~☆Review☆~: Deadly Games by Karen Rock

Deadly Games
Karen Rock
(Dallas After Dark)
Publication date: July 17th 2018
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

ONE NIGHT ONLY

Special Agent Katherine Bowden doesn’t do girls’ nights out. She doesn’t do blazing hot dances with male strippers or unbelievable, uninhibited one-night-stands. If you ask her ex, all she does is work: study evidence, profile criminals, track them down. And now Katherine’s back home in Dallas, with a new set of all-male colleagues second-guessing her every move, and a possible serial killer hunting women just like her. But just this once, Katherine is going to try all those things she doesn’t do . . .

Growing up on the Reservation led Nash Hawkins down paths he’d rather forget. When his dream of joining the police force was crushed, he turned his hard body and wicked imagination into a meal ticket. His chemistry with Katherine is like nothing he’s ever felt. And though he’s sure a woman like her won’t want to get seriously involved with him, Nash knows things—things that might help catch a killer.

Nash and Katherine can save lives, if they put aside the desire that torments them both. But the closer they get, the more they have to lose . . .

“A highly entertaining and cohesive suspense novel with an emotionally satisfying romance that will keep readers glued to the page.”

RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars on Dangerous Moves

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Author Bio:

Award-winning author Karen Rock is both sweet & spicy—at least when it comes to her writing! The author of YA and adult contemporary books writes spicy suspense and small-town romances. A big believer in Happily-Ever-After, Karen loves creating unforgettable stories that leave her readers smiling. Karen is an avid reader and baker who loves having the Adirondack Park as her backyard, where she lives with her husband and daughter who make her life complete.

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REVIEW!

Deadly Games is the second in the Dallas Heat series by Karen Rock.  The first book was Magic Mike meets drug kingpin and the majority of the action was inside the club.  This book take Nash Hawkins – star dancer – outside the club and makes him an integral part of a major FBI serial killer investigation.  His partner, FBI Agent Katherine Bowen, has a personal stake in the case, only she doesn’t realize how personal it really is.  Nash and Katherine make a great team.  It was fun to see Nash come into his own as a detective.  Katherine deserves Nash who trusts her instincts and provides support, but never rescues her.  I really enjoyed Katherine and Nash as a couple.  I hope there are more installments in this series.

 

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~☆Review☆~ All Night With The Cowboy by Soraya Lane

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✫★REVIEW★✫

All Night With the Cowboy combines some of my favorite things:  second chances and beautiful islands (Fiji).  Tanner needs the best help he can find to recover from a devastating injury after his last bull ride.  Lauren is the best sports physical therapist around.  Unfortunately she broke his heart twelve years ago.  Tanner’s road to recovery, and the road to healing both their hearts, goes through Fiji where the island works its magic on everyone.  This second chance romance is a must read.

 

~☆Review & Excerpt☆~ Fighting for Everything by Laura Kaye

 

From New York Times bestselling author Laura Kaye, comes the first standalone title in her brand, new Warrior Fight Club series, FIGHTING FOR EVERYTHING. Join the Warrior Fight Club world today!

 

 

Loving her is the biggest fight of his life…

Home from the Marines, Noah Cortez has a secret he doesn’t want his oldest friend, Kristina Moore, to know. It kills him to push her away, especially when he’s noticing just how sexy and confident she’s become in his absence. But, angry and full of fight, he’s not the same man anymore either. Which is why Warrior Fight Club sounds so good.

Kristina loves teaching, but she wants more out of life. She wants Noah—the boy she’s crushed on and waited for. Except Noah is all man now—in ways both oh so good and troubling, too. Still, she wants who he’s become—every war-hardened inch. And when they finally stop fighting their attraction, it’s everything Kristina never dared hope for.

But Noah is secretly spiraling, and when he lashes out, it threatens what he and Kristina have found. The brotherhood of the fight club helps him confront his demons, but only Noah can convince the woman he loves that he’s finally ready to fight for everything.

