How do you forget the hottest night of your life?
Hayden Taylor awoke to silken sheets and the warmth of a hot, sexy guywait. Where the hell is she? And why is she naked in bed with an incredibly sexy stranger? She can't remember. The only thing Hayden knows for sure is that whoever he is, they had one very naughty night together.
Tony Garcia doesn't remember last night, either. All he and Hayden have to go on are their burned clothes, a ton of cash and a car painted to look like a ladybug. As they piece together their wild night, they find it increasingly hard to ignore the sizzling chemistry between them. But sometimes one crazy night isn't enough to forget that their lives are worlds apart
About the Author
While in college, when asked to name a goal, Jill would answer - to write a romance novel. A reunion didn't pass without a friend asking if she'd ever written that book. Now Jill can scream, "YES!" (often with leaps and pom-poms).
After various careers, including driving a van of 14 college students cross-country, breaking up fights and being one of several to interview Jesse Jackson for a local radio station, Jill happily settles behind the computer and writes the kind of stories she hopes people will enjoy reading on those long, hot days of summer. Or to heat up the slow, cold nights of winter!
Jill loves to hear from readers. You can email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org. A picture of her grandma can be found on her web site above. Grandma is happy to report not all her time was wasted; Jill can be found every October in the fabric store helping little ones decide which costume they want sewn for Halloween. The canning is still a problem.
Read an Excerpt
Hayden stretched lazily beneath the softness of the silk sheet. Ahhhh, heaven. Nothing like sleeping in late, allowing the chirping of the birds and the warmth of the sun on her cheek to wake her. She'd never been so warm.
Wait a minute. She didn't have silk sheets. And the kind of warmth next to her could only be provided byoh, no.
Hayden's eyes popped open. Well, as much as her worn-out body would allow her eyes to pop after doing who knows what the night before. Every muscle ached and her lips were dry fromuh-huh, probably from too much lip-lock. Her fingers bunched into the sheet at her chest.
Please don't be naked. Please don't be naked.
She raised the sheet.
One hundred percent, bikini-line-glowing naked. Hayden lifted the sheet higher, dreading, hating that she must force her glance to the warmth beside her to confirm what she already knew.
Yep. A man. Just as naked. And he was exactly her type. Broad shoulders, nice sprinkling of hair across a muscular chest all leading to a flat stomach and
Stop right there. How did that gambler's remorse saying go? What happened last night would stay last night.
Only, what had happened last night? Hayden rolled to her side, drew her knees up and hugged them to her chest. She massaged tiny circles on her temples, easing away the tension and inviting her memories of last night to take its place.
What was wrong with her? She didn't feel hungover. Had she been drugged? No, she didn't have that fuzzy, surreal grogginess she'd read about in those PSA pamphlets in college. But clearly something had been done to her; she couldn't remember the night before. Picking up a stranger, getting naked and apparently dancing the horizontal mambo with a guy were usually things she remembered.
She was a commitment girl, in it for the long term when it came to men. Bang and bail wasn't her style.
Hayden glanced over at the man beside her. Her huffing and rustling around in the bed hadn't disturbed him. Maybe whatever had affected her was affecting him, too? Or did he just sleep like the dead on a regular basis?
Don't wait around to find out.
Yes, grabbing her clothes and sneaking out seemed about as obvious as a blinking neon sign. Clearly the only logical response. Okay, no it wasn't. Calmly waking him up and asking him his name and what the hell had happened last night was the only logical response. Hayden just didn't want to do that, and logic had nothing to do with it.
Instead, she flung away the covers, gasping when her own nakedness confronted her again. At least it roused some sense into her.
No, she couldn't sneak out. As tempting as avoidance was, she wouldn't take the coward's path. She needed answers, and the naked man beside her was the only one who could give them to her. Hayden gently tugged the sheet up and secured it around her breasts. She rolled out of bed and gazed down at his face, hoping something would finally click.
If she'd thought his body was droolworthy, his face almost put those washboard abs to shame. Relaxed in sleep and lightly stubbled, the strong curve of his chin, broken by a slight cleft, tempted Hayden to trace her fingers along it. Her gaze lingered on his sensual, full, bottom lip. How many times had she tugged that sexy lower lip of his into her mouth last night? Sucked it?
Tingles shot through her stomach and her nipples hardened against the softness of the sheet. It must have been some night if the man could make her go all tin-gly when she couldn't remember what he'd achieved with those lips of his.
A shaft of heat shimmied down her back to pool between her legs, but she clamped her knees together. Now was the time for answers. Not imagining the hot kisses and slow caresses this man must have delivered last night.
But still, she could steal a moment to gaze down at him. After all, once learning the truth of the night before, she never planned on laying eyes on Mr. I'm Still Sexy After A Night of Wickedness. It was just too weird. One and done wasn't her style.
