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and some chips.
He held them aloft. “I was thinking we could hang out and have a beer and some snacks.”
She smiled, even as she looked down at herself. “Uh. I’m sort of messy. I was cleaning the kitchen.”
He walked in without saying anything else, but once he got to her kitchen, he turned back. “You look fantastic.”
Ginger had already abandoned her nap at the sound of Duke’s voice and deposited herself at his feet.
“So easy,” she murmured to the dog as she joined them in the kitchen.
“Glasses or the bottle okay?” He indicated the beer with a tip of his chin.
“Bottle is fine. There’s an opener in that drawer there.” She pointed. “If you’re hungrier than just chips and dip, there’s leftover baked ziti. I was just thinking about some dinner.”
“Leftover ziti? How is that even possible? Was everyone sick? I promise if you made me baked ziti, I’d eat every last bit.” He cocked his head and looked extra hot.
She put a hand on her hip. He was so totally full of it. “Actually, I made a smaller one for myself and took two to a big family dinner. It’s my uncle’s favorite. But I brought home coconut cake and some other stuff.”
Carmella bent to look in her fridge because he was standing so very close and she was getting giddy. Giddy was bad. Giddy ended up being the last time she slept with her ex. Though to be fair, it had been fantastic.
This man was a giddy nuclear reactor and it made her girl parts want to be so stupid.
And then he bent to peer into the fridge at her side. “Jesus Christ. Carmella. Baby, this is the most organized refrigerator I’ve seen in my entire life. I’m in awe.”
She was so surprised and weirdly flattered, Carmella turned to look at him and ended up whacking her forehead to his so hard she saw stars against her closed eyes.
Firm hands took her by the upper arms and helped her stand though she wobbled a little. “Honey, are you all right?”
“Ouch,” Carmella managed. “Sorry. I got you pretty hard.”
Duke laughed as he moved the hand she’d had over her forehead and replaced it with a bag of frozen berries. “My go‑to is corn usually, but you don’t have any. That should help. I’m okay. I have a very hard head. That’s totally true so stop it with that look of yours.”
“You have a go‑to remedy for head bumping?” Carmella sat at one of the stools at the island. “And what look do you mean?”
“Works for busted knuckles, black eyes, the usual sort of lifestyle-related injuries.”
Carmella winced when she raised her brow at him. “Lifestyle-related?”
Duke shrugged. “What can I say? Ass kicking and fisticuffs seem to be a regular part of my life. And the look I meant is the one you’re wearing right now. The one you give that makes everyone feel like a wayward boy who craves your approval.”
“I have that look? Really?” How awesome! She clearly needed to use it more.
“You do. Why do you think we’re all so obedient to your paperwork rules?”
“Because it’s efficient and makes money move back into the shop more quickly?”
He laughed again and then moved the bag of fruit to kiss the sore spot.
They both went very still.
His muscles tightened, the tension radiating from him made her dizzy. And probably crazy, but needing to soothe. So she slid her hands up the wall of his chest, not to restrain or hold back, no matter how much she told herself that lie.
Once she touched him, she knew it to her toes that everything had changed.
“Damn it,” he snarled and then kissed her. Only, no. He took her mouth, owned it, and had his wicked way with it.
Page Count: 312 pages
Publisher: Forever (August 4, 2015)
Duke Bradshaw, co-owner of the custom motorcycle shop Twisted Steel, is great with his hands and not afraid to get dirty . . . especially in his fantasies about his redheaded neighbor Carmella Rossi.
Carmella has been secretly lusting after her hot, tattooed neighbor for the last three years. His gravelly voice combined with the throaty purr of his custom bike never fails to send thrills down her spine. When Duke asks her to join him at the shop, she can't say no. Soon their days together spill over into nights that bring her pleasure beyond anything she imagined. But Carmella grew up with bikers, and knows how bad a bad boy can be. Can she put herself at risk for someone who has heart-breaker written all over him?
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