A smokin’ hot new series from Marie Harte featuring tough-guy mechanics and the women who jump-start their hearts.
GET TO KNOW THE BODY SHOP BAD BOYS
Johnny, Foley, Sam, and Lou are the rough and tumble mechanics of Webster’s Garage. These reformed bad boys are used to living fast, but it’s the women in their lives who take them from zero to sixty in a heartbeat.
Johnny Devlin’s a charmer with a checkered past. He’s had his eye on scorching-hot bartender Lara Valley for ages, but she’s rejected him more than once. That doesn’t mean he won’t come to her aid when some dirtbag mauls her. When she asks him on a date as a no-strings-attached thank you, he can’t say no. And then he’s saying nothing but hell, yes.
Before she followed him back into the living room, she turned off his oven, still drooling at the thought of a Diatavio lasagna. She joined him as he pointed out his amazing sound system and big-screen TV. Typical guy.
“And through there”—he nodded at the hallway—“are four bedrooms. I use one as a weight room, another as a study. The other two for actual sleeping.”
“Oh, a study. I only have the one bedroom, but you saw that.” She felt embarrassed at living in such a meager abode compared to this spacious one. “You rent, or did you buy this place?”
“Rent.” He shrugged. “The landlady is a sweetheart. I do all the upkeep, and she makes sure the rent stays the same. It’s a nice neighborhood, and with a little more care, this house would rock. I just don’t want to pour a lot of effort and money into a house I’m renting. If I owned it, then yeah, I’d get it perfect. It’s home, and it’s comfy. Works for me.”
He pointed out his weight room and spare bedroom—which had nothing in it. Johnny apparently didn’t entertain much overnight. At least, not in a bed not his own.
“And this… The place where all the magic happens.”
“Between you and rosy palm or what?” she couldn’t help muttering.
He heard her and laughed. “You wound me.” Still chuckling, he added, “But I deserve it after my pathetic attempt to feed you. No, Lara, this is my office.”
She looked inside at rows of…books. “You’re a reader?”
He no longer looked so pleased. “You don’t have to sound so surprised.”
“I can’t help it. Okay, I get that you have a bazillion books on cars and manuals about how to fix them. But biographies? History books? Hey, is that Shakespeare? Edgar Allen Poe?” She goggled. “Tolkien? Holy crap. I think I even see a bible.”
“Nah, that’s not mine.” He shrugged. “That I found on the street.”
She saw a pile of books near it that seemed a little worse for wear. “You don’t have to be embarrassed about being religious.”
“I’m not.” He didn’t sound defensive. “I saw that literally lying in an alley near the garage. Nobody was near it, and no way I’d let a book just linger like that. Such a sad fate for words on a page.”
Yet another quirky facet of Johnny Devlin. The man was a bookworm. It only added to his appeal. The sexy-as-hell muscle-bound mechanic slash book nerd. There were too many books with creased spines to think he had them in his study merely to impress others.
I am so getting a piece of this man tonight.
He nodded to her beer. “How’s the combo treating you?”
She took another bite of licorice, then another tentative sip. “Shockingly, it’s starting to taste okay. And I’m not drunk, so that’s me admitting, sober, that I might like this.”
“Smug is not your best look,” she said drily and followed him out of his study.
“You sure about that?”
Damn him, he had a point. Johnny looked amazing no matter what. Angry, happy, mischievous. She couldn’t say she’d ever seen him sad though. Frustrated or aggrieved, but not grieving. “Okay, Mr. Arrogant. What now?” She wiggled her brows, clearly mocking him. “Is this where we pause so you can show me your etchings?”
They’d stopped outside his bedroom door standing side by side. “Would it work?”
She decided to go big. She took another bite of candy and followed with a swig of beer. “Why don’t you try it and find out?”
She couldn’t read the look he shot her, but she followed him into his bedroom, intending to learn more.
This was most likely the room where the magic truly happened. He had a king-size bed. Go figure. A clean nightstand with a few books on it, an alarm clock, and a bedside light. A large closet with closed doors took up one wall. A tall dresser and hamper took up another. He had no mirror or other clutter in the bedroom. Nothing at all but a gorgeous, antique armoire that seemed out of place among the mission style furniture.
“No silk sheets?” she teased.
He didn’t smile back.
She nibbled the candy and drank again, feeling his stare to her toes.
“Na,” he said slowly, still fixated on her. “You slide too much on silk. And I like to plant myself firmly at the start.”
“The start?” she croaked.
He moved closer, took the beer from her hand and set it on the dresser, then drew the candy to her mouth. “Take another bite.” She did. “Now give me some.” She held it to his mouth, and he ate from her hand, taking the last piece.
Dear Jesus, the guy even made chewing look like erotic art, and she couldn’t look away as she swallowed the candy, a lump down her throat.
“I like when you swallow,” he murmured. “You have no idea how many times I’ve replayed our last date in my mind.” He kissed her, fast and barely there. “Those firm lips wrapped around me, swallowing me down.” He kissed her again. “You really had me by the balls. Literally.”
She wanted to laugh but couldn’t draw in a breath. Instead, she stared into his eyes, trapped by the desire there.
“I was desperate for you. Would have done anything you wanted for you to finish.” He stroked her cheek. “I want that for you. For you to feel that kind of need.”
“Oh.” Not the most intelligent response, but she couldn’t think past her sexual glands.
“You like when I kiss you?”
“I-I do.” She moaned into his lips when he sipped at her mouth. Good Lord, he’d put on the full-court press, and she hadn’t been prepared. She’d figured to seduce him again, not be the one trapped by her libido.
“You taste so fucking good.” The obscenity got lost under his groan. He kissed her with a hungry desperation. One she felt too.
She found herself clutching his shoulders and pulling him closer, shoving her breasts against his broad chest, and riding that long ridge of his desire against her belly.
His hands began moving, over her clothing everywhere, but not delving beneath.
Frustrated because, though he kissed her with fervor, he seemed way too slow in trying to get her naked, she tore herself from his hold, took the hem of her shirt, and whipped it over her head.
“Damn.” His eyes appeared black, no longer green. “You’re beautiful.”
She felt beautiful. She’d never been looked at the way he stared at her, as if she was precious. Lara reached behind her, attempting to loosen the bra, when Johnny trapped her arms there.
“Don’t move.” He kissed her again, this time cupping her breasts in his hot hands.
“Oh yeah. Take it off,” she encouraged when she could breathe. She thrust her chest forward, but Johnny would only caress her nipples, molding her breasts, not baring them. “Johnny…”
“Patience. That’s our word of the day.”
He gave a low laugh. “A three letter word for a place on you I’d like to know better.”
“No. This time I’m in charge, and I’m not rushing this. By the time I’m done with you, you’re going to want to scream. You’ll come so hard over my cock—the second time you come, I mean—that you’ll squeeze an orgasm right out of me.”
Before she could ask, he added, “I’ll use condoms, I swear. And yeah, I said condoms, with an S. Because once won’t cut it with you. No way in hell.”
About Marie Harte:
Caffeine addict, boy referee, and romance aficionado, New York Times and USA Todaybestselling author MARIE HARTE is a confessed bibliophile and devotee of action movies. Whether hiking or biking around town, or hanging at the local tea shop, she’s constantly plotting to give everyone a happily ever after. She lives in in Central Oregon.