I am so tickled pink this morning because the latest addition to the PRIDE OF BROTHERS series – AIDEN – dropped at midnight. This story just wrung me dry when I was writing it and I am so in love with the three main characters – yes 3! The hero Aiden, a cancer surviving Private Investigator with a naughty side and a twinkle in his eyes; Lexi, the trivia-Tourettes’ spewing Ph.D who doesn’t know her own worth; and Bronte, the chocolate lab who makes Aiden’s life run smoothly from a medical standpoint and who is more human than most, well…humans! Bronte even made it on the cover!
I hope you enjoy their story. If you’ve read any of my WILL COOK FOR LOVE series, or the first book in this one, Rick, you will recognize many of the characters that help Lexi and Aiden discover the truth behind her (Lexi’s) sister’s death.
Protecting her is his job. Loving her was never part of the bargain.
Lexi Buckley wants answers about her younger sister’s death. The police have labeled it a suicide, but Lexi doesn’t believe it. Stymied in her investigation, she doesn’t know where to turn next. After a chance encounter with a private investigator, she thinks her prayers have been answered.
Aiden Keane has never been an answer to a prayer before, but he agrees to help Lexi. A quirky combo of brains and beauty, the pixie blonde makes him feel things no professional ever should for a client.
When their investigation puts Lexi’s life in jeopardy, her safety becomes his number one priority. The hard part is not falling for her.
“You are, without a doubt, the most attuned and insightful man I have ever met.”
He cocked his head, a ghost of that sexy grin lifting one corner of his mouth. “I think that’s a compliment.”
“It is. Believe me, it is.” She clasped her hands in front of her, her own smile finally making an entrance. “You just put into words what I’ve been thinking but felt if I said it out loud I’d come off like a total bitch.”
He took a step closer, bringing them almost into contact. Lexi willed herself to stay put and not dissolve against him like she so ardently wanted to.
“I don’t think that word can ever apply to you.” He lowered his voice and dipped his head a bit, giving her the impression his words were only meant for her to hear. Fixated now on her and not the man—and woman—up ahead of them, his pupils grew in size, shoving the riot of blues to the edges, as he gazed at her face. The opposite corner of his mouth lifted, mimicking its twin, to create the most charming and seductive of grins. “In fact”—he was so close his body heat warmed her from head to toes like a blanket fresh from a hot dryer—“I don’t think you’ve ever had a bitchy thought or moment in your life.”
“You’d be surprised,” she mumbled. Of its own free will, her gaze dipped down to his mouth. She licked her lips at the thought of how they would feel against her own, and the rush of air he sucked in pulled her along with it.
Without warning, Aiden lifted a hand, caressed her cheek with the back of it, as he sighed her name.
The notion he was going to kiss her barreled through her, and she couldn’t think of one reason why she shouldn’t kiss him right back.
He swiped his tongue across his bottom lip, his lids dropping half closed as he continued to concentrate solely on her. It didn’t matter a whit they were standing in the aisle of a crowded bookstore surrounded by books and people and waiting to speak to a man who may be able to answer some questions about her sister’s death. All that did matter was the attraction crackling in the air between them—an attraction growing hourly since he’d sat himself down next to her on that first flight.
Just as he bent a bit more toward her, and she responded by lifting up on the balls of her feet, the moment shattered.
“Excuse me, but can you move up?” An irritated voice from behind yanked them out of the sexual fugue they’d both drifted into. Aiden’s eyes opened wide again, his lashes beating a rapid tattoo against the top of his cheeks. He shook his head like a dog shucking water from its back, turned to the woman with the annoyed voice and said, “Please. Go ahead of us.”
Without waiting for a response, he wrapped a hand around Lexi’s arm and gently tugged her off the line. Silently, he propelled her to the back of the store, down a secluded hallway near the restrooms. With a furtive glance to the right, then the left, assuring they were alone, he spun her so she faced him.
Brows pinched together and looking at her through inquiring eyes, Aiden took a breath, let it out slowly, then said, “I have to ask. I’m pretty sure of the answer, but I have to hear it from you first, Lexi.”
She stopped him before he could give a voice to his question by rising up on her toes and fusing her lips to his.
For the second time in the span of a few minutes, her never-resting mind went completely still. No data spewed forth about how humans were the only species who kiss, or the crazy laws about kissing still on the books and punishable by fines or imprisonment in some states, or even that, on average, each person spends about 330 hours of their life engaged in the art of kissing.
Intrigued? I hope so.
You can get your copy here if you are (hee hee): APOBA
Happy reading, peeps. For me, I’m off to eat cake to celebrate!