They share a past—one neither of them can forget.
accident leaves her guardian to her six month old niece, Emma Stanton must
return to her small hometown of
All wealthy nightclub owner Dillon James wants is to be the father his daughter needs. He’s been used for his name and money one too many times in his life and has no desire to risk his heart to love again. Yet falling for Emma as they struggle to share the duties of raising a baby has Dillon thinking that perhaps it’s time he took a chance on love.
But will Emma agree?
There he was.
Frozen at the edge of the crowd, Emma Stanton sucked her bottom lip into her mouth and bit down as she stared across the room. Her heart skipped out an erratic beat, as if it couldn’t decide whether to pound like a jackhammer or stop altogether.
All around her was barely controlled chaos. People packed into the small nightclub like sardines, all gyrating to a pulsing, surging beat, the music booming, echoing off the walls.
A typical Friday night in Hastings. In the middle of January, with a half foot of snow on the ground, there wasn’t much else to do in the sleepy little town. Bright neon had attracted the residents like insects to an incandescent streetlight with the promise of alcohol, dancing, and the opposite sex.
But she hadn’t come for any of that. She’d come for him.
Twenty feet in front of her, leaning back against the waist-high bar, was the man she’d spent all day tracking down—the infamous Dillon James. The man who would soon have the power to take away everything she held dear in one fell swoop. He stood amongst a small crowd of adoring fans, all staring up at him with starry-eyed expressions and hanging on his every word. Judging by the playful glint in his eye, he loved every minute of it.
According to her sister and the local newspapers, the man was a notorious playboy, a self proclaimed bachelor intent on staying that way. She hoped they were wrong. For Annie’s sake.
prequel to The Playboy's Baby
Cat Edwards only wants one night of freedom from the repressive weight of her mother’s tarnished name. The town expects her to be just like the woman who raised her, and for one night, she longs to be someone else. Dragged to a club by her best friend, the shy bookworm quickly gets in over her head, but she finds chivalry isn’t dead after all when a dark, mysterious stranger comes to her rescue.
After ten years away, Logan James is forced to return to the town he swore he’d never come back to. A town that doesn’t forgive…or forget. He doesn’t plan on being in town long, but is captured by a damsel in distress. Cat’s beauty is made all the more alluring when he realizes she has no idea who he is.
It’s only supposed to be one night, but as the town erupts with the news of his return, Logan’s name and reputation drags Cat into the gutter with him. He sees this as a chance for redemption, for the both of them, and quickly devises a plan—the pretense of an engagement that will give them both the second chance they’ve been craving for years. But when the lie spirals beyond their control, can they stop their hearts from becoming entangled as well? Do they even want to?
“Easy now.” Her would be suitor let out a laugh and plunked onto the stool beside her, nearly falling off. When he steadied himself, he leaned forward and slid his hand over her thigh. “I’m just bein’ friendly.”
Lust and determination filled his eyes, and no matter how many times she shoved his hand off her leg, it returned, each time inching higher. His foul breath gagged her. As she stared at him, her heart hammering in her chest, she suddenly became aware of how much larger he was than her.
And that he could easily overpower her if he so chose.
When his hand claimed another hold, this time about mid-thigh, and began to inch inwards, she swatted at him again. “Get your…”
The rest of her sentence died on her lips as a pair of smooth, warm hands slid onto her bare shoulders, giving them a gentle squeeze. When the hands continued to move, this time down her arms, she stiffened her spine and clenched her teeth. Never again. She was never coming here again, and she was going to kill Lisa for deserting her.
Before she could turn around to confront her latest would-be suitor, soft lips feathered kisses across her left shoulder.
“Go with it.” His voice flowed rich and smooth against her ear, his stubbled jaw prickling her cheek. Louder he said, “Miss me?”
As his meaning sank in, her body went limp with relief. Oh, thank God. Chivalry hadn’t died with King Arthur after all.
“You’re late.” Playing her part, she reached back to twine her fingers with his.
When the clod’s hand finally released her knee, she swallowed a sigh of relief.
“You,” she said, spinning to face her savior, “were supposed to be here…”
The rest of her sentence died on her lips as she found herself face-to-face with the center of a broad chest. A thickly muscled chest barely contained by the black T-shirt that covered it. Her heart skipped several beats as she followed the muscles upwards, past even wider shoulders, until her gaze collided with a pair of dark eyes. Deep, expressive eyes that made her breath catch with their devilish glint.
Oh boy. She clamped her mouth shut and swallowed hard. A five o’clock shadow covered a strong, square jaw, giving him a rough and rugged edge. His thick, almost black hair licked at the collar of his worn leather jacket. Just long enough to be rebellious, complete with an unruly lock that hung in his eyes and all but begged her fingers to smooth it back.
He looked every bit the bad boy, the one every girl in high school drooled over but would have dropped dead on the spot if he’d actually asked her out. She would have. Just seeing him now had her shivering on her stool. He was dangerous, frightening, and sexy all at the same time.
“Forgive me,” he murmured, bending down to her eye level.
Those eyes burned into hers, a hidden meaning in the dark depths she couldn’t grasp. She couldn’t concentrate much past the fact that his face was a scant inch from hers, his warm breaths fanning her skin.
Before she could blink, he took their charade one-step further.
He kissed her.