Title: Hard to Handle by Jessica Lemmon
Love in the Balance Series two
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 304 pages
Sadie Howard never dates a guy more than once-but Fate has other plans for her when it comes to Aiden Downey, the one that got away. Aiden loved her, left her, and broke her heart. Yet suddenly she’s bumping into him at every turn, driven to distraction by his wicked grin and rock-hard body. Now she can’t resist finishing what they started-as long as she doesn’t let herself fall in love . . .
TWICE AS TEMPTING
Aiden Downey threw away the best thing he ever had when he let Sadie go, and now he’s determined to win back the woman he’s always wanted. Sadie agrees to let him into her life-and her bed-as long as there are no strings attached. But Aiden’s not about to make the same mistake again. Can he convince her to take a second chance on a once-in-a-lifetime love?
“Sadie!” He caught her easily, snagging her elbow and pulling her into the one of the open, unoccupied rooms along the hallway. The room was dark, the only light came from the hall and sliced across the floor at an arc. Aiden steered her behind the open door, out of sight from any passersby.
He released her arm. She wouldn’t look at him. “Sadie.”
It took every drop of her dwindling courage, but she finally lifted her eyes to his.
“That’s it?” he asked, his mouth a grim line.
She blinked at him, feeling a flash of fear and regret that soon morphed into anger. “You asked, I said no,” she said, her voice shaking.
“Actually, you said you were sorry.”
She sighed. “I am.” Because she couldn’t marry Aiden. She couldn’t marry anyone. She was a hopeless wreck where men were concerned and—
“So my only options are to take you to bed or lose you forever?”
She blinked at him. “Are you quoting Top Gun?”
“Maybe.” The corner of her lip tipped into a cautious smile. “Are those my only options?” he asked, his voice quiet.
“I can’t marry you, Aiden,” she whispered, closing her eyes so she wouldn’t have to look at the disappointment swimming in his.
She felt his hand caress her shoulder and a moment later was enveloped in heat as he stepped into her comfort zone. Only, when Aiden was in it, she felt more comfortable, not less.
“Okay,” he said, stroking her face.
She opened her eyes.
His eyes held no clue as to what he meant by that. “What?”
“Did you mean it when you asked me to take you to bed tonight?”
Her heart slammed into third gear. He wasn’t serious…was he? She made the mistake of challenging how serious he was moments ago. She’d been dead wrong. Now he was suggesting…oh. Wow. But that was before…before he’d proposed to her. Before he’d forced her into a tight, dark corner where she couldn’t breathe. “Aiden—”
“I want you to ask me again.” He walked her one step backward. Then two. She allowed him to advance until her butt bumped against the wall.
She shook her head, but there was no conviction in it.
“Ask me again,” he repeated, looking scarily serious. His hands were heating her hips through the material of her dress. He kept his stormy eyes on hers, refusing to allow her to escape. “But only if you still want me.”
Her breaths came in short pants. “I do.”
When he was this close, she couldn’t fight. But maybe…maybe she didn’t want to fight. Not about this. She wanted him; she hadn’t lied about that. And he’d be worth it, she knew. Being with Aiden here, or anywhere, would be better than going home alone and reliving the pain of turning him down. But Aiden wasn’t arguing about his proposal. Which made this decision that much easier.
Sadie licked her lips, took a breath, and asked the damn question. “Will you…take me to bed?”
His hold tightened on her hips. “Yes” came his gravelly response. “To bed.” He kissed her lips. “To your car.” He kissed her neck. “Up against this wall.” He leaned into her body, his erection pressing firmly against her belly.
Jessica Lemmon has always been a dreamer. At some point, she decided head-in-the-clouds thinking was childish, went out, and got herself a job . . . and then she got another one because that one was lousy. And when that one stopped being fulfilling, she went out and got another . . . and another. Soon it became apparent she’d only be truly happy doing what she loved. And since “eating potato chips” isn’t a viable career, she opted to become a writer. With fire in her heart, she dusted off a book she’d started years prior, finished it, and submitted it. It may have been the worst book ever, but it didn’t stop her from writing another one. Now she has several books finished, several more started, and even more marinating in her brain (which currently resides in the clouds, thankyouverymuch), and she couldn’t be happier. She firmly believes God gifts us with talents for a purpose, and with His help, you can create the life you want. (While eating potato chips.)