For Donovan Pate, the lake town of Evergreen Cove is a minefield of tough memories-including the day he had to let go of Sofie Martin. Years later he still can't forget the taste of her lips and the feel of her killer curves. He knows he's too damaged, that he should stay away for her own good. But what the head says and the heart wants are two very different things . . . Seven years ago, Donovan broke Sofie's heart. Now her career depends on playing nice in order to pull off the charity fund-raiser of the decade. She vows to keep things professional . . . yet working by his side every day doesn't make it easy to fight temptation, and it isn't long before she finds herself falling for this bad boy all over again. But loving Donovan means helping him face his past-so they can fight for a future together.
She turned his arm where paint was drying. She swiped at it with her sleeve. “I made a mess.”
He’d forgotten about the paint. “Don’t… I can… There is a shower in the…” He lost his train of thought when she turned those emerald green eyes up to him. He watched her delicate throat work as she swallowed. His eyes traveled up her neck and landed on her mouth. Needing her mouth, he lowered his face, watched her eyes grow dark and wide, watched her lift her chin to meet him.
Heat. He wanted more. If only to test his own strength.
He moved his lips gently against hers, but resisted holding her to him. She held onto him though, grasping his forearms with both hands, her fingers wrapped around his elbows. Pressing her body against his, pressing her tits against his ribs.
Hell, sounded like an invitation to him. Deepening their connection, he thrust his tongue into her mouth, reached around, and grabbed her ass with both palms. When he squeezed, she sucked in a breath.
“Told you,” he rumbled.
“Not a complaint, Scampi.” He squeezed again. “Perfect.”
A choked laugh left her throat. “Big.”
Still moving his hands over her backside, he said, “First thing I noticed about you at the Wharf.” He’d been plating up a chicken scaloppini when the manager walked in to show around a few new servers. Two he couldn’t remember, and Sofie. Bent over the plate, he’d peeked between the metal shelves framing that perfect ass . He’d stood to get a better look, and she’d pegged him with those moss-greens.
“Second thing I noticed was your eyes.”
Her lips parted slightly. “And the third thing?”
He kissed her. She tasted incredible. “The first time you talked to me.”
She rolled her eyes. “And what did I say?”
She didn’t think he remembered. She was wrong. “‘Can I get a side of cock?’”
Laughing, she shook her head.
He smiled back at her, unable to help himself. “Then you cleared your throat and said, ‘cocktail sauce’.”
Shaking her head, she said, “Worst abbreviation ever.”
“Kitchen guys are immature.”
She blinked up at him, studying him, like she was trying to piece him together. He didn't want her to. Once she pieced him together and had the whole picture, she wouldn’t like what she saw.
He kissed her again, keeping his hands on her body.
“Are you testing my boundaries?” she asked, her tone teasing. He recognized that comment from the night he rescued her from Torsett.
“Mine,” he corrected.
Sofie bit her lip. “I don’t date much.”
“Me either.” At all, actually.
She shook her head, more in thought than in argument. “I don’t think I have any boundaries with you.”
He was beginning to think he had none with her, either.