Darcy Shaughnessy has gotten used to her overbearing brothers chasing away any man she wants to date. But a chance meeting with a brooding – and deliciously handsome – artist is about to make this holiday season one to remember.
There’s only one thing Benjamin Tanner loves more than his woodcarving: solitude. Then he gets snowed in with Darcy in his cozy cabin in the woods, and their heated feelings begin to melt the icy barrier between them.
With Ben’s need for privacy and Darcy’s love of family and social life, will opposites still attract once the snow clears and the holiday festivities come to an end?
Check out an exclusive excerpt below!
And then she noticed the stubbled jaw and the strong column of his throat and thought how much she’d like to feel that—with her hands and her lips.
Brushing against her thighs…
This was hell.
Straightening, Ben looked at her with merriment in his eyes. “I should be offended, but you’re right. It is a nightmare, and I don’t have the will to care.”
“But you should! What if…what if you needed to find something? How do you do it? What if a client needs something from you and you have no idea where it is?”
“My business isn’t like that. Most of what’s down there are design idea, bills, and invoices for supplies and that sort of thing. I hate filing.”
“But how do you handle the chaos?”
He looked at her oddly. “Chaos? I don’t see paper as being chaotic.”
Her eyes went wide. “Seriously? It’s everywhere! On every surface! How do you not see it?”
“I mean I see it, but I don’t look at it and think chaos.”
Maybe that was her OCD then. “It would make me crazy. I like order and knowing everything has its place.”
“It does have its place. It’s just not there yet.”
“Ben, it’s…I mean, come on!” Her tone was light and teasing, but there was part of her that was totally serious
He shrugged. “It is what it is. I know my strengths and weaknesses, and paperwork is definitely in the weakness category.” Then he studied her for a moment. “I’m sure you have a similar list, so don’t even try to deny it.”
Right now, she would have Ben at the top of her weakness list. It was as if she was no longer capable of thinking of anything other than him and what she found attractive and appealing about him.
And it scared the hell out of her.
For most of her life, she had been impulsive, doing things before really thinking them through. She thought she was getting over that. It was one thing to do it to antagonize one of her brothers, but it was normally for her own entertainment. But she’d learned her lesson—repeatedly—about doing something crazy and then having to live with the consequences. That part of her life was supposed to be done, and she would have told anyone who asked that she was glad to say good-bye to that girl.
Unfortunately, right now, her impulse vibe was pretty much screaming at her to do something. Her skin felt tight and tingly, her throat was dry, and all she wanted was to climb into Ben’s lap and kiss him until neither of them could breathe. She wanted to feel those work-roughened hands on her, feel the scratchy stubble of his jaw abrading her skin… She pretty much wanted him to ease every inch of her that was throbbing.
And that was every inch of her body.
What? Oh, yeah. They were talking about something. Weaknesses! They were talking about weaknesses.
“Oh, um, I mean yeah. Sure. Of course I do. But even the stuff I don’t like to do, I couldn’t leave like what you have in your office. It would make me too crazy.”
He chuckled and took a sip of his coffee. “That’s why my office is downstairs. Out of sight, out of mind.”
That was the kind of logic she needed to put into play right now. Get Ben out of sight, and maybe she could focus on something else—anything else—other than hands and skin and getting naked.
This time when she stood, Darcy made sure she was out of his reach.
Instantly, she scooped up her plate and silverware and walked over to the kitchen sink, fairly certain Ben was confused by her abrupt move. But she couldn’t let herself linger too long on that thought. Or of turning around to confirm or deny the expression on his face. Nope. It was better to focus on the task at hand—rinse the dishes, put them in the dishwasher, and keep moving with her gaze firmly looking down.
That was safe.
That was smart.
That was not happening.
Turning around from the sink, she bumped directly into a solid wall of man.
Head to toe, Ben pressed up against her, and Darcy wanted to rub along him. There wasn’t room for her to move. Her back was against the cabinets and counter, and Ben was all over her front.
Would it be wrong to purr? she wondered.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
SAMANTHA CHASE released her debut novel, Jordan’s Return, in November 2011. Since then, she has published over twenty more titles and has become a New York Times and USA Todaybestselling author. She lives with her husband of twenty-five years and their two sons in Wake Forest, North Carolina.