Made in Jersey #3
Publication Date: August 1, 2016
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Brazen, Contemporary Romance
Factory mechanic Duke Crawford just wants to watch SportsCenter in peace. Unfortunately, living with four divorcee sisters doesn’t provide much silence, nor does it change his stance on relationships. But when a fellow commitment-phobe stumbles into his life, getting him good and worked up, he can’t deny his protective instincts.
Samantha Waverly’s brother just put her in an impossible situation. The only way out? Marry huge, gruff, gladiator look-alike Duke—for show, of course. She doesn’t make promises—she knows too well how easily they can be broken—and this is no exception.
As the blistering attraction between them grows, the lines around the no-strings relationship blur. But Duke and Samantha’s marriage is only for show…or is it?
“I need something.”
A low, shaking curse. “Sam.”
God, the way his voice deepened on that single word made her blood flame. “Yes.” No guts, no glory. “I-I could use a good night kiss.”
His stroll back toward the door seemed to take an hour. “You could use it?” He stopped, arms braced on the building’s doorframe, his breath fogging up the glass. “Or you need it?”
For the first time in…maybe forever, Samantha’s loins started to ache, due to something other than her own imagination. And damn it all, even her crazy imagination couldn’t have conjured up a Duke. His blunt chin, the scratchy-looking hair on his belly. “I need it.”
The condensation left by his breaths appeared faster, undeniable proof he was affected, too, despite his desire to stay free of entanglements. Just like her. “One kiss. I can’t give you any more than that.” His fist came up to bang against the glass. “Don’t ask me to bring you inside. Please. I’m not the kind of man you’re looking for. But you’d get me, regardless, if we fucked. You hearing me, sweetheart?”
Samantha’s vocal cords had lost the ability to function, so she simply hung up the phone, stowed it, and set the bag in the vestibule’s corner. And waited, palms raking up and down the skirt of her dress. Duke watched her through the door a beat, before jerking it open. There was no slow motion coming together or easing into the kiss, either. No, Duke…stormed Samantha. And…and he was out of practice. She could tell right away. He couldn’t seem to stop baring his teeth long enough to kiss her properly, his hands settling on her hips and gripping way too tight. Bruises. She’d have bruises and they hadn’t even begun yet. Everything about the hovering—the brink, his harsh, growling hesitation—turned Samantha on. This was unusual for him…he didn’t do this.
All pent up. The giant’s adrenaline was all pent up.
“You look so…” He shuddered, lifting her off the floor so he could suck the skin of her neck, his arm like steel around her lower back. “You look so fucking sexy in that dress, I—”
“Thank you,” she whimpered, feet swinging, searching for purchase. The need for solid ground was gone a second later, however, when a thick, flexing thigh shoved in between her legs, pressing against her juncture with such unexpectedness, she tightened her limbs around it, gasping. “Duke.”
“We still being honest with each other, sweetheart?” He didn’t wait for an answer, roughly gliding his hands down, hooking them beneath her knees and sliding her higher on his thigh. The move dragged her core over so many ridges of sinew, she lost count, a moan slipping free. “Someday, when you’re long gone and you’ve forgotten my name, I’ll still be wondering what you’d have felt like. Taking me. Working me up, letting me take you down. Hold you down.”
Tessa Bailey is originally from Carlsbad, California. The day after high school graduation, she packed her yearbook, ripped jeans and laptop, driving cross-country to New York City in under four days.
Her most valuable life experiences were learned thereafter while waitressing at K-Dees, a Manhattan pub owned by her uncle. Inside those four walls, she met her husband, best friend and discovered the magic of classic rock, managing to put herself through Kingsborough Community College and the English program at Pace University at the same time. Several stunted attempts to enter the work force as a journalist followed, but romance writing continued to demand her attention.
She now lives in Long Island, New York with her husband of eight years and four-year-old daughter. Although she is severely sleep-deprived, she is incredibly happy to be living her dream of writing about people falling in love.