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Can't Stop Loving You

Can't Stop Loving You

4.3 10
by Lisa Harrison Jackson

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Kaycee Jordan is all set to give her exasperating new neighbor a piece of her mind, until he opens the door half-naked—and fully fine. A former pro athlete turned café owner, Kendrick Thompson is as delectable as chocolate. And Kendrick finds the strong-minded, gorgeous Kaycee as irresistible as the mouthwatering gourmet desserts she creates, although he


Kaycee Jordan is all set to give her exasperating new neighbor a piece of her mind, until he opens the door half-naked—and fully fine. A former pro athlete turned café owner, Kendrick Thompson is as delectable as chocolate. And Kendrick finds the strong-minded, gorgeous Kaycee as irresistible as the mouthwatering gourmet desserts she creates, although he is convinced she's way too young for him. Even so, when Kaycee asks Kendrick to help her build her business, it's an offer he can't resist. And soon, long days of work give way to nights of luscious, soul-searing pleasure.

But when their budding relationship causes a rift between their families, Kaycee and Kendrick must decide what hurts more—going against their loved ones or denying what's in their hearts.

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Harlequin Kimani Romance Series
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Kaycee screamed out as she slid across the sidewalk leading to her front door. With one shoe left behind on the walk, she tripped headfirst into the azalea bushes.

How had she slipped? Had anyone seen? Was it the three apple martinis she'd drunk an hour ago? The questions flooded her mind.

The bush's bristly limbs scratched her arms and legs as she pulled herself from its hold. Mortified, she looked around to see if anyone had witnessed her fall. To her relief the neighborhood was as quiet and still as usual.

Kaycee stood upright to examine the damage. She ran her fingers across a scratch on her arm and winced at the scraped flesh and curling skin. Licking her finger, she rubbed the tender spot. She looked as though she had been jumping in a pile of leaves; they clung to her hair and clothes. She even had one in her mouth. Spitting it to the ground, she straightened her skirt and looked back to where it had all started.

She spotted her Manolo Blahnik stiletto on its side resting next to a shadowy object.

"What is that?" she said out loud as she hobbled over to find out.

The porch light provided just the right amount of light for her to see—

"Dog crap!" she cried out as the smell of fresh dog feces floated to her nose.

Her eyes rolled in disgust when she recognized that the dog next door had done it again!

Since she'd moved into the house a month ago, she'd noticed that the dog used her garden to do its business more often than not. The proof was in the little mounds of fly-covered poop scattered on her yard, decorating her sidewalk and, on occasion, appearing on her front steps.

The culprit was the black-and-tanYorkshire terrier that she'd spotted trotting around the yard and yipping at everything from bees to birds. Its owner never seemed to keep it contained, although it had a collar, not to mention a fenced backyard.After the first week, Kaycee had decided to put an end to the problem, but whenever she attempted to make contact with her faceless neighbors, they weren't there.

She looked at her five-hundred-dollar shoes and sucked her teeth in disgust. She had never worn them until this evening.

Most of her life, she had concealed her feelings when it came to things she had no control over. Her MO was to keep the peace. Be professional, pleasant and polite. A lady. But tonight, all that training was getting tossed out the window.

She thought about how she could have been seriously injured had the azalea bush not broken her fall. To add insult, her brand-new sandals were ruined. Anger slowly rose from deep within.

as if making a point, although no one was around to hear it.

She glanced over at the neighbor's house and her mouth fell open in surprise. Through the partially open slats of the blinds at the side window, she could see a faint glow coming from the television set. Finally, someone was home!

Gathering her purse and keys while avoiding another step in the poop, Kaycee unlocked her own huge oak door. Her first thought was to try and calm down, but when she turned on the light in the foyer and got a closer look at the heel of her shoe caked in feces she didn't want to play nice, she wanted to get even.

Without even stopping to take off her other shoe, Kaycee hobbled into the kitchen, and headed straight for the pantry where she kept her old plastic grocery bags. She carried the bag back out to where the waste lay. Kneeling down and putting her hand in the bag, she picked up the poop.

"I got something for you, neighbor!" she said out loud with a mischievous grin. Holding the bag in one hand at arm's length and her shoe in the other, Kaycee marched lopsidedly across the lawn to the house next door.

Now they'd know what it felt like to be crapped on—literally. She would hand over the package and demand a resolution before she reported them to the neighborhood association or filed a complaint with the police.

