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It was nice. Routine. As predictable as being married - but without the chain chaffing around his neck.
And no sex.
But hey, that kept it simple and easy. Besides, he could probably have sex with Cassidy if he wanted. But he didn't. Not really.
Not bad anyway.
The spring breeze played havoc with her super long, too curly brown hair, whipping it into her face until, in disgust, she dropped her grocery bag and grabbed the mass with both hands.
She was such a contradiction, so much a woman in some ways, so oblivious to her own femininity in others.
Sidling up next to her, Pete said, "You should have put it in a ponytail."
He laughed. Her reaction to him fell into the oblivious category. She treated him like an asexual pal. Joking with him, putting him down sometimes. And she never, ever primped or prettied up for him. Nope, Cassidy didn't want him. Still, he could get her if he wanted to.
He just didn't want to.
Scooping up her bag, which weighed a damn ton, Pete said, "Come on, Rapunzel. I'll help you inside."
She eyed his bulging biceps as if she didn't see them every day at work. But it wasn't a look of admiration, just one of observation - the same sort of look she always gave him. Unaffected. Non-sexual.
Finally she looked away, saying, "Don't strain anything."
Yeah right. She knew better than most that he was in great shape. "What the hell did you buy, anyway?" Part of their routine for Friday was stopping at the grocery store. Since their eating habits were like night and day, the separated in the store, but met up again in the parking lot. He'd only bought enough lunchmeat and bread to last him through the week, but it felt like Cassidy had bought bricks.
While she rolled up her driver's side window and locked her car door, she listed off her purchases. "Baking potatoes, steak, corn on the cob, and a six-pack of pop."
"Got a big night planned?" Pete knew she didn't. Cassidy almost never dated. In fact, he couldn't remember ever seeing her date. That made him stop and think.
Well. That was pretty damn vague. Frowning, Pete waited to see if she'd invite him to join her. But she didn't. She never took the initiative. If he asked, she'd smile and tell him what time to show up. But why the hell did he always have to ask? Couldn't she just once extend the invitation? Another contradiction. They always enjoyed each other's company, but she never deliberately sought him out.
He loped beside her as they went up the tidy walkway to her front stoop - which was right next door to his, a mere fifteen feet away.
Assuming he'd follow, she unlocked her door, pushed it open and strolled inside, kicking her sneakers off the moment she got in. Out of the wind, she released her long hair and Pete watched as it tumbled free down to the small of her back, swishing above her plump ass.
Pete shook his head. She stayed in great shape, was always clean and well dressed, but she paid zero attention to feminine details like her hair and nails. She didn't wear make-up or perfume - not that she needed to. She always smelled great, even sweaty. And she had a healthy, robust complexion.
Robust? Yeah, that's how normal men should think of women. Half disgusted, half embarrassed, Pete shook his head at his odd musings.
He'd asked Cassidy once about her long hair and found out she only washed and dried it. No curlers, no trims, no highlights. He'd never known a woman who didn't spend hours on her hair. When it got humid outside, her hair drew into long bouncy ringlets that looked adorable.
Like Cassidy, her place was clean and comfortable but not overly decorated. It overflowed with plants and posters and throw pillows. By rote, Pete trailed her into the kitchen.
"You want some coffee or something?" She didn't wait for him to reply, but began filling the carafe, proving how predictable he'd become. He should politely decline and head home, maybe throw her off a bit. But he didn't.
"I can take one cup." Pete set their groceries on the counter, pulled out a kitchen chair and sat.
With the coffee preparations complete, Cassidy set out mugs and sugar before turning away. "Be right back."
"Where're you going?"
"To change. It's warm tonight."
She disappeared around the corner into the hall leading to her bedroom. Pete knew the set-up of her condo because it was the mirror image of his. Where his bedroom ran to the left of the front door, hers ran to the right. He'd never been in her bedroom though - and she'd never been in his.
Today she'd worn loose navy blue athletic pants and sneakers with the red unisex polo shirt supplied to all employees at the Sports Therapy center.
Pete tilted his chair onto the back legs. It dawned on him that he'd known Cassidy about eleven months now. Not that he was counting or anything, but maintaining a close platonic relationship with a woman other than his sisters-in-law for almost a year had to be some sort of personal record. Usually if he knew a woman any length of time at all, he either dated her or was merely acquainted, not friendly.
