with all the feels!


“Why do I have to shop for you? I’ve got my own shopping to do. And we agreed–just minutes ago, mind you–how we were responsible for ourselves. I’m not shopping for you, Grace.”
Her shoulders sagged. “Oh, come on! Seriously? Look at me, Finn! Haven’t I been humiliated enough today? Now you expect me to go inside and shop looking like this?”
“Trust me, Grace, no one is going to judge you in there. If anything, I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t even be in the top ten of weird dressers in there.” He paused and grinned. “I believe there’s an entire website dedicated to the crazy way people dress to shop at Walmart. You’ll be fine.”
She wanted to argue because the thought of facing any more people while wearing her wedding dress was beyond unappealing, but she knew the quickest way to get out of the damn dress was to go inside for herself and shop.
“Fine,” she said with a dramatic sigh. “Let’s get this over with.”
“Thirty minutes,” he stated firmly as they climbed from the truck. “Let’s give ourselves thirty minutes to get in and done so we can get on the road.”
Grace nodded because it all sounded good to her. The sooner they got what they needed and moved on, the happier she’d be.
Once they stepped inside the store and grabbed their own shopping carts, Grace was amazed at how the majority of the people simply glanced at her and kept on walking.
Thank God.
Finn reminded her of the time and walked away. Part of her had hoped they’d shop together because it would make her look a little less pathetic, but…with no other choice, she embraced the spectacle that she was and began shopping.
The basic toiletries were first–shampoo, conditioner, soap, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, and a razor. Her makeup was in her satchel, so she was good there. Thinking quick, she grabbed a brush and a couple of bands for her hair. Next, she walked over to the women’s department and grabbed a couple of pairs of yoga pants, a couple of pairs of jeans, and a handful of t-shirts. Next came tennis shoes, socks, and underwear. The cart was filling up, but she still had a few more things to grab. Two nightshirts and a robe were thrown in before she walked over to the travel section and found a suitcase and travel pillow.
Standing back, she examined everything she had picked and knew it would have to do. If she forgot anything, no doubt she and Finn could stop along the way. Deciding she could go and check out, Grace had gone all of five steps when her stomach started to grumble. In all the wedding preparation hoopla earlier, she hadn’t eaten. The plan had been to enjoy a big dinner after the ceremony, and with everything she had to do to get ready, she had skipped lunch.
“Snacks,” she muttered. “Better grab some snacks.” What followed could best be described as a hungry child left unsupervised in a candy store. The top of her shopping cart was covered in every variety of candy bar topped with several bags of chips, some snack cakes, and a six-pack of soda.  Smiling with satisfaction, she said, “That should do it.”
She spotted Finn on one of the checkout lines and walked over and moved in behind him. He took one glance at her cart and then at her. 
“Is this your passive-aggressive way of saying you’re hungry?” he asked, one dark brow arched.
“Right now, I should be cutting my wedding cake,” she replied sarcastically. “After enjoying a three-course meal that included chateaubriand, grilled scallops, baby asparagus, and a Caesar salad.”
“And…I skipped lunch!” She crossed her arms over her chest and gave him a ‘take that!’ look. 
He stepped closer and examined the contents of her cart and Grace looked around him toward his.
It was way more organized.
And contained a lot less stuff.
“Are you sure you got everything?” she asked. “It doesn’t look like you have enough.”
Shrugging, Finn began unloading his purchases onto the belt. Grace watched and counted three pairs of jeans, a package of t-shirts, a package of socks, a package of boxers, some kit that contained all the male-essential toiletries, a brush, and a duffle bag.
Clearly, Finn was an efficient shopper.
He shrugged. “Don’t need much. This isn’t a vacation; it’s just so I don’t smell while we’re driving.”
Um…okay, she thought. Most men she knew would be a little more eloquent in describing this sort of thing but whatever. Jared would have insisted they go to a mall to shop and then…nope. She was not going to go there. For starters, Jared would never do a road trip, and second, she didn’t want to even think about him right now.
The bastard.
Finn bagged up his stuff and paid while Grace loaded her stuff on the belt. The cashier looked at her and then at Finn and smiled broadly. “Honeymoon off to a rough start?” she asked. “What happened? The airline lose your luggage?”
Grace could feel her cheeks heating and didn’t know how to respond because, really, did this cashier need to be on the receiving end of all the sarcasm, anger, and snark that was just dying to be released?
Before she could do or say anything, Finn leaned in and laughed. “They sure did! It’s been a wild day, and we’re anxious just to have some necessities until the whole mess gets cleared up, aren’t we, honey?”
She looked at him like he was crazy, but when she realized what he was doing, she began to laugh along with him. “You know it, sweetie pie!” She turned to the cashier. “We know this is just a little bump in the road, and it will give us something to laugh about and tell our grandkids one day!”