She pressed and held the doorbell. To her disappointment, the pace of the ring mimicked that of a grandfather clock, producing a set pattern regardless of the caller's urgency. Immediately after the patterned rings concluded, she mashed the button a second time.

Her shoe-covered foot tapped anxiously as she waited for someone to answer. Many choice words swam through her head. Inconsiderate!rude! foul!pest!dog pound!pellet gun, yet when the door opened, the words escaped her. A half-clothed man stood before her.

Kaycee's jaw dropped at the vision. Shirtless and handsome, this looked like a man built for holding on to—broad shoulders, defined arms, sculpted chest, firm abs and powerful legs. The only words that came to mind were: God knew what he was doing when he made this man!

His strong arms crossed before his expansive chest. "Yes?"

At the sound of his rich baritone voice, her eyes traveled upward to the face of a deliciously handsome man. That face was striking, with chiseled features set in bronze, mysterious dark eyes, broad, yet regal nose and full lush lips. Even his facial hair was perfect: a neat mustache and a patch of hair covering his square chin. He was like a fine wine, aged to perfection, distinguished in every way.

"Uh, yeah," she coughed, wishing that she could disappear into the floor. She could have kicked herself for standing there gawking like a schoolgirl.

Somehow his half-dressed appearance had caught her by surprise killing the energy she had built up moments earlier as she'd contemplated giving him the bag and its contents.

"Is there something I can help you with?" he asked. Reluctantly she held the bag up. "I think this is yours."

He took the bag and peered inside before making a face. "What the hell?"

"My thought exactly," she interrupted, her anger resurfacing. "That was on my front walk just now and I could have hurt myself when I fell after slipping in it." She held the soiled shoe before his face. "These are new shoes that could be ruined. That is what I've been finding in my yard and on my sidewalk almost every day since I've moved here and I would like to know what you're going to do to resolve this issue."

He closed the bag and held it out for her to reclaim. "I don't understand what a bag of dog crap has to do with me."

Kaycee ignored his outstretched arm. "The fact that you own a dog that seems to think my yard is his personal lavatory has a lot to do with you."

"Wrong dog," he replied flatly. "You said he, my dog is a female."

Kaycee's eyes narrowed. "Male, female, what's the difference? I know that it's your dog because I've seen it in your yard and I've seen it in mine, too."

He crossed his arms before him and looked Kaycee up and down.

"Look, miss, I understand how you feel about finding this on your doorstep and I'm sorry that you fell," he began. "But I think you could take some of the blame."

Kaycee's brow furrowed and her head cocked to the side. She didn't understand how she could have contributed to what just occurred.

"Why do you think I should be blamed for your dog's behavior?"

He pointed to the one shoe she was wearing. "You have to admit that the heel on that shoe is high. It looks very uncomfortable and I'm sure it's even more awkward to walk in. I know they are in fashion these days, but could it be that you fell because you're not used to walking in them?"

Kaycee's mouth dropped open in disbelief. She couldn't believe that he was trying to skirt the issue by blaming her fall on her inability to walk in a pair of high heels. The pair she had on were only three inches high. Back in the day, she'd easily sported four and a half inches. No, she knew how to walk in a pair of high-heeled shoes!

With narrowed eyes, she placed her hands firmly on her hips. "Look, my shoes are not the issue here. Your dog is. I would appreciate it if you would keep her out of my yard or at least clean up behind her. You know there are rules in this subdivision."

"Miss, I know the rules of this subdivision." His tone was just as cold. "And I know that one of them is no disturbing the peace, especially late at night."

His words stung her ears like grinding metal, and she held back the words she wanted to say. Her plans for a resolution folded as the communication impasse got way out of hand.

"Look, all I'm asking you to do is respect my property by keeping your dog out of my yard and we won't have a problem."

When he failed to reply, Kaycee just shook her head. "Just keep your dog out of my yard—period. If you don't, I won't be held responsible for what happens." With that said she turned on her one heel and stomped away.

"Is that a threat, miss?" he called out behind her into the darkness.

"Take it however you want!" she shouted over her shoulder.

Once inside her house, Kaycee groaned. What a mess! First her shoe—literally—and now who knows what kind of retribution he had in store for her.

