On the road to recovery, sometimes it helps to circle back to where it all began.
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Azzette Bettencourt spilled brain cells and broke bones, but three years later she's confident she'll return to her life in the lab to create space-age laser gadgets. Unfortunately, her parents don't agree. They compromise and she returns to her roots in Alaska to spend the summer at her cousin's bed and breakfast. They're expecting her to relax, live an organic lifestyle and discover her boundaries. She's expecting to build a revolutionary weather sensor, her ticket back to an independent life.
Builder Aiden Shaughnessy's looking for time away from raising the last of his six siblings. Bonus? Some good old Alaskan adventure. If a fifties kind of woman wants to take care of him, life will be damn near perfect. The one he finds can cook, but she's trickier than a double-blind dovetail joint. Other than the fact she likes her diamonds inside a laser, she's as much a handful as the siblings when they were younger. Except she's made a gizmo that contributes to his brother's successful ascent of Mt. McKinley after the year's biggest storm. Is he ready for a life with a woman as brilliant as Einstein, but with the curiosity and attention span of a toddler
Warning: Carpenters, climbers, chickens and bears... Oh my!
A Lyrical Press Contemporary Romance
Copyright, 2012 Morgan Q. O'Reilly
All rights reserved, Lyrical Press, Inc.
“Make love to me,” Azzette murmured against his lips.
Wanting nothing less, he prepared to do just that. Take her. Mark her as his.
But the other conscience burst into his head. Funny, it sounded like his father. “Men don’t ravage women without great thought. Be the one gentleman in her life.”
Damn, but he hated having a conscience. Da’s words were as clear as if he stood right there.
Besides, Aiden didn’t have a condom on him. Strike two. And she had an injury of some sort. One he wanted to know about before going further. Strike three. His ardor cooled enough he could focus on her needs and ignore his. A Shaughnessy never took advantage of a woman. Period. Not for any reason.
Ah, but she tasted so sweet and fit him so well. She mewled and rubbed against him. “Touch me more,” she moaned.
“Not tonight, my darlin’.” The hardest words he’d ever said. “It’s not right, and somewhere in your head you know it.” He kissed her again, deeply, imprinting her taste and feel on all his senses. The sounds of her little moans and gasps, the passionate glaze over her eyes and the thick hair tumbling from her turban. He took it all in, the sight, the sounds, the touch of her hands beneath his shirt. The scent of her, heated and drugging, as he inhaled it with the scents of the forest.
Truly regretful, he eased his hands from her body, then hers from under his shirt. He suspected he’d feel her touch the whole night through. Her hand had felt that good on his skin.
“Time to get you home, Cinderella. Or your cousin will be looking for me, and I’d rather not get in a brawl with him. Right would be on his side.”
The passion drained from her and she slumped against his chest. “You’re right.”
They resumed their meandering trek. This time with arms wrapped around each other, Azzette leaning on him a little more with each passing moment. Each step leading them up to the large log structure.
“Here we are. One Cinderella delivered, safe and sound.” He eased away and looked down at her feet. “And well shod.”
She smiled up at him, appearing half asleep. “So it would seem.”
Reluctant to end the night, Aiden tucked a loose strand of hair into the scarf around her head. “So. Tomorrow night? Can I interest you in meeting me for drinks or dinner?”
She regarded him blearily and smiled, but in a distracted manner. He had to wonder how much was due to the beer, the unrequited passion, or plain jetlag. Or her unknown injury to the head.
“Where do you want to meet?”
Okay, so she didn’t want to be picked up.
“Where do you want to meet?” He tossed the question back at her.
She shrugged. “What works for you?”
“I’ll meet you there.”
She was still holding his arm, looking up at him with large dreamy brown eyes. The urge to kiss her was almost overwhelming and he started to lean down when she abruptly released him and turned away.
“See you!” she chirped, and went into the building. The door shut in his face. He heard the thump of a deadbolt sliding home.
That was it? Aiden could have sworn she’d been about to invite him to stay. Then in the blink of an eye, it was as if her memory had been wiped and they hadn’t been touching for the last half hour.