Return of the Bad Boy by Jessica Lemmon
Date of Publication: April 26, 2016
He’s a mess…
Asher Knight has three constants in his life: music, beautiful women, and a bottle of Jack. He lives for the next gig, the next city, and dreams only of a life spent in front of an arena full of screaming fans. But Asher’s nomad ways come to a sudden stop when he learns he’s the father of a three-year-old from a past relationship and suddenly this rock star bad boy is forced to put down roots.
Only she can clean up
Gloria Shields is no one’s fool. Sure, the sexual chemistry between her and Asher has always been intense, but she’d never risk giving her heart to a man who has a perfect record for breaking them. Except the man desperate to make things right with his newfound son is nothing like the rock god she’s guarded her heart against for years. And it isn’t long before she starts to wonder if life with this bad boy might be the best thing that’s ever happened to her.
Gloria nodded at Evan, and he and Brice made their way through the crowd—which hadn’t thinned even a little despite the band leaving the stage—and walked in the direction of the bar. Gloria figured they’d get back about the time the band took the stage again, which left her with Asher in the interim.
“I didn’t realize you were invited,” she said over the melee.
“I see that.” The corners of his mouth turned down.
“Why did he invite you?” she asked, curious.
“He wants me,” Asher said, a bored expression on his face.
“No. He wants me.” She pressed her fingers into her chest.
Asher leaned closer to speak to her and it took everything in her not to back away a step. Him close had a way of messing with her equilibrium…even more than the whiskey.
“I meant he wants to sign the band, Sarge. He’s probably buttering you up to get to me.”
“What?” she asked, slightly offended. “How egotistical are you?”
“I’m not being egotistical,” he said. “That’s a fact. And you’re welcome.”
Oh, he was too much. “I’m welcome?”
“Yeah. Now that I’m here, you won’t have to touch him. He won’t get within three feet of you.” Stubble lined his jaw, fire burned in his eyes, and he stood close enough that his body heat blanketed her. “Promise.”
“Listen, Asher”—she cleared her throat and tore her eyes away from his biceps, which were absolutely delicious and testing the limits of his T-shirt in the most distracting way possible—”I don’t know what you think you’re doing—”
“No, you listen.” He palmed her hip much like Brice had earlier, but unlike Brice, when Asher touched her, her nipples perked up and every inch of her grew warm. Asher’s nearness, one hand gripping her firmly as he looked down at her with dark hunger in his eyes, was so hot she couldn’t think.
The crowd milling around them were having loud, drunken conversations, so he lowered his face to her ear to speak.
“I’m coming for you, Sarge.” His hand moved from her hip to her lower back, his fingers splaying wide and slipping beneath the material of her shirt. “Bet you’ve never had anyone come for you, have you?” His nose moved along her ear, warm breath tickling her skin. “Bet you were a rebellious teen with a nose ring and a bad attitude and all you wanted was to feel good.”
No nose ring, but the rest was scarily accurate.
“Well, guess what, honey?” he continued, his fingertips sizzling on her bare skin. “I’m going to make you feel good. I’m the only one who can.”
He pulled his face away and she had to will her mouth to close. Her teeth clacked together as her brain scrambled to figure out what part she should argue with first. Wrenching a fist around his T-shirt, she tugged him close. A small smile played on his mouth, and his hand went higher beneath her shirt. He was anticipating a kiss, but she wasn’t going to kiss him.
“Listen up, you arrogant bastard.” Anger vibrated through her arms and a charge shot from her toes to the crown of her head. “You don’t get to claim me. I’m not your property. I can do whatever I want.” Because she wanted to wipe that stupid smirk off his face, she added, “And I can do whomever I want.”
His lips flinched, but he didn’t back away, stepping even closer and touching the tip of her nose with his. Her vision was now swimming in dark hair, dark eyes, and the sexiest smirk she’d ever seen.
It’s not sexy. It’s stupid, remember?
But it wasn’t. And the rest of her knew it. Her nipples tightened, her body tingled, and the hand she’d wrapped around his shirt began to sweat . . .
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