Her Secrets Are All About to Come Out
Pop star PJ Cantrell’s life and career are threatened when an angry blackmailer uncovers the truth about her hidden past. PJ knows it has to be someone close, someone she trusts. She turns to long-time friend Gabe Sawyer for help, but finds more than she bargained for. As she quickly discovers she wants more from him than friendship and support, she has to wonder what he’ll think of her when he finally learns the truth.
Gabe Sawyer built a successful chain of luxury hotels by focusing on one thing and one thing only – his work. And, he’s now discovering, that just isn’t enough in life. He’s loved PJ from afar, but he’s never felt the time was right for a deeper relationship. When he discovers a blackmailer is threatening her life, everything changes as he struggles to keep her safe and end the threat to her life and to the career she loves. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Gabe set the salad down and went about plating the burgers and scooping heaps of mashed potatoes onto the plate. He looked down at the heaping plate then up at PJ’s tiny frame.
“Oh, you probably can’t eat all this, can you?” he asked and turned to scoop some of the potatoes back. He’d served her the kind of portion he might hand to Jack or Andrew for a first round.
PJ stabbed at his hand with a fork. “Back off my potatoes, mister,” she said and pulled the plate from his hands. “Mine,” she said, twisting to guard the food with her body as she eyed him suspiciously. He couldn’t help but laugh.
“Something to drink?” Gabe’s face heated. With her history of alcohol addiction, he shouldn’t offer her anything alcoholic, he thought quickly. Why hadn’t he considered that earlier? He had no idea how his caretakers had stocked the fridge, and he hadn’t thought to ask for nonalcoholic drinks. “Water? Coke? Um––” He looked toward the small fridge in the outdoor kitchen, not sure what was there.
“Water’s great,” PJ said as she sat at one of the chairs. She didn’t seem to notice his discomfort about what to offer her. Gabe grabbed two bottles of water and shut the fridge with his foot. He retrieved his plate from next to the grill and flicked a light switch with his elbow. Flames danced to life as he lowered himself into the chair next to PJ’s.
PJ moaned again, her mouth filled with the bacon, blue cheese concoction he’d cooked up for them and Gabe felt his whole body still. If she didn’t knock off that adorable habit she had of moaning when something good crossed those lips, he wouldn’t make it through the week without a lot of cold showers and hand lotion.
“It’s okay if you want to drink,” she said in between bites, and Gabe’s first thoughts jumped to whiskey. Shots of whiskey might help him get through this alive and moderately sane without too many fantasies…about other ways he could make her moan, or what she might sound like when he took her soft nipple into his mouth and made it peak under his tongue.
He shook his head instead, half in answer to her and half in an attempt to banish thoughts of PJ’s breasts from his mind. “I’m good with water. Burger okay?” he asked.
“More than okay. It’s amazing. Maybe that’s what you should do now. Become a chef. Or open a chain of restaurants. World-class restaurants with nothing but comfort food.”
Gabe laughed as PJ took another big bite and then followed that with a forkful of mashed potatoes.
And, another moan. Dear Lord, woman. Gabe wanted to lean across his chair and swallow those moans of hers in a kiss. But, that was the last thing she needed and he wouldn’t do that to her now. He’d be what she needed: a friend.
He shifted his plate in his lap. It wouldn’t look great for her to see exactly how much she affected him. She’d probably run and hide if she knew the kind of thoughts he had about her.
“No?” she asked, seemingly unaware of the effect she had on him. “Don’t like the restaurant idea? Hmmm. A cooking show! I bet all the housewives would watch you cook. You know, jeans and an apron? Nothing much else?” PJ said with a mischievous grin. “I bet if you demonstrated how to make a bowl of cereal with no shirt on it would be a hit.”
Gabe turned to look at her as she laughed next to him. Her whole face lit up when she laughed, and desire flew through him hard and fast and demanding.
To hell with it.
He leaned across the space between the two Adirondack chairs and swept her mouth with his, quickly. Just a taste. Just the taste he’d been dreaming about for years. He pulled back and looked into her stunned eyes.
“I’m sorry,” he said, but didn’t move away as his eyes locked with hers. “I just wanted to see what that felt like. What you taste like.”
Lori Ryan is a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author who writes contemporary romance with a twist of suspense. Her books range from sweetheart to steamy in heat level (for sweeter, read the Evers, TX series.)
She lives with an extremely understanding husband, two wonderful children (with another on the way!), two mostly well-behaved dogs, and a lone little cat in Austin, Texas. It’s a bit of a zoo, but she wouldn’t change a thing.
Lori published her first novel in April of 2013 and has fallen in love with writing. She is the author of the Sutton Capital Series, the Evers, Texas Series, and will be putting out several novellas with baseball player heroes in Bella Andre’s Kindle World, Game For Love, in late 2014. She loves to connect with her readers. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter or subscribe to her blog.
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