Meet the Author

When asked what has inspired her to write more than 50 novels brimming with adventure, intrigue, hot passion, and high emotion, bestselling Oregon author, Lisa Jackson gets a mischievous smile on her face. Then the words flow as fast as her fingers fly on her computer keyboard when she writes.

Her eyes sparkling with memories, she tells stories of her youth, stories of a Huckleberry Finn childhood in the small lumber town of Molalla and on her grandparents' nearby farm in the hilly region of western Oregon.

There in the old growth timber, Lisa rode bareback and raced along the ages-old sheep, cattle and deer trails. In the nearby river, she skinnydipped and caught crawdads in her bare hands. An inventive child, she sneaked out of the house and rode her bicycle or horse in the moonlight and dreamed up childish pranks that would have done Tom Sawyer proud.

"Nobody could have had a better childhood," Lisa remarks, her twinkling eyes and got-away-with-something-grin giving her a youthful appearance that defies the fact that she is in her mid-40s and the mother of two college-age sons. "My childhood was enchanted. We were a small, tightly knit family. My mom and dad were and still are my greatest supporters."

Why then does Lisa write lousy dads and conniving relatives into the plots of books that regularly earn berths on such national bestseller lists as USA Today's and Waldenbooks'?

"I think the deepest angst people can experience is what can develop among family members, because our emotions run so deep there," Lisa replied.

"Deep down, we care about these people, but being related doesn't mean we think alike or want the same things. I also think manipulative people are fascinating. Characters like those help me to keep the readers' interest. I love it when readers write me to complain that they didn't get any sleep the night before because they had to finish my book."

Lisa studied English Literature at Oregon State University for two years before she married. In 1981, when her younger son was a year old, she began writing novels. But she decided she needed a steady income and landed a nine-dollar-per-hour bank job. Before she could begin work, however, her supervisor was arrested for embezzling.

"About then I sold my first book, A Twist of Fate, which--guess what!--was about a woman suspected of bank embezzling. It was purely coincidental. The story came out of my background in banking," Lisa provided. "But I guess you could say, if not for a bank embezzler, I might not have made it as an author."

"I enjoy doing these medieval period pieces, because women were so trod upon then," Lisa said. "By nature of their lot in life, I can generate empathy or sympathy for the medieval heroines. They're underdogs from the get-go. Tell me what woman doesn't root for the underdog!"

Britannia Roads, a creative Lansing, Michigan tour packager, read the first in Lisa's medieval trilogy and loved her writing so much that she designed a tour of Wales, with Lisa as the featured guest. Tour members will visit some of Princess Diana's favorite places to stay in Ruthin Castle. They'll be in for a treat when Lisa regales them with author stories during the tour, for she is as talented at public speaking as she is at writing novels.

When not writing, Lisa enjoys spectator sports, reading, watching The X-Files and socializing now that she's a single mom. Her favorite authors include Pat Conroy, Nelson DeMille, Stephen King, Patricia Cornwell, Dick Francis, and other authors who also write compelling page-turners.

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Can't Stop Loving You 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book had a great plot and the characters were enjoyable. Kendrick and Kaycee was a great story to read about. I really enjoyed how Kendrick took care of Kaycee and really showed her that he loved her. Also, like how the author didn't drag out the story and gave you a little something extra with Kaycee parents. Read this story.
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RaeRS More than 1 year ago
The first half of this book was pretty good. They were dealing with the issues in the relationship pretty head-on. The heroine came across as strong and courageous. She ended a nowhere relationship and left corporate America to follow her dream. Her working at the cafe when she was a supplier was a rather dubious business arrangement (was she an employee or an independent contractor?). Also dubious was the reunion. The combination of several grades is possible but not likely, plus didn't she realize she was at a reunion? Why didn't she at any time listen to him explain? Instead she runs home to Mommy & Daddy. Even after her supposedly gaining insight during a group therapy session does she return home and ask him. The answer is a resounding: No. He has to make the grand gesture and come after her and then everything is magically resolved. There were also hints at spirituality when neither she nor her parents practiced it, in fact they were all pretty hypocritical on that front. Only her cousin in Detroit displayed a spiritual side. So in essence she was way too immature for the relationship and proved she was neither strong nor courageous. He on the other hand worked through his issues (i.e. dead wife, age difference, etc.) This book frustrated me to no end with these inconsistencies. I don't think I'll buy this author again.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Excellent read and believable story line! Ms. Jackson does a great job capturing your attention from the beginning to the end.