When they met, love was the last thing they were looking to discover…
Local bar owner Cali Tate has always been trendy, easy-going, and impulsive. She isn't afraid to take chances, but her carefree attitude may have put her restaurant in jeopardy. Her failing business is beginning to take a toll on her, both mentally and financially. When her best friend asks her to do a favor and take some books to the town's reclusive professor Cali welcomes the distraction. To her surprise, the sexy professor is nothing like she had pictured him.
Dr. Carter Stavros wants to be left alone. He's set in his ways and doesn't want to be bothered with the outside world. Wanting to escape the demons of his recent past, he moved to Steeple, taking a sabbatical from his teaching job to write a book. He wasn't prepared for the spunky, persistent bar owner to invade his life. But the more she pushes, the more intrigued he becomes.
Neither one of them expected to find any common ground, much less fall in love. What happens when an OCD professor collides with a risk-taking woman who won't take 'no' for an answer?
Content Warning: contains graphic sex and mature content
“I can’t be expected to keep my hands off you any longer,” Carter said.
“Then don’t.” She placed her hands on top of his. “Touch me.”
When he stepped toward her, closing any space between them, the hardness pressed against her thigh proved how much he wanted to touch her.
“What are you waiting for, Carter?” She twisted around to face him. “Can I call you Carter?”
“It seems appropriate under the circumstances.” He glanced down, lingering on her chest, much like he had through most of lunch.
“What circumstances would those be?”
“I can’t stop touching you.”
She trailed her fingers down his rock hard abs. “If I had known there were professors like you walking around campus maybe I would have gone to college.”
“I like the way you tease me, Ms. Tate.” He nipped at her bottom lip, taking her by surprise. “Two can play at that game.” He circled his tongue over the bite mark. “Would you like it if I teased you?” He ran his hand up her arm and to the tie of her bikini top but didn’t undo it. “I’d probably like anything you did to me.” She moved her lips along his jaw and to his throat. His breathing picked up when she licked a path to his ear. “Try me.”
With his free hand he twisted his fingers through her hair, pulling her closer to his lips.
He was more forceful than she had imagined him to be. “Are you certain that’s what you want?” “Why do you think I’m here?” She craved his hands on her.
“My charisma and intellect?”
“Look, Harvard, shut up and kiss me.”
“Cali, when I invited you here I didn’t have any intention of anything like this happening. I’ve been alone for a long time.” He tightened his grip on the hair at the nape of her neck. “I can’t offer you anything, because I’m...”
She waited for him to continue his thought but he seemed distracted.
“You still haven’t kissed me.” She pressed her lips to his, sighing when he relaxed into her. His chest was still bare from their swimming excursion, making it easy for her to feel his taut muscles.
As he deepened the kiss he tightened the hold on her hair. The tugging at her scalp intensified her desire for him. She slipped her hands between them, moving them to his chest, but he released her hair and encased her wrists in his large hands, holding her still.
“You like being in charge, don’t you?” she asked.
Releasing her wrists, he pulled her against him, moving her hair out of the way and placing his lips to the tattoo on her shoulder. “This one is my favorite.”
He nipped at her skin, moving lower, closer to her breasts, lingering where the edge of her bikini stopped. Removing his hand from the small of her back, he snaked it around her hip and up her stomach. His blue eyes seemed darker in the lighting of the kitchen. He locked his gaze with hers as he moved his fingers to her nipple.
She sucked in a breath when he rolled his fingers over her nipple ring.
“This has been distracting me all afternoon.”
“You should get a closer look.” She tried to wiggle out of his hold. “Let me show you.”