Aspiring writer Kellie Dalton needs a man, and fast. When she’s rear-ended by a sexy-as-sin biker on the way to a Vegas romance readers convention, she sees her chance. If he’ll pose as her fake boyfriend long enough to impress a bestselling author, Kellie has a shot at saving the bookstore for underprivileged kids she runs back home.
Quinn Anderson doesn’t know what to make of the cute little writer who stirs his heart and his libido, but he does know he wants to get better acquainted. And if that means keeping up their sexy ruse all week, he’s game.
Quinn knows a girl like Kellie deserves someone with a secure future to help with her store, not a guy struggling to turn a profit on his chopper shop. But if his motorcycle designs win the big Vegas competition, he’ll have enough prize money to fund his dreams…and hers.
The complete 'What Happens in Vegas’ series (All standalones which can be read out of order)
Tempting Her Best Friend by Gina L. Maxwell
The Makeover Mistake by Kathy Lyons
A Change of Plans by Robyn Thomas
Masquerading with the CEO by Dawn Chartier
Just One Reason by Brooklyn Skye
Tamed by the Outlaw by Michelle Sharp
Tempted by Mr. Write by Sara Hantz
Gambling on the Bodyguard by Sarah Ballance
Seducing Seven by M.K. Meredith
Calling Her Bluff by Kaia Danielle
Her Secret Lover by Robin Covington
Betting on the Wrong Brother by Cathryn Fox
Accidentally in Love with the Biker by Teri Anne Stanley
Loving the Odds by Stefanie London
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Accidentally in Love with the Biker
A What Happens in Vegas Story
By Teri Anne Stanley, Robin Haseltine
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2016 Tracy M Hopkins
All rights reserved.
Kellie's phone pinged with missed calls as soon as she turned it back on. She'd been in Las Vegas all of thirty minutes — just long enough to collect her luggage and sign a car rental agreement. And the number of messages was stalling her efforts to change from "regular life" to "fantasy life." Maybe she should have just taken a cab. But she'd earned all those free rental days with her frequent apple juice drinker points, and the only other thing she qualified for was a set of mixing bowls. Which she didn't need. So yeah, driving a strange car in a strange town.
She stopped at a light and pressed the callback icon on her cell.
"Dalton the Dinosaur's Den." Kellie's assistant Rocky practically sang the name of the bookstore, a 180-degree shift from the panicked tone of his voicemail.
"Hi there," she said. "What happened?"
"Oh. It's you." He changed from friendly neighbor guy to hissy-fit man in a heartbeat. "That bitch was here. Waiting for me to open the store this morning."
"What did she want?" Kellie couldn't bang her head on the steering wheel because the light had changed to green, but she was tempted to pull over just so she could indulge.
"She's starting eviction proceedings."
All of the tension that had drifted away behind Kellie in the clouds caught up with her, and a sharp pain stabbed her in the heart. "On what grounds? I've paid our rent, I have the lease agreement. I'm not serving snacks anymore in violation of any secret health codes —"
"Lack of maintenance."
"On what? All I have to do is vacuum and take out the trash each week!"
"She says our sign is faded and not in tune with the neighborhood's conventions."
"I just painted that sign. It's supposed to look old and ... archaeological."
"You know what her problem is, though."
Yes. Kellie knew. The problem was that the "revitalization" of Smyrna Springs didn't include welcoming current residents, who might not earn as much as the fancy-schmancy new business owners and remodel-happy newcomers.
The fact was that Dalton the Dinosaur's bookstore encouraged the disadvantaged kids of the neighborhood to visit — to hang out, even. And to bring their older siblings along. It doesn't send the right message, that we're trying to discourage street gangs from staying here. That's what Mrs. Jones, Kellie's landlord, had told her.
"They're kids. Not gangbangers," Kellie had responded. "And if they come here, develop a love of reading, they're less likely to become troublemakers." But that plea had fallen on bigoted ears.
