Audrey Chandler stole my heart the second I laid eyes on her, but she won't give me a chance.
She turns me down every day. Anyone else would have given up by now, but not me.
My beautiful girl means too much for me to walk away.
She's afraid of something. I see it in her eyes.
I'm determined to find out what. And when I do, I'll eliminate the threat.
No one is going to hurt her. I won't allow it.
Eli Goodson has asked me out every day for six months.
I desperately want to tell him yes, but I can't.
My dad owes the wrong people, and I don't want them to find out about Eli.
But I didn't realize how hard it would be to tell Eli no when my heart screams yes.
I'm crazy about him, but I'm so afraid he'll change his mind about me when he finds out the truth.
Losing him now would kill me. He's all I've ever wanted.
Please don't let him walk away.
This older alpha male won't take no for an answer when it comes to his younger BBW…especially when he knows she wants him too. He will move mountains if that's what it takes to convince her to give them a chance in this sweet, steamy romance from Nichole Rose. If you enjoy instalove, retro diners, and an over-the-top alpha, Eli and Audrey are going to melt you like a Popsicle. As always, all Nichole Rose books come complete with a sticky sweet and guaranteed HEA.
Is it wrong to hate every woman who has ever touched him?
"You like what you see, baby doll?" he asks, a smile in his voice.
Crap. He can see my reflection in the windows.
He turns around slowly, raking his eyes up and down my body.
I cross my arms, trying to hide the way my nipples harden, and then move closer to him. "Hey. Did you need something?" I ask. "We're closing."
"I just wanted to see you again," he says. His voice is off. He has this really deep voice that reminds me of a big cat growling. But there's always a smile in it, a teasing note. It's missing tonight. He sounds tired, or sad, maybe.
"Is everything all right?"
"Yeah, baby girl. Everything is perfect now." He smiles at me, but it doesn't reflect in his eyes. He leans over the counter and touches the side of my face. "You have flour on your cheek."
"Oh." I let him wipe it off, locking my knees to keep from launching myself at him. Is it wrong that I want him to bend me over the counter and fuck me until I pass out from exhaustion? I bet he could do it too. His body is a work of art, hinting at the kind of pleasure I've only ever read about.
I can't help but turn my face into his touch. His fingers are rough, like he works with his hands a lot. I guess he probably does. He doesn't seem the type who is content to sit behind a desk all day long. I bet he spends as much time working alongside his employees as he does in his office. Everyone who works for him and his family love them.
Except for Allison Jiles. She tried to destroy their business a few months ago. She didn't come in here much, but she was always a bitch to me when she did. I think she was jealous that Eli would ignore her and talk to me when he was here.
"You're so fucking pretty, baby doll," he murmurs, cupping my cheek in his big palm. "Wish you'd give me a chance to make you mine."
"I can't," I whisper.
"Why not?" he whispers back.
I bite my lip instead of responding.
"Trevor is getting married," he says after a minute. There's something in his eyes that looks a lot like envy. "His girl came back yesterday."
"You're not happy for him?" It's hard to imagine that. Eli loves his family. He's always talking about them, telling me stories about how he grew up and the vineyards. I've never met Nathan or Luna, but Trevor comes in sometimes. He was just here with Eli a few days ago. He always seems…sad. I guess because his girl was gone.
"I am happy for him," Eli murmurs. "I'm also jealous as hell."
I blink, pulling back. Is he in love with Trevor's fiancée? The thought makes my stomach roil and churn.
"The girl I want won't give me a shot," he says almost immediately. "I've asked her out one hundred and fifty-eight times. She keeps telling me no." He blows out a breath, staring at me in that way he does…like it's impossible for him not to look at me. "I don't think she means it though, does she?"
"I…" I lick my lips, not sure how to answer that question.
"Does she, baby doll?"
I shake my head.
Satisfaction flares in his eyes, turning them a darker shade of blue.
"She has to say no though," I mumble because I don't want to lead him on or give him false hope.
"Why is that?" he asks. Instead of leaning even further over the counter, he grabs my hand and tugs until I come around to his side. Once I'm where he wants me, he steps up in front of me, so close I can feel the heat coming off his big body, feel the soft silk of his suit jacket brushing across my arms. "What are you so afraid of, baby girl?"
"I…" Lord, it's hard to think when he's this close. He smells sinful. It's some spicy scent that makes my womb clench with desire. I press my legs together, trying to ease the ache between them. He's still waiting for an answer, but I don't have one I can tell him about.
"I've never dated before," I whisper, hoping he accepts it.
"Neither have I."
I snort before I can stop myself. "You've dated half the women in Santa Maria, Eli. Maybe even more than that."
"No, baby girl, I didn't. We fucked. That's it."
I flinch and my heart squeezes in a vise at his confirmation that he's slept around a lot. Before I can put a little space between us or process his confession, he tugs me closer, wrapping a hand around my hip. His erection nudges at my stomach. "I was an idiot before I met you, baby doll. I'm not going to lie and pretend I wasn't. But I didn't know you even existed. I guarantee that shit wouldn't have happened had I known you were out there, waiting for me to find you."
"I'm a virgin, Eli." My cheeks are probably blazing red, but I figure he should know that I'm not like the women he's been with before. I'm not experienced. I've only ever been kissed once. "I wouldn't even know how to…"
"To please me?" He waits for me to nod. "Haven't even touched you yet and you already please me, sweetheart. I've never felt the way you make me feel. I've never asked anyone out one hundred and fifty-eight times before or even wanted to. You're different, Audrey. We're different."
I know we are. I feel it too.
"One date, baby doll," he pleads with me. Those blue eyes beg too, communicating to me on levels I didn't even know existed. "Just go out with me one time."