Currently viewing the category: "May-December"

You Taste So Sweet by Erin M. Leaf

You Taste So Sweet

by Erin M. Leaf

Evernight Publishing

eBook ISBN: 9781771306973

When an exploding meteor infects the world with a zombie virus, Lark knows survival will be tough. Her roommate and best friend insists that her father and his friend will come and save them, but Lark isn’t sure if she wants to put her life into the hands of strangers.

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Love & Language by Cheryl Dragon

Love & Language

Masters Wanted, Book 2
by Cheryl Dragon

Resplendence Publishing

eBook ISBN: 978-1-60735-649-3

Thirty-something English professor Jane Wendell admits her need for a Dom on the Masters Wanted blog. She also needs an in depth language tutor to fully enjoy her first European vacation during the coming summer break.

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Snake by Stephanie Burke

Snake

Angel Falls, Book 3
by Stephanie Burke

Changeling Press

eBook ISBN: 06244-02006

Snake is old. She’s lived a good, long life and is comfortable doing tattoos and body modifications in her shop. But when young Ethan comes to her, he opens more than memories to her past. He unleashes a love she could never have anticipated. A May/December relationship will never work, but with a little magic and the secrets held in the town of Angel Falls, maybe together they can give love a second chance.

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Hot Winter Kiss by JoAnne Kenrick

Hot Winter Kiss

by JoAnne Kenrick

Decadent Publishing

eBook ISBN: 9781613334058

Hot winter kisses to warm broken hearts….

Sick of tending to everyone else’s needs around the holidays, divorced barmaid and granny Sandra ferries it from London to Belfast. All she wants for Christmas is some peace with a romance story in front of a roaring fire in a remote Irish castle. What she gets is a most unexpected Christmas present from her friends at Bell’s—A 1Night Stand with a young Irishman.

Can she hack it in the real world of romance, or are life’s complications and treacherous snowstorms best left to the pages of a book?

Newly widowed Ardan Draighean owns Ballygalley castle. Once run as a hotel with his late wife, the stone building now serves as a home for him and his son. After hearing about Madame Eve’s matchmaking skills, he contacts her in search of the perfect match. Although much older than him—by fifteen years—Sandra is his ideal woman. Be damned if he’ll let a good story get in the way of his happy ever after with her.

Hot winter kisses are all this couple needs to stay warm this Christmas, but will the heat stay long after the magical season of mistletoe has finished?

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Blind Faith by Brannan Black

Blind Faith

Wolfman Tales , Book 3
by Brannan Black

Changeling Press

eBook BIN: 06169-01981

Life among humans. Not something my two wolfmen ever expected to experience again. The women at the compound are just as surprised to find themselves sharing their sanctuary with the very wolfmen they’re trying to protect themselves from. Learning to trust each other won’t be easy but I have faith, in my wolfmen and our love. Love conquers all. Right? If only it were that easy.

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Who? by Zoey Daniels

Who?

Wild Ones, Book 4
by Zoey Daniels

Changeling Press

eBook BIN: 06130-01968

Rosemary, unofficial guardian of Leman, has waited — patiently, and not so patiently — in fierce hope of one day drawing the attention of the agri-moon’s strange and wonderful animals who become men. But after her fortieth birthday, she’s begun to doubt her dreams, and let her hopes drift away.

Until, that is, she finds herself receiving an unexpected visitor. The first, in fact, of three.

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Room to Love (Collection) by Lena Austin

Room to Love (Collection)
by Lena Austin

Changeling Press

eBook ISBN: 06476-02082

When a drunk driver leaves the beautiful and talented Claudia Peters, hairdresser to the stars, deprived of both her lucrative profession and her sense of self-worth, her husband Andre fears the worst. Claudia’s sinking into a vortex of depression.

Then Dante appears. The handsome physical therapist needs a place to live — and Andre and Claudia need his combination of tough love and Machiavellian cajolery to revive their spirits. But Dante wants more than just a job — he’s falling in love — with both of them!

Is there room in Andre’s heart for more than just Claudia? Dante will have to convince them both. Challenge accepted.

