Lost in You (Petal, Georgia Series #2)

Lost in You (Petal, Georgia Series #2)

by Lauren Dane

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Overview

Previously published; newly refreshed by author—including bonus chapters!

Welcome back to Petal, Georgia in this spin-off of the Chase Brothers series by Lauren Dane.

Getting lost in the arms of a bad boy never felt so good


Time—and the military— have made Joe Harris a better man than he was when he left Petal, GA ten years ago. Now that he’s back, all is wants is to take care of his dad, get his garage up and running and spend time with his dog. He has no plans for a relationship, especially one with his best friend’s kid sister, no matter how much she tempts him. And boy does she ever.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781488053788
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication date: 05/13/2019
Series: Petal, Georgia Series , #2
Sold by: HARLEQUIN
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 25,851
File size: 747 KB

About the Author

Lauren Dane is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over fifty novels and novellas across several genres. She lives in the Northwest with her patient husband and three wild children.

Visit Lauren on the web at www.laurendane.com

E-mail laurendane@laurendane.com

Twitter: @laurendane

You can write to her at: PO BOX 45175, Seattle, WA 98145

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

What he needed to do was take a ride. He'd been dealing with his father, the move, getting all the stuff in place for the shop, and none of it was fun. Joe was tired of everything. He took a glance over to where Buck had sacked out, his face near his bowl should anyone try to take it. The dog snuffled his annoyance when Joe bent to stroke over his head but groaned a little when he got his ears scratched.

"I'll be back in a while. Don't sleep too much."

Buck opened one eye and then closed it again on a sigh. The sound of Joe's keys would have sent his normally high-energy dog jumping. But he'd been playing with the dog next door while Joe had been painting earlier and had taken several runs with Joe to the shop and out to his parents' place and clearly had had enough.

Joe got that. He wished he could lie near his bowl with a bottle of beer and sack out for hours too.

Joe snorted as he stood, looking out his kitchen window over Main Street. He'd finally finished unpacking the last boxes earlier that morning, and while he wasn't totally moved in, he'd already come home.

Petal had been part of Joe Harris for his entire life. Even when he'd been halfway across the world, he'd never been too far from Petal's streets. So when he backed the motorcycle out of the garage and started it up, he knew exactly where he wanted to ride.

It was a warm day. Sunny and clear, and once he'd gotten a little out of the main part of town, the scent of grass and trees replaced everything else. The hum of the road beneath him soothed nearly as much as the full-throated growl of the bike. He might have turned his life around, but a guy still had to have some fun. The bike was part of that fun. He'd miss his every-Sunday group he had back in Dallas, but he had so much to do now that he'd moved back home, he wasn't sure when he'd be able to find a new group. But he would eventually.

He needed to remind himself of that. Right now things seemed overwhelming, but they'd mellow. He'd find a routine. Get his dad some help. Get his business up and running. Maybe even find some time to date around, or at the very least have sex.

For now, the road had to be enough.

For now, it was.

* * *

"You missed a spot."

Beth sent a look to her brother, William. "Volunteer labor is notoriously imperfect. It's a sad fact of life." She rinsed off the window she'd been washing on his truck.

"You want to borrow the truck, you gotta wash it. That's the deal."

"I did wash it." She turned the hose on him, and he jumped with a hoot, sending kids hurtling into the yard, giggling and soaked. "And now I washed the owner. You want I should break out the soap and get behind your ears?"

He grinned and shook his head. "I'll get even for that."

"One day maybe. But for today, I am queen." She tossed the cloth back into the bucket and bent to turn the hose off, pausing to squirt the kids again.

"Thanks for the truck wash. And for watching the kids last night." Her brother winked before he looked over the yard. His kids were out there running through the sprinkler along with several of her nieces and nephews belonging to their other siblings. She'd had them all at her apartment the night before for a sleepover so their parents could have a date night. She loved each and every one of those munchkins, and it was a lot of fun to have been able to spend so much time with them.

Still, when she left William's she planned to go back to her place and take a long nap.

"No big. We made cookies and had popcorn and watched Mary Poppins a few times over."

"We still pretending you watched that one for the kids?"

"Plenty of sprockets young enough that I can keep that up a while longer." She grinned. Mary Poppins was one of her favorite movies of all time. She hadn't ever seen it as a kid. Her parents weren't much for Disney movies for their kids. That and they never had a VCR or anything like that. She'd discovered it when William's oldest had come along. By that point, years later, she'd seen it so many times it'd become a running joke in the family and she didn't care.

