USA Today Bestselling author Adriana Locke delivers a “fresh and fun!” romance between a grumpy single dad and his beautiful, spunky employee—the one he can’t have.
Chemistry is not love.
That’s what my boss, the grumpy single dad with brilliant green eyes, says anyway.
I have my V-card. He’s ten years older than me. I work for him.
Nate Hughes has a million reasons why a relationship between us would never work. Honestly? It’s all a farce.
He can’t deny our connection. His soft smiles, brief touches, and protective behaviors come too easily. And when I need a place to stay? He can’t stop himself from offering me a room—though I’d prefer his bed. After all, there are sparks—delicious, sizzling sparks—when we’re together.
Our forced proximity brings things to a head. Our shared experiences and traumas draw us closer. Our undeniable attraction has us toeing the line between friends and lovers—whether Nate likes it or not.
He’s right—chemistry is not love. But that doesn’t mean that I won’t fall in love with him … even if he can’t love me back.
“I had nowhere to go, Nate,” she says, sticking her bottom lip out. “But I knew my friend Nate would be more than happy to help me out of my bind. You weren’t here so I came on in. I waved to Shaye as I walked through the front door so it’s not like I was being sneaky.”
Like that makes it okay.
“What would you have done if someone else would’ve walked in here and saw you naked?” I ask, quirking a brow.
She laughs. “Nate, no one else has the balls to walk into your office but you.”
“And you, apparently.”
“Well, and me.” She grins and picks up the curling iron. “I’m glad you’re here. I kind of need a favor.”
I recline against the couch and prepare myself.
“Now’s a little late to be asking for favors, don’t ya think?” I ask.
“Do you want me to pay rent or help with groceries? We really didn’t go over any of that,” she says, licking her lips.
My gaze settles on her finger approaching the pudding container again. “You’re a college student with a part-time job. You don’t have any money.”
“That’s true.” She smiles smugly before lifting her eyes to mine. “I’m sure we could come up with something.”
She trails her finger around the walls of the plastic before bringing it to her lips again. With her hand poised in front of her face, she smiles at me.
Nope. Not letting that happen.
I clamp her wrist with my hand and suspend it in midair. Her eyes go wide, her breath halting in her throat as she waits for my reaction.
Her skin is warm in my palm. Her wrist is so small, so delicate, that I ease my grip so I don’t accidentally hurt her.
I’m not sure why I touched her, but it’s either because I’m sleep-deprived and it’s late or I want to teach her a lesson. Or maybe I just want to see her reaction.
I stare at her as deeply as I can. She holds her breath as she considers—hopes? fears?—what I’m going to do.
I twist her wrist and bring her hand to my face. A smirk settles on my lips as her entire body stills.
Then with the most deliberate move I’ve ever made, I bring her finger to my mouth.
My heart thunders in my chest as my self-restraint shatters into a million pieces.
I suck her finger between my lips. She gasps, her body shaking in response. I run my tongue around the pudding before biting lightly against her skin as I remove her digit from my mouth.
Every muscle in my body tightens. My blood heats to a dangerous degree. My hand trembles as I hold her hand in mine and try desperately not to tug her whole body into me.
Her chest heaves. She forces a swallow as she leans back against the counter. Her breath is loud and quick, breaking the silence of the room.
“Shit,” she says, a mixture of a plea and a promise.
I just look at her and smile. “Is that what you wanted?”
She swallows again.
I release her wrist from my palm. Then I lean in until we’re only inches apart—until I’m so close that I can smell the sweetness of her breath—and grin.
“That’s the only time my mouth will get anywhere near you.” I turn toward the doorway, ignoring the protest of every cell in my body. “I’ll see you in the morning.”
“Now it’s my turn,” she says, the strength in her voice slipping.
“You have two choices.”
She licks her lips. “Choice one is that we can stand here all night and address this situation.”
A slow, so-fucking-slow grin slips across her kissable lips. My whole body comes alive, pushing, pulling, all-out boiling for this woman.
God, help me.
“Or you can get over here and undress me instead.”