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✫★REVIEW★✫

Laura Kaye’s new Warrior Fight Club series begins with a bang in Fighting for Everything.  At times this book is hard to read; it is totally wrenching.  Building on a friends to lovers trope it is really more about figuring out how to love who you are:  warts and all.  It is only when you accept yourself can you accept someone else.  I highly recommend it, but be prepared, the PTSD is strong with this one and cannot be taken lightly.

 

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✫★EXCERPT:  No Good Right Now★✫

“I’m no good right now, Kristina,” Noah said in a low voice.

She shook her head. “That’s not true. You’ve been through something horrible. And you’re still recovering. Still hurting. That’s all understandable—”

“I am fucked in the head. You saw it yourself. Twice,” he said, his voice suddenly loud, bitter. Under her hands, his muscles tensed.

“You are not fucked in the head,” she said, anger and determination gathering deep in her belly. Not anger at Noah, but irrational anger for him. She hated that things had happened to him that left him feeling this way. So out of control, so sad, so unlike himself. “Sure, you have things you’re dealing with. And you will get a handle on them—”

“No,” he said, shaking her off and pacing in the narrow space behind the door. “You don’t understand. I’m…” Noah’s hands squeezed into fists at his sides. “…so goddamned angry. All the time. It feels like I could tear the world to pieces. And I want to.” He whirled on her. “Because the perfection of everything around me makes me feel so much more wrecked inside that I can barely breathe.”

 Oh, God.

Tears pricked at the backs of her eyes, but she wouldn’t let them fall. She wouldn’t let herself fall apart. Not now. Not in front of him. Not when Noah needed to lean on her so damn badly. “The world around you is not perfect, Noah. It’s an illusion. And you are not wrecked—”

“I am.” He got right up in her face.

Kristina held her ground. “You’re not—”

“I am!”

“Noah—”

He grabbed her by the arms, not so much that it hurt, but with enough force that it surprised her. “Here’s your proof. I want to fuck you, Kristina. I want to bury myself in you and stay there forever. Just lose myself in you until I don’t know who I am anymore. I’ve been fantasizing about it, dreaming about it, imagining it. Having you is all I can fucking think about. Do you understand what I’m saying?”

Noah’s words unleashed a flash fire in Kristina’s blood. Her heart tripped into a sprint. Her breathing shallowed out. Heat roared across her skin. One heartbeat. Two. And Kristina knew what she had to do.

Acting on instinct, she pulled out of Noah’s grip and stepped backward. Away from his confession. Away from him.

 

 

And don’t miss the second standalone romance in the Warrior Fight Club series coming August 7, 2018, FIGHTING FOR WHAT’S HIS

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Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty books in contemporary and erotic romance and romantic suspense, including the Blasphemy, Hard Ink, and Raven Riders series. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. Laura also writes historical fiction as the NYT bestselling author, Laura Kamoie. She lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

 

 

 

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~☆Review & Excerpt☆~ Hooked on You by Kate Meader

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Book details

The Chicago Rebels series, Book 4

The eBook is on sale May 7, 2018!

The mass market is on sale May 29, 2018!

Mass Market Paperback • Price: $9.99 • ISBN: 9781501168574

eBook • Price: $5.99 • ISBN: 9781501180903

Hooked On You, book cover

Book description

Violet Vasquez never met her biological father, so learning he left his beloved hockey franchise—the Chicago Rebels—to her is, well, unexpected. Flat broke and close to homeless, Violet is determined to make the most of this sudden opportunity. Except dear old dad set conditions that require she takes part in actually running the team with the half-sisters she barely knows. Working with these two strangers and overseeing a band of hockey-playing lugs is not on her agenda…until she lays eyes on the Rebels captain and knows she has to have him.

Bren St. James has been labeled a lot of things: the Puck Prince, Lord of the Ice, Hell’s Highlander…but it’s the latest tag that’s making headlines: washed-up alcoholic has-been. This season, getting his life back on track and winning the Cup are his only goals. With no time for relationships—except the fractured ones he needs to rebuild with his beautiful daughters—he’s finding it increasingly hard to ignore sexy, all-up-in-his-beard Violet Vasquez. And when he finds himself in need of a nanny just as the playoffs are starting, he’s faced with a temptation he could so easily get hooked on.