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Purr by Zoey Daniels

Purr
Wild Ones, Book 3
by Zoey Daniels

Changeling Press

eBook BIN: 05951-01909

Delia’s had more than her share of bad luck, but every time, she’s found the toughness to see herself through the bad times. She’s not sure she believes in the stories about Leman’s beasts, animals who can take on man shape. But they believe in her. These two great cats may be young, but they plan to show their human Cougar how much they appreciate what they see.

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Cassandra by Starlight
Starlight, Book 1
by Susan Mac Nicol

Boroughs Publishing Group

eBook ISBN: 978-1-938876-01-1

A London woman is swept off her feet into the glamorous yet surprisingly dangerous world of an up-and-coming star of stage and screen.

Note: Prologue omitted.

Chapter One

The day the sky fell changed Cassie Wallace’s world for ever. She woke up that morning with the expectation that this day would be like any other. She also had a slight hangover from the abundance of wine she’d drunk the night before to try and get through a blind date organised by her work colleague, Sarah.
The evening had been a total disaster. Not only had the man been an absolute misogynist, one of the cardinal male sins on Cassie’s unwritten list, he’d also had a habit of leering at her chest every time he spoke as if he thought it might talk back to him.
She’d smiled politely whilst thinking she’d like to take his smarmy public school tie and shove it down his throat. When she’d finally left at around eleven, she hadn’t been able to get away fast enough.
She stood in her bedroom, checking her outfit in the mirror and sighed.
Was it too much to ask to find a decent man just to share things with and have a good time? They all seemed to be absolute idiots and in the old but true cliché, only interested in one thing.
Cassie had been out on a few dates in the past few months but somehow she never made it past the first one. A previous date gone wrong had told her she was too independent and perhaps a little bit ‘emotionally challenged, not affectionate enough’ for him.
She’d shrugged this off but it had hurt her deep down especially as she knew it to be true.
My bloody expectations aren’t even that high, she thought in exasperation as she fastened her necklace. It’s not as if I’m such a great bloody catch myself! Middle aged and not really all that exciting. I’ll take what I can get within reason.
Cassie smoothed her skirt down over her hips and picked up her handbag.
When she left the house at six thirty, it was a typical dark English winter morning. Forty five minutes later she was sitting in the traffic on the motorway, listening to the news bulletin.
“Bloody idiot.” she mumbled in between bites of a banana that she had hastily grabbed on her way out. “He wouldn’t know a bloody budget if his life depended on it. Silly sod has got no idea how to run a bloody country.”
She crept forward in her Honda Jazz at about 2 miles an hour, watching the traffic in front which seemed to have ground to a halt for no reason at all.
I really need to try and find something closer to home, she thought, not for the first time. This travelling lark is really starting to piss me off. Four hours a day in traffic is not my idea of time well spent.
Cassie wasn’t sure what other quality pastimes she’d be engaging in if she did have more free time, given her current ‘lack of male’ situation but she supposed she’d find something. Join a book club perhaps, or find more time to get to the gym. She might even start writing that novel she’d always planned on doing.
Her fingers impatiently drummed on the steering wheel in time to a melody on the radio. In response to another bulletin by the newscaster regarding the level of binge drinking in the county, she burst into a further diatribe. “For God’s sake, let the bloody idiots lay where they fall. If they had any brains they wouldn’t let it get that far so they needed an ambulance to take them to A and E. It’s my taxpaying money that’s looking after these morons!”
She glanced at the clock on the display. Seven thirty am. She’d be lucky to make it in on time today.
The story of my life. she thought resignedly. Slow death by traffic jam.
