One Good Crash, Coming Soon

From USA TODAY Bestseller Sabrina Stark

Coming Soon to Amazon/Kindle Unlimited

Cassidy McAllister's having a very bad night when a handsome stranger crashes into her life, literally. That stranger is Jax Bishop, who looks awfully dangerous for a guy in a tux.

She's a girl living on the edge. He's a guy who has it all. What happens when their two worlds collide, leaving both of them hurtling toward the edge of forever?

***This new adult contemporary romance is a fun, full-length standalone novel with a guaranteed happily ever after!***

Sneak Peek

Chapter 1

Headlights.

Oh, shit. I stood frozen in the narrow street for what felt like forever. And yet, it was barely a split second. I knew this, because even in my addled state, I wasn't so stupid that I'd just stand around, waiting to be flattened like a pancake in a party dress.

And yet, here I was.

Tires squealed. Someone screamed. The vehicle swerved, missing me, but just barely – passing so close that it ruffled the fabric of my overpriced outfit.

A pounding heartbeat later, the sound of metal hitting metal echoed in the night. I whirled to look.

Oh, no.

I cringed, even as I tried to catch my breath. In the flickering streetlights, I saw an exotic sports car smashed up against a white delivery van – one of three that were parked along the opposite curb of the desolate city street.

The sports car's engine was still running, even if the car itself was now motionless. Its headlights were still on, illuminating the pavement ahead. From somewhere behind the car's dark tinted windows, its stereo was still playing, heavy metal if I wasn't mistaken.

The side facing me – the driver's side – looked absolutely pristine, with no damage whatsoever. But the other side? The side I couldn’t see? Well, I didn't even want to think about it.

With my heart in my throat, I plunged forward, desperate to make sure they were okay.

I'd gotten barely two steps when a hand clamped onto my elbow. I felt a yank and turned to look. My mother was yelling again. "For God's sake, Cassidy, get back in the limo!"

If I weren't so worried, I might've laughed in her face. Dream on, Psycho.

But I didn't laugh, and I didn't say what I was thinking. Worry aside, this was the woman who'd given me life twenty-two years ago. Unfortunately, this was also the woman who'd just suggested a three-way with her latest sugar-daddy.

I shuddered with revulsion, even as she gave my elbow another yank. "Come on!" she urged, as if oblivious to the accident.

But even my mother couldn't be that clueless. We'd caused that collision, plain and simple. And besides, wasn't it against the law to leave the scene of a crash?

I dug in my heels and refused to budge. "No."

My mother was petite and brunette, with stunning cheekbones and full, pouty lips. She looked barely thirty, even if she'd be forty-four next July.

She was dressed to kill in a burgundy chiffon cocktail dress and silver stiletto heels. The dress was stylish and expensive with a short, flared skirt and a neckline that plunged halfway to her navel. She looked good, fabulous actually. But then again, she always did, even now, when she was giving me that look – the one she always gave just before she popped.

But so what? She could pop all she wanted. There was no way on Earth I'd be getting back inside that limo – and not only because of the accident.

After all, I'd fled that thing for a reason.

"Forget it," I told her. "I'm not going anywhere."

Yes, it was a stupid thing to say. After all, I had to go somewhere. We weren't in the best part of town, and in my current outfit, I wouldn't exactly blend. Hell, I'd probably be robbed – or worse – within five minutes, ten tops.

The sad thing was, I had nothing worth stealing, even if my appearance suggested otherwise.

Still, I stiffened my spine and waited for the fireworks.

But for once, my mom didn't pop. Instead, she took a deep, calming breath and summoned up a fake smile. "Oh, come on," she said, "be reasonable."

I gave her a hard look. "Why?"

"Because Dominic's waiting."

Un-freaking-believable. My fingers clenched, and I fought a sudden urge to slap her. "Fuck Dominic."

My mother gasped. "What did you say?"

I gave a bark of laughter. "Oh, please. What, you're shocked by my language?" To be honest, I was a little shocked myself.

Her mouth tightened, but she made no reply.

I forced another laugh. "I mean, hey, that's what I'm supposed to be doing, isn't it? 'Fucking' Dominic?"