And yet, last night must have been the toe-curling, forgetall-reason kind of sex, because her skin ached in awareness of him. Desire for more? Obviously her body remembered every caress and kiss and was shouting, hell yeahmore. He was the sexy kind of wrong that women lied to themselves to make right. Hayden's heart raced as she neared him and she breathed in his scent. Clean apple, mixed with man and leather and dark, sweet chocolate.
Chocolate? Was she actually comparing him to chocolate? Good Lord, the man was addictive. Hayden wanted to breathe him in and taste him all at the same time.
What did I do to this man's body last night?
More like, what hadn't she done? Truth be told, she'd never woken up beside such a delicious man. A thin scar ran across his temple and disappeared into his eyebrow. He possessed a rugged kind of sexiness. Not boyishly handsome, more like I can make you forget your own name. He had the kind of dark wavy hair that women loved to drag their fingers through, but which he probably fought to control. She bet his eyes were as dark and beautiful, like a caffe mocha first thing on a cold, rainy morning.
Coffee and chocolate? Clearly she was food deprived. And sleep deprived. And extra hungry from the workout of last night, perhaps?
She noticed the lines fanning from his eyes and bracketing his mouthhe smiled a lot. Hayden liked that about him. Which was a relief. She needed to find good things in this man she barely knew but had taken to her bed.
Correction. A bed. On top of not recognizing the man, she had no idea where she was. She scanned the room frantically.
She was in a one-room cabin with logs for walls and a wall of windows overlooking a beautiful pond with two ducks playfully swimming and splashing in the water. Completely unfamiliar. What was going on? The ducks wouldn't be giving off any clues, so the only way she'd find out anything was to wake Mr. Hot beside her.
Hayden poked the man in the shoulder. Nothing.
She poked him again, adding a shake and a "Hey!"
His lids slowly opened and locked with hers. Dark brown and just as sexy as she'd suspected. A slow smile spread across his face, and her breath hitched. Then his eyes drifted shut, and that was it. He'd fallen back asleep.
Well, if she wanted him to wake up and stay awake, she'd have to go primal.
Tony's lids opened with the force of a kick. Someone was smacking him on the bicep. Hard. In a flash his fingers encircled his attacker's arm, and with a quick yank, he'd subdued and pinned his assailant to the bed?
He blinked a few times only to see that long brown hair covered the intruder's face, and his fingers were digging into supple, feminine flesh.
"Dammit, woman, I could have hurt you. You can't wake a man up like he's under attack."
He loosened his grip around her wrists, but didn't bother to roll off her body. He was enjoying being exactly where he was. With a soft woman beneath him. Her tight nipples caressing his chest. Her full hips gently cradling the hardness of his cock.
Now this is how to wake up.
She wrested her hands from his light grasp and pushed the hair from her face. "Get. Off. Me."
His eyes met an angry green gaze. A completely unfamiliar green gaze. Holy sh He backed off her in one fluid motion. Or it was supposed to be smooth. It was more like a jerky, lurching kind of stagger. What the hell had he done last night?
Despite the sluggishness infusing his muscles, Tony didn't feel hungover. No headache. No dry mouth. No dizziness. A rush of sweet relief made his shoulders sag.
He hadn't had a drink in over two years. A vow he planned to keep forever.
Besides, if he had been drinking, he'd be too hung-over to now be enjoying the sight of the woman's trim body. An amazing body he'd inadvertently revealed when he'd taken the sheet with him as he'd rolled off her. The roundness of her breasts would fit his hands perfectly. Her rosy nipples hardened before his eyes. And he imagined them hardening further in his mouth. He took in the slight tan lines at her hips and breasts, a treat he was sure few got to see, even though he had absolutely no idea who she was or how she came to be with him.
She gasped at the sudden cold draft of air, her hands flailing around for some protection from his eyes. He gave her a break and turned his back, although with such a stunning woman, he would have already looked his fill last night. Touched his fill. Tasted everywhere.
"Give me the sheet," she ordered. "I don't want you to see me naked."
"What?" he asked with a false appalled tone. "If I gave you the sheet then you could see my naked ass."
She sighed heavily behind him and he smiled. He couldn't wait to look, touch and taste heragain. His body was ready for round two. Or was it round three? Four?
"Could you just be a gentleman and hand me the sheet."
The strange woman sounded so agitated, Tony instantly felt bad for teasing her. Not that he wasn't rattled by the situation, but he was more relieved that he hadn't fallen off the wagon. "Okay, but you aren't going to like it."
"I'll live," she assured him.
He tossed her the sheet, keeping his eyes averted. He silently counted to ten. Then counted to twenty. He wanted to make sure he gave her plenty of time.
"Uh, you can look now."
When he finally faced her, she sat cross-legged on the largest bed he'd ever seen. The monstrous thing was situated on a platform with filmy white fabric draped across the top of the bed's four posts. Rose petals lay scattered and crushed on the floor and trapped in the bedding.