The traffic still seemed to show no signs of moving any time soon. She switched off the engine and took out her Kindle. She may as well catch up on her reading whilst she had nothing better to do.
Her concentration span was low as she tried to read. Last night’s ‘date’ kept replaying itself in random snippets of conversation. Cassie could still hear Ron’s supercilious comment about women needing to have a man in their lives to keep them focused on what was important –the man and the provision of all his needs.
She’d almost choked on her wine when she’d heard this and only just stopped herself retorting sarcastically that as a man’s needs were so simple, the only ‘provision’ they really needed was a soft toy shaped like a pair of boobs to play with and talk at. As she had very little money in her purse other than her taxi fare home, she’d stopped herself.
After the hell she’d been through sitting and listening to Ron’s drivel, the least she’d make him do was pay for dinner. Cassie had made a decision after last night. She’d stay home with her own company for the near future, with a bottle of wine and a couple of decent movies. She’d rather drool over a virtual Mark Harmon in NCIS than a real life douche bag like the Ronalds of his world. As for sex- well, that was what vibrators were made for.
It was nearly ten minutes later before the car in front of her re-started its engine and she followed suit and sped up to about twenty miles an hour as the queue took flight. She settled in as got it back up to the more respectable speed of fifty miles an hour.
As she drove she glanced idly up at the foot bridges to see the people strolling with dogs, on bicycles and footing it on their way to work.
At the bridge just ahead she saw a solitary figure leaning over looking down at the motorway below. She slowed down a little. Ever since those incidents a few weeks ago when someone had thrown a concrete bucket off the bridge at a passing car, she tended to be wary of people standing watching the traffic.
The figure didn’t appear to have anything in its hands but then she had only caught a glimpse of it before turning her eyes back to the road. She increased her speed as the traffic flowed easier.
There was no warning, just a sudden deafening bang of metal as the front windscreen of her car collapsed inwards. Cassie screamed in terror as glass flew towards her like wafer thin slivers from a frozen icicle. Her hands left the steering wheel in panic, her foot pressing down on the accelerator.
The Honda Jazz went out of control, spinning around like a dirt dervish. Debris from the windscreen flew like lethal missiles around the interior of the car. Cassie cried out in pain as she was subject to a vicious assault by anything lying loose in her vehicle. She tried to cover her face in an instinctive reflex but her left arm seemed unresponsive. the pain horrifying. She whimpered as she glanced down and saw the bone shard sticking out.
In her pain and terror she didn’t notice that the car had stopped spinning. Everything went quiet. Cassie lay slumped in the driver seat, dazed and unresponsive as the shock set in. She could hear the sounds of people shouting and heard someone asking if her she was alright.
She vaguely registered the sound of screeching metal as someone tried to pull the driver door open. It was as if everything was being done underwater. The sounds were muted and her brain was sluggish.
The older man looking in at her from the road was speaking but she couldn’t hear what he was saying. Cassie looked at him blankly. She couldn’t see clearly, as if a can of fine red spray-paint had been aimed at her and the nozzle depressed, coating her eyes. She tried to move her body but the pain in her right leg was excruciating.
She watched dully as the man outside starting pulling away metal struts and twisted door to get inside to her. She could hear his voice vaguely now, a rough London Cockney accent as he spoke reassuringly whilst trying to free her.
“Alright, darling? Just stay calm and I’ll try and get to you. The ambulance is on its way. They’ve told me not to move you so I just want to try get in and keep you company till they arrive. You look as if you could do with a bit of company. Just stay with me now. Don’t go anywhere.”
