I know we talk about all things cowboys here most days, but I hope you’ll indulge me today if I take a wee break from the wild, wild west to mention my latest release. The Back-Up Plan comes out tomorrow. Rather than red-hot ranch hands and alpha cowboys, it features sexy lawyers as no-nonsense Kristen, discovers that nothing about falling in love makes sense. Especially when her heart sets its sights on the last man on the planet she wants to spend the rest of her life with, her womanizing law partner, Jason. All rise. Court is now in session!
Second Chances, Book 4
Kristen Grey has always been married to her work, but as her fortieth birthday looms, she begins to wonder if that’s all there is to life. When her friend Zoey suggests she come up with a goal for a second chance at happiness, the first idea to pop into Kristen’s mind falls out of her mouth—to find a husband.
One night, after a few too many shots of vodka, it falls out of her mouth again, in front of the last man she wants to hear it. Her annoying, cocky law partner, Jason Mitchell. She’s shocked when he vows to help in her quest to find a man.
After all, he has a vested interest in her success. Years ago, they foolishly made a pact that if they hadn’t found “the one” by age forty, they’d marry each other. Time is running out.
Problem is, as Jason and Kristen try to help each other find love, it becomes more and more apparent that maybe the back-up plan isn’t such a bad option after all.
Warning: The heroine in this story has no objection to how her law partner likes to recess. Legal eagle? Nope. Spread eagle.
Jason stood when a slow song started and the singer on the stage began to croon “Unchained Melody” every bit as beautifully as The Righteous Brothers.
He held out his hand. “Dance with me.”
She looked around the bar. “No one else is dancing.”
He shrugged. “I don’t care.”
She accepted his hand and let him lead her to an empty spot in front of the stage. Then he wrapped her in his arms and they began to sway. Soon other people followed suit, coupling up to join them on the tiny, makeshift dance floor.
“One of the top five love songs ever,” Jason murmured in her ear.
“Really? You think so? I’ve never been a big fan.”
He pulled back so he could see her face. “Are you kidding me?”
She shook her head and crinkled her nose.
“Oh man. What the hell happened to your heart, Tin Man? This is a very romantic song.”
She grinned. “God. Please tell me you’re not one of those people who goes for mushy-gushy crap like this.”
They were still holding each other and moving in time, their conversation spoken in hushed whispers. Though Jason pretended to be annoyed with her response, she could see the spark in his eye that confirmed he loved their sparring as much as she did.
“You’re in serious danger of being held in contempt of love court. You have one chance for reprieve or I’ll have to lock you up in my Audi and bombard you with romantic songs until you break.”
She feigned a shudder.
“So what song makes you melt inside?”
She pretended to consider her answer, then said, “‘Pour Some Sugar on Me’. Def Leppard.”
Jason groaned. “You wanna try again or do I need to get my car keys out?”
“Fine. I’m a Clapton fan. ‘Wonderful Tonight’.”
Jason tilted his head, clearly impressed by her answer. “That’s a good song. Why that one?”
She should have known he’d dig deeper. It didn’t matter. She knew her answer. “I guess because it’s not about new love or lust or desire. It’s about a lasting love. That feels more true to me.”
“Wow. Great answer.”
She didn’t have time to reply when he pulled her closer, the embrace becoming more hug than dance. Neither of them sought to break the connection. Instead, they held tight, swaying in place.
When the song ended, Jason let her go, leading her back to the table. Kristen missed his touch instantly.
He must have felt it too. “You wanna go?”
Jason settled their tab, then the two of them drove back to her townhouse in silence. As they pulled into the parking lot, Jason turned the car off, but left the battery running, the radio playing softly.
“Well,” he said.
He was waiting for an invitation inside. She knew it. But the panic she’d held at bay all night found its way to the surface, clogging her throat with pure fear.
She tried to cover it up when a song came on the radio. “I love this song.”
Jason smiled kindly. He could obviously see the nervousness she wasn’t hiding very well. “It’s one of my favorites.”
They sat in silence as the words to “Let Your Heart Hold Fast” closed in around them. It comforted her, calmed her down.
Then she turned to face him. “Jason—”
He shook his head. “It’s okay, Kris. You don’t have to ask me in.”
She leaned forward, grateful for his understanding, while hating him for it as well. Some sick, weak part of her wanted him to demand, to push for this.
“Happy birthday,” she whispered, meaning to give him a quick, platonic kiss. Those intentions flew out the window the second her lips touched his. She’d had two weeks to remember every incredible, intense moment of his first kiss in her office. The memory had consumed her, drowned her in longing.
Now she was here again and unwilling to deny herself one more taste.
Jason clasped her cheeks in his hands and she realized it wasn’t music that melted her, it was the sexy way he held her, coddled her, made her feel precious, delicate, special.
She twisted, trying to move closer, but the damn stick shift kept digging into her side. Jason must’ve noticed because he turned as well, working to move them away from the damn thing. She laughed when he banged his elbow against it.
“Something tells me it would be simpler to make out with a porcupine,” she murmured.
He gave her a crooked grin. “Let’s try something else.” He pressed lightly on her shoulder until she was in her seat once more, her head against the rest. “Lift that lever on the side of the seat and recline.”
What the hell was she doing? She was almost forty years old and making out in a car like a horny teenager. That fact was made even more ridiculous by the idea that her parent-less house was less than a hundred feet away from them.
Regardless, she did as he asked, not quite ready to make the mother of all mistakes just yet. Even so, she was dying to see what he had in mind for now.
She slid her seat back, expecting Jason to follow suit. He didn’t.
Instead he twisted in his own, studying her face. “You’re beautiful, Kris.”
She was touched by the compliment and amused by the slight sound of amazement in his voice. “You sound surprised by that.”
“I’m trying to figure out how the hell I’ve missed that detail all these years.”
Kristen couldn’t respond because he punctuated his statement by resting his hand on her knee and his fingers slipped the skirt higher.