Brady Calhoun is a star football player for the Tampa Bay Rough Riders. He may be a ladies man but he’s always stayed out of trouble…until trouble finds him and he becomes everyone’s scandal sheet target. Amy Lavalle is a star writer for Today doing articles on high profile people. She was a hot commodity in the business…until the magazine got a new owner and he wanted her to toss out her scruples. For both of them, the best thing is to head out of town to someplace no one will find them. What a coincidence they end up in side by side cottages at a seaside Florida town. Neither is looking for a hookup but they didn’t count on the mind-blowing electricity crackling between them. And they only know each other’s first names! When a sprained ankle has them setting up housekeeping together, the flame burns even hotter. Until Brody’s agent arrives for a visit, spots Amy as a reporter, and is convinced she hunted Brady down for a story. Will Brady and Amy find a way to get past this and hold onto each other?
He had no one to blame for his situation. He had to face that fact. He’d enjoyed the high life, enjoyed women, and had few if any problems. If Marlo had exhibited any signs of her insanity, his ego had blinded him to it. He was left with his life in turmoil and no choice except to hide out like some criminal.
Last night, in the dark, he had not been able to take note of his surroundings. Now he got a better view of the cottages on the short street as he passed them. Colorful, with blooming bushes of all kinds surrounding them. At the end of the street was a park, dotted with benches and tables and more tropical shrubs. And, beyond it, the beach, and the waters of San Carlos Bay.
Brady jogged around the park twice before heading for the beach. By the time he finished, he’d clocked five miles and was ready for his coffee. When he hit the sidewalk of Pelican Lane, he slowed down, taking in more of the environment.
Which was how he spotted the woman carrying a trash bag down the stairs of one of the cottages. And stopped to take a look at her. And about swallowed his tongue. Cutoff shorts and a very baggy T-shirt should have hidden most of her assets. Not a glamorous outfit at all. But the very nature of them made her look all the sexier. Her golden hair was pulled up in a ponytail and, when she bent over, her shirt hiked up so he could see an ass his hands itched to cup.
He could almost hear Steve’s voice in his ear. And the man would be right. He was already in so much hot water because of Psycho Marlo he didn’t need to buy more of it. He’d made up his mind he was off women for the duration. It was the smart thing to do.
But oh, man. He hoped he wasn’t drooling as he took in her gorgeous thighs and the graceful movements of her arms. The lush curve of her hips and the smooth, lightly tanned skin. If she’d bend over a tiny bit more, her T-shirt would fall forward and he could—
He could get himself in a bigger batch of trouble here. But holy shit! His cock sure wasn’t paying much attention to the orders he was issuing. It was almost poking its way out of his shorts. He bent over, eyes on the ground and hands on thighs as he pretended to be dragging in air. He hoped his damn body would get the message to stand down. But then he realized she was standing right in front of him and he was staring at slender ankles and two graceful feet whose toenails were painted a bright pink. With sexy sparkles on them.
“Are you okay?”
He looked up at the sound of a musical voice that played havoc with his senses. And found himself staring at eyes as blue as the water of the bay and a straight nose sprinkled with a light dusting of freckles. God. Freckles. One of his weaknesses. Not to mention a mouth with full lips he wanted to lick and nibble. Holy shit, he was in a load of trouble.
He managed to straighten himself up, hoping his body had calmed down a little. “Uh, yeah. Guess I’m a little winded.”
She frowned. “Why don’t you come sit down on my stairs for a minute? I’ll get you a glass of water. You look like you could use it.”
Yeah. Water. Stupid idiot that he was, he’d run out of the house, forgetting to take a bottle of water with him. If he had half a brain, he’d say no thank you and go on to his own place. Apparently, he didn’t even because he heard himself say, “Thanks. That would be great.”
She took his arm like he was some kind of enfeebled idiot, guiding him to the flight of stairs leading up to the door of her cottage. At the contact he froze for a moment, electricity crackling in the air around them. She felt it, too. He knew it by the slight widening of her eyes and the way she yanked her hand back. He wanted to tell her to touch him again, maybe all over, but he kept hearing Steve’s voice in his head.
“Stay away from women.”
Desiree Holt has produced more than two hundred titles in nearly every subgenre of romance fiction. She has won the EPIC Award for action/adventure, the Authors After Dark Award for Author of he Year, The Holt Medallion and been featured on CBS Sunday Morning and in The (London) Daily Mail, The Daily Beast, The Village Voice, US News and World Report and The Huffington Post, to name a few. Her stories are enriched by her personal experiences, her characters by the people she meets. After fifteen ears in the great state of Texas she relocated back to Florida to be closer to members of her family and a large collection of friends. Her favorite pastimes are watching football, reading, and researching her stories.
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