He smiled at her, trying to keep her reassured. With a final tug at the door, he made enough of a space to squeeze in slightly and he took her right hand, avoiding the bad condition of her left arm with its broken bone. Her hand was freezing and he rubbed it gently.
“There we go. That should feel better. You just stay calm now and we’ll have you back to your old man in no time.” He continued holding her hand, talking to her as she slipped in and out of consciousness.
In one of her lucid periods she raised an unsteady hand to her face to wipe her eyes. The fog cleared a little and when she was able to focus, then desperately wished she hadn’t. Lying in front of her, across the bonnet, was a face, pulped and looking as if dark sticky jam had been smeared all over it.
She could see the eyes open, looking at her and she could see the mouth forming words before she screamed and screamed and eventually the fog of blackness claimed her and the face could be seen no more.
Doctor Ian Spencer frowned as he read the patient chart in his hand. He glanced at the patient, an old man in his seventies, matted grey hair curling around his face like tendrils of an octopus, framing a bucolic face of cherry red, his bulbous nose caked with fresh snot.
“Up to your old tricks again, Terry?” the ER doctor asked resignedly. “I thought perhaps last time we had reached an understanding of sorts?”
The old man chuckled hoarsely.
“The drink beckoned again, Doctor, I’ve told you before, cider waits for no man.” He coughed, his body wracked with spasms. The doctor motioned with a hand to the waiting nurse who offered Terry a glass of water. He drank it greedily and lay back in the hospital bed.
Ian Spencer made a notation in his patient’s chart.
“You realise this time, Terry, you’ve really outdone yourself? You had what we call a minor varicose bleed which basically means your insides leaked with blood because they couldn’t do what they were supposed to do. I managed to stabilise you and you’ve been in Intensive Care for two days. Given the state of your liver you were very lucky not to have it worse. As it is you’ll need to be here a few more days before I can release you.”
“I’m very grateful to you, Doctor.” Terry leered at the nurse who moved out of the way of his groping left hand. “I can always count on you to put me right.”
“Not always, Terry, not always.” Ian passed the chart to the nurse and continued on his way.
He’d just completed his surgical rounds and was walking down the hospital corridor when he heard an ambulance arrive and saw the frenetic activity bursting through the double doors. He heard the ambulance staff calling out their incoming triage procedures to the Attending Doctor and watched as a trolley with a woman covered in blood was wheeled into the waiting Operating theatre.
One of the staff nurses, Judy, a good friend, hurried past him.
“I don’t believe this one.” she muttered to him.” Some poor woman minding her own business on the motorway and somebody falls on top of her car. We were lucky no one else was hurt as well when she spun around or we’d be running out of space this morning.”
“What about the man who fell?”
“He’s dead, poor bugger.” Judy’s voice was terse as she hurried off.
It was some hours later in passing Ian saw his colleague, fellow trauma surgeon Phil Moodley come out of the operating theatre where the woman had been wheeled.
“Phil!” Ian hurried to catch up with him. “Wait up.”
Phil turned and proffered a tired smile when he saw Ian.
“Ian, how are things? I’m just on my way to catch a few minutes doze. It’s been a long day.”
“How did things go in there?” Ian motioned to the OR. “I heard she was hit by a man falling on her car.”
“Yes, it was very bad. The poor woman has a ruptured spleen, a hairline skull fracture, a broken femur and radius and a wealth of lacerations and internal bruising.” He frowned.
“She also has a small foreign body embedded in her left temple. It’s in an awkward place and fairly deep. I’ve recommended not removing it at this time. I’m not sure it would be prudent. It doesn’t appear itself to be life threatening. She’ll be in Intensive Care for some time. I need to keep an eye on her for any possible embolism. She’ll probably need some physical therapy afterwards if there are no complications.”
He squinted at Ian with tired eyes. “You seem interested in this one, Ian? Did you know anyone involved?”