The thing he'd first noticed about Cassidy - after that abundance of super soft, crimped hair - was her focus. They'd spoken for about an hour his first day on the job, and in that time he realized that she had it together more than anyone he knew. If you asked Cassidy where she wanted to be five years from now, she could tell you. She knew where she wanted to work, where she wanted to live. She even claimed to know the type of guy she wanted to one day marry.
In comparison, Pete didn't even know where he wanted to be next week. Not that he intended to leave his job, his home, or Cassidy's friendship. But after finishing school and working three different jobs before settling at the sports center, he often felt unsettled, as if he was somehow missing the big picture.
Not Cassidy. She set new goals daily and worked hard to reach them. Maybe that's why she didn't date, she was too busy meeting her goals. Pete frowned in thought, trying to remember if any of their male clients had ever hit on her.
No one specific came to mind, but then everyone, young and old, male and female, loved Cassidy. She laughed a lot, honest laughter, not the trumped up, polite kind. She also had nice eyes. Sort of a wishy-washy blue/green that managed to be awesomely direct. Honest, like her laugh.
She was built well enough, of course. On the short side. A little too muscular, given all the time she spent being physical on the job, but trim and fit. She had a body guys would notice ...
And why the hell was he dwelling on her body anyway?
Pete stood up and went to her patio doors. With his hands stuck in his back pockets, palms out, he contemplated the darkening sky. Looked like another spring storm on the way. Trees swayed under the wind. Heavy gray clouds raced by. He slid the glass door open so the fragrant, moist air could come in through the screen, wafting around him, stirring his senses.
Now that he'd thought of Cassidy's bod, he couldn't stop thinking of it. And that was strange because he preferred his ladies on the prissy side. He enjoyed watching a woman fuss with her hair, fret about her nails, and reapply her lipstick. It was so intrinsically female.
Dawn, the woman he'd most recently stopped dating, had done a lot of fussing. She was a corporate exec, smart, lots of ambition, and sexy as hell in a power suit. It had teased Pete, the way she'd pair a short snug skirt, high heels and red lipstick with a business jacket that begged to be unbuttoned. The attire emphasized rather than diminished her femaleness. Her glasses were a bonus. The way she pulled them off whenever she meant to get intimate had really turned him on.
Speaking of turned on ... Pete watched as Cassidy strode back into the room. No business suits, heels or glasses for her, but unlike Dawn, Cassidy never bored him.
Her hair was now pulled up into a high, sloppy knot, haphazardly clipped into place. Long twining hanks of hair fell loose to her shoulders, around her small ears. She'd changed into a football jersey and cutoffs. A really big jersey - and really short shorts.
Being male, and healthy, and for some reason kind of horny on this almost-rainy, quiet Friday, Pete automatically gave her the once over. Maybe there'd be a full moon tonight, or maybe the tide was high. Something, some unknown force, was making him contemplate Cassidy naked. Eyes narrowed and mouth pursed, he watched as she filled the mugs with coffee. He'd seen her in everything from sweats to bike shorts, so he knew she had lots of soft, squeezable curves to go with the muscles.
As if she felt his gaze, Cassidy looked over her shoulder, caught him staring at her butt, and looked away again. She didn't care that he was looking. She didn't care if he didn't look.
Damn abnormal woman.
Driven by some inner perversity heretofore undeveloped, Pete leaned back against the doorframe and smiled. "Your ass looks nice in those shorts."
A slight pause, then: "Thanks. You want a cookie with your coffee?"
His jaw locked. Thanks? That was it? No more reaction than that? Pete folded his arms over his chest. "How about I take your ass with my coffee?"
Excerpted from BAD BOYS IN BLACK TIE by Lori Foster Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Posted July 5, 2012
Posted January 30, 2012
I enjoyed the three stories for what they were, quick reads. The endings seemed a bit rushed, but the story lines were interesting.
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Posted January 17, 2012
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Posted March 4, 2012
I loved the first 2 books. They were wonderful. But when i read the last one i could not stand it. I couldnt evrn fineshed reading it! This is my opinion. Tehe if u enjoy the last books good it u dnt then i get u.
