by Mandy Colton
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
Once a debutante, Danica Chastain is now a struggling songwriter with a dream of landing a job in the music business. On the day when her hard work seems to be heading in the right direction, a gruff man with a dark presence and wolfish eyes arrives at her door.
Although their immediate chemistry is off the charts, the two clash—for good reason. Danica is not who he thinks she is, and he’s not listening...
* * * *
The next morning, Danica spent much of her time stomping around and grumbling. Her routine was screwed. She’d found the coffee pot gone first and then, after taking her shower, found her blow dryer lifted as well. She’d had to painstakingly brush her hair dry. Then there was the underwear dilemma she’d faced next. She had none. It was all gone, and the only thing she could do was put the bra back on from the day before, which was not going to work for the panties. There had been too much freaking out the night before about bigger issues than to remember to wash them out or even worry about something as minor as going sans the drawers. She’d just have to temporarily go commando and leave early enough to buy herself some undies on the way to her appointment.
She was about ready to leave the apartment when there was a knock on the door. Danica looked out the peephole but didn’t see anyone. Hmm. She shrugged, opened the door to take a step out and look, immediately walking into a wall of man and muscle. Yelping in surprise, she quickly moved her eyes up to his face. Whoa. At first glance, the guy had a dark, daunting presence, almost intimidating as he loomed over her. A closer inspection made another thought cross her mind. What a hunk-o-man! Talk about tall, beefy, and ruggedly handsome. Not exactly swarthy but deeply tanned and a nice amount of past-five-oh-clock shadow framed a nicely chiseled jawline. The whole package made her shiver a little. She could smell the guy, he was so close, and his cologne was a heady alpha male blend of sweat, the non-stinky man-musk kind, and spice. Ooh, and leather. In fear of being zapped by a jolt of supercharged testosterone mixed with potently virile pheromones, she took a step back.
He stood there, intimidating-like, looking down his nose at her, eyeing her, nothing moving except for a pair of odd color eyes. They were mesmerizing. He cleared his throat, which broke her staring spell.
She finally said, “If you’re looking for Tara, she’s gone.” She scanned him again. At least the bitch had a little taste in who she screwed. Couldn’t say the same for the guys.
Suddenly his eyes changed and he looked a bit amused. What a pair of peepers he had on that strikingly handsome and chiseled face. The guy had bright-gray eyes, like a husky dog or a wolf. My goodness, how beautiful they were and framed by lush lashes, those making her a little jealous. Danica was curious if the eye color was real or if he might be wearing contacts. Before she had the chance to ask, he opened his mouth.
“Is that right?”
Wow. The beefcake wasn’t the meathead she was expecting, he could speak. Smooth, sexy voice too. “Yup, bitch is gone. That’s for damn sure.”
He snickered at that. “Mind if I come in?”
“As a matter of fact, I do. I have somewhere I gotta be.”
The guy rudely bumped her aside with his broad chest and walked right past, making her gasp because he didn’t have permission and she was pretty sure that brief contact had created a few sparks underneath her chassis. Sparky, like after a bump in the road and your loose muffler intermittently drags the asphalt before scraping your undercarriage again with a zing. Yeah, like that.
Danica put her hands on her hips and cleared her own throat this time. “Excuse me, but I think I just told you that Tara’s not here and I have someplace to go.”
He walked right through the apartment, opened a bedroom door, and turned to grin at her. Then he walked to the other and opened it. “Mmhmm. Bet you do have some place to go, being that you just missed your court date. Again. Skipping for a second time on the same bondsman. He warned you last time. Somebody was gonna be comin’ for your lily-white ass.”
“Why are saying ‘you’? Like I did that? I don’t have a clue what you’re even talking about. I haven’t done anything, and for your information, my white ass is clean. I have never needed a bondsman.”
That made the corners of his mouth quirk upward into a smile. “Nice to know. Let’s see some ID, sweetheart.”
She still had her hands on her hips and narrowed her eyes at the guy. “What? You think I’m her, don’t you?” Thoroughly insulted by the thought, she continued, “Freaking Jesus H. Believe me, I could never be as bad as that nasty-ass, thieving, nympho skank is.”
Those sexy lips began twitching at that. She couldn’t stop focusing on them. He stuck his hand out, doing a “give it”-type motion with his fingers. “ID, please.”
Aggravated now, she grabbed her bag and snapped, “Fine! Who the hell are you, walking right in and demanding ID? Why are you here?”
“I’m a bond enforcement officer working on behalf of the bondsman in Texas. The law and bond was broken by not showing on the scheduled court date. I’m here to collect Tara Morgan and take her to jail. If you’re not her, then just kindly show me some ID and I’ll go.”
Although she’s a great fan of the human imagination, she is also of the opinion that there are just no better stories than those that involve a bit of true life.
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