Ian shook his head. “I was involved in a similar situation some years ago when I was at Lakeview Hospital and that one – that one I did know. The person that fell though, not the victim. “
Phil nodded his head.
“This woman was very lucky, the young man was not. He was dead at the scene. His relatives are on their way.”
Ian nodded. “Thanks, Phil. You’d best get off and get that sleep, you look all out of it.”
Phil patted Ian’s arm and wandered down towards the staff room. Ian wouldn’t tell Phil the real reason for his interest. It was too personal and no one in the hospital knew anything about his reason for leaving Lakeview three years ago and joining Tilhurst Hospital on the outskirts of Essex.
In 2009, his wife Sandra had jumped off a foot bridge straight into the path of a passing mini- van. To this day he had no idea why. The mini- van driver, a young man called Freddy Clifford, who had just become a father, had died in the incident with Sandy. The feelings of guilt for both Sandy’s and the man’s death (he should’ve known what was going on in his own marriage for God’s sake!) had never left him.
He’d left Lakeview and started again where no one knew his history and no one could feel sympathy for him. He felt he didn’t deserve it. He was sure a psychiatrist would have some insight to offer on his reaction but he had never engaged with one, preferring as he did to manage it himself.
Ian made his way over to the Nurse’s station outside Intensive Care. He saw Nurse Angie, a bubbly young woman with bleached blonde hair and a Carry On set of breasts, sitting behind the desk. She smiled as she saw him approach.
There were more than a couple of nurses who’d tried to form a relationship with him but none of them had been successful so far.
“Doctor. What can I do for you?”
“The woman that Dr. Patel has just operated on –can you tell me a little bit about her?
How’s she doing?”
Angie consulted her notes.
“Let me see. Hmm, she’s in a private ICU room, so she must have great insurance. Room 310. Cassie Wallace, 47 years old, divorced. Her sister is coming in to see her. She’s on her way from Kent.”
She looked at Ian enquiringly. “Has Dr. Patel asked you to keep an eye on her?”
Ian shook his head. “No, just curious about how she’s doing. It just seems so tragic, minding your own business then POW! you find yourself in this situation. Thanks for the info, Angie.”
Ian made his way towards Room 310. He couldn’t say why he was so interested in this woman, only that he felt he had to find out more about her.
He clothed himself up with a mask and gloves and nodded at the ICU nurses as he walked through the main ward to the private ones at the back. The hum of machines and the absolute quiet in the ward was strangely restful. Ian reached Room 310, opened the door and slipped in.
Cassie Wallace lay on her back, surrounded by soft light from the equipment. The constant beep of the life support machines and monitoring equipment comforted Ian. This unit was dedicated to keeping people alive with the best care the hospital could provide. Cassie Wallace was in good hands.
Cassie had her left arm in a splint, her fingers cold and pale like soft limp white gloves. Her right leg with its broken femur rested on the bed covers. Ian guessed she had pins and rods inside keeping it together.
Her face was battered and bruised from the accident. He could see the rise and fall of her chest as she breathed. Her pale strawberry blonde hair was spread across the pillow like soft gold straw, with a large bald patch on the left side where Dr Patel had shaved her skull.
Even through the cuts and bruises, Ian could see she was a very attractive woman. Not just pretty or beautiful, but with a look of her own that even under current circumstances made her look younger than her 47 years. She reminded him very much of a curvier Michelle Pfeiffer. A noise at the door made him turn. Judy stood there, looking surprised to see him.
“Ian? What are you doing in here?” she whispered.
“I was just checking up on her. I know I’m not her doctor but I really wanted to see how she was doing.”
“It’s all right, Ian.” Judy patted him on the arm. “She can do with all the help she can get. I need to check her vital signs now. Do you want to stick around?”
“No Judes, I’ll let you get on with your job. Thanks.” Ian left the nurse with her patient and made his way back towards the main reception.

