Publication Date: February 17, 2015
From USA Today Bestselling Author J.C. Valentine comes a sizzling story about a young entrepreneur, a hot firefighter, and a first date that will change their paths forever.
Tenacious bakery shop owner Abby is following her dreams. She has everything she could ever want in life—except the fairytale ending. Then she meets Kennedy, a hunky firefighter whose killer smile and easy charm makes her heart pound. But with the kind of danger he faces on the job each day, Abby knows there’s no happily-ever-after in the cards. The harder she tries to hold onto her heart, the faster it seems to slip away, but when a series of mysterious events threaten the future of her business and her life, their happiness may be shorter-lived than she realized.
Someone is out to get her, and it’s up to Abby and Kennedy to uncover who’s behind the destruction. Can they do it before tragedy strikes?
At nine a.m. sharp, I brushed flour from my hands, flipped the locks on the door, turned the sign over declaring Sweetest Temptations open for business, and marched outside to place another sign in the middle of the sidewalk.
Now, the only thing left to do was wait.
Nearly two hours passed and I was firmly planted in a chair I’d stolen from one of the dining sets, halfway through reading an article on how toplease my non-existent man, when a throat cleared.
“Hold on one sec,” I said, holding up a finger. Was it really a turn-on to greet your man at the door wearing saran wrap? That seemed….vacuum packed. I immediately chucked the idea and the magazine. The only thing I would be saran wrapping was cakes and pies. “Can I help you?” Standing, I reached under the counter and pulled on a pair of thin plastic gloves from the box I kept there. I turned on my bright, I’m-here-to-serve-you smile and aimed it at my very first customer.
“Oh…my.” The words weren’t intended to leave my mouth.
Standing before me was the most insanely beautiful man I had ever seen. He was everything a woman with a healthy libido and functioning imagination searched for in a man, but rarely got. Tall, at least six feet. Lean, but thick. I could tell this was the kind of guy who took care of himself. He had that whole dark and dangerous look going, too, with the black as night hair that was finger combed in that
I-just-got-laid style women swooned over, clean shaven, clear blue eyes the color of a swimming pool that I craved to jump into, and a mouth that I could see myself licking like frosting on a cupcake. Those sinful lips turned up in a smile that, had I been wearing any socks, would have knocked them clean off my toes. Holy mother, this guy was hot!
“Hot?” he asked me, and I felt my eyes bulge. I did not voice that thought, did I? He must have caught my look of horror because the next thing he said was, “You’re fanning your shirt. I figured you might be hot.”
Looking down, I saw my hand gripping tight to my t-shirt, tugging at it, fluffing the fabric and creating a cool breeze against my damp cleavage. “Ovens,” I explained, smiling ruefully. “Gets me every time.” What the hell was I saying?
A soft chuckle spilled out of him and I found myself leaning a little closer to catch every deep, husky note. Glancing over my shoulder, he eyed my selection of treats. “Are those blueberry muffins?”
“Yep, fresh out of the oven this morning.” Sensing a sale, I began preparing a bakery box.
“I’ll take one of those, and…” He scanned the shelves. “A dozen assorted donuts.”
“Any kind?” I asked, glancing over my shoulder.
Those blue eyes lifted from their southerly position and landed back on me. He gave me a slow smile. Was he checking me out? Mother, shoot me now, ‘cause I was this close to throwing myself across that counter and kissing him senseless. “Any kind.”
Biting my lip to keep from smiling, I turned and selected a raspberry-filled, a couple of the glazed, custard, and some sprinkled ones to round out the bunch, then closed the box and slid it across the counter. “Anything else I can get you today?” Please say sex. I needed it, badly. The last time I had any was…Yeah, I couldn’t even remember the last time. I was pathetic. I was in need. Give it to me, big boy.
“Nope, that’ll be it.”
Damn. Had I been expecting him to say me? On the floor, right here, right now? The plummeting sensation in my gut said yes. Yes, I had. How incredibly disappointing.
I gave him the total and he passed me his cash. A man who carried actual cash. In a world of plastic, he was a rare find, indeed. “You have a good day now.” I pushed his box across the counter, making sure that when he grabbed it, our fingers touched. I felt that telltale zip of electricity race through my fingertips and up my arm, traveling a quick path to the hot spot now pulsing between my legs. Oh, yes, chemistry was in the making.
“Same to you.” He gave me one last blinding smile and turned to leave, brushing by another customer who had just walked through the door. The ping! of the bell announced them and I prepared to fill another order.
I waited a beat, watching him walk away, admiring the way his tight ass fit into those worn blue jeans, waiting for him to look back, just once, to confirm what I felt. But no. He never did. Just walked out that door.
About the Author
USA Today Bestselling author J.C. Valentine is the alter-ego of Brandi Salazar, whose enjoyment of tales of romance spurred her to branch out and create her own.
She lives in the Northwest with her husband, their wild children, and far too many pets. As a university student, she studies literature, which goes well with her dream of becoming an editor. Brandi entertains a number of hobbies including reading and photography, but her first love is writing fiction-in all its forms.