ICING ON THE CAKE

ICING-on-the-CAKE-finalfinalENia and Conn’s wedding will be fairytale perfect…if their siblings can get along.

Free-spirited, anti-establishment Sara has always been on the outside of her family’s fairytale mold. Now she’s being forced smack into the middle of it at her sister Nia’s wedding. Alongside the cocky and annoyingly sexy best man—Conn’s cop brother.

Curtis doesn’t buy in to organized romance and fairytales. But for his brother, he’ll throw on a tux and fake it for a few hours. His flak vest would have been a better choice around the maid of honor. He should have brought his handcuffs too, because somebody needs to restrain the dark-haired spitfire—and he’s just the man for the job.

One night to indulge the spark between them, then goodbye—that was the agreement. Curtis isn’t looking for a relationship and he sure doesn’t want a troublemaker for a girlfriend. The last thing Sara needs in her daily life is a cop looking over her shoulder, no matter how hot he is.
But giving in to their chemistry is much more fun than giving it up…


Contemporary Erotic Romance ~ 59,435 words
ISBN: 9780992152741 ~ Karla Doyle, June 29, 2014

Close to Home series, Book 2
Characters introduced in Book 1, though each book may be read as a standalone novel.
♥ Happily ever after, no cliffhanger.


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Excerpt

There were only nine people in the church, but every eye in the place was trained on her. Which was how Sara liked it—usually. Not this time. Not when the attention resulted from her late arrival to her sister’s wedding rehearsal. Worse—the looks on her family’s faces. Relief on Nia’s. Disappointment on her parents’. Conn looked plain-old pissed off.

With her track record for stirring up trouble, nobody would believe the truth. That she’d stopped en route to help a stranded motorist whose car looked ready to combust. To hell with it, she wouldn’t even bother explaining. Let them all think the worst. They were going to anyway.

“Hey, ho, everybody.” She snapped her fingers while closing the distance to the waiting pastor, bride, groom, and the rest of their assembled family members. “Let’s do this pretend-wedding thing.”

A layer of tension hung over the small group, everybody waiting to see how Nia would react, most likely. On the surface, Sara didn’t crack. She wore her confident smile like the armor it had always been. Inwardly, she held her breath with the rest of them. After a rift that’d lasted eight shitty years, she and Nia had finally found their way back to being best friends. The last thing Sara wanted to do was fuck that up. Again.

For a minute, Nia remained still and silent, staring at her with those big, brown eyes of hers. Then she stepped forward and pulled Sara into a hug. “I’m so glad you’re here.”

“Dude, save your public displays of affection for your fiancé.” She faked a gag and made a show of breaking free of Nia’s embrace, but that’s all it was—a show. The hug meant the world. Sara hadn’t ruined anything. Nor would she. Not this weekend.

The mood in her hometown church lifted, kicking into a full-fledged buzz as the young pastor directed everybody to their places for a mockup of tomorrow’s big event. Both sets of parents hovered on the first row of pews. Nia and Conn stood before the pastor, beaming as the man described how everything would unfold.

Nia would pass her bouquet to Sara. The lovebirds would face each while the pastor “charged them on the duties of marriage.” Whoa. And snore. The best man—and hello, Hottie McHotterson with the tats—would hand Conn a wedding band so he could pledge his undying love. Then it’d be Nia’s turn. Blah, blah, blah. And while several dozen guests oohed and aahed, the romantic spectacle would hit its saccharine-sweet pinnacle with a kiss. Your standard-issue fairytale wedding.

For her sister, Sara would smile through the lot of it. She’d wear the pink bridesmaid dress Nia had chosen. Pink, a color that hadn’t graced Sara’s wardrobe since the third grade. But it was her sister’s favorite and that’s what mattered. While wearing the pink dress, she’d make nice with people she didn’t know or didn’t care to, along with some she did know but wished she didn’t. But at least the best man would be there.

She leaned forward for a better look at him. Short hair, piercing eyes, enough scruff to make things interesting. So what if he was Conn’s brother. And a cop. With all the ink she could see and the lean, hard body it decorated, he couldn’t be totally uptight and boring. Maybe she’d do a little detective work of her own later, just to confirm.

His focus shifted from the pastor to her. Their eyes locked—briefly—before his gaze descended to her cleavage in the black babydoll t-shirt she wore. To her waistline and hips. To her legs encased in a pair of skintight jeans and the tall, high-heeled boots she loved more than was probably normal or healthy.

She raised an eyebrow and tilted her head when his attention returned to her face. And…nothing. He simply resumed looking at the pastor.

Son of a bitch. She knew for a fact he wasn’t married or gay. With the good, long look he’d taken, she would’ve bet he found her attractive. Unless his taste in women ran similar to his brother’s—blonde and demure. She and Nia had very different styles. Different everything.

Whatever. His loss. She enjoyed a challenge, but she’d pass on cracking the straight-faced best man. Because, hello—cop. Not on her wish list in a guy.