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The Toy Boy
by April Vine

Liquid Silver Books

eBook ISBN: 9781595789716

Dreams of sexual pleasure with a younger man keep Cait on the edge of frustration. A trip to an adult toy shop will solve her problem and relive the pent up sexual tension. Or will it? When fate turns the tables, will Cait choose the toy or the real thing?

Note: Prologue omitted.

Chapter One

Millions of women did this almost every other day, all over the world, right? So what was wrong with her? Absolutely nothing, Cait Daniels decided.
She inhaled one last courageous breath, pulled the sleeves of her top up to her elbows, slipped a pair of sunglasses on her face to shield her from the hot Cape Town, South Africa midmorning sun, and got out of the driver’s seat of her car. She sat in the freaking financial director’s chair for a large cosmetics company for goodness sake—purchasing a dildo should not be this much of a federal case. Besides, her very congeniality, or what was left of it, depended on her having a screaming orgasm courtesy of one nonobligatory plastic penis since the human variety had failed her on all possible accounts. Yes, she was a year overdue already.
Faking the confidence of a worldly thirty-four-year-old woman, she pushed open the door of the Curious Coition sex shop and entered before she changed her mind. A plethora of makeshift sexual devices flooded her sight, forcing her to remove her sunglasses for more intimate viewing. For a minute, she stood mute at the entrance, her gaze rapidly taking inventory of things she didn’t even know existed, much less how they worked.
Crotch-less panties to the left of her; chains, clamps, and whips to the right of her. The tiles under her shoes illustrated naked bodies all entwined in passion. Blow-up dolls with thick red lips hung from the ceiling above her head. She twirled around in strange wonder, absorbing the very sexuality of the shop itself as if it were a live being.
A big screen TV mounted on the wall came to life before her eyes. She swallowed as the couple on screen engaged in graphic sex, advertising the amazement of some edible vaginal cream. Her thighs twitched and hot and desperate sensations transpired between her legs as the attractive male actor sucked the actress’ pussy. God, she needed to come: hard, fast, and with something thick and solid inside her or face going mad while she ogled the do-not-touch-not-ever guy who holidayed at his relative’s house opposite her. The one who made her wet and feel guilty at the same time. This was a better option by far. The safest and definitely the sanest.
“Hi, just shout if you need help.” A voice snapped her out of her awe. She whipped her head in the direction of the cashier standing behind the counter, her bright smile and long dreadlocked hair oddly calm and comforting where everything else around her depicted nothing but the taboo.
With barely a nod in the cashier’s direction, she snagged a safe looking vibrator off the shelf, put it back, and chose another instead that came with various attachments and everything else conducive to pleasing her every dirty fantasy and so much more. Sudden prongs of anxiety stabbed at her resolve as she neared the counter. She was so close to pulling off this clandestine mission and wanted nothing more than to leave the shop in relative safety.
“Will that be all for you?” the cashier asked, her orange glazed smile wider than before. “Yes, thank you.” Cait dared not look her in the eye. She hadn’t come that far yet; instead she dallied with her purse while the cashier counted the cash and registered the sale. She wished she’d just give her the mock cock and forfeit the whole idea of popping it into a Curious Coition designed bag. She really just wanted to get the hell out of the place already, preferably armed with the selected merchandize secured in her handbag. A long bath later and maybe even candles, and then it’ll be just her and the dildo, eradicating any unhealthy thoughts she harbored about him that she couldn’t have.
“It’s one of our bestsellers. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.”
Could she work any slower?
“It’s a lovely day outside, isn’t it?” she continued. “I should tell you we have a no return policy, unfortunately, so if—”
“That’s fine. I…” Whatever else Cait meant to say died on her lips as the velvet curtains hanging from a rail behind the cashier parted. Her overworked heart ground to a dead-halt and manic nerves singed her skin. Her brain spun out of control, drowning her in disbelief. She resisted the urge to rub her eyes in case her vision felt prone to play cheap tricks on her now of all times. But no, he, the totally hot and completely off limits reason she found herself parading in a sex shop in broad daylight, was real, gorgeous, and instantly he recognized her.
His sexy thick-lashed gaze skimmed over the package dangling in midair from the cashier’s hand en route to the bag and then landed back to her. Scorching hot blood rose into her cheeks. He folded his arms and then rubbed the edge of his jaw with one of his hands as his sensuous lips curved into a killer smile. Sparkling, straight white teeth mocked her. She couldn’t look away, not when his overpowering height demanded she see nothing but him.