"It's okay," she told Rocky. "I'll call the lawyer."
"I already called him. But please sell that book series you're working on. We need the advance to stay afloat."
After promising to do everything she could, Kellie hung up. Everything, which would have to include getting herself back into "racy romance author" mode — not "stressed-out children's bookstore owner" mode.
She signaled a right turn, then carefully guided the Ford Fusion on to Las Vegas Boulevard. She refused to gawk at the crazy mess of chaos in front of her until she was on foot — no way could she afford a fender bender in the land of shysters and con men.
Okay. Time to psych herself into self-confidence.
She just hoped that Mrs. Jones didn't get wind of Kellie's secret identity as a romance author. She'd find a way to sue her for being a moral nuisance.
Well, might as well dive in all the way and call Bethany Rae — or rather, Brae, as she was to her adoring fans these days. Unfortunately, the idea of calling her friend didn't have her feeling as excited and happy as she should. Swallowing her jealousy and resentment, she hit dial.
"Hi, Brae. It's Kellie. You said to call you when I got here."
"Omigod! We did it! Did you see? The trailer for Lustful Lovers hit the internet this morning! It's gone viral already! Squee!"
Brae actually said "squee" instead of squealing. Of course, her book was being made into a major motion picture. Kellie might be inclined to squee, too.
"I did see that," Kellie told her. The bestseller was from a story idea she had suggested to her friend. The book she'd beta read, critiqued, and edited. On her pink wine and chick movie nights, Kellie even admitted to herself that she'd ghostwritten half of the damned "Romance Novel of the Year." Without getting a single mention in the acknowledgments.
Not that she was bitter, not after putting her own book series, Gods of Anarchy, on hold so long that the one agent who'd requested a full manuscript from her had given up and moved on.
"Are you almost here? I can't wait to see you. Can you meet us in the sushi bar for drinks?"
"Toby's with me," Brae gushed.
Brae hadn't just scored with her book, she'd also hooked the real-life hero. Toby Wagner, the larger-than-life stud of the universe cast to play Lance Love in the movie, had visited Brae for advice on playing his role and never left.
Kellie sighed and reminded herself she was here to take a few chances. She might still be Miss Conventional back home, but here she was Kellie Dalton, seductive creator of Zeus, the rebel God of Anarchy.
Coming to Vegas for the Romance Lovers Convention was a crummy bet — blowing the last of her spare cash on a last-ditch attempt to energize her writing "career" and catching up with the so-called bestie who'd left her in the dust.
She was here until Sunday afternoon — and then she'd get back to walking the line between respectable children's bookstore owner and so-called community agitator.
Tugging at the low-cut top she wore, she worried that she should have stuck to her book-lady clothes. She felt a little risqué in this outfit, but she was trying to convince herself that she fit in here in Vegas, even if only at this convention. It felt like she was playing dress-up for a Pimps and Hos party instead.
Kellie wished for a moment that she had a boyfriend. Someone to hold her hand while she white-knuckled it through showing how pleased she was for her friend's success, someone to drag along to the "Bring Your Hero to Dinner" party she'd agreed to attend.
Oh, if only she knew someone who could play Zeus for an evening or two ...
A beep behind her sounded and jolted her out of her self-imposed whine festival. The light had changed. She started to press on the gas — right as the light turned yellow. No, scratch that, it wasn't yellow, it was already —
Screech! She slammed her foot on the brake pedal. An echoing screech drew her gaze to the rearview mirror — as a black-helmeted warrior flew from his war horse and shot straight toward the back window of her rental.
* * *
Lying on the hot asphalt of Las Vegas Boulevard waiting for death to take him, Quinn reflected that he'd never envisioned his life ending under the chassis of a mass-produced hulk of acid green hybrid auto. He'd hoped to go quietly in his sleep when he was ninety-seven, but if it had to be a bike wreck, it should have been spectacular — fiery and with lots of twisted metal. Not with a thunk.
