Five years ago, I let the girl of my dreams get away.
To be honest, I set fire to her barn, fought with her brothers, then exiled myself to a logging company in the Canadian wilderness.
But a reclusive b@stard can’t hide forever. When my sister got sick, I took in my two young nieces. Now I’m paying rent to Sesame Street, drinking Jack and fruit juice, and reading my chainsaw manual as a bedtime story. I’ve gone from lumberjack to babyjacked, and I don’t know what the hell I’m doing.
Fortunately, I found a nanny. Five years have passed, and Cassi’s not just my best friends’ little sister anymore. She’s all grown up, dark and beautiful with a smart mouth and a broken heart.
Doesn’t take long before she’s falling for me again, but I can’t shout timber yet.
Cassi can’t forgive the past. And I can’t tell her why I ran.
When a man doesn’t deserve a second chance, he’s just gotta steal her heart.
“Give me one good reason why you can’t be their nanny,” he said.
I’d give him the best one. “We’re not even going to talk about the kisses?”
Rem’s voice lowered, a dark and caramel growl that layered me with regret and shivers and memories.
“Must have been some good kisses if you remember them after all this time.”
I didn’t look at his lips. “You mean you forgot?”
“I made myself forget.”
“Because thinking of that night is the reason I had to put three thousand miles of uncut wilderness and five years between us.”
In the past twenty-four hours, this man had made my heart ache so much I considered popping some of Dad’s leftover beta-blockers. I wasn’t about to let Rem twist me up any more.
“No one asked you to leave,” I said. “No one told you to go. It’s not heroic, Rem. It just hurts.”
“Good thing I’m a changed man.”
I’d never wanted him to change, only to be honest. “How can I trust you?”
“I’ll prove it. I got the kids. I got the bank account. The cabin. The responsibility. I’m different.”
“You’re still chasing me.”
His hound-dog grin should have run me up a tree. “Can’t blame a man for trying. It’s lonely in these woods. Gets real dark and cold at night. I’m looking for someone to warm me up.”
“And that’s why the answer is no. We have a history together.”
The sadness kicked me in the gut. “We might have had a history.”
“Do you think there’s still a chance?”
“How could there be, after all that happened?”
He surprised me with a wink. “Then what’s the problem? Are you attracted to me?”
“No,” I lied.
“Then work for me.”
He smoothed that beard. Easier to see his smile. Harder to resist wondering how it’d feel scratching all over me. “What if I show you that this could be perfectly platonic?”
I poked him away with the broom. “And what would that prove?”
“That there’s nothing between us,” he said.
“That’s like leaving my credit card in the street to prove there’s no thieves around.”
“Not trying to steal anything from you, Sassy.”
That’s because there was only one thing left to give him, and I’d mercifully avoided that roll in the hay. “You’re out of your mind.”
“One kiss,” he said. “We’ll settle it once and for all.”
I focused on cleaning and scrubbed my way into the kitchen, hoping my hips didn’t sashay with every brush. He watched me, his gaze boiling over my skin.
“Why not?” Rem asked.
I didn’t have to lie. “Because it took me five years to get over our last kiss. I can’t spend the next five forgetting this one.”
“One kiss.” He edged too close for me to breathe, think, or defend my honor. “One little, teensy, tiny nibble of a kiss. I promise—I won’t even make a good one.”
“Is that possible?”
“I don’t know. I’ve never kissed bad before.”
“Then I can’t afford the risk.”
“For all we know, every kiss of mine becomes a five-year memory.” He towered over me, leaning in, his whisper playful and tempting. “And that’s just the kiss. Imagine what I could do with a touch. A lick. One night with me, and you might never forget it.”
“Or forgive it.”
“Good thing I’m only asking for a kiss.” He bumped my chin up with his fingers. “One kiss.”
“To prove there’s nothing between us…or to torture us for the rest of our lives?”
“You tell me, Sassy.”
He leaned in, capturing my lips with a playful, deliberate swipe. I gripped the broom, heart raging, pounding, attempting to crash through my chest and knock my head back into sanity.
Heat swirled between us, suffocating me in that woodsy, fresh-cut pine scent. Earthy and tempting and so much more than he was before. Everything was more. His words meant more. His eyes saw more. His touch offered more.
And his kiss…
Conquered and overwhelmed. My body pooled into softness. A murmur accidentally parted my lips. His tongue swept in. Gentle. Teasing. Wonderful.
His kiss was every perfect moment I’d imagined in the last five years. Every flirty nibble. Every sensual bite. Every casual, quick peck people took for granted.
In five seconds, he’d revealed everything he might have offered in those lost five years.
And I hated him for it.
And I melted for it.
And I was so much trouble.
Sosie Frost is no stranger to quirky, embarrassing, and wild situations, and she’s channeling all that new adult angst into fun romances.
From marching at the high school homecoming game without her trumpet (a punishment for forgetting the instrument on the band bus), to regretfully tucking her prom dress into the back of her tights before pictures, and even accidentally starting a chemical fire in the college chem lab, Sosie has the market cornered on crazy stories.
But hey, writing is a better outlet than therapy right? 😉
If you want funny, charming, and steamy romances, you’ve found the right author!
Sosie lives in Pittsburgh with her hubby, her two cats, and thrives on a near constant stream of gummy bears.