This whole contest was supposed to be easy. I know, I know. Famous last words.
It’s a long story, but I messed up at work. Big time. To earn back the trust of my boss, I promised to save one of our magazines. Yep. That Hot Dad contest you’ve seen advertised all over the place was my idea. And if I’m successful, if I’m able to increase our online readership, then I get a shot at my dream job.
But the one thing I never expected to happen, happened: Contestant number ten, Grayson Malone. Hello, Mr. Difficult. And did I mention sexy as hell?
Unfortunately he knows me. The old me, anyway. And while we might be older now, I remind him of before. Of the woman who broke his heart, who hardened him, and who left him alone to raise the cutest little boy I’ve ever seen.
But I don’t want a relationship. And I definitely don’t fall for single dads with baggage. Even ones with chiseled abs and killer smiles.
But he got to me. They got to me. Him and his son and their messy, crazy life. But I got to him too. I see the stolen glances. I feel the walls he built start to crumble. I recognize that there’s an unexpected beauty to the chaos in his life.
And now that the contest is about to end, we’re left to decide whether the last six months were just fun or if what we have is worth risking it all?
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
New York Times Bestselling author K. Bromberg writes contemporary novels that contain a mixture of sweet, emotional, a whole lot of sexy, and a little bit of real. She likes to write strong heroines, and damaged heroes who we love to hate and hate to love.
A mom of three, she plots her novels in between school runs and soccer practices, more often than not with her laptop in tow.
Since publishing her first book in 2013, Kristy has sold over one million copies of her books across sixteen different countries and has landed on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestsellers lists over twenty-five times. Her Driven trilogy (Driven, Fueled, and Crashed) is currently being adapted for film by Passionflix with the first movie slated to release in the summer of 2018.
She is currently working on her Everyday Heroes trilogy. This series consists of three complete standalone novels—Cuffed, Combust, and Cockpit (late spring 2018)—and is about three brothers who are emergency responders, the jobs that call to them, and the women who challenge them.
She loves to hear from her readers so make sure you check her out on social media or sign up for her newsletter to stay up to date on all her latest releases and sales: http://bit.ly/254MWtI
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But by the time I reach her, my blood boils with irrationality spurred on by too much alcohol.
“Can I have a moment?” I ask as I walk up to her and grab her elbow, pushing her down the darkened hallway.
“What is your problem?” She hisses as she fights me every step of the way.
We get looks. I get looks. I don’t care because all I keep seeing is Vince’s hands on her arm. His eyes on her tits. His bullshit game I can spot a mile away.
I find the closest door down the hallway leading to the bathrooms, and it opens. I push her through it, barely noticing that it’s an office of sorts before the door is shut, her back is up against it, and my mouth is covering hers.
Goddammit. That’s my only thought as I fit my lips to hers and take out my anger on her mouth with tongue and teeth and every fucking lick and nip in between.
“I’m so pissed at you.”
It’s all I say. It’s the only chance I give her to come up for air before my lips are back on hers. Before my tongue wars with hers. Before my body admits it would beg, borrow, and steal in order to taste every other part of her.
I swallow the tiny sound she makes in our kiss as my hands hold her neck still and my lips wage an all-out assault. She hesitates—just a split second—before she reacts. Before her body bows into me, and her mouth argues back.
Her hand in my shirt. Her other hand at the back of my neck as our bodies meet—pressed knee to chest. Her perfume in my nose. Her hair tickling my cheeks. The feel of her tits against my chest.
I can’t get enough.
I’m mad at her.
I want her.
I don’t want to want her.
Christ, do I want her.
“Gray.” A murmured protest.
I tear my lips from hers, shove off the door I have her pressed against, and stride to the other side of the room.
“You are . . . you just . . .” It’s as if I can barely breathe. Christ, I’m mad at you.”
She stands there, lips parted, chest heaving, and golden brown curls messed from my hands, but her eyes look hurt. A hurt I don’t want to see but can’t deny.
“You did this,” I accuse as I try to manage the anger that’s waging a war against my desire.
“Did what?” Her eyes narrow. Her hand goes to press against her chest.
“Made me want you.”
Grayson: I’ve been thinking about you all day.
I look down at the text and smile before turning my attention back to Rissa and our plans for how we’re going to end this round of voting and move on to the top five.
“So, I think we close it out and then maybe take the next week and announce one of the finalists each day. Give little tidbits about each of them, make readers like them more, just have fun with it.”
My phone beeps again with another text, and I bite back the new grin trying to form on my lips. Rissa only huffs, eyeing my phone with annoyance. “Sorry, let me turn my ringer off.”
And then I have to feign nonchalance when I look down at my phone and find another text.
Grayson: My dick is rock hard, and it’s you I’m imagining. It’s in my hand when I’d rather it be in your mouth with my fingers in your pussy, working you into a frenzy.
“Is everything okay?” Rissa asks, making me realize I must have made a noise when I read the text. “You look startled.”
I glance back at the text again and shake my head while every part of my body comes to life. “Yeah, it’s, uh, fine.”
“Your ringer.” Her brows are lifted as she glances to my phone and then back to me.
“My finger?” I squeak, thinking she saw the phone screen.
“Ringer. Sound on your phone.”
“Oh, yes . . . sorry.” Flustered, I fumble with my cell, and before I can even switch it off, another text alert pings.
Grayson: I want to bend you over and watch as my cock slides in and out of you.
“So back to next week . . .”
“Yes,” I swallow over the desire lodged in every place it should be and try not to glance at my phone as it vibrates again.
“Are you good with that plan?” Rissa asks as I shift in my seat to abate the sudden ache burning brighter than bright.
“Yes. Sure. I think that sounds like a great plan.”
Grayson: I want my cock buried so deep that you feel every damn inch of me.
“Are you sure you’re okay?”
“Yeah, why?” My voice breaks like a prepubescent teenager.
Grayson: I want you to come so hard you have to bite the pillow.
“You look a little flushed. Are you coming down with something?”
Grayson: You always have a choice. Isn’t that what you said to me once? Make a choice, Sidney. Isn’t it time to head to lunch?
“I mean, yeah, maybe.” I pull at my collar some. “Maybe that’s why I feel so flushed all of a sudden.”
Grayson: Meet me on the backside of The Cottages. Room Six. Fifteen minutes.
“Either that,” she says as she stands and heads to the door, only turning back to give me a wink, “or you’re guilty as hell. Maybe you should go take care of that itch texting you . . . or take some Tylenol. Whichever one it is, I think you should take the afternoon off.”
Grayson: Choose me.
“Oh.” It’s the only thing I can think to say because my brain is otherwise occupied imagining Grayson following through on his promises.
“I sure hope he’s every bit worth breaking the rules.” She winks. “It’s about damn time. Your secret is safe with me.”