He also hadn't expected to be aware that he was dying. His lungs had stopped working, even though he tried to pull in air. This sucked.
Well, at least it was a Ford Fusion and not a Prius. Although a Prius probably wouldn't have been that green —
"Oh no, oh no, ohnoonononono."
The voice was coming from somewhere to his right, he thought, as his vision got fuzzy. But the sound distracted him enough to pull in a breath. He forced himself to lie perfectly still, fighting the need to thrash and gasp like a refugee from Hillbilly Handfishin'.
Something poked his upper arm.
"Please don't be dead," came from somewhere near the poking thing, in a drawl that was half honey and half husky — and all morning wood.
He turned his head toward the voice and took another breath. Okay. Not dead if he could hear and respond to the sound of a female. Even though he was on a self-imposed break. No more females. Especially not the kind who drove preppy cars. Nope. It was him and Mr. Handy from here on out.
Breathe in, out. Good. Ribs intact. And nothing else felt terribly beat up, either.
Something knocked on his helmet. "Is it okay to help you take this off? Your neck's not broken, is it?"
The sun glared down on the visor of his helmet, blinding him — so he put a hand up and found another, smaller, softer hand already there.
She was still talking and apparently not expecting a response — which was good, because once she flipped up his visor, he would have directly answered the breasts spilling out of the top covering the body attached to that voice. The aches in his bruised bones coalesced in his groin.
He wasn't one of those assholes who talked to women's chests. At least, not usually. But damn. And these particular breasts led to a nice curvy little body, as far as he could tell from this angle.
She was quiet for a second, then said, "You look a little dazed. I should probably call 911."
That was when he finally found her face. Heart-shaped, all rosy-cheeked and wholesome, with strands of light brown hair coming loose from where it was fastened in the back. The face of an angel to go with that fifties pinup body. Throb.
"How many fingers am I holding up?" she asked, waving one hand around. The other was braced on his thigh ...
He forced himself to breathe around his lust and said, "Two."
She stopped then, staring at him, her big green eyes wide.
"Your voice ..." The hand on his thigh tightened.
Okay, that was enough. He didn't need to get a hard-on in the middle of Las Vegas Boulevard in the middle of the afternoon. He shifted, and she yanked her hand away.
He got his feet under him and rose, brushing off the gravel and dust from the street. There would be a couple of bruises later, but he was definitely lucky that the little car had a springy bumper.
She scrambled up, too, teetering on heels that made Quinn wonder how on earth she'd managed to hit the brakes so effectively. Those were not driving-friendly shoes. Maybe if she'd been wearing human shoes, she wouldn't have hit the brakes so hard, and he wouldn't have run into her.
He needed to get this helmet off. Sweat was starting to roll down his neck, and his fucking pain-in-the-ass hair was itching. Why couldn't he remember to get it cut? "What's your name? We should exchange insurance information." Had he even paid his bill last month? His personal accounts were a mess, but he'd been so busy getting his shop off the ground ... He couldn't afford this.
"I'm Kellie Dalton."
He pulled the helmet off with one hand, using the other to brush the strands away from his face, hoping to catch a little desert breeze in the process. "I'm — "
"You're Zeus." Kellie-the-high-heeled-driving-menace sighed, staring up at him, those damned eyes filled with wonder.
Zeus? "Quinn. Quinn Anderson. But you can call me Zeus if you want." He really didn't like that he found this ... this ... sex kitten person so appealing. He didn't have time for this shit.
His hand nearly swallowed hers when she reached to shake. There was no weird electrical shock when they touched, which was almost surprising, considering how hot this chick was.
Okay, he was definitely still shaken up by the accident that had caused him to wreck his bike — oh, no, his bike —
His interest in the strangely sexy stranger fled as he turned to look. "God damn it." Betty was looking rough. Her front fender was toast. That would be easy enough to replace, but the gas tank, the custom-built, custom-painted, chromed and totally kick-ass gas tank wasn't going to be a simple fix. He bent to get a closer look. Not simple or cheap. And the Las Vegas Bike Fest was coming up. "Fuck."