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Posted February 12, 2012
In this three-story collection, men in black ties are supposed to be the main draw. Lori Foster's story is strong, showing what happens when friends decide they want benefits and more. The other two stories for me were not that strong and did not quite convince me that these couples actually had much to go on besides amazing sex. I am giving this 4 stars due to Lori Foster's story.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 3, 2012
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Posted April 9, 2004
BadBoys In Black Tie definitely lives up to the other BadBoy books! In Lori Foster's Good With His Hands.we get Pete Watson and Cassidy McClannahan's story.two friends who find out they both want more than frienship.We get to see Sam and Gil again while they get in a little payback with little brother Pete.You'll love how Pete ends up wearing his black tie. In Erin McCarthy's Miss Extreme Congeniality,it's CJ White and Wyatt Maddock's story.The sparks these two throw are hot and hilarious.While working a case together,they strike up a deal and figure to get eachother out of their collective systems.What follows is steamy,hot,and still hilarious. In Morgan Leigh's Last Call,we get to meet Fletcher Graham and Tess Breaden.Fletcher is the mayor and Tess has been trying to get an appointment with him.When they first meet Tess mistakenly assumes he is a mechanic.Fletcher and Tess feel a connection immediately,he knows he has to come clean and tell her who he really is before things go any farther.But after heating things up in Tess' kitchen,she over hears a phone call between Fletcher and Cooper Jones.Now she knows he's the mayor and all hell is going to brake loose.Just a little warning, after reading Last Call you'll be clamoring for Cooper Jones story.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 1, 2004
I loved all three stories in this book. They were all well written. I couldn't put it down until I read the whole book. In 'Good With His Hands', Lori gives us Pete's story. Pete is the youngest of 3 brothers. I loved this story because Pete and Cassidy were friends, neighbors, and co-workers first. I enjoyed reading how Pete's older brothers and Cassidy's parents show up at the most inconvenient times. I had been waiting for this story and I think that Lori has delivered another great book. 'Miss Extreme Congeniality' by Erin McCarthy was wonderful to read. CJ and Wyatt are FBI agents working on a case together. At first they fight their attraction to each other. Wyatt bribes CJ into coming over for dinner and let the sparks fly. In Morgan Leigh's story 'Last Call', we meet Fletch and Tess. Fletch is the Mayor of the town and Tess comes to town for an inheritance. Fletch and Tess are attracted to each other at first sight. This one is definetely a keeper for my bookshelf.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 18, 2004
Good With His Hands: Finally, we get Pete's story, and it was certainly worth the wait. Pete and Cassidy are very good friends, and when each realizes there is more to it than friendship, the sparks fly. Ms. Foster is great at penning a love story with just enough humour and sexual tension to bring you into the lives of her characters. Another must read by Foster with the bonus of revisiting characters introduced in previous books. Miss Extreme Congeniality: Ms. McCarthy has a way of stringing her words together so that you really feel the emotions of her characters. The commentary will have you laughing out loud while cheering on both the hero and heroine. We met C.J. and Wyatt briefly last month in Smart Mouth, and now we see that C.J.'s sarcasm masks hidden vulnerabilities and Wyatt is just the man to bring her out of her shell. A definite page turner and I can't wait to read more from Ms. McCarthy. Last Call: Hot, Hot, Hot.... Ms. Leigh's Last Call is full of steamy sensuality and toe curling sexual tension. Both Fletcher and Tess know right off there is a definite spark between them, and how they resolve their differences will leave you begging for more stories by Ms. Leigh. Her talent for penning honest emotions is phenomenal and she is difinitely added to my autobuy list. Don't miss this story!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 26, 2004
GOOD WITH HIS HANDS by Lori Foster was a great story that had fully developed characters and sexy loves scenes. I always enjoy Ms. Foster¿s books and I have been eagerly awaiting Pete¿s story. He has a very unique way of wearing a tie! I was pulled into this story from the first page and was sorry to see it end. MISS EXTREME CONGENIALITY by Erin McCarthy features two FBI agents who dislike each other and boy, sparks sure do fly when they get together! What a fun read! I thoroughly enjoyed the chemistry between Wyatt and CJ. Erin McCarthy has a way of writing stories that make you laugh out loud and want to root for the characters. I can¿t wait to read what Ms. McCarthy has in store for readers next. LAST CALL by Morgan Leigh really grabbed my interest and I fell in love with Fletcher, the sexy hero of this story. The scene where Tess and Fletcher first meet really sizzled. If you are looking for three entertaining, sensual love stories to read in one anthology, this is the book for you. You can¿t miss with anthology!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 2, 2004
