Title: Not in My Wildest Dreams by Jamie Hollins
McKenna Series Book Two
Publisher: Jamie Hollins
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 339 pages
It really sucks to be in love with someone who sees you as nothing more than a friend. Darcy Owens knows this from personal experience. From the moment she met Sean McKenna as a shy ten-year-old, he’s owned her heart. So when he asks for her help with an important construction project, she can’t say no.
Building a boutique hotel on Boston’s waterfront is a career-making opportunity, and Sean needs Darcy’s interior design expertise. She’s incredibly talented, and there is no one he trusts more. He knows he can always count on his childhood friend, but doesn’t know why he’s thinking about her tight skirts and blue eyes instead of tight deadlines and blueprints.
When Sean and Darcy’s excitement about their work turns into an entirely different kind of excitement, it’s a sexy surprise. But they soon realize that building a new relationship is more challenging than building a new hotel, especially when life-long habits and old insecurities create cracks in the foundation.
She felt the wheels of their plane lift off the ground and watched out the window as the ground got farther and farther away.
Her head jerked over and she found Sean watching her with amusement. She ignored him and looked down at her magazine.
“What are you reading?”
He was just like a gnat that wouldn’t leave her alone!
She wasn’t planning on answering him but felt him lean toward her over the armrest to look at the page. When she read the title of the article, she nearly gasped. Of all the articles to be reading next to Sean, she had to open her magazine to this particular one.
“Picking the Right Lingerie for Your Body Type,” Sean read aloud.
Before she could respond, he flipped the page. Both sides of the magazine had four different pictures of women in lingerie. Some were modest and some could be classified as nonexistent. Darcy’s eyes scanned the page, taking in the various and rainbow selection of lacy, satiny outfits.
An incredibly thin woman wore a red bustier and garter set. A pale blonde posed with thin straps of sheer neutral fabric covering her tiny breasts and the triangle between her legs. A buxom brunette lounged in bed in a silky camisole and nearly painted-on boy shorts. It was a smorgasbord of scantily clad woman, and she couldn’t help but cringe.
“Hmmmm,” he said, scanning the two pages. “I’d pick that one.”
He pointed to a dark-haired woman wearing a black lacy bra-and-panty set. She stood with one knee kneeling against a chair, a satin black robe draping off her shoulders. The top consisted of a lacy demi-bra, which hoisted the model’s cleavage up into plump mounds below her collarbone. The bikini bottoms were the same lacy material as the bra and sat well below her smooth, toned stomach.
The ensemble’s simple color and lines made it sexy, but the flowing satiny fabric of the robe made it romantic. There were other lingerie sets that were much more vixen than this one, and she was surprised at Sean’s choice.
“You’d pick that one if you were a woman, huh?”
“No, I’d pick that one if I were you.”
Jerking her gaze away from the magazine, she stared at him with wide eyes. She couldn’t believe he’d gone there. It was bad enough she had to sit next to him, the source of her torment and embarrassment. But he crossed into territory that she wasn’t ready to talk about. Wouldn’t be ready to talk about for at least another year. Maybe more.
He looked up, must have seen her bewildered expression, and grinned.
“What? It’s true. You have these perfect—” he started, cupping his hands in front of his chest.
“Stop!” That single word left her breathless as she stared at him.
He smiled. “It’s nothing to be embarrassed about. I was just about to say that—”
Darcy squeezed her eyes shut and shook her head quickly, trying hard to ignore the warm contentment that settled in her chest over hearing Sean call her breasts perfect. “No! Just stop. We are not having this conversation.”
After a moment, he sighed loudly. “All right. I’m just gonna say this because it needs to be said. We had sex. Big deal.”
Darcy snapped her eyes open in time to see the man sitting in front of them turn his head to where his ear was in the middle of the two seats.
“Jesus Christ. Shut up.”
“We’re two consenting adults, and we had sex,” he said, ignoring her. “It changes nothing.”
“It changes everything,” she hissed. “And if you don’t shut your fucking mouth, I’m going to shut it for you.”
“We’ve been friends forever. I’m not going to let what happened between us change that. That’s why I’m here. I gave you the time you wanted to think through this, but I’m impatient, and I decided it was in our friendship’s best interest to force you to spend time with me. The more time we spend together doing normal things, the easier it’ll get. It’s time we got back to being Darcy and Sean again.”
It was a valiant speech full of sincerity and feelings. For just a second, she forgot about being uncomfortable and just floated in the wonderful sensation of being wanted. And by Sean, nonetheless. But she wasn’t going to be able to flip a switch and go back to the way things used to be before they’d slept together.
Yeah, she could probably get over the embarrassment. Eventually, she could smile at him again and laugh at his jokes. But there would always be that part of her that loved him and wanted more. She wanted his love, to share his dreams, to feel his passion. They’d already given the passion part a try, and although it’d started out promising, the ending had ripped out her heart and torn it into tiny pieces.
And it still lay broken.
Sean’s blue eyes studied her as she thought through the emotional roller coaster she was still riding. He leaned toward her, his shoulder resting against hers.
“Please, Darce. Can’t we just try? I miss you.”
She closed her eyes as his soft, deep plea swam around in her ears. She tried not to think about how good it made her feel. She tried not to notice he wore her favorite cologne and that his shoulder was burning through her cotton shirt. She tried not to think about how much she missed him too.
Damn Sean McKenna, his honeyed tongue, and his goddamn manly cologne.
Jamie Hollins was born and raised in rural Northeast Ohio. After graduate school, she embarked on a perilous career in Human Resources where she met plenty of real life characters. When she’s not writing or chasing after her toddler, she enjoys reading and golfing. Jamie lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, son, and their dog, Winston.
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