Contemporary Erotic Romance ~ 69,857 words
ISBN: 9781419946431 Ellora’s Cave Publishing ~ May 1, 2013
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Cassie has fantasized about the ginger-haired personal trainer for months. Brian is friendly, but never more—until he appears on her doorstep and shows her how much her flirting has affected him. The more she’s with him, the more Cassie wants the fairytale, not just hot sex with the six-two hunk. She can give Brian full access to her body, but after her ex’s reaction to her explicit photography business, sharing her secrets, and her heart, isn’t an option.
Brian knows better than to break the rules. Don’t date gym members. Keep his inner beast on a leash during sex. Cassie tested his resolve on number one her first day in the gym. Shattered the second rule when he touched her. The petite pixie shares his preferences in the bedroom. She makes him laugh and love—but past mistakes haunt him, emotionally and tangibly. Cassie’s worth the price he’ll pay for breaking the rules. Now he must convince her to give him her heart.
Brian rolled to a stop on Sloane Street. He killed the engine and stared through the rain-covered window of his Jeep at the white bungalow. If he did this, if he knocked on Cassie’s door at quarter to one in the morning, there’d be no going back.
A man could only take so much. The petite brunette had caught his eye from day one. She’d been torturing him for months—chatting, teasing him with comments that made her blush, openly flirting with him while she exercised. He’d have made his move immediately if not for his stupid contract.
Which led him back to the decision at hand—to knock on her door or drive away?
He scooped the cell phone from the passenger seat. Weighed it in his palm and took another glance at her house. Light escaped around the edges of her closed curtains. If he didn’t grab this opportunity, the odds of him getting another like it were slim. Fuck it, he was going for it.
Still raining and no sign it planned to let up. The drops cooled his skin, not the fire churning in his gut. He made short work of the distance to her door, each long step knotting his insides a little more. Yeah, he was nuts to do this. Nuts and committed to seeing it through. Worst-case scenario, she’d tell his boss and he’d get fired. Yeah, that’d suck—on multiple levels. He stopped a couple inches shy of the doorbell. Looked at the pink-covered phone in his hand and considered its owner. Her eyes, her smile, her body. The way everything inside him came alive when she laughed with him at the stupidest thing. Totally worth the risk.
He swallowed hard at the muted sound of the chime. Resisted the urge to press his face to the glass and look through the small window in her front door. Twenty seconds later, he rang again. Maybe she hadn’t heard it. Or maybe she was hiding in a corner, waiting for him to leave. Another minute and he’d assume the second and haul his ass back to the car.
The outside lamp came on. Cassie’s eyes popped into view in the lower portion of the window. They locked with his, instantly changing from a cautious squint to wide with surprise. The tip of her nose appeared, then her top lip. She had to be standing on her toes now. The rest of her mouth followed, curled in a smile. That’s all it took—he was a goner for the thousandth time.
The thunk and scrape of metal as she unlocked the door ramped up the tension in his gut. When that door opened, things were going to change, one way or another.
Her soft voice and pretty eyes greeted him through a narrow crack. “Brian? What are you doing here?”
“You dropped your—” The door inched open. Wide open. Holy hell, there went his jaw, all the way to the ground. He’d seen Cassie in gym clothes and street clothes. Hot, sexy, adorable—those descriptions all fit, depending on the moment. Cassie in a silky, Oriental-patterned robe that barely reached the tops of her thighs and didn’t close all that well in the front, wet hair framing her face…a word didn’t exist to describe the sight. “You’re dripping.” Oh yeah, smooth opening statement right there.
“So are you.” She giggled as a fat drop of water fell from his nose.
“It’s really coming down.”
“Thanks for the late-night weather update. Is that part of a membership upgrade?”
Messing with him now, was she? Exactly how he liked it. “Only for my favorite member.” He pulled her cell from his pocket and offered it up. “You dropped this.”
“Oh my god, where? I didn’t even notice it was missing.”
Restraint, he needed a bundle of it. In reaching for her phone, Cassie’s robe gaped enough to give him one hell of a view. Add that to the charge that ran up his arm when their hands brushed and he nearly forgot the question. “Ladies’ change room, near the lockers.”
“How’d you know it was mine?”
He forced his eyes upward and—bam. Caught in the act of ogling her body. Classy, man. The door ought to be slamming in his face any second.
Instead, she waved the phone side-to-side. “Hmm?”
“I tapped the email icon. Didn’t read anything, but I figured cassiebunny69 had to be you.” The blush she got was unmistakable. “You might want to consider a passcode for your phone.”
“Guess I got lucky that you found it, not somebody else.”
Got lucky—his cock liked those words. At this point, his cock was a hell of a lot more optimistic than the rest of his soaked-to-the-skin self. “You going to the gym tomorrow?” A reasonable question to ask at one in the morning while standing in the pouring rain, right? Not too obvious.
“I’m not sure…” She turned the phone over and over in her hand. “Will you be there?”
Time to play this out, see where it led. “Whenever you need a spotter.”
“You’re not working?” She stared up at him, pretty eyes getting bigger when he shook his head. “You want to…work out with me?”
“Actually, I want to do a hell of a lot more than work out with you, Cassie.” Lightning cracked behind him and the street lost power. Fantastic timing, nature. He could barely make out Cassie’s silhouette, let alone read her expression. For all he knew she was frozen in front of him, too scared to respond or make a move. “Go inside and lock the door. I’ll see you at the gym sometime.”
“Brian, wait…” A small, soft hand latched on to his arm. Pulled him closer, over the threshold, close enough to smell the shampoo she’d used and feel the waves of heat rippling from her freshly showered body. Close enough for him to make what could end up being a huge mistake.
Reviews from Readers
MaggieReadsRom said: “…if you’re looking for a super-hot sexy contemporary with great, witty characters and a hero to melt for, definitely give BODY OF WORK a try!”
Cara Connelly said: “I loved this story! It has Karla Doyle’s trademark terrific writing, weaving an emotional and sexy story about a photographer with a secret sideline and the hard-bodied fitness trainer she’s crushing on at her gym. If I had to pick my favorite of Doyle’s three totally hot books, this would be it.”
Mandy from Straight Shootin’ Book Reviews said: “So frick frackin hot. And sweet and so many other words and I cannot seem to come up with! Gah! The sexytimes were beyond smokin hot. And Brian and Cassie were dirty hot together and so totally sweet together.”
Andrea said: “Ms. Doyle has once again delivered an incredibly sexy book that keeps you turning the pages. The hero, Brian will melt your heart over and over again. Cassie, the heroine is funny and spirited. I loved her too. Wonderful!”
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