There was something fine and lovely about Mary Poppins with her perfect voice and quest for happiness in whatever task set before her. Plus, dancing penguins.

A low-throated growl of a motor sounded before she caught sight of the motorcycle that pulled up at the curb out front.

William raised his hand to wave, smiling.

"Who is that?"

"Joe Harris," William called back over his shoulder.

Holy sweet baby Jesus.

Beth stood still, unable to move or tear her gaze away from Joe as he swung his leg over the bike to stand. And that was before he took his helmet off and all that golden hair spilled out. Her parts came to life as she swallowed hard, taking in the bulging biceps, straining against the soft-looking blue T-shirt. Tattoos made her wonder if he had any hidden out of sight. Powerful thighs filled out faded and worn jeans. His boots were more work boots than cowboy boots, but they worked too.

Worked, much like the sunglasses hiding eyes she remembered were green. He looked dangerous. And hot. More hot than scary. Definitely hot.

He was the exciting older bad boy her brother used to run around with. In other words, total teenage-girl fantasy fodder.

"Hey, Joe Harris, what brings you here today?" William approached his friend and Beth had to rush to catch up.

She was glad she did because Joe smiled at William, showing perfect white teeth.

"Needed to get out for a ride. Thought I'd stop by when I came back through town to say hey."

He looked to Beth and she licked her lips nervously. And that was before he slid his sunglasses down, exposing those intense eyes as he took her in.

"Welcome back to Petal, Joe." She managed to talk to him like she'd talk to anyone else. Mainly because she was trying to pretend she wasn't imagining him naked and bringing her cake.

Ha. She was totally imagining him naked bringing her cake.

"Beth?" She didn't miss the way his gaze lingered on her breasts where her shirt clung. It wasn't white so she missed giving off the wet T-shirt thing. And good, 'cause kids and all, and because she didn't do wet T-shirt contests. But she was glad he found them nice enough to look at a while.

"Yep."

He got that look. The one guys got when they liked what they saw. Then his gaze darted to William, and the look changed to oh yeah, that's my friend's little sister. Damn. She was clearly going to have to knock him out of that box.

"Nice to see you. Last time I did, you were still in high school, I think."

She was sure he never even noticed her as a person back then. "Probably."

He really looked good. Like, really, really.

But before she could get warmed up enough to flirt, he turned his attention back to her brother and she hid her frown.

"Come on in. I'm planning on some time on the porch. Gotta keep an eye on all these sprouts." William had pretty much forgotten about her now that his friend had arrived. Boys.

"I'm gonna run. I have an appointment in a while with my bed and a nap." She tiptoed up and hugged her brother, who kissed her forehead when she stepped back.

"Thanks again for watching the kids."

"Anytime." She looked to Joe again. "See you around town, Joe." And she totally would. Because now it would be her mission.

The kids all came running, laughing and squealing to give her hugs and kisses, and she told them she'd see them the next day at her sister Tate's house.

She didn't even try to pretend she didn't throw some sway into her walk when she headed to her car.

CHAPTER 2

Beth looked through her closet, trying to decide what exactly to wear that day. Since Joe had been in town two weeks — and because she'd failed to bump into him all those times she'd tried to — it was time to just go right over and say hello.

It was neighborly after all. Really, as a Southern woman it was her duty.

"Wear something red. Red is a great color on you. It's a confident color." Her best friend, Lily, riffled through her clothes and pulled out a dress she hadn't worn in ages. "This."

It was simple enough. Hit her right above the knee. A boat neck collar, which always suited her face. Sleeveless, which was good because it was August in Georgia and she didn't want to look any more sweaty than she had to when she stopped by Joe's garage to deliver her welcome basket of goodies.

And check him out a little closer.

"I can't believe I missed it when he came over to William's place." Lily shook her head.

"You did miss an eyeful. When he rode up on that motorcycle, I nearly choked on my tongue." Beth bent, looking for the right shoes. Heels were sexy, but she was on her feet a lot at work so she needed low ones. "I suppose someone could say that was a welcome back." She frowned a moment.

Lily snorted. "That wasn't a welcome back. You were at your brother's house when he came over. Not the same. He's a friend of the family and back in town. You'd still take him something because that's what you do. If he's gay, married or otherwise unobtainable, then you say hey welcome back and go to work. No harm, no foul."

"Thank you for enabling me." She winked.

"It's my sacred duty as your best friend to enable you." Lily smoothed over Beth's hair. "You have such gorgeous hair. Have Tate do something to it. A bun, some braided thingy, whatever. Then he can see your neck. You have a great neck."

