Check out the excerpt below–and enter to win!
Not everyone’s good at one-night stands.
Skye Stephens has the worst day of her professional career, and all she wants to do is shed her power suit and get lost in the sheets with the hot guy she met at the bar. The problem is, this uptight ad exec doesn’t know how to do one-night stands. She has strict rules about dating and when to let a man in her bedroom.
Fighter pilot Ben “Bolt” Hardcastle is used to lovin’ and leavin’. But, after he meets Skye, one night doesn’t seem to be enough.
When these two crash-land into each other, a connection strong enough to make the loner pilot and the sexy businesswoman shed their rules about love and relationships begins to burn deeper than either of them ever expected.
“What can I get you? Are you alone?” The waiter placed a cocktail napkin in front of Skye. Now that she had actually made it to the bar, she started to regret not changing out of her suit. Sure, it was chic but compared to the cute club clothes surrounding her it looked stuffy. Although, that was the problem, wasn’t it? She was stuffy.
“Can I take a look at your wine list?” She smiled nervously. Kari should have beaten her here. It took longer to box up the tourism reports than she thought. She checked her phone again but there was nothing from her co-worker. She decided to give her ten more minutes before calling.
The waiter returned with a leather-bound list. “Here you go.” He scornfully glanced at the empty seat across from her.
She ignored what he was insinuating. She had not been stood up. “Thanks. I’ll take the California Moscato.” She pointed to one in the middle of the page. Fifteen dollars for one glass of wine seemed outrageous, but that was part of San Diego living.
Skye had been in the city three years. After she graduated from college, she interned in Chicago for a year before landing her current job. She knew she was young, but she had spent three full years pouring her energy into this position. It didn’t take long to realize she wouldn’t move up the corporate ladder if she didn’t start knocking away at some of the rungs. Advertising was exciting, but cutthroat. Today was a prime example.
The waiter placed the chilled glass in front of her. “Is your date a no show?” He smirked.
“No—she’s my—” There was no point in explaining the situation. “No.”
He walked away as she reached for her phone. Kari had officially surpassed the safe time to be late. Skye dialed her number.
“Kari? Are you ok?”
“Oh, Skye. I feel terrible.” There was a muffled sound.
“I think it was the sushi we ordered at lunch. I have a terrible stomach something. I’m so sorry—hold on—” Skye thought she might have heard retching. She cringed.
“Don’t worry about me. Do you want me to bring you something?” She tried to think of what was good in these situations. Saltines and gingerale perhaps.
“No. No. You should stay away. It’s not pretty. I’ll call you in the morning.”
“Ok. But if you need anything—”
“Got it. Bye.” Kari hung up.
Skye looked at the phone in her hand. She had a full glass of wine and was sitting in the middle of the bar alone. Great. Friday night couldn’t get any better. The void that started this afternoon in the conference room when she was sitting in front of all her peers spread through her chest. She wished she could stomp on it, punch it, or just kick it up Greg’s pompous ass.
“I guess your date didn’t show after all.” The smug waiter was back. What was wrong with this server?
Before Skye could think of a witty retort, a man slid into the seat across from her.
“No, her date is here.” He smiled, flashing white teeth, flanked by edible lips.
Flustered she looked at him. Where did this guy come from? “Uh—yep. He’s here.”
The waiter, looking annoyed, moved on to the next table.
“Thanks.” She looked across the table puzzled. “He’s been on me about that empty seat since I got here, but you didn’t have to do that.”
“Sure I did. Can’t let a beautiful woman sit alone in a bar and get harassed by a waiter.” He smiled again, and she stopped herself from licking her lips.
“Well, thanks again. You don’t have to stay. I appreciate it.” She sipped the wine, glad that she had ordered it.
“Since I’m here, why don’t we share a round?” He raised his eyebrows. “Unless you really do have a date and I’ve crashed your evening.”
There was something undeniably sexy about his confidence. It wasn’t just his face or his body. Today had been the worst, most horrible, shitty day in the history of her days in San Diego. So if suddenly a hot guy with blue eyes wanted to have a drink with her, she was going to do it. She needed some way to forget the hell she had been through. Skye threw out all of her rules.
“Ok. What can I order for you?” She turned to look for the surly waiter.
“Oh no, sweetheart I’ll get it. I can get this round.”
“What? You have a problem with a woman buying you a drink?” She challenged.
He raised his hands. “No. Buy away. I like it.” He cracked a smile.
The waiter returned. “He’ll have a…” Skye offered, wondering what his drink of choice would be.
