RITA AWARD FINALIST • When the barista next door teams up with a slick ad executive in this steamy standalone novel from USA Today bestselling author Jamie K. Schmidt, they both get a taste of unexpected love.
Terri Cooke wishes she could give Mick Wentworth a piece of her mind. The infuriating stud muffin walks into her coffee shop every morning expecting his regular order at 8:57 on the dot, without ever acknowledging Terri’s presence—except for staring at her cleavage. And yet she can’t deny that Mick Wentworth has an animal magnetism that’s stronger and richer than any espresso . . . which explains why Terri says yes when he suddenly, inexplicably asks her out.
After the morning coffee run, Mick’s day is all downhill from there. His family’s marketing firm is dysfunctional in more ways than one, so to save the business, Mick desperately needs to impress their newest client. When he learns that Terri’s a fan of their trendy product, he tries to get inside her head. It doesn’t hurt that she’s the barista he’s been lusting after for the past five months. But as things heat up with Terri, Mick finds that a little steam is just the jolt he needs to turn his whole life around.
Praise for Stud
“Stud is outrageous, sexy, heartwarming, and angst-fueled.”—Harlequin Junkie
“[Stud is] my first book by Jamie K. Schmidt and it was pretty awesome. I enjoyed this from beginning to end. It’s also a bit of a gamer romance. So if you are into games this is definitely up your alley.”—Island of Reading
“Let’s start with the book title—it definitely suits the hero. . . . Stud is just a drool-worthy and steamy read.”—Self-Professed Book Hoarders
“I loved the sexual tension that Mick and Terri had. Right from the first page, it was there and it kept building.”—Life of a Crazy Mom
“This is a super cute and creative story. . . . There are twists and turns . . . but the way it’s written and brought together is seamless. If you’re a gamer, you’ll especially enjoy this book.”—The Jeep Diva
“[Jamie K.] Schmidt works their conflicting emotions to ratchet up the sexual tension before liberating it in steamy interludes. Plot twists and tender moments enhance the sexiness of this enticing story.”—Publishers Weekly
“I loved Jamie [K. Schmidt’s] writing style, as a gamer I fit right in with the lingo, but any noob off the street would find this story charming. I give it five stars.”—Books & Boys Book Blog
Don’t miss any of Jamie K. Schmidt’s seductive novels:
The Sentinels of Babylon series
NECESSARY EVIL | SENTINEL’S KISS
The Club Inferno series
HEAT | LONGING | FEVER
LIFE’S A BEACH
This standalone novel includes an excerpt from another Loveswept title.
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Like clockwork. I wonder if his chauffeur gets disciplined if he’s ever off by a minute. How the heck can you even plan that with Manhattan traffic?
I hate Mondays. If I was the Queen of the World, I’d declare them part of the weekend. Although, Tuesday would step up to be a suckfest in that case. This Monday was no different. I was tired, bored, and irritable. The only thing keeping me going is the smell of coffee and that the customers haven’t pissed me off yet.
That’s about to change.
Here he comes, walking into the place like he owned it. Maybe he did. That would explain why Elaine practically got on her knees for him. Sure, he was a regular customer, but a seven-dollar coffee every morning didn’t warrant the subservience she gave him.
I almost got fired my first day because this jackhole refused to get off his phone to place his order. When he snapped his fingers at me and waved them in my face, I did it right back to him. His expression had been worth it.
What hadn’t been worth it? Listening to Elaine shrieking about how she had given me flexible hours against her better judgment and this was how I repaid her? Mr. Wentworth was a very important person and baristas like me were a dime a dozen. Of course, Elaine gave him a free blueberry muffin for the affront—and made me pay for it out of my tips.
I hate this job. But I needed something to pay the bills while I looked for another ad agency that would let me telecommute or work really flexible hours.
I love coffee, and slinging lattes isn’t so bad. But I didn’t go to four years of evil marketing school so I could tamp ground espresso beans and refill the creamers. I sighed. I was here because of Billy. My brother needed me more than I needed my dream job on Madison Avenue that I’d had to quit.
Still, it was hard to be treated like a non-person just because I worked at a register.