Beth ran a hand down the front of the dress, looking at herself critically. "He'd probably rather look at my boobs. Boys like those."

"I wouldn't know anything about that. God, you're such a floozy."

They both dissolved into laughter.

"I've got to run in a minute. I brought the invitation to the wedding so don't forget to take it. Nathan is totally on to us both. He gave me that look of his when I was getting ready to come over here earlier."

"He's good at that look. Learned it from Tate, who is the master. But none of those boys is the boss of me so he'll have to suck it up. Still, he'll be a good daddy someday." Beth looked herself over in the mirror. She'd come a long way from that girl who had to make do with hand-me-downs and whatever Tate could find for them at garage sales and thrift stores. She'd made something out of herself. She was a business owner. She had a nice apartment. Her fridge and pantry had food, and the last time she hid from a drunken argument was years before, the last time she'd gone to her parents' place.

Beth Murphy had grown up and left all that crap firmly in her past.

"You look so cute in that dress."

"Nice call."

Lily winked. "Always eager to help you snag a man. Since you're so homely and all."

"It's a cross I have to bear. Can't complain. I could be as ugly as you."

Lily rolled her eyes. "Ha. Okay, gotta go. I'm meeting with the principal in a while to talk about what's going on at home for Chris this school year."

Lily was raising her teenage brother, Chris, who'd had a pretty difficult time after his parents had split and their mother had descended into substance abuse. But Lily had made a huge difference in the boy's life and that surly kid who was likely to drop out of school was now back on track.

"Okay. Talk to you later?"

"I'll call you this afternoon or maybe I'll come by so I can hear about what happens with Joe."

Lily hugged her and was gone. Beth took one last look, dabbed her lipstick and grabbed the giant basket of treats her older sister Tate had baked, tucked the invitation inside and headed off as well.

* * *

Tate looked up as Beth stopped by the shop.

"I just wanted to drop off my junk and have you do my hair before I take the basket over. You have time?"

Her oldest sister smiled and motioned for Beth to sit. "You know how much I love it when you let me do your hair."

This was true. Tate had brushed her hair so much when they were growing up that Beth often considered it like a hug or a snuggle with her sister.

She met Tate's gaze in the mirror. "Up you think?"

Tate brushed it out and thought. "Hm. How about braided away from your face here, but loose in the back? You have gorgeous hair so you should use it."

"Whatever you say. You're the artist."

"If only you were this easygoing about everything."

"If I was I'd be boring."

Tate made a little hmpf sound that always made Beth want to laugh, but she fell under the spell of having someone brush, pin and curl to get her all prettified.

Tate worked quickly and efficiently, braiding, twisting and securing. "So you know, William is going to break something internal when he finds out you've set your cap for Joe. Joe's reputation is less than stellar."

"Thank God no one judges what you were like at eighteen when it's over ten years later and your life has changed." She arched a brow at her sister, who just snorted and kept working.

Growing up in a household like theirs had conditioned them in some negative ways. But they were ways Beth was more than aware of. While she appreciated Tate's concern, Beth wasn't their mother.

"Look, if he's like Dad, I'll walk away. You know that. I like 'em bad, with a soft, gooey filling. I don't want a lazy drunken lout who'll knock me around when he gets bored. And he came back to help out his family. Jerks don't do that. You know his parents don't have any money or anything he'd be after. William says Joe's changed a lot since he left Petal. I'm going to see for myself."

Tate nodded, but said nothing further for a while until she stepped back, giving Beth's hair a quick spray.

"Damn you're pretty. Pulling your hair back only highlights that."

Beth smoothed a hand over her hair with a smile. Another fucked-up thing from their childhood. Tate was clearly not their father's child, a product of one of their mother's multiple affairs. And their father had never let Tate forget it. He'd spent decades trying to crush Tate into nothing. He'd used the fact that she was short to her siblings' tall, curvy to their lean, blonde to their brunette to try to hurt her. Not that their mother did a thing to stop it. But Tate had never let it break her, and she'd never made her siblings feel bad about it either.

Probably helped that Tate had herself a man so gorgeous he could walk into any magazine ad selling cologne in a heartbeat. And that the man practically worshipped her and their babies.

"Hopefully it'll work."

"If he can resist you in that red dress looking the way you do and carrying a big basket of cookies and brownies, he's not worthy. He might even be kind of slow. Which, you know, given the way he lived all those years ago, he might be."

Beth laughed then. He'd been quite the partier in those days.

