By: S. C. Stephens


This book would not exist without the support of my fans, so my first thank-you goes to you! And much love goes out to my core readers from the very first place I ever published anything— The group of you cheering me on in the beginning of my hobby-that-turned-into-a-career was what kept me going! The numerous books that followed Thoughtless would not have happened without your daily encouragement.

I want to thank all the authors who have supported and inspired me, especially: K.A. Linde, Nicky Charles, J. Sterling, Rebecca Donovan, Jillian Dodd, C.J. Roberts, Kristen Proby, Tara Sivec, Nicole Williams, Tarryn Fisher, A.L. Jackson, Tina Reber, Laura Dunaway, Katie Ashley, Karina Halle, Christina Lauren, Alice Clayton, Colleen Hoover, Abbi Glines, Jamie McGuire, Tammara Webber, Jessica Park, Emma Chase, Katy Evans, K. Bromberg, Kim Karr, Jessica Sorensen, Jodi Ellen Malpas, Lisa Renee Jones, T. Gephart, Gail McHugh, and many, many more! And I want to thank all the authors who loved my characters enough to ask me if they could invite them into their worlds. It always makes me smile to see the D-Bags roaming throughout other stories.

To my lovely, devoted, and hardworking group of beta readers—THANK YOU!!!!! Your help over the years has been invaluable to me, as has your willingness to fit me into your lives on really short notice! You’re amazing! And I appreciate all of you so much!

I want to thank the bloggers who have passionately shouted their love of my stories: Totally Booked, Maryse’s Book Blog, Flirty and Dirty Book Blog, Tough Critic Book Reviews, The Autumn Review, SubClub Books, Martini Times Romance, Brandee’s Book Endings, Crazies R Us Book Blog, Shh Mom’s Reading, Kayla the Bibliophile, Nose Stuck in a Book, Chicks Controlled by Books, Fictional Men’s Page, Fictional Boyfriends, A Literary Perusal, Sizzling Pages Romance Reviews, My Secret Romance Book Reviews, Madison Says, The Rock Stars of Romance, Literati Literature Lovers, Aestas Book Blog, The Book Bar, Schmexy Girl Book Blog, Angie’s Dreamy Reads, Bookslapped, Three Chicks and Their Books, We Like It Big Book Blog, The Little Black Book Blog, Natasha Is a Book Junkie, Love N. Books, Ana’s Attic Book Blog, Bibliophile Productions, Sammie’s Book Club, and countless more! You are all one of the major reasons why anyone even knows who I am!

I’d like to extend a special thank-you to all the various members of Team Kellan aka #SexyKK, for always being up to the challenge of campaigning Kellan for whatever he’s been nominated for. The craziness is so much fun to watch, and the fan art is so creative and beautiful. Since I can’t Photoshop to save my life, I’m constantly impressed by the artwork you all create. And what can I say…the #BeggingSC campaign worked! Hope you love this book as much as I loved writing it!

Thank you to my incredible, fantastic—patient—superagent, Kristyn Keene of ICM Partners. Your advice, support, and encouragement are greatly appreciated! And a heartfelt thank-you to Beth deGuzman at Forever, for being such a huge supporter of my work, and Megha Parekh, editor extraordinaire, for polishing Thoughtful into the beautiful story it is today. I would also like to thank Lalone Marketing, The Occasionalist, JT Formatting, Debra Stang, Okay Creations, Toski Covey Photography, and Tara Ellis Photography, for all their help in designing and/or promoting me and my books.

On a personal note, I want to thank my family and friends for their endless support and for their patience and understanding of my wacky schedule, especially my children, who sometimes struggle with Mommy being home but unavailable. I love you all very much!

And lastly, I need to thank Kellan Kyle. You may be fictional, but you completely changed my life, and for that, I owe you everything.

Chapter 1

All in a Day’s Work

I’d been playing the guitar since I was six. While I’d been with the D-Bags for a few years now, I’d been in one band or another since high school. My childhood hadn’t been the easiest, and music had been my saving grace. From the first time I’d held my guitar, I’d been hooked. It was the feel of the wood beneath my fingers, smooth, cool. It was the toughness of the strings, the reverberation deep inside the instrument. Even when I had been too young to really understand the impact music would have on my life, playing the guitar had spoken to me. There was something meaningful in that simple instrument that was dying to come out. There was something meaningful inside of me that was dying to come out.