“Secret rendezvous, sexual heat, and things dreams are made of if you are seeking a sexual adventure!” Affaire de Coeur
“Combining scorching love scenes with powerfully emotional characters that beguile and charm their way into a reader’s heart.”Romance Crush Junkies
“[an] emotionally fulfilling novel that is just as hot as hell.” Deb’s Book Bag
Desire is in session …
Rachel Delaney, divorced mother with two boys, isn’t complaining. Her life is fine. Really. There is onething that could make it better, though: a strong, warm, male body to help her make it through the occasional lonely night. No strings, and no relationship, thanks. Just a little fun with a perfect stranger. And there’s no more perfect a stranger than Rand.
He’s tall, blond, unattached, smokin’ hot, and looking for the same thing Rachel is: wild, abandoned sex with no limits, no last names, and no complications—until Rachel’s eldest son gets in trouble in class.
Only then does Rachel discover that her down-and–dirty, dangerously sexy mystery lover is also the new school principal. They’re not exactly the ideal role models for a troubled student acting out his own frustrations. With Rachel’s life turned upside down, Rand’s the only one who can make it right—by maybe taking their hot-bodied hook-ups into a warm-hearted new direction…
The pretty blonde stared into the refrigerated juice section, like a child in front of a candy store window seeing the very thing she wanted and knew she couldn’t have.
She was perfect.
Rand was relatively new to the area, having moved here to start a job last fall, five months ago, but even so, he didn’t prowl grocery stores early in the morning looking for women. He’d needed a couple of items and didn’t like waiting in line, so he’d stopped after his run along the canal.
Then he saw her. It was fortune smiling down on him, the law of attraction at work.
Her blonde hair fluttered just past her shoulders. Her pretty profile showcased full ruby lips and long lashes several shades darker than her hair. The tight white T-shirt outlined mouthwatering breasts that were more than even his big hands could hold, and her jeans hugged the delectable curve of her ass. She wasn’t too thin, yet well taken care of. Best of all, there was no ring on her finger. He never amused himself with married women. He came from a long line of players, marriage being no barrier whatsoever between them and the object of their desire. He wasn’t about to be like any of them.
She was no sweet young thing, but closer to his age, forty, or possibly a couple of years younger. He preferred his partners to be older, seasoned, more sure of themselves, of who they were, and what they wanted. Women who were old enough to appreciate trying something new, something daring.
He was as staid as they come during work hours, with a position that required a quiet, unwavering authority, steadfast diplomacy, and a hell of a lot of psychology. But after hours, his life was his own business. After hours, anything goes.
He smiled as she finally made up her mind and reached for the fridge door. Her breasts plumped with the movement.
Oh yeah, he’d love to get daring with her.
* * *
Rachel stared at the rows and rows of juice bottles. She was a frugal shopper, buying only what was on sale, because in her mind, the sale price was the real price, and anything else meant you were overpaying. She lived for coupons. Penny-pinching was the only way she could make ends meet. Sure, her ex paid half the boys’ expenses since they had dual custody, but the cost of living in the San Francisco Bay Area was astronomical, gas prices had once again skyrocketed, and cable TV and high-speed Internet, not to mention the boys’ cell phones, just might bankrupt her. She had a full-time job she enjoyed, with excellent medical benefits, but she was a receptionist. Her salary barely covered standard monthly expenses. Her ex, an accountant, was the real breadwinner. Their house was underwater so they hadn’t been able to unload it during the divorce settlement, and they were still waiting for the market to recover. In the meantime, she lived in it. The boys were with her every other week; teenage boys could eat you out of house and home. For the most part, she made healthy home-cooked meals and only occasionally brought home fast food. It would have been cheaper to buy soda for the boys to drink, but she did her damndest to make sure they learned good eating habits.
So she wanted that juice, which was on sale at half off, plus she had a coupon. Wouldn’t you know, though, the last bottle had twisted on the rollers, stuck fast, and there wasn’t a grocery clerk in sight to help her out. Well, she was not going to be bested by a damn juice bottle. Yanking open the refrigerator door, she put a foot on the rubberized track, grabbed the edge of the shelf, hauled herself up, and stretched until her fingers just brushed the plastic bottle. If she could knock it a little, dislodge it...
“Let me help.”
The male voice was deep enough to send a delicious shiver down her spine. She would have gotten out of his way, but she felt him along her side as he leaned into the fridge door with her. His hand on the small of her back set a flame burning low in her belly. She couldn’t have moved if her life depended on it. Oh no, this was too good to miss. With barely a stretch, he straightened the bottle and set it rolling down the tracks to her waiting hand.
She was breathless when she turned to look up, and up some more. He was close enough to make her eyes cross, and she couldn’t focus sufficiently to take in more than cropped blond hair, piercing blue eyes, and a square, smooth-shaven jaw.
“Thank you,” was all she could manage. She didn’t want him to move. It had been so long since she’d felt a man this near, breathed in his pure male scent, musky with testosterone and clean workout sweat.
He stepped back out of the fridge slowly, his body caressing the length of hers for what seemed like eternity, until his heat was replaced by the cool blast of refrigerated air.
“My pleasure,” he said in that deep voice, setting her blood rushing through her veins.
She was so used to her ex’s average height that this man, though she was five-foot-five, made her feel petite. Tall and broad, he was a Viking who’d just stepped off his ship. Except for the running outfit. All in black, tight jogging pants encased his muscled thighs, and the Lycra shirt framed his powerful chest. She was staring, probably even drooling. In days of old, yeah, he’d have been a Viking or a knight. These days, a cop or a fireman. Or a corporate raider.
The man made her remember how long it had been since she’d had sex. With the divorce and all the stuff that went before, it had been two years. Two years. She’d been so busy and worried, she’d hardly noticed. Until this man had stood close to her, awakened her.
She realized she must have been staring at him like he was an ice cream cone she was dying to lick.
Too bad she couldn’t afford a relationship right now.
“Well, thanks again.” With great effort, she tore her eyes away and grabbed her shopping cart. A man was the last thing she needed in her life. She had enough trouble managing her sons—teenage boys were murder—not to mention her ex. No siree bob, she did not need a man.
Yet she allowed herself one last glance over her shoulder as she wheeled her cart down the meat aisle. He was watching. His gaze turned her hot inside and out.
No, she didn’t need another man in her life. But she sure wouldn’t mind a little casual sex. At the very least, the Viking was something to fantasize about.
* * *
Everything happened for a reason. He’d come to this store at this time; it had to be to see her. He was a believer in the law of attraction. If you wanted it badly enough, it would come to you, whatever it was. He’d felt the sizzle of her body against him, sensed her desire in the quickening of her breath and the perfume of her hormones. So, when he started his engine as she was exiting the grocery store, her full cart and a young clerk trailing in her wake to load the haul into her minivan, he didn’t feel any need to get her phone number, or give her his. Law of attraction, he’d find her again.