Soon the cashier was laughing with them. “You two are adorable!” Then she started ringing up Grace’s things. “Although, just a bit of marriage advice for you…don’t pay for things separately! You are one now! Embrace it!”
Grace looked nervously at Finn, who looked away, and she knew he was snickering. She just knew it! Keeping her smile in place, she said, “This will be our last separate purchase, right, baby?”
Grinning, Finn nodded. “Of course, snookums. Now, why don’t we let this lovely lady finish ringing you up so you can get changed and we can get going?”
Just the thought of getting out of the gown was enough to spur Grace into action. After she paid, she pulled a pair of yoga pants, a t-shirt, socks, and sneakers from the bags and walked over to the ladies’ room. Finn took the rest of the purchases and told her he’d meet her at the truck, and that was fine with her.
It didn’t take long, however, for her to realize that this wasn’t going to be a quick-change. It had taken the help of Tilly to get into her gown, and no matter how hard she tried, it was impossible to get out of it alone. She was practically sewn into it. She stepped out of the stall and caught her reflection in the mirror and wanted to cry. There was a time when she’d thought this was her dream gown. The salesgirl at the dress shop had said it was a fairytale fantasy kind of gown and had sold her with her whimsical description. The fitted bodice was adorned with exquisite lace appliques and accented with beads and rhinestones. The sheer off-the-shoulder neckline was exactly what she had wanted, and months of working out at the gym meant she could really show off her arms. 
But the floor-length skirt had sealed the deal for her. The oversized skirt was embellished with delicate handmade flowers. The outer layer was made of tulle, the interlayer was made of silk net, and the lining was made of satin.  The first time she had tried it on, she felt like a princess. And now look at her. She was muddy, the dress was ruined, her makeup was a smeared mess, and she was standing in a Walmart bathroom. Muttering a curse, Grace grabbed her new clothes and stormed out of the ladies’ room and out to the parking lot where she found Finn eating one of her candy bars.
“Hey!” she snapped. “What the hell, Finn? Those are mine!”
With a shrug, he laughed and looked her up and down. “Problem?”
“Yes, there’s a problem! Why wouldn’t there be a problem?” she asked sarcastically. “I can’t get out of this stupid gown. I can’t reach the damn buttons.” Turning her back to him, she motioned to them. “Can you…can you please just help me?”
He popped the last bite of candy into his mouth before reaching out and Grace could feel his knuckles gently caress her skin. Tingles of awareness ran down her spine, and she cursed herself for responding at all at a time like this. 
“These buttons are ridiculously small,” he murmured as he leaned in close, and now she could feel his warm breath along her spine too.
“I’m in hell,” she muttered.
“Excuse me?”
“What? Oh…uh, nothing. Just commenting on how rotten my luck’s been today.”
She felt his hands down near her waist and quickly stepped aside. “I think that should do it. Thanks.” Glancing toward the massive store, Grace considered her options. The rain had stopped, and she was just so damn tired. “Hey, can you just…you know…turn around?”
Finn looked at her like she was crazy. “You’re not going to get changed right here, are you?”
“C’mon, Finn. I don’t want to hike back inside!” she whined. “My feet are killing me, this dress is wide open now in the back and…please? Just stand in front of me. I’ll open the truck door to shield me on one side and you can shield me on the other. I’ll be fast, I swear!”
“Grace, you can’t be serious…”
And that was it.
She’d hit her breaking point. Stepping in close, she poked him in the chest. “Do you think that maybe–just maybe–something can go my way tonight? Isn’t it bad enough that I’m standing here in a Walmart parking lot on what was supposed to be my wedding night? I’m tired, I’m hungry, and all I want is to take this damn dress off! You ate one of my candy bars, so you owe me! Now, are you going to help me or not? Because I’ve got to tell you, Finn, I’m not opposed to stripping down right here and just getting it over with!”
By the time she was done, she was breathless and shaking with rage, and Finn must have realized it because he turned around and gave her some room. “Wait,” he said. Stepping around her, he reached into the space behind the seats and pulled out all the shopping bags. Loading his hands with all of them, he stepped in front of her and turned his back to her. “Extra blockage.”
As crazy as it sounded, it was the nicest thing he could have done for her.
“Thank you,” she said softly, and then quickly stripped off her dress and pulled on her new comfy clothes.

About the Author:
Samantha Chase
New York Times and USA Today Bestseller/contemporary romance writer Samantha Chase released her debut novel, Jordan's Return, in November 2011. Although she waited until she was in her 40's to publish for the first time, writing has been a lifelong passion. Her motivation to take that step was her students: teaching creative writing to elementary age students all the way up through high school and encouraging those students to follow their writing dreams gave Samantha the confidence to take that step as well.
When she's not working on a new story, she spends her time reading contemporary romances, playing way too many games of Scrabble or Solitaire on Facebook and spending time with her husband of 25 years and their two sons in North Carolina.

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