A wallflower gets seduction tips from a playboy athlete—until love changes the rules.
Socially awkward Joellen Bixby has a date every Saturday—with her cat, a pint of ice cream, and fantasies of the way-too-handsome Michael Maddox. She’d give anything to win over the unattainable CEO of her firm, but how can she when she blends in so well with her cubicle? The answer may be closer than she thinks.
Cameron McGregor is a cocky, tattooed Scottish rugby captain who just moved in next door. He’s not Jo’s type—at all—but the notorious playboy is offering to teach the wallflower everything he knows about inspiring desire. Though a lot of women have rumpled Cam’s kilt, Jo is special. Far from the ugly duckling she thinks she is, in Cam’s eyes she’s sharp, funny, and effortlessly sexy. Now, thanks to him, Jo is blooming with confidence and has the man of her dreams within reach.
Unfortunately for Cam, he’s just helped to push the woman of his dreams into the arms of another man—and now he’s in the fight of his life to keep this beauty from getting away.
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“Remember to breathe,” he whispers.
“Just kiss me already,” I whisper back, surprised by how much it sounds like a plea.
“Your eyes are still open.”
I immediately shut them.
His soft laugh sends a thrill up my spine. “If only you were that obedient all the time, lass.” He lightly nips my lower lip, a dark, delicious little promise.
My hands. What do I do with my hands? They’re flattened against his chest again, but that seems lame, so I slide them up around his neck…and discover his hair. Good lord. Thick, glossy strands of hair slide like silk between my fingers. It’s longer than any of the men’s at the office, much longer than Michael’s, past the collar of his shirt, dark and waving, exquisitely soft.
As his tongue slowly begins to probe my mouth, I tug on all that gorgeous hair, forgetting I’m not supposed to be enjoying this.
I arch against him, softening, expanding, breathing deeply through my nose as the kiss deepens and begins to burn. I wasn’t kidding when I said he was experienced. He knows exactly what to do, how to get my blood sizzling and my heart hammering and all the pornographic images of him nude and splayed out like the best Christmas gift I’ve ever received pulsing like neon signs inside my head.
My nipples tighten. There’s a new heaviness between my legs, but it’s not him, it’s me, flushed and aching, every pull of his lips sending a spike of heat to that hollow space inside me that I’m becoming acutely aware of, its muted little howls of need.
I break away to check in before I lose myself completely and choke him with my prehensile tongue. “How’m I doing?” I mumble, flushed and out of breath.
His eyes drift open. Hot and dark, they pin me in place. “Jury’s still out,” he says, his voice thick. “Need more evidence.”
His mouth. I will drown in the pleasure of his mouth. I’ll die on this sofa and Mrs. Dinwiddle will find my body, fingers and toes chewed on by the poor starving cat.
The kiss grows decadent. Sinful. I moan, a desperate sound rising from the back of my throat. It has an interesting effect on Cam.
His entire body goes stiff.
He takes my head in both hands, breaks the kiss, and turns his face away. He breathes raggedly for a few moments, his nostrils flared and his jaw like granite. With his fingers pressed into my scalp, he says roughly, “You can’t make noises like that.”
Oh God. I sound like a warthog. A donkey. A trained pig, snuffling through the underbrush in search of truffles. “Okay.”
The humiliation in my voice makes his eyes slash to mine. “It’s not bad. It’s just…distracting.”
He slightly shifts his weight, and things are clarified.
I bite my lip so hard I might have drawn blood. My heart is a hummingbird beating frantically against a cage. I whisper, “You said you wouldn’t get aroused.”
He looks at my mouth like a warlord looking over a kingdom he’s just seized. “I lied.”
A kiss again, dangerous, like standing at the edge of a cliff and looking over, shifting dirt and rocks tumbling beneath your feet. My fingers twist in his hair. His hands move my head, left or right, however he wants it, a throbbing pulse like drumbeats in my ears. I’m so turned on I feel frantic, unstable, like I might break out of my own skin.
Caterpillar becoming butterfly. Chrysalis shed, wings outstretched, wind beneath my belly. Caught on an updraft. Beating, beating, flying free.
He breaks the kiss, suddenly, shatteringly, the separation like breaking glass. Dizzy, I whimper at the loss of his mouth.
“Fuck. Joellen. Fuck.”
He’s panting, his voice a desperate rasp. He radiates heat like a furnace. Even his hands on my head are hot, burning right through my skull.
With his scent in my nose and his heat wrapped around me and his heart pounding against mine, I’m somewhere else. I’m someone else. A gypsy, casting spells. A sloe-eyed singer in a smoky jazz club. A femme fatale in a film noir, all knowing smiles and long legs and a throaty voice with an edge like a purr.
“Don’t stop,” I say in my new voice. “You taste so good.”
He stares right at me, his eyes intensely aglow. Tiger eyes. Wolf eyes. The eyes of a predator about to pounce on his meal.
He growls, “You like the way I taste?”
There’s a challenge in the question. Other than his ragged breathing, he’s so still, every muscle tensed.
I come back to myself abruptly, all at once aware of how far this little experiment has gone, how dangerously close it is to the point of no return, and the cat up on the kitchen table eating the remains of Cam’s dinner from his plate.
Oh shit. My face floods with heat.
I’m not a gypsy. I’m not a femme fatale. I’m an awkward, lonely woman sitting on the lap of the most famous athlete on the planet, making an utter fool of myself.
