Title Par for Cinderella
Author Petie McCarty
Genre Contemporary Romance
Billionaire Aidan Cross longs to escape his life of celebrity and become a regular guy, if only for a brief time. His chance comes when his yacht breaks down near quaint Cypress Key, Florida—the site of his planned five-star golf resort. The golf resort no one in town wants.
Casey Stuart has given up her dream of escaping to the big city. She refuses to desert her uncle, even when he hires the new stranger in town to replace her at their golf course. Casey vows to steer clear of the stranger called Aidan and the danger their inescapable chemistry provokes. Aidan’s stay is temporary, and falling for him promises only heartbreak.
When Casey discovers Cypress Key’s mayor is making underhanded business deals, she ends up on the wrong side of the powerful autocrat. Aidan steps in to rescue her, but secrets from his past threaten to bogey their new-found relationship.
Casey cracked open her eyes, and the chocolate-brown ones hovering inches away widened a bit. Luckily, the big warm body didn’t move. The hunk watched her like a hawk, and the skitter up her spine wasn’t fear of being prey, more like desire to be prey. What had he said his name was?
She nodded once and frowned. The movement cost her a few smacks from the hammer in her head.
“Did that hurt?”
“Yes,” she whispered.
“What are you doing?”
He gave her the same slow, sexy smile that weakened her knees on the boat and probably assisted PJ’s wake in tossing her over the side.
“Counting your freckles. Figured it was my only chance to get this close.”
“Maybe, maybe not.” Not her wittiest repartee, what with her headache and lingering sleepiness, but at least a game effort.
His smile deepened. “You wouldn’t be teasing me, would you?”
“Maybe, maybe not.”
The hunk’s sensuous chuckle vibrated along her skin. Damn, but she wanted one kiss before the guy slipped over the horizon.
“I haven’t thanked you properly for saving me.”
“Well, you did at the clinic, but you were pretty out of it. I admit, I’m curious what you mean by thanking me properly.”
She couldn’t get enough of those warm, dark eyes that now twinkled with mischief. Definitely, mischief.
She tried a smile. “You tell me.”
“Weeelll.” He drew out the word as he rubbed the stubble on his chin with his free hand. The arm braced on the back of the couch allowed him to hover close.
She could feel his warm breath on her cheeks and tried to memorize his scent for later, after he was gone. The strange urge left her disconcerted since she’d never responded like this to a man before. At least, never this quickly.
Must be the concussion. Had to be the concussion.
“I’m thinking a kiss would be a proper thank you.”
Her heart skipped over one full beat in its rhythm. And she tried one more smile. “Maybe—”
Hunk grimaced. “I know what you’re going to say.”
He’d been whispering all along in deference to her headache, but now he barked. The stab of pain in her skull came and went with the single word. His eyes widened.
“Maybe yes,” she repeated in a whisper.
His eyes narrowed. “No teasing?”
She shook her head, immediately winced.
“Sorry,” he whispered. “I should kiss it and make it better since I caused it.”
She inhaled sharply.
“Here.” He placed a feather light kiss on her forehead. “And here.” Another kiss brushed across her right eye. “Then here.” The other eye.
Pulsebeats sprinted and blood whooshed through her veins.
Could that be good for a concussion?
Oh, who cares?
“And definitely here.” His voice had gone hoarse, as his lips caressed hers lightly with one smooth stroke.
No, no, no. Come back. That was too fast.
He chuckled low and deep. “I’m not done.”
Oh Lord! Had she said that out loud? Could she be more embarrassed?
And then she couldn’t think at all as his lips nuzzled hers, then pressed warm against them. His tongue lightly stroked her lower lip, and she sank back into the pillows to see if he would follow her.
He pressed his tongue gently between her lips, and she timidly sampled his taste. Mmm. Better than chocolate. She pressed her palm to his chest, and he stilled. Did he think she would push him away?
This was one fabulous kiss, and she intended to make the most of it. She quickly slid her arms around his neck. He wasn’t getting away until she was good and ready.
Hunk smiled against her lips.
Had she said that too? No way! She hadn’t heard anything. Of course, she hadn’t heard herself the first time either.
She had to know. “Why are you smiling?”
The twinkling mischief vanished from his eyes as he gazed down at her. “Just glad my thank you was proper this time, and you’re awake enough to remember.”
“Oh, I’ll remember.” She tugged his face closer. “But it’s not over yet, is it?”
“Not by a long shot.” He stared at her now well-kissed lips and slowly lowered his mouth.
Frank’s voice boomed through the living room. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”
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Par for Cinderella is Book 3 in the Cinderella Romances series. Each story delivers a light-hearted retelling of this classic fairy tale enriched with plenty of action and suspense.
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