Take Me Home Tonight: Welcome to Paradise, Book 2
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by Elle Kennedy
Category: Erotica/Erotic Romance/Romance
Description: One unforgettable night?a lifetime of regret? Welcome to Paradise, Book 2 Three years. That's how long Maddie's been running the reception desk at Owen Bishop's construction company--and waiting for her sexy boss to wake up and realize she's more woman than the airhead bimbos he seems to prefer. Even after her friends spring an ambush makeover on her, Owen barely notices. Apparently shedding her one-of-the-guys, tomboy looks isn't enough. Looks like it's time to step up her game, even if it means looking for lessons in all the wrong places. While Owen can't help but notice Maddie's stunning transformation, the truth is, he likes her just the way she is--polished up or dressed down. Like his playboy father, though, he's always been restless when it comes to women. Maddie's friendship is too important to risk hurting her. When Maddie shows up at his door ready to rock his world, all his resistance crumbles. But in the back of his mind, the question remains?how can she trust him with her vulnerable heart, when he's not sure he can trust himself? Warning: Contains a girl who'll do anything to please her man, even if it means signing up for a master class in seduction with the town bad boy. Plus a man who may let the "sins of the father" stop him from accepting the gift of a lifetime.
eBook Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd., 2011 2011
eBookwise Release Date: October 2011
1 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [180 KB]
Reading time: 109-153 min.
Owen could tell Maddie was still angry with him. Even the delicious dinner he'd had delivered--his treat--hadn't lifted her spirits. Their empty food cartons littered the desk, but neither of them had made a move to get back to work. They were sitting cross-legged on the hardwood floor, and he noticed she was fidgeting an awful lot, a scowl on her face.
"You can't still be mad at me," he finally sighed. "We're almost at the Rs. It'll only take another hour or so to finish." By then it would be ten-thirty, and too late for her to meet up with Wyatt. Mission accomplished.
To his surprise, she shook her head. "I'm not mad. I'm antsy. The after-dinner cigarette used to be my favorite, and the cravings for it are always the worst."
That startled him. He'd known Maddie had quit smoking a couple of years ago, but he hadn't realized she still got cravings. In fact, there were a lot of things he didn't know about her. What did she do when she left the office and went home in the evenings? He knew she watched football on Sundays, but he suddenly realized he had no clue what else she did for fun.
"But you wouldn't know," she grumbled. "Mr. Perfect here has never had a drag of a cigarette, has he?"
"Nope," Owen admitted proudly. "Jake smokes, though."
Looking interested, Maddie met his gaze for the first time in days. "When is he showing up, anyway? I haven't seen Jake in more than a year, maybe longer."
"He's flying in a few days before the wedding. He'll miss Nate's bachelor party tomorrow night, but at least he's coming home."
"It's so weird, how different you two are." She cocked her head in curiosity. "Were you ever tempted to join the Army when he enlisted?"
"Not in the slightest." He grinned ruefully. "Getting shot at isn't something I ever wanted to experience."
Maddie gasped. "Has Jake ever been shot?"
"Half a dozen times, at least. Ask him to show you the scars--he likes bragging about them."
He immediately regretted the remark as he remembered that several of his twin's scars were in places Maddie had no business looking. That weird jolt of possessiveness startled him, and the following rush of jealousy didn't help much either. He wished she didn't look so damn good in that yellow dress. She was no longer cross-legged, she now had her legs stretched out, and they were so long and smooth he curled both hands into fists to refrain from reaching out and touching all that silky skin.
He forced his eyes back to her face, noticing the faint blush on her cheeks. "Were you just checking out my legs?" she demanded.
Of course she just had to go and point it out, didn't she?
"You've got nice legs," he said lightly, feeling his own cheeks go hot.
She opened her mouth to say something, then closed it, her lips tightening in a harsh slash. To his disappointment, she got to her feet and headed toward the file cabinets. He heard her mumble something under her breath, but didn't catch a single word.
"What did you say?" he asked.
Maddie began rifling through the S files, thoroughly ignoring him.
Owen's shoulders stiffened as he marched over to her. Her muttered remark hadn't sounded all that pleasant, judging from the tone of her voice, and he got the feeling it had been directed at him. She bent down, and her long brown hair fell over her shoulders like a silk curtain, a few strands disappearing in her cleavage.
He gritted his teeth. "If you have something to say to me, just say it."
She lifted her head and shot him a cool look. "I'd rather not."
As irritation gathered in his gut, he reached out and clasped his fingers over her arm. Instantly, heat suffused his palm. "Say it," he ordered.
Brown eyes flashing, she met his gaze head-on. "I was just commenting on the fact that my nice legs are being wasted here, in this office, when I could be having drinks with someone who actually appreciates them."
His mouth fell open.
"But you took care of that, didn't you?" she said with an annoyed huff. "One question, Owen--why don't you want me going out with Wyatt? And don't give me that employee-fraternizing bullshit."
Owen just gaped at her, unable to come up with a single argument in his defense. She was right, of course. He'd purposely ordered her to work late so she would miss her date with Wyatt. But he'd done it for her own good. Wyatt Killington was a sleazy player--Maddie deserved way better than that.
He opened his mouth to explain, but she didn't give him the chance. Her cheeks were flushed with anger as she unleashed one of her infamous Maddie Wilson attacks.
"You know what? I don't care what your reasons were," she burst out, slamming the drawer so hard the metal cabinet rattled. "You had no right to purposely sabotage my date. That was a total asshole thing to do--and mean, damn it! It was mean and I don't appreciate you interfering in my love life. It's none of your damn business who I go out with, and if you pull a stunt like that again, I will quit. For good, this time, and trust me, Owen, without me, you'll..."
He tuned her out. Maybe he was an asshole, but he was far too fascinated with her mouth to focus on the furious words coming out of it. Why hadn't he ever noticed that her bottom lip was so much fuller than the top?
"I swear to God, Owen, if you do something like this again, I'll--"
"Shut up," he said hoarsely.
Her eyes widened. "Did you just tell me to shut up?"
"Yes," he shot back. "I told you to shut up. Wanna know why?"
"No," she yelled, taking a step to the side. "I don't want to know why you would have the nerve to--"
He decided to answer anyway. "So I could do this."
And then he kissed her.