by Cambria Hebert
Publication: May 16th 2013
Sometimes all a girl needs is a little fling…
Talie Ronson needs a vacation.
Since she caught her cheating, loser husband in bed with his assistant, her life has been on a steady spiral—right into hell. Her car’s a junker, her job sucks, and her perfect, gorgeous sister likes to brag about her wonderful life every time they “do” lunch.
In an effort to salvage what’s left of her life and her sanity, she takes the advice of her kooky best friend and takes off to Topsail Island. A week at the beach, alone, is exactly what she needs to recharge, regroup, and relax.
Only, her alone time is about to get derailed.
Gavin Palmer’s favorite activity is walking around in his boxers and eating junk food. He and his neighbors have an understanding. They stay out of his business and he stays out of theirs. He lives at the beach, not for vacation, but for isolation. He’s had enough of people to last him a lifetime.
Gavin’s isolation is interrupted when his normally quiet neighbor starts disturbing his peace. He stomps across the sand to give the guy a piece of his mind… only it isn’t a guy.
She’d maddening, nosy, and talks too much.
But she’s hot and her bedroom eyes have him thinking maybe he’s had enough solitude. Maybe a week of company is exactly what he needs.
Maybe what they both need is a no-strings-attached tryst.
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He leaned back against the railing and looked at me. “I’m not available emotionally. I live here for solitude, to be alone. I don’t have room in my life for someone. I can’t hang out. I can’t talk about my life. I just… I can’t.”
The veiled pain behind his words caused my heart to constrict. What happened to him? “But you can have sex?” I said. Gavin might have had a rough time, but he wasn’t the only one. And he wasn’t getting off the hook that easily.
“I’m a guy,” he said, as if that explained everything.
I guess it sort of did. He had urges, needs. Wasn’t it the same with me? Hadn’t I been starving for human contact, for a body-ripping orgasm? I couldn’t judge him for something I was guilty of as well.
“I’m not available either,” I said. “Emotionally.”
He nodded like he already figured that out. “I shouldn’t have been a jerk to you.”
“It’s okay,” I said, meaning it.
He studied me for long moments as a strong gust of wind came up off the sea. I shivered and tucked the blanket just a little bit closer. Gavin moved, crouching down in front of my chair, reaching out to grasp the ends of the blanket.
From this close, I could see the intensity of his eyes. I could see the vulnerability he felt from coming here… I also could see desire.
“I can’t offer you anything,” he whispered. “But I’m asking you for something.”
“What?” His closeness was driving me wild. Want burned through my veins as I studied the way the T-shirt stretched over his broad shoulders. Need eclipsed my thoughts as his hand tightened around the blanket and carefully drew me a little bit closer.
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