M/F Contemporary Romance
Meredith is home again, ready to settle down in her small town and open the antique shop she’s always dreamed of owning. She’s had enough of powerful men trying to use her and wants to simply fade away from the dating scene and enjoy life. When she runs into the diner’s new owner, she quickly realizes her master plan might have been premature.
Landry left life in the fast lane for life on Main Street. He’s sworn off women for a while. They’re nothing but trouble. Meredith is no exception. In fact, he’s pretty sure she’s not quite right in the head, but for some reason he gets her offbeat, whimsical behavior and craves being around it, not to mention she’s smokin’ hot and oozes sex appeal. It’s hard to fight nature’s pull even while chanting, “I’ve sworn off women.”
Rating: This full-length contemporary novel contains explicit sex scenes told with frank, graphic language. The book has a quirky heroine who is not above bedazzling her way through life, even though she can’t seem to pretty-up her past and an ex-uptight hero who learns to laugh all while breaking his number one rule—no more women.
Must be 18 years and older to read. If not, please leave the site.
I glanced to the side to find my brother, Samson, grinning like a fool as he waited outside the door of the new town diner. He was entirely too chipper for my liking.
“Miss me that much?” I asked, pulling my sunglasses down to the end of my nose. I tapped the edge of them.
He took one look at my attire and grunted. “Those heels are too high for you and your skirt is too short.” He held the door to the diner open for me. “And your blouse is cut too low. It’s really thin.” He made a motion to take his outer shirt off and I groaned.
He’d get naked just to keep anyone from daring to see I had any shape to me.
“Samson, enough.” I rolled my eyes, laughing at him. “My heels are the same as I wear almost daily. The skirt goes past my knees and the blouse isn’t showing anything it shouldn’t. Stop overreacting.”
He didn’t look pleased with me as he ushered me past the diner patrons to a cozy corner near the counter. He practically pushed me into the seat in the back, going again for his shirt. I wouldn’t be the least bit shocked if he demanded I put a potato sack on.
I stood and put my hands on my hips, unconcerned if I made a scene. I’d known most of the people in the diner all my life. They were used to my theatrics by now. It was doubtful anything I said or did would sway their opinion of me much. “Samson, do not make me drag you by your ear out to the street before I kick you plum in your backside. I’ll do it.”
“You’ve done it before,” someone said, making me smile.
Samson reached for me. “Mer, you should cover up. I can see your…umm…” He glanced at my chest and paled. It was comical seeing how unable he was to say the word breasts when referring to mine. Apparently, in his world, anyone related to him did not possess them. “Please.”
“I’m a woman.” I shook my chest slightly and he grew green around the edges. “They come with the territory.”
“Don’t remind me,” he said, putting his head down.
I glanced past him at a table full of women I didn’t know. They were watching my brother as if he were fresh meat. Annoyed, I shot them a diva stare and cleared my throat, catching their attention. “He’s about to eat lunch with me. I’d appreciate it if you weren’t mentally undressing him the entire time. I won’t be able to digest my food.”
Samson’s eyes widened a second before he tipped his head, laughing hard. “Oh, Mer. I missed you.” The women glanced away and I was thankful. The last thing I wanted to think of my brother as was a sex symbol. In my mind, Samson was anything but one.
Peggy and Marsha, two town locals and mother hens, grinned as they spotted Samson and me. He groaned. “Sorry ahead of time,” he said. “I thought we could enjoy a meal out together without anyone pouncing on you.”
I snorted. With a town the size of Paxton Falls, everyone knew your business and made it theirs in no time flat. “Fat chance of that.”
They approached. Peggy winked. “Samson never mentioned you were coming in for a visit.” Her swagger was almost as legendary as her deep, southern drawl.
My brother stiffened.
Taking a deep breath, I prepared to face the firing squad. “I’m not visiting. I’m moving back to the area.”
Peggy touched her chest lightly, and Marsha gasped loud enough to draw everyone’s attention. “You’re moving home?”
Hushed murmurs filled the diner. I waited for them to die down before staring around at everyone. “Yes,” I said. “I’m moving home.”
“Why didn’t you tell us?” Peggy asked, swatting Samson in the back of the head. “We could have had a welcome home party for her. We could have had cake.”