Discarded towels led to another platform complete with a heart-shaped hot tub. Alarm clenched his gut.
"Are we in the honeymoon suite?" he asked.
"Don't you remember?" she asked.
He slumped on the edge of the mattress. "I don't remember anything. You?"
She shook her head. Then a line formed between her brows. "But you smiled at me this morning. Like you were" she swallowed "pleased."
"How's a man supposed to look when he wakes up to a beautiful naked woman plastered against him? Repulsed?"
"I guess not." She hugged the silky sheet to her chest like a life jacket, the ends wrapped around her sweet body. Her full lips were set in a line. Yeah, there'd be no repeat glimpses of the soft curves that had been pressed against him so sweetly only moments before.
Even though she was fully hidden, she glanced everywhere but at his face. He liked that she was shy in the morning. Kind of cute. Then his beautiful stranger lowered her gaze and gasped, quickly averting her eyes.
"I can't believe it."
Yep, she'd spotted his hard cock. "I did warn you that you weren't going to like it if I gave you the sheet."
"Can you please just find your pants?" She peered left then right. "Shouldn't there be a blanket or a comforter around this place? I can't have a conversation with you both looking at me."
Obviously the woman wasn't used to one-night stands. Neither was he, for that matter, but he seemed to be handling it a lot better than she was. "It's not my fault that I woke up next to a gorgeous and naked woman."
"Here." She tossed him a pillow. Very hard. Aimed straight for his crotch.
He caught it at his waist. "Careful."
She lifted a brow. "Really? It's a pillow."
"I wasn't expecting a Spartan-warrior throw."
"Well, Spartans have no place for weakness," she told him, her voice just a notch above a grumble.
He laughed. "Now I know why I picked you up last night. It's a special kind of woman who can quote ancient lore. Okay, now that we're both fully covered, I'm Anthony Garcia, by the way. Documentary filmmaker from California."
She shook her head. "No last name until I know more about you."
"Fair enough." He backed up a step, but wariness still flickered in the dark green depths of her eyes. Doubt about him. That he wasn't one of the good guys. Tony flinched.
The cords of his neck tightened. How many times had he been on the receiving end of this exact look? Dozens. Hell, probably hundreds. From teachers. Probably every authority figure he'd come into contact with over the course of his life. Even his own mother. None of them had thought he'd make something of himself. And if Hayden had met him six years ago, she'd be right to flash him that cautious glance.
But he wasn't that Anthony Garcia anymore. And he wanted to prove that to her. "Everyone calls me Tony."
Hayden. He liked knowing her name. And when he got her last nameand he wouldhe'd show her she had nothing to fear from him.
Just the sound of his name on her lips made him need a bigger pillow. Since when had a woman saying "Tony" got him hard? Of course, he'd been working like a dog lately wrapping up the filming of his latest documentary on the cowhands of the Texas plains while researching his next project. There'd been no time for soft curves and sweet smiles.
But obviously he'd decided to end his self-imposed dry spell last night. And it must have been some night. Dammit, why couldn't he remember?
Hayden was the kind of woman a man remembered until he was old and stooped and walking with a cane, and thoughts of her could still put a spring in his step.
"Weren't you going to look for your pants?" Her voice cut into his thoughts.
Hayden the Mysterious wanted some space, which he understood and would respect because he wasn't a dick. Not anymore. He backed away and once he reached the bathroom, he closed the door behind him with a solid click.
But no clothes were strewn across the tiles or piled in a corner. There were more used towels thrown in a heap on the bathroom floor, though. And the shower was wet. Rose-scented soap rested inside a dish, and he imagined rubbing that soap all over Hayden's body. Her breasts, down her sides and over her ass. He squeezed his eyes shut and breathed through his mouth.
What the hell was the matter with him? He was supposed to be giving her space. Not fantasizing about her beneath the jets of the shower. With a final deep breath he opened his eyes and spotted one lone folded towel on a wooden shelf in the corner of the bathroom. He may not have any answers for Haydenor himselfyet, but at least he could put her more at ease by covering up. He wrapped the towel around his waist.
Tony wouldn't be surprised if she hadn't already taken off. Bolted away from him as fast as she could given she was wrapped in nothing but a sheet. The idea filled him with panic. Had he already blown his chance to prove to her that he was a good guy? That whatever he had done, he could make it right for her? "Hayden?" he called.
He blew out a breath of relief.
"No luck in finding our clothes in there?" she asked.
"No, just a couple of empty bottles of apple cider vinegar." He opened the door. "That's weird, right?"
"Maybe not. It's kind of hip right now to rinse your hair with the stuff." She made a sniffing sound. "Come to think of it, I smell it in the air."
"So that's what I've been smelling," he said as he joined her. "Sweet and yet"
"Almost too strong."