At this, my mother had the good grace to look embarrassed, but only for a split second before she lifted her chin and announced, "I suggested no such thing."

Liar.

I knew my mother, probably better than she knew herself. And I knew exactly what she'd been getting at, even if she was now trying to pretend otherwise.

Her hand was still on my elbow. Her fingers tightened, and she gave another yank. Her long nails dug into my skin, and I tried not to flinch.

That's when I heard it – the sound of an unfamiliar male voice, asking, "How's it goin'?"

I stifled a gasp. The way it sounded, the voice had come from directly behind me. I whirled to look, only to stop halfway when the hand on my arm prevented further movement.

Damn it.

With a sound of frustration, I whirled back to my mom and gave her a pleading look, not that it did a lick of good. Her gaze was firmly glued to the stranger.

From the way she was staring, she liked what she saw.

Well, this was just great.

I had no idea what the stranger looked like, but I could make some pretty good guesses. He was definitely tall. That much was obvious by the way my mom was craning her neck to stare up at him. He was also very rich or very good-looking – possibly both. My mom had an eye for life's finer things and even now, was probably cataloguing his clothes and assessing his net worth.

From the gleam in her eyes, it was impressively high.

Her lips curved into a slow, sultry smile. "It's going fabulous," she replied. "How's it going with you?"

Oh, for God's sake.

Again, I tried to look. Again, my mom held firm. Short of making a fool of myself, I didn't know what to do.

But soon, I didn't need to do anything because just then, the guy strode into my line of vision. He stopped within arm's reach, an equal distance between me and my mom. His cool gaze swept over both of us before it strayed to the limo, idling at the curb just a few feet away.

As for my gaze, it remained firmly on him.

He was no Dominic.

And for once, I could totally see why my mom was staring.

The guy was tall and perfectly proportioned with dark, wavy hair and dark, dangerous eyes. He was wearing a black tuxedo of all things. It fit him perfectly, showing off his wide shoulders, trim waist, and long, lean legs.

My silent inspection ended at his shoes. They looked expensive, but what did I know? My own shoes were borrowed, just like the rest of my stupid outfit.

I was still studying his shoes when it occurred to me that he hadn't answered my mom's question. I mimicked her voice in my head. How's it going with you?

I almost scoffed out loud. Seriously?

I was no mind-reader, but it wouldn't be hard to guess the guy's honest answer. Terrible.

The street was utterly deserted, which meant that he must've come from that exotic sports car – the one that had just crashed, thanks to the drama between me and my mom.

As I stared down at his shoes, I braced myself, waiting for him to start yelling, or at the very least, demand my name, or my insurance, or something.

But other than his oddly casual greeting, he'd been eerily silent.

Slowly, I looked up to study his face. Our eyes met for the briefest instant before his gaze drifted downward to my imprisoned elbow. He frowned. "Is there a problem?"

Oh yeah. Tonight, there were so many problems that if I started talking now, I'd still be yammering at sunrise – not that I'd ever subject a stranger to my list of complaints.

So instead, I gave my arm another yank. This time, my mom actually let go. Of course, she did it nice and smooth, as if she hadn't been holding me in a death grip. Her hand drifted to her hair, and she made a show of brushing a long tendril off her nearly bare shoulder. In response to the stranger's question, she practically purred, "No problem here. Just girl talk. You know how it is."

The guy's jaw tightened, and something in his eyes suggested that yes, he did know – and not the way she hoped.

The stranger looked back to me and asked, "You need a ride?"

Before I could even think of answering, my mom spoke up. "Actually, we have plans for tonight, but I'd just love to give you my number."

I couldn’t help but cringe. One thing about my mom, she never wasted an opportunity, not even now, when she was literally on her way to meet someone else – a guy who happened to be a whole lot older and a lot less attractive.

But then again, my mom did like to trade up.

In the back of my mind, I gave it five minutes before she pulled out the old "I'm too tipsy to walk" routine. I so didn't want that to happen. Already, she was like two seconds away from tossing the guy her panties – assuming she was wearing any.