“And cookies,” Marsha added, giving Samson the evil eye.
I snorted and decided to come to his rescue. “Actually, he only found out this morning when I called him on my way in from the city.”
Peggy and Marsha circled us like sharks. “What brought this on?” Marsha asked.
Samson straightened in the chair. “I’d like an answer to that myself.”
More than one reason had caused me to pack several bags, load up my car and drive straight through the night to come home. None of which I wanted to get into with the town gossip gals, even if I did love them like family.
“It was just time for me to make a change,” I offered, hoping it would be enough.
Marsha seemed to catch on to the fact that I didn’t want to get into it all now. She pointed at the specials on the board above the counter. “Looks like he has quite the selection.”
“He who?” I asked. As smiles formed on both women’s faces, I knew I’d just been baited.
“Landry,” Peggy said, smiling innocently. “He owns the diner now. Bought it after Old Man Henry passed.”
Marsha gestured to the specials again. “He’s handsome too. Wonder if he’s married.”
I was quite sure she already knew the answer to that question. From the look on her face, she was up to something and so was her buddy.
Samson chuckled. “No. Landry isn’t married.”
Peggy and Marsha perked, appearing way too interested in the diner owner. Knowing they’d be badgering Samson for juicy details, I excused myself and went in search of a restroom, or anything that would prevent them from turning their attention back to me.
I was headed to what I assumed was the way to the restrooms when my childhood friend Jeremiah entered the diner. He spotted me and smiled wide. “Mer, what are you doing home?”
“She’s moving back,” Peggy supplied.
Jeremiah’s jaw dropped. “No way.”
“Way,” I said. “And I have got to pee.”
He grunted. “Still as sweet as ever. I need to talk to Samson a sec. You staying so I can catch up with you?”
He headed past me and I turned, walking right into a muscular man in a red t-shirt. His chocolate brown gaze fell on me just as the plate he had in his hand wobbled. I reached up fast, steadying it, unable to look away. He was simply breathtaking.
Tall, dark and bearing food. What more could a girl want?
I took a step to the side and he moved the same way. Clearing my throat, I attempted to move again and found him mirroring me. He let out a nervous chuckle and I smiled.
“Sorry,” he said, his voice deep, making my insides tingle.
We attempted to go around one another again only to once more walk into each other. Unable to help myself, I burst into laughter. I took hold of his steely waist and gasped at the feel of him.
His dark gaze heated as he stared down at me from his six-four perch. I wasn’t exactly short at five-nine and enjoyed being next to men who were taller than me.
I licked my lower lip, suddenly thirsty for more than water. “Uh, you stay. I’ll go.”
“Meredith?” Marsha asked, her voice piercing the diner. “My, my, what have you bumped into?”
Peggy clapped her hands. “A hunk!”
I wasn’t known for being shy. I did what felt natural. I touched the man’s hips and began to move toward him and then away again, all the while singing a song from a group I loved. It was about mating and the games played to achieve it. It had a very James Bond style to it, a vibe I loved. I assumed he’d be like anyone else meeting me for the first time, confused. When he held the plate up and moved his hips, I lost it, laughing and clinging to him.
He followed, doing the same, holding me with one arm and balancing a plate in the other. “Mmm, is that a devil in my pocket?”
I tipped my head, staring up at him, shocked he’d clearly heard of the song. It wasn’t exactly well-known. “Willing to be a contestant? If so, I’ll arm wrestle Peggy for you.”
“Sit,” Samson said, his voice low and warning.
“Can’t,” I answered.
“And why is that?”
Shaking my head in a dramatic fashion, I glanced over my shoulder at Samson. “Hello, did you miss that I’m in the middle of an impromptu game of chance? You cannot just walk away from that. It would be—”
“Sacrilegious,” the man supplied.
Samson grunted. “Do not encourage her. She’s crazy enough on her own.”
I winked. “No doubt exists that all women are crazy; it’s only a question of degree.”
The hunk near me chuckled. “W.C. Fields. Nice.”
Impressed, I faced him, my hands returning to his hips. “Alas, my love, our time has to come to an end.” I licked my lower lip. “Nature calls.”