“Bourbon and coke,” the fake date answered.
“Alright.” The waiter disappeared.
“You start with the hard stuff.” Skye studied him. He was wearing charcoal pants and a light blue shirt rolled up to his elbows. He was fit and tan, but the close haircut was throwing her off. She skimmed through a list of possible scenarios: attorney—no, real estate—no, probably in pharmaceutical sales—yes, that seemed likely.
“Well, I just got back from a trip. And it is Friday night.” He winked at her and she felt the color rise in her cheeks.
The realization hit her that she didn’t know when the last time she had been on a date was. Of course, this didn’t count as a date. This was some random guy who sat down with her at a bar—not a date. It probably wouldn’t last longer than it would take for her to finish this glass of wine.
“So you travel for work?” The moscato tasted sweet.
He laughed and leaned back in his chair. “You could say that.”
She set a heated gaze on him. “Are you playing the mysterious card?” With her new embrace of reckless Skye, she liked not knowing much about him. It was thrilling just sitting and sharing a drink with a hot stranger.
“Depends on how much you want to know.” He eyed the waiter as he dropped the bourbon and coke on the table. “Thanks, man.” He kicked the glass back. Maybe he was being reckless tonight too.
“Why don’t you make up something?” she suggested.
He tilted his head. “Ahh, ok.” He paused. “How about this? I’m a doctor in town to work on a groundbreaking case. I’m about to save hundreds of lives, maybe thousands. But I’m only in town for the weekend.”
“So, the health of the world rests in your hands?”
“Uh-huh.” He finished the drink and rested it on the table.
“I have to say I’ve never had drinks with a famous, important doctor.” She grinned over her glass.
“What about you? What’s with the suit?” He nodded toward the lapel on her jacket.
Skye pursed her lips. This was her chance. She could be anyone she wanted to be. She didn’t have to be an ad executive, working tireless days to compete for accounts. She could be someone hot and sexy, someone that could make any man putty in her hands just for the night.
The idea popped in her head. “I’m a librarian in town for a literacy conference.”
He coughed. “A librarian who wears a sexy black suit to the bar?”
She blushed. Ok, maybe librarian wasn’t the best choice, but she had a vision of piling her dark hair in a bun and letting him pull the pencil holding it in place until it fell around her shoulders. She shook the image from her head. She didn’t even know this guy.
“I get the feeling you’re enjoying this.” She looked at her empty glass. Stuffy Skye would pay for her wine, walk out of the bar, and never look back. She would head to her apartment and start strategizing on how she could get the account back from Greg. But tonight, with the sudden appearance of this stranger, she was Reckless Skye and she held up her hand to order another glass. This must be what sexy librarians do.
“Can I get the next round?” He smiled.
She relaxed in the seat. “Sure.”
Two drinks later the room felt a little fuzzy, and her mysterious and spontaneous date for the night grew increasingly more appetizing. He had moved his chair next to hers after the last round.
“What do you say we get out of here?” he whispered in her ear. He let his finger inch up her thigh.
The words shot chills through her. She nodded knowing all night she had been pulled toward him like a magnet. The answer was going to be yes from the minute he sat down. She grabbed her purse while he paid the rest of the tab. It was pointless to argue about who should pay for drinks when she was getting ready to let him undress her.
He wrapped an arm around her shoulder and ushered her toward the door. Skye knew where this was headed, and it was exactly what she wanted. She wanted him to do things to her in the dark that would make her forget her name, her job, and her awful day. She wanted to scream and breathe and feel him against her. There was no doubt in her mind she wanted all of those things. For once she didn’t want to feel in control. She wanted him to drive the void right out of her.
“Where?” She turned toward him on the sidewalk, the gas lights flickering over his shoulder.
“What about your place?” he asked.
She nodded again. If he wanted to take her behind the bar and throw her against the brick wall, she would probably be ok with that. Everything about this felt forbidden, dangerous, and wrong, but she couldn’t stop. She wanted him.
T.A. Foster met, fell in love with, and married her own Marine fighter pilot. Through deployments, trainings, and sometimes living oceans apart, their own love story continues every day.
She grew up catching rays and waves along the North Carolina Outer Banks and now resides in the state with her husband, two children, and two canine kiddos.
T.A. has an undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a graduate degree in Educational Psychology from Texas A&M University. When she’s not chasing her two-legged and four-legged children or trying to escape for date night, you can find her reading, writing, or planning her next beach trip.
Author Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7164289.T_A_Foster