A former headhunter, J.T. Geissinger is the author of more than a dozen novels in contemporary romance, paranormal romance, and romantic suspense.
She is the recipient of the Prism Award for Best First Book, the Golden Quill Award for Best Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, and is a two-time finalist for the RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America®. Her work has also finaled in the Booksellers’ Best, National Readers’ Choice, and Daphne du Maurier Awards.
Join her Facebook reader’s group, Geissinger’s Gang, to take part in weekly Wine Wednesday live chats and giveaways, find out more information about works in progress, have access to exclusive excerpts and contests, and get advance reader copies of her upcoming releases.
Another romance for the over 40
Happening May 23.
Special thank you to:
Cover Design: Shanoff Designs
Cover Model: Tom Ernsting @tomernsting on IG
I’m forty-one today.
It’s my birthday,
And I’m crying over burnt toast.
That’s not some euphemism.
Literally, I’m sobbing over stupid bread,
so I call a crisis center.
I just need someone to talk to about life.
Only I recognize the smoky voice of the man on the line.
In the name of all things, don’t let it be…
As a former rock star,
I once had it all.
Fame. Fortune. Females.
Except for the one thing I wanted most.
I lost everything. Cancer took the girl.
Now, I fix cars and restore other people’s dreams.
I just want to be somebody’s someone.
And there’s a certain woman with captivating eyes,
I want to fulfill my dreams.
For the love of all things, please let it be her…
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Jesus Christ, she has a dimple in her damn cheek.
I’m a sucker for those.
She shoots me a tentative smile, ass parked on the stoop, back propped against the wooden siding of the house.
It’s obvious that she’s blushing by the way she ducks her head, glancing down at the floor, the soft glow from the two busted lamps illuminate the crown of her head.
The porch lights are busted and rusty, needing their bulbs changed, one flickering—the other just about to burn out. It makes the entire place look like a goddamn Halloween fun-house, casting a weird glow on the girl’s smooth, pale skin.
And her pretty dimple.
Stop staring at it, dipshit.
I cast my glance at her outfit, doing my best to analyze her under the dim lights; she must have been sweaty inside the house; I got a good look at her before convincing her to follow me, but still study her as if seeing her for the first time.
Both of her boots are tucked under her legs, and she sits, cross-legged on the ground. Blows out a frustrated puff of air that translates into a billowing stream of steam.
“So.” She wraps her puffed sleeved arms around her knees, hugging them tight. Shivers. “Now what?”
Her prim ponytail is jaunty, bobbing when she tilts her head to gaze over at me.
“Now I babysit you.”
“Lovely. We can bond.”
I position my large body against the railing, giving it a gentle shake to make sure it’s sturdy before supporting all my weight on it. It’s solid and secure and is going to get real uncomfortable real fucking fast if I have to stand here all night.
The girl raises her brows at me. They appear black in this light; full and arched expertly. “Have you babysat anyone before?”
“No one I managed to keep alive,” I joke. “A few cousins my parents forced me to watch a few times; never would feed them but would occasionally throw out a dog bone so they wouldn’t get hungry.”
She smiles, dimple denting the smooth right side of her face. “Is that what you have planned for me?”
I raise my empty hands. “I’m fresh out of Scooby snacks. Guess we’ll both have to starve.”
“Sorry you have to sit out here.”
“Really?” I sound hopeful. “No one is forcing you to sit out here.”
Her light laugh is quiet. “Fine. I guess I’m not that sorry.” She bites down on her lower lip. “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t enjoying your discomfort—just a little bit.”
Sara Ney has a new fan in me!!! I haven’t read anything by her before, and I could kick myself for waiting this long!!!!
I immediately liked both Scarlett and Rowdy. They both are uniquely different from their friends and sort of do their own thing, not really caring what others think of them. That is why they both find themselves out on the porch on a cold night that will be the beginning of a friendship and so much more.
Scarlett is witty and very funny!!! The things that come out of this girl’s mouth had me laughing so hard at times. Rowdy has met his match with Scarlett. He is such a gentleman, but in the bedroom, the naughty things he says. Holy hotness!!!!
I would be remiss if I left out Rowdy’s mother! I love this woman. She has no filter, and she isn’t afraid to use Rowdy’s romance in the historical romance novels she writes. I loved the dynamic between him and his mother, both endearing and hilarious!
I loved that this book virtually had no drama or angst…no big breakup and makeup. I found that so refreshing and surprising. It was a sweet and sexy book about two people getting to know one another and falling in love!
Never have I ever come across a writer who can use sexual chemistry so well. The sexual tension she creates between Rowdy and Scarlett, using Ney’s own words is “divine torment.” I think I was as happy as Rowdy and Scarlett when they finally decided to “do it.” The bedroom scenes were a perfect balance of steamy and sweet.
I must warn you once you pick this pick up, you won’t be doing anything else until you are finished. Then, you will be sad it’s over. It is a book that will leave you with all sorts of warm and fuzzies.
****Read and Reviewed for Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews****
Sara Ney is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the How to Date a Douchebag series, and is best known for her sexy, laugh-out-loud New Adult romances. Among her favorite vices, she includes: iced latte’s, historical architecture and well-placed sarcasm. She lives colorfully, collects vintage books, art, loves flea markets, and fancies herself British.
She lives with her husband, children, and her ridiculously large dog.
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