Amusement lined the gray of his irises as he relaxed against a tall cabinet next to him, enjoying her discomfort, and making no secret of it. This couldn’t be happening to her. Embarrassment of the kind she never experienced before dictated her next move. Flee, leaving behind her purchase in the cashier’s hands. Without a backward glance, she scurried out of the shop. She refused to question her juvenile antics as she dove into her car and started the ignition. The only sound louder than her resuscitated heart thudding inside her chest was the wheels of her car screeching in protest as she fled what she now called the crime scene.
Really? Of all the people in the world she could have met at a sex shop, did it have to be him? The core reason for her cranky mood, which sprouted from a lack of good old-fashioned fucking, revived by the mere sight of him. Eyeballing him from her window as he mowed the lawn was one thing, running into him at a sex shop and being caught red-handed soliciting artificial sexual favors quite another.
But when she’d woken up that morning from a night of dreaming about him, her wet and unsatisfied pussy dictated all her impulsive actions. She couldn’t bear another night feeling so sexually deprived. She wanted instant gratification, so got into her car, drove into town, and found a sex shop. Now she wished she had practiced a little more patience, bought the darn thing online, and waited however long it was for them to deliver it. Patience though was never the quality she held in high merit. Besides, if she wanted something done, she always did it herself.
The way things were going her way, her online purchased dildo would probably arrive at her doorstep in a van with a cock painted on the side, sirens wailing, and a police escort, and everyone in the neighborhood would know. She groaned. Dammit, she knew his aunt. And what was he doing in a shop like that anyway?
She ducked her head as she pulled into her driveway, hoping to never set eyes on either the aunt or the nephew ever again. Thoughts of relocating flitted through her brain. She slipped into her house, locked the door, drew the curtains, and paced the floor as she bit her nails. What a mess. How had everything gone so hopelessly wrong so utterly quickly?
She still remembered meeting him six years ago when he concluded his greeting by calling her Ms. Daniels and matching it with a cocky smile. She had smiled back at him then, amused by his misguided youth, and the seed of underdeveloped arrogance hovering beneath the surface. Now … now six years later at the age of twenty-four, he came in a different package altogether. One she had no business gawking at as he worked up a hot sweat down his long and lithe back.
There was nothing amusing about him anymore. He’d grown into his own quickly and solidly. His taunting grin sealed fast into her memory, reducing her to four instead of thirty-four. But oh, did it have to be Declan Meyer, he who she deliberately stripped from her thoughts when her body leaped into sexual hunger mode by the mere glimpse of him. He was twenty-four years old, and in case she didn’t fully understand the math, he was ten years younger than her. Ten big, wide, uncompromising years. A whole decade. 3,665 days younger, give or take a leap year or two.
She padded into her kitchen and brewed a cup of chamomile tea, anything to soothe her frayed nerves. So he threw her off her guard by unfair surprise. No matter. From now she’ll just avoid the heck out of him. She blew cool air into her steamy cup and then took a sip. She could handle him. Of course she could. She was experienced, sophisticated, mature, outranking him in all ways, but especially in age—basically giving her the upper hand. Running out of the sex shop like a wimpy virgin did not bode well for her in the chic department and without her date for the night either, but she was adult enough to write it off without a second thought. There.
Taking her cup to the bathroom, she filled the tub and added peach bath oil under the running faucet. She stripped and sunk her body into the silky water, prepared to wash away her disastrous excursion once and for all. The luxurious water teased her skin. She ran a hand over her breasts and immediately her nipples pulled taut. Tension rode up her thighs, all her nerves fluttered down to her stomach and lower, settling in an erotic heap smack on her clit. She leaned back, desperate to ease the residual lust lingering in her body. Her eyes drooped closed. A stark visual of Declan wearing nothing but that smug grin of his materialized before her eyes.
Water sloshed over the sides of the porcelain bath as she shot up. She rubbed her temples, willing away his presence from her mind. She couldn’t possibly be attracted to a guy that much younger than her. What was this, some sort of pre-pre-midlife crisis?
After Dean left her a year ago following a seemingly good engagement, she shut herself off from sexual frivolities, putting her work first and foremost. She’d left it for too long. If she came across any man mowing the lawn in a gleaming hot body, she’d want to jump his bones. Declan Meyer was merely at the right time at the right place in her head and just as easily removed from said time and place.