"He sure looked like he was living better. Damn. He's ..." Beth fanned her face. "He's ridiculous, that's what he is. Tall. At least six and a half feet tall. And muscles too."

Tate waggled her brows. "Hurry on up then and get over there. I want a complete recap when you're finished."

Beth took a deep breath, grabbed the basket and headed out. His auto repair shop was only a few blocks down, and there was no time like the present.

* * *

Joe Harris had just about finished with the carburetor he'd been working on most of the morning when he heard the click of footsteps and came out to see who it was.

The jingle of Buck's collar alerted Joe he wasn't the only one attracted by the sound. He grinned down at his dog before glancing back toward the doorway.

He froze at the sight. Beth Murphy looking better than a body had a right to. He'd thought she'd been pretty amazing the first time he'd seen her a few weekends back. She'd worn cutoff shorts and a T-shirt then, but this Beth was gussied up in a pretty red dress, her hair shiny and reaching nearly to her waist.

He wondered what it would feel like against his bare skin and then mentally slapped himself.

"Hi, Joe!" She thrust a giant basket at him. "I just wanted to stop in and welcome you back to Petal. Officially I mean." She shrugged and smiled prettily.

He took the basket and put it on the counter. "Beth Murphy, look at you, girl."

She looked down at herself and back to him, a sparkle in her eye that he liked immensely.

"I'd give you a hug but —" She indicated his overalls, covered with grease and dust from crawling around under the truck he'd been working on.

"Sorry. Been a busy morning."

Buck barked a few times, not a man to take being ignored lightly and she knelt. "Why hello there. Aren't you handsome? I'm Beth. Who are you?"

Buck barked again, dancing around her, his tongue lolling as he checked her out. She laughed, scratching behind his ears.

"That's Buck. Don't get on her dress."

Buck gave Joe a look that told him the dog had no intention of being on the outs with the woman.

"Did you come to work with him to keep him out of trouble?"

Buck barked again a few times, and laughing, Beth gave him one last scratch and stood. "Sounds like that's exactly what he's doing."

"He likes to keep me company. I found him at a garage so he's at home in one."

"Someone abandoned him?"

Joe liked the outrage on her face.

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "Lost in You"
by .
Copyright © 2019 Lauren Dane.
Excerpted by permission of Harlequin Enterprises Limited.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Lost in You,
A Visit to Petal: Part Two,
Acknowledgments,
About the Author,
Coming Soon from Lauren Dane,