For two lost souls, there’s more on the line than just making the best of a bad situation… there might also be a shot at the biggest prize of all: love.

✫★REVIEW★✫

Calling all fans of the Las Vegas Golden Knights and their Cinderella journey to the Stanley Cup Finals…  Kate Meader’s last installment in the Chicago Rebels series, Hooked on You should be your next read.  Filled with heart, an underdog hockey team run by women that no one took seriously, and the perfect team of misfits, this book has it all; there is even a cameo by a reader favorite couple from the Fighting Dempsey’s.  I have loved this series from the beginning and reading it during Finals was absolutely perfect.

 

Kate Meader, author photo

About the author

Originally from Ireland, Kate Meader cut her romance reader teeth on Maeve Binchy and Jilly Cooper novels, with some Harlequins thrown in for variety. Give her tales about brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron, a fire hose, or a hockey stick, and she’s there. Now based in Chicago, she writes sexy contemporary romance with alpha heroes and strong heroines (and heroes) who can match their men quip for quip. Visit her at KateMeader.com.

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✫★EXERPT★✫

She blew out a breath that was half growl, picked up a can of Italian wedding soup, and examined the ingredient list like she was studying for a test. Why wasn’t she taking this opportunity to get under his skin using those taunts that tripped off her tongue like sensual ninja knives?

“Have I offended you in some way, Violet?”

Keeping her chin dipped, she shook her head, but it was a shake of disbelief, not of disagreement with his question.

“Violet, look at me.”

Glittering eyes snapped to his, in them a flash of something—a visceral response to his demand—but it was gone so quickly that even the rewind called him a liar.

“Has something happened?”

“Look, St. James, you and I have never meshed, so we don’t need to pretend to get along. We just ran into each other at the store and you ‘saved’ me from the unseemly interest of a fellow shopper. ¡Maravilloso! ¡Gracias! Now you can take your steel buns and your sexy scowl off in the opposite direction.”

Color flagged her cheeks, making her olive skin glow. She was furious, and he still didn’t know why. He was also furious, and he had a better idea of the reason.

She’d changed the social contract. They’d been moseying along with her teasing and taunting and flirting, and him acting like it was the worst thing ever to happen to him. Like Violet’s attention was a fresh slice of hell, because in a way it was. She reminded him of everything he couldn’t have. She reminded him of the man he used to be. His body came alive around her, and alive was dangerous. Alive was the opposite of numb, and numb was his best defense against the demons whispering in his ear.

One drink won’t hurt. Thirst like yours can’t be quenched with anything but whiskey.

If he allowed himself to want her, it was a slippery slope to succumbing to the demons at the door. Of course he couldn’t tell her this, so instead he latched on to her words.

“Steel buns?” There was also “sexy scowl,” but he figured he’d start with the ass stuff.

She rolled her eyes, then coasted those same eyes down his body, half hidden by the grocery cart. “As if you don’t know.”

“That I have an ass you could bounce a puck off of?” He twisted to check himself out. “S’pose I do, lass.”

She burst out laughing and muttered something in Spanish.

“What’s that?”

“Not for your ears, Scot.”

One day she’d tell him. One day, he’d get it out of her, preferably while her body arched into his and his body drove into hers.

 

~☆Review☆~ Beauty and the Beefcake by Pippa Grant

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☆¸.•*¨*★☆Synopsis☆★*¨*•.¸☆

She’s my sun and moon.
My stars, my air, my sunshine.
She’s every heartbeat.

There are two kinds of women in the world – those I can bang, and those I can’t.

My teammate’s sister?

She’s a can’t.

I moved in with her to protect her from a nasty ex, not to be the next guy in line.

She’s the brains.

I’m the brawn.

She’s the fruit.

I’m the sausage.

She talks too much.