"Ya think?" Oh dear? This was a little more than oh dear, but he couldn't expect Little Miss Georgia Peach to understand. He yanked his cell phone from his pocket to call his guys to come fetch Betty. There was a missed call from his mother, no doubt to remind him of the family dinner where he would be expected to once again defend his life choices, and then ... and then, a message flashed. "Low Battery." And the screen went dark. "Damn it!"
"Can I do something to help?"
Jesus, she was like a honeybee hovering around him, and he swatted at her the only way he could. "Are you still here? I think you've done enough. Go to work, get naked, earn some tips. Find a rich drunk tourist to fleece. Just leave me alone."
There was silence next to him then. The whole city was quiet for one long, hot moment. Quinn looked up and saw one lone cloud in the sky, shaped like Grandmother Anderson shaking her head, lips pursed. But he didn't need the angels telling him he was an asshole and that he'd made a huge mistake.
Before he could even take a breath to get an apology out, something exploded next to him.
She yanked his arm so that he turned to face her. She moved into his personal space, shaking a finger, and let him have it. "Now you listen here. That's not an appropriate way to speak to someone you've just met. I'm fairly certain that this accident was not my fault, and that if I choose to remain here to offer my assistance you should be grateful, not nasty."
The peach had been harboring a hive of angry wasps.
"I've got a bookstore full of preschoolers at home in Smyrna Springs, and they know better than to speak to someone like you just did. I'm neither a stripper nor a prostitute, thank you very little, and I may not know how to fix motorcycles, but I do know how to share a cell phone and cold apple juice with someone who needs help."
Whoa. How was that wound-tight speech coming from such a siren's mouth? Wait ... Apple juice? He was fucked.CHAPTER 2
It was the grin on the face of her living, breathing romance deity that brought Kellie out of her psycho kindergarten teacher rant and back to earth.
He did look like her Zeus. Cheekbones, jaw, forehead ... long dark hair waving in the breeze. And then there were those shoulders straining the confines of a short-sleeved T-shirt. Shoulders that framed a chest that was begging for her hands to explore ... but she'd seen hot guys before. Usually from a distance, sure, but occasionally up close. Even this one wasn't special enough to put a plug in the can of whoop-ass he'd inadvertently opened by being a jerk to her.
Until he smiled. And then something deep in her gut clenched, and she nearly lost her balance on the heels that made her almost only a foot shorter than him. Goodness. If the people at Crest marketing found him, they'd enslave him, and he'd be forever known as the Toothpaste God.
"I'm sorry," he said. "None of this is your fault, and I'm a grade-A dickwad. Pardon the Greek."
"'Dickwad' isn't Greek, is it?"
"No, but Zeus is, isn't it?"
Omigod. He knew his Greek gods? Her knees weakened further.
"Um ... maybe the heat," she lied. She couldn't tell him that her female parts had just had a seizure.
"Should I get you some of that apple juice from your car?"
"Backseat. Brown paper bag."
"Come on." He politely helped her to the curb, holding her hand while she lowered herself to sit on the concrete — holding her hand — omigod, his hand was so big! — ignoring the police cruiser that pulled up, lights flashing.
And then ... and then he walked away, with those long legs, to her car, and bent over! Bent over in those faded jeans. Right in front of her. She couldn't have been closer to swooning if Keith Urban had invited her to sit on his lap and sing a duet.
Kellie looked up to see a policewoman standing next to her, admiring the view as well. "I know, right?" she said and stood up. He was her Zeus, after all.
And then he was coming back to her with two apple juice boxes. When he saw the cop, of course, he offered her one, which she declined.
Excerpted from Accidentally in Love with the Biker by Teri Anne Stanley, Robin Haseltine. Copyright © 2016 Tracy M Hopkins. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
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