From USA Today Bestselling Author J.C. Valentine comes a sizzling story about a young entrepreneur, a hot firefighter, and a first date that will change their paths forever. Tenacious bakery shop owner Abby is following her dreams. She has everything she could ever want in life—except the fairytale ending. Then she meets Kennedy, a hunky firefighter whose killer smile and easy charm makes her heart pound. But with the kind of danger he faces on the job each day, Abby knows there’s no happily-ever-after in the cards. The harder she tries to hold onto her heart, the faster it seems to slip away, but when a series of mysterious events threaten the future of her business and her life, their happiness may be shorter-lived than she realized.
Someone is out to get her, and it’s up to Abby and Kennedy to uncover who’s behind the destruction. Can they do it before tragedy strikes?
I heard knuckles rap against the open door. My head popped up, a spoon of batter I’d been sampling pressed between my lips, caught in mid-moan, to see Dex standing there wearing an amused smirk. “Yeah, hate to interrupt…whatever the hell it is you’re doing in here, but you have a special request.”
Pulling the spoon out of my mouth, I swallowed the lump of chocolate, noting that it could use a pinch more sugar, and shook my head. “I don’t take special orders.” Yet. I was too swamped, too early in the business and trying desperately to get a handle on the responsibilities I had now, to even begin considering taking on anything more. As awesome as the opportunity would be…Shit, no, I couldn’t trap myself by biting off more than I could chew.
“Oh, you’ll want to take this one.” Dex’s blue eyes held a devilish twinkle that was only strengthened by the wicked smile spreading across his face.
“Dex…” I sighed. Holding up my hands, covered in flour and cocoa, I arched my eyebrows. “Even if I wanted to, I’m in no condition to go out there right now.”
“Fine, I’ll send him back.”
My mouth gaped open. “Dex!” That was the last thing I wanted him to do. But he was already gone. Spinning around, I searched for the towel I usually kept close to wipe my hands on. I was scrubbing the dried, caked ingredients off my fingers when I heard a throat clear.
“I was told to come on back. I hope that’s okay?”
Damn, would I ever get used to that deep, husky voice? I brought my head up and looked right at Ken’s smiling face. He looked good—too good—standing in my doorway, in my kitchen with his arms spread out to his sides, his hands gripping the doorway. He leaned against the jamb just enough to make the muscles in his arms thicken, stretching the sleeves of the navy shirt. There was a golden firefighter emblem over his left pec, giving me a little thrill. I was dating a firefighter.
“Of course, you’re always welcome back here.” Considering that he’d already seen what a mess I was, I gave up trying to clean myself, and tossed the towel aside. Picking up the spatula standing straight up in the metal bowl, I gave the batter a few more whips. “What brings you by?”
Walking deeper into the kitchen, Kennedy approached my side of the counter and leaned his hip into it. “I was craving more of those cookies.”
“It’s always about the cookies,” I said teasingly, shaking my head.
A shiver tracked through me when Ken traced a finger lightly down the back of my arm. “I have a weakness for sweets.”
I heard the double meaning in his words, and had to work to concentrate on finishing my task. These brownies weren’t going to make themselves. “It’s a good thing that you’re here then. Sweets are my specialty.”
Kennedy leaned closer, setting his mouth against my ear. “That’s why I came to the expert. What are you doing tonight?”
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