I don’t talk at all, if I don’t have to.

Should be easy to resist her.

But every minute I spend with Felicity is another minute she gets under my skin. She makes me feel like something more than a dumb puckhead with a big Zamboni pony. And it’s getting harder to remember why I need to keep my hands to myself.

Beauty and the Beefcake is a vegan-friendly standalone romantic comedy featuring a hockey player whose vocabulary is the only thing smaller than a hockey puck, a book smart but aimless ventriloquist with too many voices in her head, a dilapidated old house that may or may not be haunted, and no cheating or cliffhangers.

Available now on Kindle Unlimited!

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☆¸.•*¨*★☆Review☆★*¨*•.¸☆

Your honor, I’d like to enter into evidence exhibit one, The Beauty and The Beefcake by Pippa Grant on why you should never underestimate the romance genre, why people should stop referring to it as “mommy porn”, and why people (women especially) should stop being embarrassed to read it.

Yes, The Beauty and The Beefcake has all the requisite requirements of a romantic comedy – humor, shenanigans, and of course, sexy times. But Ms. Grant’s ability to weave words into an entertaining and enjoyable story is not what sets her apart from other contemporary romance authors. No, it’s Ms. Grant’s ability to insidiously insert an underlying message about the human condition, social norms, and acceptance into an otherwise fluffy, feel-good story that truly makes this novel stand out.

On the surface TB2 reads like any other book in the genre – silly, steamy, and full of as-expected tropes – but it’s so much more. She took a silent, brooding secondary character and turned him into a hero with depth and emotion and managed to do it while giving him only 176 lines of dialogue. Additionally, the heroine of this story is not at all whom I expected her to be when she was introduced in the previous novel, Royally Pucked. Ms. Grant served up the expected on a silver platter, but when the cloche was removed we instead find the surprising and the unexpected.

Let’s move past the characters because as likeable as they and their story are, it’s the underlying theme of this seemingly irreverent romantic comedy that I want to explore. That of acceptance; of looking beneath the surface; of not judging the book (or the beefcake) by the cover. Perhaps that wasn’t Ms. Grant’s intentions. Perhaps she meant to write a regular romance about regular characters, but she failed. She gave us human, hurting, flawed characters searching for someone, anyone, to see who they truly are (no, I did not intend to evoke Moana, but it works so I left it). To see past the brawn or the brains, or the weirdness and awkwardness, to understand that they are so much more than what society sees and disregards because they aren’t “normal”. 

And THAT your honor, is why I loved this story. THAT is why I couldn’t put it down and read it straight through at eleven o’clock at night. Because I’ve been the awkward one, the weird one, the one who talks too much or doesn’t talk enough, the one who has been underestimated or condescended to because of how people perceived me without taking the opportunity to really know me. 

So please, don’t let the cover or the title of this book fool you. It’s not your ordinary, run-of-the-mill romance. 

~☆Review☆~ Deceived: House of Sin by Elisabeth Naughton

 

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☆¸.•*¨*★☆Synopsis☆★*¨*•.¸☆

Some doors were never meant to be opened…

I made a fateful mistake. I should never have peeked behind the doors into his forbidden world.

But I did, and now I’m a prisoner. Trapped by the man I thought I loved. The man I once foolishly trusted. The man who, despite his lies and deception, I continue to crave.

He can melt my resolve with one rough, whispered demand, and I feel myself giving in to the desire he still stirs inside me. And yet, if I want to survive, I must find a way to escape. Because if I don’t, I’m afraid I’ll be consumed by a shadowy world that will ultimately destroy me.

Lost forever in his wicked House of Sin…

☆¸.•*¨*★☆Review☆★*¨*•.¸☆

I’m so mad at this book. Lay on my bed, scream into my pillow, and kick my feet in a rage worthy of a three-year-old’s temper tantrum, mad. All because of that cliff hanger. I am mad I have to wait for the next iteration of this book.

