Excerpt: Meet Jake and Chelsea
I pour the last of the wine into my glass. “ ‘Respectable’ is probably pushing it a little bit…but the story goes like this: I was fifteen, running around with some real dipshits. Older guys. One night we thought it’d be brilliant to break into a sporting goods store, because that’s the kind of losers we were, only I didn’t know one of them was carrying. He ended up shooting a guard in the leg.”
Chelsea gasps just a little.
And my cock twitches a lot.
“We ran out the back, right into the arms of a waiting squad car.” I shake my head at the idiot I was. “The prosecutor wanted to charge me as an adult, send me away for serious time-and he could have. I had a hot temper and a record, and aside from my mother, I thought the whole goddamn world was my enemy.”
Chelsea leans forward, completely enthralled. “So what happened?”
“The Honorable Atticus Faulkner happened. He was the juvenile judge on my case-a big, mean, scary son of a bitch. And he…thought he saw something worthy in me. So he kept me in juvenile court- gave me community service and probation, to be supervised by the hard-ass himself.” I chuckle. “At the time, I thought the judge was doing me a favor-going easy on me.”
“Depends on your definition of ‘easy.’ For the next few years I trimmed grass by hand with fucking garden shears. I carried boulders, scrubbed floors, reshingled the goddamn roof-real Mr. Miyagi, wax-on-wax-off kind of shit. He rode my ass-nothing was ever good enough. It made me want to do everything better, just to fucking spite the bastard. And then…he had me start doing research. Studying case law, drafting briefs, analyzing opinions-it was fascinating to me. When my probation was up, the Judge offered me a job. By then I’d gotten my head out of my ass and was actually scoring decent grades in high school. With his recommendation and a shitload of student loans, I got through college, then law school…and that’s all she wrote.”
“I think that’s amazing,” she says softly, watching me.
“Yeah-the Judge is a pretty amazing guy.”
Her lips slide into a gentle smile and something like awe shines in her eyes. “I was talking about you.”
I’m hardly ever taken off guard. Surprised. But this stunning wisp of a woman just did exactly that.
Chelsea turns her head toward the piano music floating in from the other room. “I love this song.”
It’s a Van Morrison cover-“Crazy Love.”
I toss my napkin on the table and move to stand next to her, holding out my hand. “Would you like to dance?” And I can tell I just surprised her too. The simple delight on her face when her hand slides into mine makes me want to do it again.
We step out onto the edge of the dance floor. I wrap my arm around her lower back, holding her tight and flush against me. One of Chelsea’s hands rests on my shoulder, toying with the hair at the nape of my neck. The other is clasped in mine just over my heart. We sway, just looking at each other for a few moments.
“I was going to ask you to dance,” she tells me. “But you don’t seem like the type who would’ve said yes.”
“I’m not,” I answer, staring at her lush moth. “I was just using it as an excuse to be closer to you.”
She give me love, love, love, love, crazy love.
She sighs, practically sinks into my arms. Chelsea’s head fits against my chest like she was made to be there. My chin rests against her hair, and I smell clean and sweet vanilla.
Chelsea lifts her head from my chest. “You don’t need an excuse.”
I lower my head at the same moment she reaches up for me. And her lips-fuck-they’re warms, soft, and move with such innocent daring, I’m practically trembling. Was it just last night that I first kissed her? It seems longer ago. I cup her cheek, stroking her skin with my thumb, kissing deeper, tasting wine and the moan I’ve been obsessing over all night.
And the absolute craziest part of it all? I haven’t gotten laid in three goddamn weeks, but if this is all we do-kissing, with her against me, my arms around her-I’ll be grinning in the morning like a guy who banged a whole sorority house full of cheerleaders.
I’m hoping for more. I want everything-all the secret, sweetest parts of her-but if this is all I get to have tonight? It’s enough.
She give me love, love, love, love, crazy love…
Synopsis and Purchase Link
A knight in tarnished armor is still a knight.
When you’re a defense attorney in Washington, DC, you see firsthand how hard life can be, and that sometimes the only way to survive is to be harder. I, Jake Becker, have a reputation for being cold, callous, and intimidating—and that suits me just fine. In fact, it’s necessary when I’m breaking down a witness on the stand.
Complications don’t work for me—I’m a “need-to-know” type of man. If you’re my client, tell me the basic facts. If you’re my date, stick to what will turn you on. I’m not a therapist or Prince Charming—and I don’t pretend to be.
Then Chelsea McQuaid and her six orphaned nieces and nephews came along and complicated the ever-loving hell out of my life. Now I’m going to Mommy and Me classes, One Direction concerts, the emergency room, and arguing cases in the principal’s office.
Chelsea’s too sweet, too innocent, and too gorgeous for her own good. She tries to be tough, but she’s not. She needs someone to help her, defend her…and the kids.
And that—that, I know how to do.