Does love at first sight really exist?
When Andrea (Andy) Cummings, the town’s bald, foulmouthed, and talented mechanic, becomes the subject of a national magazine article, more will run hot than the reporter’s car engine.
Reese Maverick is already engaged to Cammie, a spoiled rich girl, but Andy and her friends touch a chord with him, evoking feelings of family and friendship he’s been missing.
Andy needs a man’s advice, turning to Ian Cameron while his fiancée, Kristina, is out of town.
Sparks fly when Cammie and Kristina show up, but is Andy destined to be the town oddball? Will a man ever make her feel as special as the older man in her past who still haunts her memories?
Publisher’s Note: This love at first sight contemporary romance contains a theme of power exchange.
Stubbornly, she closed her eyes and rested her head back on the edge of the tub, saying nothing.
“Well?” Ian said with a hint of a snarl.
Kristina opened her eyes and looked at him blankly. “Well, what?”
“You embarrassed me, and you embarrassed yourself. I think an apology is in order.”
Feelings flooded Kristina’s mind from the past. Her date for the frat party had said essentially the same thing, making her feel ashamed, like she had been at fault. For many hurtful months, she had been convinced that she’d had too much to drink and ended up in bed with some random guy, when in reality, she’d been drugged and raped. And now the man she thought was the love of her life was ashamed of her? The pain was unbearable. If she tried to speak, she knew she’d break down. Instead, she closed her eyes again and turned her face to the wall so he wouldn’t see how deeply his words had cut.
Ian roughly pulled her up from the water and threw her over his shoulder, carrying her into their room. Just as he had done when she tried to run away in October, he laid her across his lap and spanked her over and over. Smack! It stung even more because of her wet skin. Smack! Smack!
In shock, Kristina cried out for him to stop, squirming and scratching at his pants leg to make him stop, but he continued without mercy. Finally, when she thought it would never end, he laid a hand on her bare bottom with a sense of finality.
Without a word, Ian laid her on the bed and left the room, returning with a towel. As she wrapped it around herself and took down her hair, she heard him open the front door and let the screen door close behind him. Kristina sat on the edge of the bed, tears streaming down her face. How could he do this to me again? What kind of man strikes a woman in anger? I’ll leave. I’ll leave tonight and never come back.
You tried to leave that time, too. She thought back to that first day on the mountain. She had waited until he was busy before running out the front door into the swirling snow, quickly putting on her coat, heading for the dense woods. He’d yelled at her to stop then yanked her back hard, just as she was about to step into a steel trap. After spanking her like a disobedient child, he had prepared a meal for her, held out her chair for her. The next night, they had fallen in love.
He had been afraid she would get hurt. Afraid, not angry. Was it the same now? What was he afraid of? Getting caught with Andy? Losing you, you idiot, a voice spoke deep inside.
Silently, Kristina walked to the screen door. Ian sat on the edge of the porch with his head and arms draped over his knees. His shoulders were shaking. Under different circumstances, she might think he was laughing. Instead, her heart broke. This strong, noble man, her man, was weeping.