Title: The Feel Good Factor
Author: Lauren Blakely
That inked bad boy who’s been flirting hard with me since he rode into town? Turns out he’s my new housemate, which is one hell of a problem since our chemistry is so hot it should be illegal.
I have a fantastic family, great best friends, a job I love…and now I’m up for a promotion to police sergeant. I need total focus—not a flirty, dirty, irresistible, tattooed hottie riding into my town on his motorcycle. Can I arrest him for being too good-looking? When he kisses me senseless in the back of a waffle truck, it’s criminal, the things he makes me think about hot syrup and melted butter. One order of hot, fluffy hookup to go, please.
But the next time I see him, it’s not for our date with benefits. He’s the guy who just rented the room above my garage.
I need the rent to pay my bills, not a man like Derek, who I soon discover to be strong, caring, generous, good with kids, and kind to puppies… If I’m not careful, he’ll be moving into my heart as well as my house.
A no-strings-attached fling with the fiery redhead who revs my engine? Why, yes, that does sound like a delicious perk of my new job in this new town, thank you very much. I’m coming off a bad relationship, and I have zero interest in anything serious. I’ve got all the serious I need helping my sister take care of her three little kids while her husband is deployed.
Except, surprise! Perri isn’t just my future fling. Turns out she’s my sexy, sassy landlord.
A lease definitely counts as “strings attached,” and as much as I’d like to get tangled in her sheets, I can’t let myself get tangled up in a relationship.
But as soon as we put the cuffs on our escapades, I learn over late-night conversations in the kitchen, that my landlord is so much more than the sexiest woman I’ve ever met– she has a quick mind and the biggest heart.
Once I’m in, I’m all in. And to convince her that we should see where this goes, I plan on turning up the heat—and not just in the kitchen.
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“Hey, officer. I think you might have been walking too fast through the market.”
The hairs on my neck stand on end. That gravelly, too-sexy-for-words tone delivers a wave of sensation across my skin.
It could only be Mr. Trouble.
With an avocado in hand, I turn around, and my eyes feast. How is it possible for him to be even hotter today? Is this a trick only the handsomest men can employ? The ability to multiply their good looks?
Somehow, maybe a trick of the light, he’s exponentially sexier in those shades, his gray T-shirt showing off swirls of ink, and jeans so well-worn they cling caressingly to his legs.
But it’s his face, most of all, that draws me in as soon as he flicks off his glasses and I get a full dose of dark, soulful brown eyes full of naughty wishes.
Oh, wait. Maybe those are my naughty wishes reflected back at me.
Because I want him.
Do I ever. I want to climb him, rope my hands through his hair, and haul him in for a wild kiss.
That bout of desire was brought to you today by what-happens-when-lust-slams-into-you-like-a-freight-train.
“Gee, was I speed-walking?” I toss out, mainly to keep him standing there, because I’m mesmerized next by his tattoos. Sunbursts and tribal bands curl over his sinewy arms, and I’d like to like them. I’d like to know if he’s inked elsewhere and how far, or how low, the artwork on his body descends.
To his hips? The top of his ass? The V of his abs?
A woman can dream.
With a tilt of his head and a far-too-knowing grin, he answers, “Let me guess. You either didn’t realize it, or you have someplace real important to be?”
“So important. I have to…” I trail off then make my voice as husky as can be as I set down my avocado, “…make guacamole.”
“You don’t say,” he rasps, his low baritone caressing me all over. “I could help you with that, officer.”
“Are you Mr. Avocado Farmer?”
“I’m Mr. I Can Show You How Ripe They Are.” He steps into the booth, moving next to me, getting into my space.
Closer than he needs to be.
A tremble rolls over my shoulders as he crowds me. “Let’s see.” He strokes his neat beard, and I rein in a whimper. I want my hands on that scruff.
He studies the sea of avocados, reaching for one at last and then sliding even closer, so his shoulder touches mine. It’s the match to my kindling and strikes a fire inside me.
If anyone tried to tell me a woman doesn’t have a type, I’d call that person a liar.
I have a type, and the type lights me up from sea to shining sea.
He cups the fruit in his palm, then brings it near my chest. I draw a quick breath, then flick my hair off my shoulders.
“By the way,” he says, “I like your hair up, but I fucking love it down.”
I am dead from desire.
Before I can reply—I’m honestly not sure I can form intelligible words—he rubs his other hand over the rind. “See, you want to find the one that’s ripe and”—he pauses and turns his face to meet my gaze, his dark eyes holding mine—“ready to eat.”
A shudder hijacks my body. “Is that so?”
I don’t need a tutorial in picking avocados. Please. I know how to pick them just fine.
But I want his lesson. Want to hear his voice. Watch those hands move. Feel him slide closer.
“It’ll feel slightly soft, and it’ll yield to just the right amount of gentle pressure.”
And that pressure builds between my legs, an insistent throb. “How do you tell if it’s enough pressure?”
He pushes a thumb against the flesh of the fruit, making a husky hum low in his throat. “Just like that. See how it responds?”
“How’s it responding?”
He turns, angling his body nearer to me, his dark eyes shining with desire as he roams them over my face, my hair, my breasts. “Just the way I like it.”
This man is going to ruin me in the best possible way.
While I don’t have the time or inclination for dating, dinners, or fitting someone into my very busy schedule, I’m pretty sure I could deal with a little ruination.
Yes, I could definitely do with getting ruined.