When Paige’s latest attempt at happily-ever-after with a nice guy tanks, she decides to quit fighting her destiny. She craves bad boys. Men who deliver short-term, panty-melting excitement, not reliability and settling down. If she’s going to embrace her true nature, who better to start with than the dark-haired, tattooed ballplayer whose cocky attitude gives her more thrills than any steady boyfriend ever has…
Alex had major league plans for his life until it threw him an unexpected and unwelcome curve ball. Switching gears to pursue his other passion was a rough road, but things are good—aside from his MIA muse. When a chance meeting with a blonde firecracker stirs his creative juices—and more—Alex is game to see where their chemistry leads. Trouble is, his potential Miss Right thinks she’s only capable of playing the field.
Contemporary Erotic Romance ~ 102,331 words
ISBN: 9780994098405 ~ Karla Doyle, December 1, 2015
♥ Standalone novel
♥ Happily ever after, no cliffhanger
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No matter how much she willed it to get here sooner, summer was still a couple weeks away. If it arrived on schedule. The temperature had already dropped several degrees since Paige left the house for her evening dog walk. Kind of had her rethinking the decision to forego a sweater. Her baby-doll t-shirt wasn’t much insulation against the cool, early-June breeze.
Standing in one place didn’t help matters. If only her dog would simply do his business instead of delaying the drop by turning the requisite seven pre-poop circles, she could get moving again. But no. In fact, he’d just added an eighth rotation to his routine. Good thing she loved the big lug, because his canine OCD was OMG crazy.
Once he’d finished—finally—Sasha rolled around on the lawn while she bent to do scoop-up duty. The disadvantage of a larger dog—really big, and frequently really smelly, poop. Seriously, what did he eat while she wasn’t around?
A spray of cold water fell over them. Her dog lurched at the surprise, nearly dragging Paige onto her face in the poop-smeared spot on the grass.
“Oh my god, what the hell?”
Dark hair popped up from behind a dripping navy-blue pickup truck in the next driveway. A scruff-covered face and wide male shoulders followed. “Looks like you got a bit wet.”
No apology, nice. Paige glanced down at her wet t-shirt, then back to the guy, who appeared completely amused by her newly dampened condition. “You sprayed me, now I’m soaked.” Impulse overrode responsibility as she threw the knotted poop bag at the side of his truck.
He rose to his full height then—and holy hell, was he tall—and looked over the hood at the missile she’d launched. His gaze lifted to meet hers. “That spray was accidental, and it only misted you a little.” One thick, tattooed arm brought the hose up from his side. He took aim, smiled mischievously and pulled the trigger. A clear shot. Direct hit. “Now you’re soaked.”
Utterly dripping, she shrieked. “You asshole…look what you did.”
Dark eyes did just that, from head to toe and back.
Paige held her chin up defiantly, aware that her nipples were jutting through the now-transparent white jersey. She stepped forward to collect the baggie and spun on her heel to leave.
“Hey, hang on, you’re freezing.”
“Yeah, I noticed that you noticed,” she said, over her shoulder.
He laughed. “Let me give you a towel or something.”
The combination of his deep, husky laughter and the waterlogged shirt made her shiver. She stopped and turned.
He was leaning against the truck now, arms folded over an expansive chest. Legs casually crossed at the ankles. Jeans with honest-to-god tears showed off his long, thick legs. The man was one big muscle. One big muscle topped with a strong jaw, thick dark stubble, hair and eyes to match. He oozed attitude.
“Forget the towel, I’ll take the shirt off your back.”
“Seems fair.” And off it came, peeled in one easy, multiple-muscle-flexing motion.
“Toss it over.”
“You’ve got your hands full, you’ll never catch it. Come get it.”
Jerk. She stomped toward him with Sasha in tow. “Hold my dog—if he lets you.”
Sasha, the traitor, sat contentedly between them while she yanked the massive black t-shirt over her sopping white one. Mr. Huge scratched behind the dog’s ears, making the pit bull’s tongue loll out of his mouth. Geez, her dog was practically smiling up at the guy. Make that traitor times ten.
“Shirt looks good on you.” He passed her the leash, their fingers brushing during the exchange.
Another shiver rippled through her. He stared at her so intently, she might as well have been naked as covered in his giant t-shirt. Since he clearly had no problems ogling, she returned the favor.
Thick pecs and well-defined abs—he definitely worked out. A lot. Ornate tattoos decorated his shoulder and most of his left arm. Good god, he had nipple piercings too. Time to go, pronto, before she reached out and flicked one of those silver barbells.
“What’s your dog’s name?”
Beneath the dangerously sexy stubble, his lips curled ever-so-slightly upward. “Did you name him that?”
“Yes. After a Russian artist.”
He snorted in response.
“Yup, first impressions are always right. You are an asshole,” she said, walking backward.
The dark-haired guy full-out laughed this time, making his muscles dance.
She wanted to storm over there and slug him. Or fuck him. Possibly both, neither of which she had the guts to do. Damn it, she had serious issues.
She’d only gotten one house width away when he called out, “Hey, tell me your name.”
“In your dreams.”
“Looking forward to them.”
Her face was the traitor now, smiling when she should have scowled. She turned so he wouldn’t see it, resisting the urge to look back until she’d put another house between them.
He’d returned to washing his truck, still shirtless, apparently unaffected by the cool evening breeze. Mouth-watering, even from a distance. Dark hair curled at the back of his neck. Tattoos crept out from under his arm to wrap around a monstrous back.
It was safe to say he’d be in her dreams.
What readers are saying about Stealing Home…
Maggie Reads Rom said: “Karla Doyle once again delivered a sexy and emotional read with characters that didn’t take the easy, cheesy route and had to work hard for their HEA while making me work for it just as hard.”