Deceived is an emotional roller coaster of highs and lows. I don’t give away anything in my reviews so you’re going to have to read it for yourself, but trust me when I say you’re going to feel rung out and hung up to dry after reading this book. As the second book in the House of Sin series, you absolutely have to read the book one, Forbidden.

This is an dark romance, so there are some themes that may not be to everyone’s liking. I’m not a fan of really dark romance and this series rides the line enough to where I’m uncomfortable with the story, but not to the point where I want to abandon it. I’m a fan of the author so I’m willing to trust the story will continue to be edgy without taking me somewhere I don’t want to go.

 

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She has no idea what lurks behind the forbidden doors of the House of Sin…

He is temptation. Forbidden fruit. A craving I can’t seem to resist.

I went after him in search of answers, certain he had blood on his hands. Now I’ve fallen prey to his seductive looks and commanding charisma.

I know he is a threat. He’s entwined in a dangerous world I don’t understand. But that doesn’t stop me from aching for his touch, for the taste of his wicked lips.

Before I can truly surrender to the fire smoldering between us, I need to know more. I have to see behind the doors he keeps firmly locked.

I need to discover what he’s hiding in the shadowy world known as the House of Sin…

**WARNING!**
This book is very sexy, very dark, and very addictive! Contains consensual kink and a dark and dominant hero with a dangerous secret. 

About Elisabeth Naughton

Before topping multiple bestseller lists—including those of the New York Times, USA Today, and the Wall Street Journal—award winning author Elisabeth Naughton taught middle school science. A voracious reader, she soon discovered she had a knack for creating stories with a chemistry of their own. The spark turned into a flame, and Elisabeth now writes full-time.

Elisabeth has penned over thirty books and continues to write in multiple genres. Her books have been translated into numerous languages and have earned several award nominations, including three prestigious RITA® nominations from Romance Writers of America. In 2017, REPRESSED, the first book in her Deadly Secrets series, won the RITA® for best romantic suspense.

Her work has been praised by the Chicago Tribune as being filled with “deadly intrigue, high adrenaline action, and scorchingly hot passion.” Kirkus calls her “a writer talented enough at weaving a yarn to get her readers ensnared in it.” When not dreaming up new stories, Elisabeth can be found spending time with her husband and three children in their western Oregon home, wrangling two needy cats, or chasing after one very rambunctious Dalmatian.

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~☆Review & Excerpt☆~ Caught Up in a Cowboy by Jennie Marts

Caught Up in a Cowboy tour graphic

 CVR Caught Up in a Cowboy

Title: Caught Up in a Cowboy

Author: Jennie Marts

Series: Cowboys of Creedence, #1

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

Genre: Contemporary Western

 

This cowboy plays to win

 

Rockford James was raised as a tried-and-true cowboy in a town crazy about ice hockey. Rock is as hot on the ice as he is on a horse, and the NHL snapped him up. Now, injuries have permanently benched him. Body and pride wounded, he returns to his hometown ranch to find that a lot has changed. The one thing that hasn’t? His feelings for high school sweetheart and girl-next-door Quinn Rivers.

 

Quinn had no choice but to get over Rock after he left. Teenaged and heartbroken, she had a rebound one night stand that ended in single motherhood. Now that Rock’s back—and clamoring for a second chance—Quinn will do anything to avoid getting caught up in this oh-so-tempting cowboy…

 

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✫★REVIEW★✫

I think that Rockford James is my new favorite hockey player.  While he is pictured as a cowboy on the cover, I fell in love with his hockey side fast.  Marts easy writing style had me captured from the first page.  Rock and Quinn are a fun, second chance couple that kept me turning pages.  There were a couple points that I wanted Quinn and Rock just to talk to each other, but Marts doesn’t draw those moments out.  I am completely hooked on this series and can’t wait for the next installment.

 

✫★ABOUT★✫

Jennie Marts is the USA Today bestselling author of award-winning books filled with love, laughter, and always a happily ever after. She is living her own happily ever after in the mountains of Colorado with her husband, two dogs, and a parakeet that loves to tweet to the oldies. She’s addicted to Diet Coke, adores Cheetos, and believes you can’t have too many books, shoes, or friends. Find her online at jenniemarts.com.