Mr. Wentworth, VIP and SOB, wore a charcoal gray suit today with crisp lines that wouldn’t dare wrinkle. A honker of a diamond shone in his ear, and I tried not to roll my eyes. On anyone else it would make them look like a hipster douche, but on him it somehow worked. It sparkled in the fluorescent lights of the coffee shop and distracted me. That tiny piece of jewelry would probably pay for Billy’s medical bills, at least for this year. I tamped down the envy along with the coffee grounds.
Mr. Wentworth was a big guy, like he tossed weights around in his spare time, but he smelled like he just stepped out of the shower. The hint of sandalwood made my nose twitch and the underlying scent of leather made me a little wet. What can I say? I like good cologne. We did this dance every time I worked a day shift for the past five months. We’d glare at each other until our eyes started roaming all over each other’s bodies and then we’d eye f*** each other until he turned to leave. It was the best sex I’ve had all year. Granted, I don’t get out much.
He’d shaved this morning. My fingers itched to either slap him or caress his smooth cheek. Saturday night, his face had been shaggy and he had two beautiful women cuddled next to him, one in each arm. I bet they weren’t working today this early in the morning. I hadn’t been invited to the ultra-cool party with the lobster hors d’oeuvres and the hundred-dollar bottles of champagne. I had been the waitstaff. It was an easy C-note under the table, plus tips. I even got to sample the bubbly.
Pissed me off, though, that he hadn’t even acknowledged me when he first saw me. He had looked right at me, given me a slow once-over that curled my toes, and then went back to his conversation. He definitely had recognized me. Would it have killed him to say hello?
I should have tossed the tray of champagne all over him.
Instead, I spent the entire evening watching him. It wasn’t a hardship. He was eye candy, in the way he moved and smiled. I had passed by him several times just so I could smell that cologne and finally hear what his voice sounded like.
It had been worth the wait. His rough, low grumble of a laugh had made me stumble, but I managed not to drop the tray of beer bottles and empty glasses. On my next pass, his hazel eyes had been glassy as he pretended to listen to the woman hanging on him chattering about some dude named Rory who was trying to shut down a bookstore. Sounded like another rich dickhead. Maybe there was a club for them.
Mr. Wentworth’s eyes had narrowed on me when I offered chatty Cathy some foie gras. I had lifted my chin and dared him to acknowledge me, but he just popped an appetizer in his mouth and f***ed me with his eyes.
I wished I hadn’t liked it so much.
I made it a point to brush against him two more times, still daring him to say something to me. But while he leaned into my body both times, he didn’t say a word. And as far as I could tell, I was the only one getting hot and bothered by the contact.
I don’t know why I torture myself, but I really want to get into his Armani pants.
He had started the night off wearing an expensive three-piece suit. But by the end of it, the jacket and tie had been tossed aside and his pristine white shirt had been rolled up to show off a sexy tattoo of a mermaid on his forearm.
I wish I had the balls to ask him about it. He didn’t seem the tattoo type.
I did finally find out that his first name was Mick, because the girlies this weekend cooed it at him.
“Mick, you’re so funny!”
“Mick, can you get me a drink?”
I handed him a glass full of pink champagne before he could even respond to her. What can I say? He had me trained. That and if he f***ing snapped his fingers at me, I would have emptied the tray over his head.
Of course, one of the girls hanging around him didn’t say anything. She had flung herself at him with a focused determination that I had to admire. After watching her rub her breasts up and down his arm and grind her ass into his crotch when she thought no one was looking, I saw that Mick took her back into the VIP lounge area where she had slipped under the table with practiced ease. He caught me watching him, and smirked at me as if to say, What are you going to do about it?
I had tanked a glass of champagne and given him back the same look.
He had thrown his head back and laughed. And then the smile wiped from his face and the look he gave me could have melted the titanium in my belly button ring. His jaw had tightened. His nostrils had flared and then his body jerked. I almost dropped my tray. Then, some bigwig from one of the radio stations stepped in between us and I didn’t get to see anything else. My face must have been bright red and I had been a little unsteady on my feet. It had been pretty hot to watch him, and of course my imagination had to wonder if he’d look like that if he pressed me up against the wall and took care of the irritating tingles between my legs.
I didn’t want to be attracted to him. Mick Wentworth was an entitled jerk who, in addition to getting a public blow job that night, left with two of the three other women he was kissing on Saturday night.