Levelheaded English Professor Caitlin Shanahan has finally earned tenure and purchased the century-old two-story house of her dreams in the college town of Burntside, Wisconsin—at thirty-four, she'd better face facts: her future is teaching college and writing plays, not falling in love. So why is she so drawn to foxy little hometown actress Meghan Keenan, who's rented her upstairs apartment, or worse, to the girl's gorgeous hunk of a lover Kurt Davis, a carpenter who's never even been to college?
Twenty-year-old Meg has a plan. First she'll seduce the reluctant professor, then she'll share her sexual delights with both Cat and her brawny carpenter, and when she's successfully brought them together, she can make her escape and explore what's beyond the only town she's ever lived in.
Kurt can't stand the up-tight professor who's hired him to build a gazebo and refurbish her old house—the house he wanted for himself. Even if Meg’s scheme succeeds, he knows Caitlin would never look at him twice. No need to go there in his fantasies…
Peering through the lace curtains of her upstairs home office window onto the sundeck and manicured lawn below, Caitlin Shanahan felt her breathing quicken. Her nipples pebbled.
Her renter’s petite nude body glistened under the rays of the late morning sun. Only recently had Caitlin realized how appealing the feminine form could be. She sat behind the curtains, careful not to be seen by the sunbather. Initially, she’d been shocked by Meg Keenan’s penchant for tanning in the nude. What if the neighbors saw her?
But they wouldn’t. The eight-foot privacy fence offered adequate protection from prying eyes—other than those looking out her upstairs window.
The auburn-haired twenty-year-old looked so decadent and yet so innocent. During the day, she was a teller at the Community Bank. Many evenings she performed under Caitlin’s tutelage at the Community Playhouse. Audiences loved Meg. Her endearing, playful, effervescent personality won over fans and would-be critics alike.
If Caitlin had her way, Meg would refine those innate skills with a college education, but the girl didn’t seem very interested in academic studies.
Caitlin shook her head. Academics was about the only life she’d known. Now, as a recently tenured English professor, she had the satisfaction of giving herself permission to finally back off the throttle a little bit. Hence she’d gotten involved with the Community Playhouse. She’d grown up in community theater, but gave it up to write a dissertation and then to hone her teaching skills and produce the required number of publications to achieve tenure.
At thirty-four, she was ready for a few changes. Not too many, of course. The first big change had been buying her big old four-square house. She loved it, even if it had cost more than she’d wanted to spend, and even if it did need some serious restoration.
She’d made the second change more reluctantly. After seeing the bills piling up because of her passion for the old place, she’d decided to take in a boarder. The upstairs, with the exception of her office, was now an apartment.
Fortunately, Meg’s aunt had tired of having her niece living with her at about the same time Caitlin’s apartment was ready to rent. It seemed like a match made in heaven. She had the space available, and Meg could readily afford the rent.
It helped that Caitlin knew Meg from the theater. She was exactly the kind of young woman she wanted for a renter—innocent, if not naïve, a young woman who smiled a lot and wanted to please.
Caitlin involuntarily wet her lips as Meg rolled over on the chaise lounge from her stomach to her backside. Her innocent renter had turned out to be not quite so innocent. Caitlin frowned. Maybe she was the naïve one. Not only did Meg soak up sunrays in the nude—she had a lover.
Caitlin shook her head. Was that what you called a muscle-bound brute who apparently wasn’t satisfied until he made a woman come a half dozen times?
She groaned. She’d known Kurt Davis for as long as she’d known Meg. He was often in charge of set design at the theater. Grudgingly, she acknowledged he was good at what he did. But he was also belligerent, cocky, and treated her with faintly restrained contempt.
And now she knew the heavily tanned, square-jawed Davis was Meg’s lover. How did he get his tan? She assumed from his carpentry work. Before she’d met him at the theater, he’d been highly recommended to her as a handyman who could do most of the repairs she needed on her house.
Like most contractors, she imagined, he didn’t seem in any hurry to finish her work, and apparently he was very adept at juggling her job along with several others. She never quite knew when he’d show up. He seldom called. The sound of his hammer or the buzz of his saw in the backyard was the only warning of his presence. She’d nearly gotten comfortable seeing his deeply tanned chest expanding and contracting as he worked.
She winced. Kurt Davis had better not try to tan in the nude in her backyard next to Meg.
What else might the two of them try doing on her sundeck? She shook her head. Now she was letting her too-vivid imagination stampede. They wouldn’t try any hanky panky out there—would they?
She’d never known a man and a woman could make so much noise making love. If that was what it was. Petite innocent Meghan had the lungs of an elephant, and Kurt Davis must rival a range bull in the throes of climax.
Caitlin ran her fingers through her hair. Meg’s bedroom was right above hers. Why couldn’t she just tell Meg to tone her wailing down, or that it wasn’t appropriate to sunbathe in the nude?
Caitlin bit down on her tongue. The young dozing woman slid a hand between her legs and covered her mound. The distance was too great to determine whether those fingers continued moving or whether they simply rested in slumber.
Should she rap on the window? No, of course not. She had no intention of giving herself away. Caitlin retreated from the window before she could do anything she’d regret.
She sat at her desk trying to concentrate on grading papers, but wasn’t entirely able to block out the image of the sunbather on her sundeck. What would Meg do if she knew her landlord routinely spied on her?