On that disturbing note, I took a deep breath and asked the awful question that I'd been dreading. "Was that your car?" I felt myself swallow. "I mean, the one that just crashed?"

Of course, it had to be. Pricey car, pricey guy, pricey shoes – well, as far as I could tell, anyway.

His gaze locked on mine. "Forget the car."

Across from us, my mom gave a little laugh. "As if we could." She glanced briefly toward the accident. "That is a Lamborghini, right?"

I tensed. Oh, God. Was it? With renewed dread, I turned to look. The car's engine was no longer running, and its stereo had gone utterly silent. As for the headlights, they were still on. But why? To illuminate the street ahead? Or because the crash had messed up something with the controls?

Either way, the car would surely need some serious repairs. I bit my lip. How much would they cost? And who would be paying?

I was still looking at the car when my mom told the guy, "You won't believe this, but that's my absolute dream car."

My stomach clenched. Her dream. My nightmare. I didn't bother pinching myself, because I was definitely awake – unfortunately.

The guy said, "It's not a Lambo."

It wasn't?

Was that good? Or bad?

With my recent luck, the car was probably something more expensive.

I looked back just in time to see my mom reach out and place a flirty hand on the lapel of the guy's tuxedo jacket. She beamed up him and whispered, "Funny, I still love it. Crazy, huh?"

The stranger's gaze shifted to her hand. After a long, cold moment, he replied, "You said it. Not me."

Something in his tone – or maybe in his eyes – made my mom pull back. Still, she managed to say, "So…maybe you'll give me a ride sometime?"

Oh, she wanted a ride, alright.

I spoke up. "Would that be before or after it's repaired?"

Her gaze snapped in my direction. "Of course, I mean after." She tried for a laugh. "Obviously."

I was glaring now. "You do realize we caused that accident." I held her gaze and waited. For what, I didn't know. It's not like she was big on accepting responsibility.

After a long moment, she looked away and mumbled, "I wouldn’t say we."

Well, that was nice.

Regardless, the guy deserved an apology and some sort of explanation. I looked back to him and said, "I'm really sorry about that. I swear, I didn't see you coming, and…um…" I paused. And what?

How could I explain without airing a whole bunch of dirty laundry?

I was still searching for the right thing to say when my mom tried for another laugh. "Oh, stop," she said with a breezy wave of her hand. "That was just a fender-bender. And besides, he already told us to forget the car." She gave the stranger her sexiest smile. "I mean, these things happen, right?"

In a weird, twisted way, my mom was surprisingly correct. These things did happen, every single time I was stupid enough to let her back into my life.

I should've known better.

If I weren't so used to this sort of thing, I might've cried. But I'd dried those years ago, back in Nashville, when I'd decided that I was done with her for good.

And yet, here I was, in Brentwood Beach, Florida – Ground Zero for what my best friend had dubbed Mama Drama. What I called it, I couldn’t say – not without a lot of muttering and cursing.

Still, I tried to look on the bright side. At least I wasn't roadkill. That was something, right?

An electronic beep jolted me back to reality. I looked to see the stranger reach into his pocket and pull out a cell phone. He glanced at the display and made a half-scoff, half-chuckle before he began tapping at the screen, obviously texting back some sort of response.

I watched him in perplexed silence. Everything about him confused the heck out of me. Obviously, he'd been on his way to someplace important. And obviously, I'd just cost him a good chunk of money, not to mention the time and inconvenience.

Wasn't he supposed to be chewing me out or something?

So, why wasn't he?

He was still texting when my mom sidled closer to him and said, "When you're done, hand me your phone. I'll key in my number…" She smiled. "…just in case."

Oh, please. "In case what?" I snapped. "He wants to send someone the bill?"

My mom blinked. "The bill for what?"

"For the car, obviously."

Her brow wrinkled. "But he already said to forget it."

The guy finished texting and shoved the phone back into his pocket. He looked to the limo and said, "Your ride's waiting."

"Oh." My mom's shoulders slumped. "So you want us to leave?"

"No." He looked to my mom and said, "I want you to leave." He flicked his head in my direction. "But she's coming with me."

***

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