Journey’s End, Book 3
Five brothers. One small town. Journey's End.
High-maintenance Sofia Abbaté’s day hits the skids when a repo man shows up at her McMansion to seize her luxury SUV.
Turns out her boyfriend’s financial misdeeds go deeper than she ever imagined.
The last thing she needs right now? A fierce attraction to the sexy new landscaper…
If you love hot contemporary romance with a happy ending, pick up On Fire today!
Read an Excerpt
“How do you like your hydrangeas?” Ethan asked Sofia.
“They’re gorgeous. Thank you. Just make sure you sweep all that topsoil off my walk when you’re done.”
“I always clean up after myself, ma’am.”
“Don’t call me ma’am,” she said, pouting prettily. “I’m far too young and sexy to be called ma’am.”
That got a surprised laugh out of him, as well as a violent flush that raced up his neck, over his cheekbones and made his ears burn. “So you’re not big on the whole modesty thing, are you?”
“Ah, modesty,” she said, tossing her hair and letting loose with a sultry laugh that was like a shot of adrenaline straight to his dick. “I leave that to lesser women.”
“Noted,” he said, laughing again. Despite all his best intentions to be a cool cat, he couldn’t help giving her another appreciative once-over. He’d have to be blind not to. Though he liked what he saw very well, indeed, he’d liked it better earlier.
For one thing, she was now sporting a lot of face paint. The tiny zits on her forehead were covered up, and her sparkling brown eyes were ringed by a lot of black stuff—eyeliner?—that made it look like she’d been working on herself with a Sharpie. And he was no expert, but she either had bristles from her hairbrush taped to the corners of her eyes, or those were false eyelashes she was batting at him. They kept diverting his attention, as did the hair. That was seriously a lot of hair. How’d she get it so big, so quickly? Anyway, all the distracting accoutrements were probably a good thing since they kept him from wanting to freak out about having an actual conversation with the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen.
“I’m still trying to figure out who you are, Mr. Harper of—according to the sign on your truck—Harper Landscape Design,” she said, putting her hands on her hips and sizing him up. “What’d you do with Mr. Boone of Boone Landscaping? He’s the one who drew up the plans and gave me the quote.”
“I bought him out.”
“I worked summers with him when I was in high school, and we reconnected about a year ago with an eye toward me taking over when I got the money together and he retired. But he’s had a couple health issues in the last month and we sped up the timetable. So here I am. The Harper of Harper Landscape Design.”
“And what are you doing here on the Sunday of a holiday weekend? Don’t landscapers take Sundays and holidays off?”
He glanced at the sky. “Rain’s coming. Mr. Boone trained me to take advantage of sunny days so I don’t fall behind on the jobs.”
“Well, Mr. Boone had good references and online reviews.” She tipped her chin up and gave him a not-so-veiled appreciative glance. Those red lips turned up in a challenging half smile. “But I don’t know anything about you. How do I know you’ll do a good job for me?”
Staring into her face at close range, with the breeze catching the scents of orange blossoms on her skin and something flowery from her hair and bringing them straight to his greedy nose, Ethan felt nerve endings all over his body tingle to life. The grass seemed greener, suddenly, and the sky felt more vibrant. And he felt the first distant stirrings of unease, because this was a dangerous minefield she was luring him into. She’d hired him. He needed the money and he needed a satisfied customer who could help spread the word about his new business. What he didn’t need was an entanglement with a woman who probably flirted with every man she met, just for blood sport, and had a boyfriend who could tear Ethan apart with his bare hands to boot.
I refuse to repeat my past mistakes because I’m not insane, he thought.
I’m not playing your little game, sweetheart.
And yet that’s not what came out when he opened his mouth.
“I always do a good job,” he said, staring her in the face. “On everything.”