Unless the wedding guests included some sexy surprise specimen, she’d just go a couple days without fun of the naked-male variety. By Sunday morning she’d be on her way back to the city. Lots of attractive men to choose from there, none of whom would care about the small matter of her criminal record. Or her current employment status. Plenty of guys would find both things hot. To hell with any who didn’t, frankly.

The pastor wrapped up the rehearsal with a reminder of when everybody needed to arrive tomorrow. Nia practically jumped into Conn’s arms. Forget about waiting to kiss the bride, Conn laid one on his bride-to-be right then and there.

Sara had to admit, it was a hot one. Kind of had her rethinking her decision about the sexless weekend—and the tattooed cop.

“Everybody back to the house for barbecue and beer.” Her dad waved his hand in the air, as if the simple action finalized the command. “You too, Ben.” This, he directed at the pastor. “Bring a date if you’d like, we’ve got plenty of food and drinks.”

“Thanks, Peter. No lady in my life at the moment, but I’d love to join you all after I lock up here.”

“Great.” Dad shot her a hopeful look that included a wink. “We’ll see you there.”

Oh, for crying out loud. It wasn’t enough that she’d agreed to be the pink-satin-wearing sidekick in Nia’s picture-perfect wedding, now her dad wanted to set her up with a freaking pastor? Her family really needed to get with the program. The one where she was a lost cause in the growing-up and settling-down departments.

While the Lawler and Chambers family units hovered around the glowing couple, Sara beelined it toward the outside aisle, and temporary freedom.

“Hey,” a deep, husky voice called as she reached the vestibule.

Not her dad. Not the pastor or Conn, either. That left two men—Conn’s father or his brother. Sara only had fifty bucks spending money to get her through to payday next week, but she’d bet it on the brother. A voice that sexy had to belong to a hard-bodied male with lots of ink.

She paused, turned, and won the self-imposed bet.

“Last one to show up, now the first one to leave.” Conn’s brother took a few more steps, positioning himself between Sara and the outer door. He tucked his hands into the front pockets of some fine-fitting jeans. “You’re not trying to skip out on the rehearsal party, are you?” His stance and tone were casual. His pointed remarks, not so much.

“Aww, isn’t this sweet? We haven’t even been formally introduced and already you’re devastated at the thought of an evening without me.”

His eyes twinkled and the corner of his mouth twitched. “Curtis Lawler, Conn’s older brother.” He didn’t offer a hand to shake. Just stepped closer, completely invading her personal space. “And you’re Sara.”

“Figured that out on your own, detective, or did they show you my mug shot in advance to make things easier?”

“It’s Constable first class, but that’s a mouthful, even for one that works as well as yours. Probably easiest if you call me sir.”

“Never going to happen, lawman.” She tried to sidestep him and he mirrored the action, halting her getaway without laying a finger on her. But damn, he might as well have touched her, because every inch of her skin had goose bumps from the electricity between them.

“Never’s a long time.” Curtis’ gaze locked with hers and a wicked smile curved his sensual lips. “And for the record, I’m not a patient man.”

Holy mother of sin. Talk about balls. And potential. This weekend might not be as sweet and chaste as she’d feared. She tossed her hair behind her shoulder, enjoying the way it distracted the man blocking her path. As a test, she caught the end of a thick lock and twirled it around her finger.

Curtis tracked the action intently, his nostrils flaring when her head tipped from the slight tugging she applied. So the man had a thing for long hair, maybe for playing with it or pulling it? Well, yes please, she could go for some of that. But she still wasn’t giving an inch. Not this early in the game.

She let the dark strand slip free from her fingers and gave Curtis a smug smile when his attention drifted back to her eyes. “For the record, I think patience is overrated. Why wait nicely for something when you can just take what you want?”

His eyebrows rose and the devilish twinkle returned to his steel-blue eyes.

Laughter and voices filled the air as the rest of the small group approached the vestibule. Playtime was over. For now.


Chapter One — Read the full first chapter online!


goodreads-badge-addWhat readers are saying about ICING ON THE CAKE…

Claire said: “The verbal sparring between these two (Curtis & Sara) is priceless… I found their snarky sarcasm towards each other an absolute hoot.”

Maggie Reads Rom said: “This is one of those books that I just want to yell at people to go buy and read. The mix of emotion, conflict, heat and humor was perfect. The chemistry, connection and verbal sparring between Sara and Curtis was off the charts!”

What reviewers are saying about ICING ON THE CAKE…

the-boyfriend-bookmark-button

5 “I loved Cup of Sugar by Karla Doyle and I am never quite sure that sequels will live up to the expectations I tend to have of them… however, Icing On The Cake, just surpassed the expectations that I held. It was smart, witty, hot and the sexual tension was out of this world.”

TheBrunetteBookworm4 “Icing on the Cake was a quick, fun and sexy read. I loved it! Curtis is easily one of my favorite book boyfriends. I highly recommend this book and series to fans of sexy, contemporary romance. Karla Doyle is quickly becoming one of my go-to authors. Check out this series! I promise you won’t be sorry you did.”

 


Icing on the Cake Playlist