 

Find Jennie Online:

Website: http://www.jenniemarts.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JennieMartsBooks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JennieMarts

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6876233.Jennie_Marts

 

 

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Caught Up in a Cowboy_ Rockford James

 

✫★EXCERPT★✫

He snuck a glance at her as he drove past the barn. Her wavy hair was pulled back in a ponytail, but wisps of it had come loose and fell across her neck in little curls. She looked good—really good. A thick chunk of regret settled in his gut, and he knew letting her go had been the biggest mistake of his life.

It wasn’t the first time he’d thought it. Images of Quinn haunted his dreams, and he often wondered what it would be like now if only he’d brought her with him instead of leaving her behind. If he had her to wave to in the stands at his games or to come home to at night instead of an empty house. But he’d screwed that up, and he felt the remorse every time he returned to Rivers Gulch.

He’d been young and arrogant—thought he had the world by the tail. Scouts had come sniffing around when he was in high school, inflating his head and his own self-importance. And once he started playing in the big leagues, everything about this small town—including Quinn—had just seemed…well…small. Too small for a big shot like him.

He was just a kid—and an idiot. But by the time he’d realized his mistake and come back for her, it was too late.

Hindsight was a mother.

And so was Quinn.

Easing the car up in front of the house, he took in the festive balloons and streamers tied to the railings along the porch. So much of the house looked the same, the long porch that ran the length of the house, the wooden rocking chairs, and the swing hanging from the end.

They’d spent a lot of time on that swing, his arm around her, talking and laughing, as his foot slowly pushed them back and forth.

She opened the car door, but he put a hand on her arm and offered her one of his most charming smiles. “It’s good to see you, Quinn. You look great. Even in a pirate outfit.”

Her eyes widened and she blinked at him, for once not having a sarcastic reply. He watched her throat shift as she swallowed, and he yearned to reach out and run his fingers along her slender neck.

“Well, thanks for the lift.” She turned away and stepped out of the car.

Pushing open his door, he got out and reached for the bicycle, lifting it out of the back seat before she had a chance. He carried it around and set it on the ground in front of her. “I’d like to meet him. You know, Max. If that’s okay.”

“You would?” Her voice was soft, almost hopeful, but still held a note of suspicion. “Why?”

He ran a hand through his hair and let out a sigh. He’d been rehearsing what he was going to say as they drove up to the ranch, but now his mouth had gone dry. The collar of his cotton T-shirt clung to his neck, and he didn’t know what to do with his hands.

Dang—he hadn’t had sweaty palms since he was in high school. He wiped them on his jeans. He was known for his charm and usually had a way with women, but not this woman. This one had him tongue-tied and nervous as a teenager.

He shoved his hands in his pockets. “Listen Quinn, I know I screwed up. I was young and stupid and a damn fool. And I’m sorrier than I could ever say. But I can’t go back and fix it. All I can do is move forward. I miss this place. I miss having you in my life. I’d like to at least be your friend.”

She opened her mouth, and he steeled himself for her to tell him to go jump in the lake. Or worse. But she didn’t. She looked up at him, her eyes searching his face, as if trying to decide if he was serious or not. “Why now? After all these years?”

He shrugged, his gaze drifting as he stared off at the distant green pastures. He’d let this go on too long, let the hurt fester. It was time to make amends—to at least try. He looked back at her, trying to express his sincerity. “Why not? Isn’t it about time?”

She swallowed again and gave a small nod of her head. A tiny flicker of hope lit in his gut as he waited for her response.

He could practically see her thinking—watch the emotions cross her face in the furrow of her brow and the way she chewed on her bottom lip. Oh man, he loved it when she did that—the way she sucked her bottom lip under her front teeth always did crazy things to his insides.

“Okay. We can try being friends.” She gave him a sidelong glance, the hint of a smile tugging at the corner of her mouth. “On one condition.”

Uh oh. Conditions were never good.