Par for Cinderella
The Cinderella Romances Book 3
by Petie McCarty
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Casey Stuart has given up her dream of escaping to the big city. She refuses to desert her uncle, even when he hires the new stranger in town to replace her at their golf course. Casey vows to steer clear of the stranger called Aidan and the danger their inescapable chemistry provokes. Aidan’s stay is temporary, and falling for him promises only heartbreak.
When Casey discovers Cypress Key’s mayor is making underhanded business deals, she ends up on the wrong side of the powerful autocrat. Aidan steps in to rescue her, but secrets from his past threaten to bogey their newfound relationship.
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He must have sensed her decision to flee, like a timber wolf senses his prey. “What are you doing down here?”
The deep sensual timbre of his voice vibrated along her spine and created tiny pinpoints of desire along its length. Her mouth had that dry feeling she got at the end of her tour spiel—dry and raspy.
“I-I was just going up to bed.”
“No, you weren’t.”
“I-I was too.”
His sexy chuckle rumbled in the darkness, and her skin prickled with anticipation. She couldn’t fool Aidan or herself.
Her brain taunted, Flight or fight, make up your mind.
She suddenly recalled her earlier decision following Janie’s call—to grant herself the month with Aidan. Better her have him than let Deedee steal him away. Casey had fully intended to enjoy every single minute of that month with Aidan before she’d chickened out just now. Instead of running away, she could enjoy the feel of those broad shoulders and muscled arms filling up the doorway right here. She could also allow herself a good long stare at that perfect butt when he turned, and maybe even enjoy that kissable mouth with those please-never-take-them-off-me lips.
“Stop looking at my mouth,” Aidan growled, “or you’ll be sorry.”
Her heart ended her dilemma. Go for it.
She could feel his unseen eyes track the movement of her chest, rising and falling with each hard-won breath. Time to force the issue for them both.
“K-Kiss me,” she whispered. Frozen in place, she left the outcome up to Aidan.
He didn’t move a muscle for three lifetime-lasting heartbeats.
One . . . he doesn’t want me.
Two . . . he’s still angry.
Three . . . my own fault.
She turned for the stairs, and he had her in two strides. His arms snaked around her waist and yanked her tight to his chest as his mouth took hers. This was no tender, make-up kiss. This was all need and desire and maybe a little punishment too.
She didn’t care. Her fingertips had gotten their Christmas wish, and Casey buried them in the silky hair at his collar, luxuriating in the soft texture and wanting to keep him close. Even that didn’t stop the tingling in her fingertips.
Aidan tongue teased at her lips, then swept inside and tangled against hers. She grew lightheaded as she reacquainted herself with the moist sweetness of his mouth, tinged with a hint of beer. A joyful reunion after the fear of separation, and she intended to savor every sexy nuance of flavor.
He growled low in his throat and turned his head to deepen the kiss. Casey just prayed he wouldn’t stop kissing her. Aidan had to care about her. He didn’t, couldn’t kiss another woman like this. Could he? An image of Deedee flashed behind her eyelids.
She pulled back, but her fingers refused to relinquish their hold on his soft curls.
“What was that for?” he asked, his voice rough with desire. “Not that I’m complaining, mind you.”
“I don’t want to be just friends,” she whispered.
Petie shares her home on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee with her horticulturist husband, a spoiled-rotten English Springer spaniel addicted to pimento-stuffed green olives, and a noisy Nanday conure named Sassy who made a cameo appearance in Angel to the Rescue.
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