“Pity. I was enjoying our time together, my love.” He moved at the same time, brushing the entire length of his body against me as he moved past. From the look in his eyes, he knew exactly what he was doing—making my body teeter on the edge of igniting. Though he seemed to be equally affected. At least I assumed he was, since he walked right into an empty chair while he was still watching me.
Samson was up in a heartbeat, coming for me, giving the man a hard look. “Meredith, did you decide what you wanted?”
“Oh, pick him!” Peggy said, pointing to the stud in the red t-shirt.
Grinning, I glanced around for a restroom, wanting to not only hide, but splash water on my face as well.
My cell phone rang and I sighed, reaching into the pocket of my skirt to retrieve it. I made a move to take it outside and backed right into the hunk in the red t-shirt. He wagged his brows. “How about I stand still?”
I blushed and knew my entire face was now red, something that didn’t happen often. “Sounds like a plan.”
I opened my phone and did the strangest thing. I put my palm on the man’s chest as I greeted the caller. As soon as I heard the voice on the other end, I cringed, annoyed that I’d bothered to answer it at all. “Brice, what do you want? I quit, remember. I used small words in my resignation letter to keep it simple for you. Should I have pasted pictures instead? Ooo, maybe I should have penned it across my chest. You know, where you always seemed to be looking.”
“I want you back, Meredith,” he said, sounding desperate. “I can’t do this without you.”
“Oh, I know you can’t. I tried to tell you as much, but you were too busy talking down to me like I was one of your little followers. You know, the ones who can’t wait to snag a rich husband.”
“I said I was sorry. Please, don’t—”
I rolled my eyes. “I wasn’t aware apologies came in the form of you showing up for work drunk off your ass, all the while trying to grab mine. Just because your daddy owns the company doesn’t mean you’re fit to take over running it. Grow up, Brice.”
“Meredith, I know. More than you. I need you. You keep me on track. You’re my right hand. I don’t know how I did it without you.”
I snorted. “Oh, I know exactly how you did it before me. You walked out to that secretary pool and picked the doe-eyed ones, the ones you knew would spend more time under your desk than at their own.”
He exhaled loudly. “See. This is a prime example of why I need you back. You don’t shy away from keeping me in my place.”
“You don’t need me,” I said. “You need the number to a high-priced whorehouse. Wait, isn’t that on your speed dial?”
“Cut me some slack, Meredith. I’m eating crow here.”
I couldn’t help but laugh. “Cut you some slack? Uh, no. I walked in, almost straight out of college, and you saw a young girl from a small town, one you thought you could bully and order around because in your mind, small town equals simple. Little brains and lots of legs and tits. Isn’t that what I heard you telling Materson?”
“Well, no, I didn’t…umm…”
“Don’t bother denying it, Brice. Did you ever read my resume or did you hire me based on looks? You know what, don’t bother answering that either. I think we both know which you did.”
He whimpered. “I’m begging here, Meredith. I need you back. I can prove how much I’m committed to making this right with you.”
“How can you prove it? Did you take vows to be a monk? Start going to sex addicts meetings? Pull your head out of your ass? I’m all ears, Mr. Jonston. How can you prove that you’re committed to making anything work?”
“First, tell me where you are.” He swallowed hard. “Are you at your father’s house?”
I wrinkled my brow. “Why do you want to know if I’m at my dad’s place?”
“Just do me this favor,” he pleaded. “Where are you?”
“I’m at the diner in the center of town, why?”
“I’ll call you right back.” He hung up, leaving me standing there, staring at my phone.
It took me a moment to realize I was still caressing the hunk’s chest. I jerked my hand away and blushed. Damn, the man certainly had an effect on me. “Sorry.”
“Don’t be,” he countered. “I found that conversation highly entertaining.”
“I didn’t,” Samson said, appearing behind the hunk with his arms crossed over his chest. “That jerkwad grabbed your ass?”
The hunk motioned to Samson. “Looks like your boyfriend isn’t too happy.”
My jaw dropped. “Oh, eww. Yuck.”
Samson rubbed his brow. “I’m not her boyfriend. I’m her brother, Landry. You knew that already.”
I grinned. “You’re Landry?”
“Guilty,” he said, his brown gaze locked on me.