I loved Bad Boys in Black Tie, it combines my all time fav author Lori Foster with two new favorites Erin McCarthy and Morgan Leigh. In GOOD WITH HIS HANDS by Lori Foster you certainly see why the title says it all. Pete is definitely good with his hands and you will wish you were Cassidy when he uses them. In Miss Congeniality, Erin McCarthy's two bickering agents from SMART MOUTH is back are back and still bickering. They decide to stop denying the atrraction they feel and sleep together one night to get the attraction out of their systems. In LAST CALL, by Morgan Leigh, Tess comes to town to claim the house she inherited, but things get sticky when she finds out that Fletch is nonother then the mayor she has been trying to meet for the past couple months. All three novellas are worth the price alone but combined together GOOD WITH HIS HANDS, MISS CONGENIALITY AND LAST CALL makes this book a steal.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 6, 2004
This was deliciously decadant and fabulously entertaining. I loved the theme, the stories, the writing, and everything in between. I absolutlely loved Ms. Congeniality. This is definitely a book worth buying. Take the time, kick your feet up, and enjoy!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 10, 2004
Bad Boys In Black Tie has three immensely entertaining novellas by Lori Foster, Erin McCarthy and Morgan Leigh. Good With His Hands by Lori Foster gives us grown up Pete Watson with his own story. Pete¿s home and work life are interconnected to his neighbor Cassidy McClannahan. They have been buddies since Pete started to work at the same sport center. When they start to see each other in a new light, one steamy kiss changes it all. Pete and Cassidy are so laugh out loud funny. The steam they generate leaps off the page. Seeing Pete having his own story is so worth the wait. Erin McCarthy gives characters from her novel Smart Mouth, agents CJ White and Wyatt Maddock a chance to explore their relationship. CJ and Wyatt have butted heads from the get go. CJ is very by the book agent and has always made her feelings for Agent Wyatt know. Wyatt cannot figure out why is so attracted to this woman. He convinces her to spend one night with him. OH what a night it is. CJ and Wyatt are hysterically funny and knock your socks off steamy. Morgan Leigh¿s Last Call has a great mix of instant attraction and humor. Fletcher Graham is the mayor of Justice, NC. He is enthralled with the newcomer singing at the local bar, Last Call. The sexy man winking at her throws Tess Braeden for a loop. Tess is starting over in Justice trying to fix up the family home. Their first meeting is electric. Fletcher is keeping a huge secret from Tess that might change everything. This book is definitely a keeper. I loved all three stories.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 7, 2004
Lori Foster, Erin McCarthy & Morgan Leigh have done it again! Lori's 'Good with his Hands' has Pete Watson looking at his neighbor and friend, Cassidy, in a different way. The fun starts when he decides to act on it. Erin's 'Miss Extreme Congeniality' gives us Wyatt Maddock and CJ White (from 'Smart Mouth') doing what they do best -- tormenting each other, in every way! Morgan's 'Last Call' has Tess Braeden, new to Justice, NC, and Fletcher Graham, mayor of Justice, falling for each other at first sight. However, there are problems to overcome. Lori has been an auto-buy for me for years and now Erin and Morgasn have joined the ranks -- Ladies, thank you and keep them coming!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 10, 2004
Good With His Hands by Lori Foster was very enjoyable with believable characters who were fun and easy to like. The secondary characters were also interesting; the descriptions of Cassidy's parents are, I think, reminiscent of everyone's parents. This was a fun, easy read with sweet characters and a warmly satisfying ending. Miss Extreme Congeniality by Erin McCarthy offers a fun look at the lives of two FBI agents who secretly wanteach other. CJ White has an autistic son that her co-workers don't know about and an ex-husband who left them because of the handicap; she is wary of letting any man too close. Wyatt Maddock wanted all of CJ - her body, her love, and her son, to be a part of his life. Hot sex and tender dialogue bring these two characters together - a very pleasing read. Last Call by Morgan Leigh is a real steamer! Hot characters who knew what they wanted and weren't afraid to go for it, until a misunderstanding comes between them and threatens to keep them apart. Love does prevail in this charming story; I found myself wishing for more pages when I reached the end. These three ladies have done it again with a very enjoyable anthology that was fun and easy to read. Kudos!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.