Customer Reviews

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Lost in You 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 56 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a great book. Beth is a great leading lady. She knows what she wants and goes for it. I love the family banter as well. When I read Lauren Dane's books it is like visiting with family. Can't wait to return to Petal!
Mimmi More than 1 year ago
I LOVE how Lauren Dane writes family and friends. It's one of the things I like best about her writing, and getting to drop in on one of my favorite fictional towns ~ Petal, Georgia ~ was just pure pleasure! When Beth sees Joe again, she's not only instantly attracted, she's determined. He's going to HER'S ~ best friends with her brother or not. She's just got to convince Joe. And she goes about it full steam ahead ~ fully aware of herself, and how lucky Joe will be to have her. Don't let that come across as conceit or arrogance ~ I LOVED Beth, and that she knew herself and her self WORTH so well. She lived a life of hell for many years, and because, or in spite of that, she's so well adjusted and comfortable with who she is as a person. I so enjoyed reading about a heroine like this ~ she's strong, self assured and just enjoys life all around. No angst, or self pity ~ and when she realized Joe has so much going on in his life (which is why he came back to Petal ) she just tries to be there for him. This was a short story, but I don't feel shorted in any way! I got to visit and catch up with some of my favorite Petal couples, got an awesome love story, and enough of a teaser of MORE Petal to come that I'm totally satisfied!! GREAT READ!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Petal is the type of town you'd envision from the 50's - idyllic. It's filled with real, flawed, gifted people. If you love Lauren Dane's writing it's a must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just loved this book. I could not put it down. Can not wait for the next one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Book two was fantastic and way better thsn one.
PennieM 10 months ago
This was such a fun read and I had a sense I had read it before but wasn't sure until I went to post my review. One thing for certain, this stood the test of time and refresh! Joe Harris has come back to town and his top priority is his family and he doesn't have time for a relationship but that does not stop Beth Murphy from setting her sights on him. Beth has decided she wants Joe and goes about welcoming him with all her good Southern sweetness and determined she is to get his attention. It was fun watching these two find their way. Joe did not stand a chance! This was full of family, Southern, heat, and heartache but it was definitely one great story. I definitely recommend this one! **Received this ARC for review from the publisher via NetGalley**
Evampire9 11 months ago
Ten years ago Joe Harris left Petal, Georgia for the military and now he’s a better man that he was when he left. All he wants is to get his garage up and running, take care of his dad and spend time with his dog. But even though he has no plans for a relationship, Joe finds himself being tempted by his best friend’s little sister. This emotionally gripping story grabs readers by the heart and refuses to let go. The romance is full of electrical chemistry and wonderful passionate moments full of depth so that readers really get to know these strong, convincing characters and the emotional turmoil that takes place through this story gets ensures that readers really get the nitty gritty details of everything that Joe is going through with his father and his feelings about entering into a relationship. The small town and the closeness of the families as they come together are really inspiring and make this romance a heartwarming story that readers can really sink their teeth into. This author has a knack for filling her stories with all the emotions of life so that her stories are realistic and comes to life. This romance also has a bonus story at the end that gives readers a fun and happy experience as the couples of Petal, Georgia experience a celebratory night out.
Bette313 11 months ago
Awesome read. This is a reissue of a previously published book and the author did a nice job of updating it while maintaining the original story. It's full of humor, fun, and lots of hot sexy times. Beth is strong, sassy, and determined. Once she makes up her mind that she wants Joe he doesn't stand a chance. She doesn't care how many this is a bad idea excuses he has or how much he protests. I love these characters and the quirky town of Petal. Can't wait for more and I definitely recommend this one.
Lori-Gonzo 11 months ago
I have yet to read a book by Lauren Dane that I did not love. And this one is no exception. I loved the chemistry between Joe and Beth. I loved how Beth went after what she wanted, no holds barred, full force, in a sexy way that left it hard for Joe to resist. He really stood no chance. But he wanted her as much. I loved how she showed him how much she wanted him, flaws and all, and how he finally accepted it, treasuring Beth even more. Their story was full of heat, love, laughter, and family. I have loved the Chase families and now the Murphy ones. It was simply perfect getting reacquainted with these characters, reading and feeling their camaraderie, like a feel good television show you really love. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher through Netgalley.
Lori-Gonzo 11 months ago
I have yet to read a book by Lauren Dane that I did not love. And this one is no exception. I loved the chemistry between Joe and Beth. I loved how Beth went after what she wanted, no holds barred, full force, in a sexy way that left it hard for Joe to resist. He really stood no chance. But he wanted her as much. I loved how she showed him how much she wanted him, flaws and all, and how he finally accepted it, treasuring Beth even more. Their story was full of heat, love, laughter, and family. I have loved the Chase families and now the Murphy ones. It was simply perfect getting reacquainted with these characters, reading and feeling their camaraderie, like a feel good television show you really love. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher through Netgalley.
ytcruz More than 1 year ago
This story centers around Joe Harris and Beth Murphy. Joe has returned home after 10 years determined to right some wrongs from his youth as well as starting a new life in Petal, GA. He also has come home to help his Mom who is dealing with his father’s mental health. Beth is now grown up and though the attraction is there, she is his friend’s kid sister. Beth is determined to pursue him, but he doesn’t want to cross the line. Besides , he feels he’s not good enough for her , nor does he want to burden her with his family’s problems. As much as I enjoyed Joe’s character, Beth just didn’t do it for me. The plot was a tad slow and I felt it was repetitive. I suspect that since I had not read the Chase Brothers series, I was also at a disadvantage. All that said, I appreciated the fact that the author brought to our attention issues that affect not only our society, but the children in the homes of parents suffering from mental health , and alcoholism. A reality that later in life , will affect these children when they become adults. I was entrusted a copy of this book by Netgalley and Carina Press. The opinions expressed are solely my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love all the Petal/Chase/Murphy books and short stories They reflect a small town state of mind and values. I love Beth Murphy and her determination. N
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
415 pages. Another great book in the Petal Series.
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dutcheja More than 1 year ago
I just love Lauren Dane's series books. She is an extremely talented author that never fails to thrill me. This book is part of the Petals, GA series that followed the Chase Brothers series. I can't wait for the next installment and I loved this books so much I am going to go back and reread the series from book 1. I truly didn't want this book to end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ci7 More than 1 year ago
Awesome read, would read it again. Loved the whole series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love a strong woman who knows what she wants like Beth. Joe on the other hand was a little too angst-y for a man. Good story, quick read but it was missing something.... LOVETOREAD
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an enjoyable read. I like coming back and seeing old friends and getting to know others better. I am looking forward to the next!
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