Buttoned-up accountant Jack Bannister lives an uncomplicated life until his teenage crush moves back into the house next door…all grown up and sexy as hell. Murphy Ryan is still wild and reckless, and danger has followed her to Colorado. Jack will do whatever it takes to protect her, even it means letting her go…again.
He looked down at himself, his eyes widening as if noticing for the first time that he was wearing only a pair of black boxer briefs.
She was noticing too. She’d already seen him shirtless and knew that his chest was hard and muscled, but this was different. He was practically naked. And hot as hell, his body reminding her of a swimmer’s, lean and toned.
And he was standing very, very close. Mere inches separated them.
Suddenly, her heart was pounding in her chest again, but this time for a different reason. She was still scared, but this was another kind of frightened.
This time she wasn’t frightened that something was going to happen—she was scared that it wouldn’t.
Jack seemed scared too. She reached up, softly resting her hand on his bare chest.
He inhaled sharply at the touch of her fingers. His chest trembled slightly below her hand.
Gazing up, she peered into his eyes, questioning, searching for a signal to keep going.
His Adam’s apple bobbed in his throat as he swallowed. But he didn’t move, didn’t pull back. He may have even leaned forward a little.
Was that the signal she was waiting for?
She licked her lips, her mouth suddenly dry. His gaze shifted to her mouth, and she heard his quick intake of breath through his own parted lips.
God, the guy had great lips. And everything in her yearned to kiss them, to taste them, to taste him.
They stood still, neither speaking. Neither moving forward nor back.
One of them had to do something. She could either make a move herself or continue to wait to see if he would eventually try to kiss her again.
To hell with waiting. Either he wanted to kiss her or he didn’t.
Only one way to find out.
She leaned toward him, her hand still on his chest, as she pressed her lips against his.
One soft kiss. Gentle. Slow.
She pulled back, just a hair’s breadth away, her lips still close, but waiting, dying for an invitation to kiss him again.
He froze, just for a second, his body stiff, then his hands slipped around her waist, and he pulled her tightly against him.
He crushed her lips with his, taking her mouth in an onslaught of passion, kissing her as if he were a starving man and she was his first meal.
His hands slipped up her back, one sliding across her neck to cup her cheek while the other dove into her hair.
Tipping her face, he slanted his mouth across hers, deepening the kiss.
Parting her lips, his tongue slid between them, a soft moan escaping him as he tasted and savored her mouth.
Her hands gripped his muscled shoulders, holding on as she kissed him back with everything she had. Everything she’d been holding onto all of these years.
The tension of this kiss had been building for a decade, and if this was the only kiss she ever got to share with Jack Bannister, she was going to make it worth the wait.
And make it so that he wouldn’t be able to resist kissing her again.
Sliding her hand along his neck, she tangled her fingers into his soft hair, pulling his head closer still, as if they could get any closer.
Every nerve inside of her tingled with pleasure, with warmth and with something else—a feeling that she hadn’t had in a long time. Being in Jack’s arms, his lips pressed to hers, felt like she was finally where she belonged. Like she was finally home.
ever after. Readers call her books “laugh out loud” funny and the “perfect mix of romance, humor, and steam.” Fic Central claimed one of her books was “the most fun I’ve had reading in years.”
books, shoes, or friends.
Her books include the contemporary western romance Hearts of Montana series, the
romantic comedy/ cozy mysteries of The Page Turners series, the hunky hockey-playing men in the Bannister family in the Bannister Brothers Books, and the small-town romantic comedies in the Lovestruck series of Cotton Creek Romances.