BAD BOY SAM + GOOD GIRL IVY =
LEARNING TO LOVE AGAIN
After her last disaster of a relationship, Ivy Stephens is content being single. She has her job, her apartment—and the cute little puppy she’s seen hanging around. When he escapes, she finds her search efforts aided by a big, burly, devastatingly handsome man. One who claims a prior claim on her dog.
Sam Hamilton is at loose ends since his best friend fell in love. He finds a sense of purpose in rescuing strays. The puppy who’s stolen his heart just happens to run into blond, beautiful Ivy. And Sam can’t help hoping she’ll take in one more stray—him—for good.
Caffeine addict, boy referee, and romance aficionado, MARIE HARTE is a confessed bibliophile and devotee of action movies. Whether hiking in Central Oregon, biking around town, or hanging at the local tea shop, she’s constantly plotting to give everyone a happily ever after. Visit www.marieharte.com and fall in love.
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Forty-five minutes after her call with Sam, he walked through the front door. He made the small studio looked downright tiny.
“Nice place.” He nodded, taking in the exercise balls stacked along one wall. The bands and small hand weights in another section. Bamboo floors, sesame gold walls and bright white trim let the sunlight filter through the big bay window in the front. When they had small yoga and exercise classes, they shut the front shade. But right now, the office shone with professionalism and healthy energy.
Maybe Mimi is rubbing off on me. I’m all about energy all of a sudden.
She smiled at him and stood, coming around the small desk to greet him. She held out a hand. “Thanks for coming.”
He slowly took her hand in his and squeezed. But the handshake felt anything but polite. A seductive warmth stole through her body, and the maintained eye contact made it difficult to breathe. To her surprised, her nipples beaded under her shirt. She hoped he hadn’t noticed.
Sam seemed to keep his gaze on hers. He let her hand go and nodded. “Want to show me the car?”
All business. No problem. She could handle that. Putting a lid on her untimely libido, she shrugged on her jacket and gathered her purse, then walked him out back and past the patio.
“The clutch sticks.”
“So you said.” He held a hand out for the keys, and she handed them over.
He swore a bit when trying to get into the car. After pushing the seat back as far as it would go, he started the car and listened. “I’m going to take it for a little drive. Don’t worry. I’ll bring it back,” he said drily.
“Don’t be a jerk. I know that.” Not the thing to say to someone doing you a favor, Ivy.
But Sam only gave her that amused expression she’d come to know. He drove away, and she saw it lurch once or twice. When he returned, she prayed he’d somehow fixed it. Through osmosis or something. Anything so she wouldn’t have to pay through the nose.
He turned off the car and got out, then came to stand next to her, still staring at the car. He wore jeans, black boots, and a beat up leather jacket over a heather-gray pullover. Nothing fancy, but on Sam, the impact was staggering. He looked impossibly large, intimidating, and downright kissable.
What the heck is wrong with me?