She reached for her cup as her doorbell sounded. A heavy sigh sagged her shoulders further into the water. Could she pretend she wasn’t home on this Saturday morning? Damn, her car was parked outside and she couldn’t go anywhere without it. She waited a minute more, hoping her unwanted guest would give up. No such luck.
She draped her body in a thick bathrobe and went to answer the door, brushing tendrils of wet hair out of her face as she did so. She swung the door open and stopped herself from slamming it shut again. Mrs. Meyer stood on her doorstep, a tray of cookies in her hands and a beaming smile on her face.
“Hello, deary. I just baked an extra batch and wanted you to have some. They’re for the wedding tomorrow. Did I disturb your bath, honey?”
“No … not at all. Thank you, Mrs. Meyer. I’m sure they’re delicious.” She grabbed the tray from the older woman’s hand and had every intention of wishing her good-bye. She couldn’t face her, not with her sex shop fiasco so close to memory.
“Declan loves them. That boy eats like a horse, I tell you. God knows where he puts it all though. Ah, but it’s so good to have him visiting his old aunt.”
Cait forced her mind to blank out the mention of his name. Already a deep flush set into her skin, and it wouldn’t be long before she crumbled in complete embarrassment in front of Mrs. Meyer. She had to get rid of her quickly. The instant her attention turned onto the street at an oncoming car, Cait started to say good-bye and had the door almost halfway closed already.
“Oh, look, it’s Declan.”
She didn’t mean to look, really. But who couldn’t when he drove one of those horrendously old-fashioned jeep things that looked as if it would leave a trail of parts in its wake?
“Thanks for the cookies, Mrs. Meyer. I really must go.”
“Oh, hold on a minute. You haven’t said a proper hello to him yet. I’m so proud of that boy. He’s grown into such a lovely man and takes such good care of his mother.” Mrs. Meyer’s eyes misted over as she glanced at her nephew descending from his excuse for a car.
Yeah? Did she know he frequented sex shops on a Saturday morning? Not only that, he was some kind of VIP, too; or else what would he have been doing behind the counter if he weren’t an honest regular customer, like her? “Declan,” Mrs. Meyer called to him. No, she had to get out of this.
“Maybe another time, but I really have to go…”
He reached his arm through the open window and retrieved a package that dried her mouth and constricted her heart. With a few long strides, he was at her door. Her gaze glued to the bag he nonchalantly held in his hand. God, why did that look like her orphaned dildo, the one she purchased and left behind? She whipped her gaze to meet his teasing one. Yes, he held her dildo in his hands. In front of his aunt. Hot blood rushed to her cheeks. She gripped Mrs. Meyer’s tray, afraid it might slip through her sweaty palms and crash to the ground. She couldn’t take this anymore.
“You wanted someone to mow your lawn, Cait. Perhaps Declan can help you,” Mrs. Meyer continued, oblivious to the hateful stare she gave him or the defiant combative one he returned. “Perhaps he could water your flowers too.”
He lowered his head, his gaze flickering over the area between her legs, safely guarded by the terry cloth robe, but not enough when a scalding heat manifested itself there.
“I’m sure I could wet your flowers for you, Ms. Daniels, if you like.” The sound of his deep voice penetrated her, heating her blood and making her blush like a virgin all over again. Clearly, he was playing her. How much time did she have before he handed her the bag and explained it was the vibrator she left behind at the sex shop she’d visited that morning? She wouldn’t put anything past him, not with that bold chip on his shoulder.
“See, there. Perfect. Oh, and tell me you’ll be able to take Declan with you to the wedding? I’ll be leaving very early with the van, and I don’t want him driving that death-trap car of his around the mountains. He drives much too fast you know for my nerves, and I’d rather have him in one piece while he visits me. Would you mind, deary? Oh, this is perfect. Now you two have a lot to talk about with the grass and the flowers, and I’m going to miss my favorite TV program.”
Mrs. Meyer hardly gave her a chance to refuse, but the instant she had her back to the door, Cait grabbed his wrist and pulled him into her house. She shut the door behind her and then placed the tray on the entrance hall table.
“What the hell are you—?”
“What?” His challenging smile made her forget her words. “I brought you your merchandize seeing as how you paid for it already. I thought I was being considerate.”
“Ha. Considerate? You were practically waving it in your aunt’s face. Look here, it’s the dildo Cait bought, see aunty?” Cait leaned into the door. She couldn’t risk losing it now. What she desperately needed was a damage control tactic. Okay, deep breath, calm down. “Thank you. I appreciate it.” She stretched her hand out, waiting for him to hand it over. He didn’t move. Myriad feelings of lust and anger whirled around her. But more lust, much more lust. “Please.”

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