She’s an expert in helping others de-stress, but Arilyn Meadows is running on fumes. Along with her job counseling singles seeking soul mates at the Kinnections agency in Verily, New York, she’s a yoga teacher, animal shelter volunteer, anger management therapist, and helping hand to her beloved grandfather. No time to find Mr. Right—but after discovering her yogi boyfriend in a compromising asana, Arilyn would rather dog-sit for her honeymooning friend Kate than risk her heart on another downward dog. And when police officer Stone Petty—radiating masculinity and bad-boy attitude—is sent to her for mandatory lessons in cooling off when the job gets too hot, Arilyn vows to ignore his seductive glances and sexy grin. But there’s no halting their sizzling flirtation—a red-hot, high-speed chase that’s breaking all the limits.
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Jennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She took a short hiatus to get married, get pregnant, buy a house, get pregnant again, pursue a master’s in English Literature, and rescue two shelter dogs. Now she is writing again.
She makes her home in Upstate New York with the whole crew. Her sons keep her active, stressed, joyous, and sad her house will never be truly clean.
He reached out and yanked her close.
Her breath stopped. Those inky eyes snapped open and suddenly she was gazing into a pit of seething, raw desire. Very deliberately, he slid the pins holding
her tight topknot in place out of her hair one by one. She stared, helpless, until the long strands hung down around to her waist, masking her face. Never breaking his slow motions, he twisted his fingers into her hair and tugged her head back.
“I don’t want to be your friend,” he growled. Arilyn stiffened. Every inch of her body tingled.
“Fine, we’re not friends. You’ve never been civil anyway.”
“You’re right. I’m not civil or even civilized when I get near you. Wanna know what I really want to do?”
“Tough shit. Gonna tell you anyway.” A low moan escaped her lips, because she was burning up for him and hated every minute of it. “I want to strip these organic clothes from your body, lay you out on the bed, and explore every inch. Bite, suck, lick. I want to push inside that wet heat I know is waiting for me and make you come so hard you won’t be able to speak for at least five full minutes. I want to do bad things to you, Arilyn. Dirty things. Things that would shock you to the core and cause you to run screaming out the door if you’re a nice girl. Are you a nice girl?”
Her skin was on fire. Her ears roared and her thighs clenched in a desperate attempt to stop the rush of warm liquid trickling between them. This type of arousal was insane. Wrong on so many levels. Stone Petty was the type of man who would take his pleasure, be rough, and demand she leave nothing behind.
There would be no sweetness or tender words. There would be no gentle care when he finally took her, or slow smiles, or easy climbs to a pleasurable orgasm. If she surrendered, he’d wreck her completely. He was dangerous. She was a good girl.
She craved a healthy, satisfying relationship. A deep, abiding friendship with a man on the same spiritual quest. She was searching for always. Forever.
He’d give nothing but physical satisfaction and wouldn’t look twice when he walked back out the door in the morning. She was a good girl. His grip never gentled, but his voice softened. Stone leaned over, his mouth inches from hers. Their breath mingled. She watched, hypnotized, while he ran the tip of his tongue over her bottom lip, bestowing little nips until she began to sag in his arms and moved an inch forward for more.
“You’re not sure, are you, little one?” he murmured, pressing that lush, soft mouth to hers in tiny kisses that did nothing but inflame. “You’re caught between what you know you should want and what your deepest fantasies torment you to ask for. I warned you that you owed me a favor. I can’t be the one to take constantly. You need to walk into this with your eyes wide-open, because I’m a son of a bitch and I know it. Here’s my price for saving you and the dog: when you’re ready to take the leap with me, you have to ask.”
She fought for sanity, but that wicked mouth kept teasing, caressing her jaw, the sensitive slope of her neck, biting, licking, making her crazy. “Ask for what?” she managed to ground out. Another bite on her earlobe caused a shudder to wrack her body.
“God, you’re so responsive. I could devour you whole.”
“You smell so good,” she muttered. She wanted to savor the deliciousness of woods and musk. Of sweat and man.
His low laugh raked across her ears. His erection notched between her thighs, tempting her to be a very bad, bad girl. “I’m not gonna force you and hear you cry foul in the morning. When you’re ready to take the leap, to seize the moment and not think about tomorrow, or what fits in your overall plan, you ask. Ask me to take you.”
“I can’t.” The idea of asking a man to take her to bed, to be so vulnerable before a man who was not her lover or boyfriend, horrified her. Scared her. Paralyzed her.
“You will. Because that’s the price.” He licked the place where her shoulder connected to her neck and she cried out.
“How do you know I won’t lie?”
“Because you’re honest. You told me the truth today even though you didn’t want to. I trust you. And I’ll know from the look on your face.”
This was the craziest bargain she’d ever heard of. It wouldn’t be a problem. She could just keep a safe distance, bury herself in work, and after the course was over she wouldn’t see him again. She’d never allow herself to beg a man to make love to her, knowing he wasn’t interested in the person she was inside. Arilyn didn’t do sex for just sex. It’d be empty and unfulfilling. Wouldn’t it?