Marley Arbuckle is looking for a little payback, closure, and a boost to her confidence after being cheated on by her fiancé—not necessarily in that order. Choosing a 1Night Stand date in Las Vegas on New Year’s Eve to exact her revenge, she’s planned the affair down to her perfectly styled hair and every last manicured fingernail and pedicured toenail. But what she didn’t count on was meeting Ian O’Keefe. Ian has his own dark reasons for contacting Madame Evangeline for a no-strings-attached night of desire with a beautiful stranger. He’s got something to prove to himself and a long road to recovery after losing his wife. His redemption may begin with Marley, but can she teach him to love again?
Skimming her fingertips along the defined muscles of his back, she let his tactile image travel along her nerves to her brain, leaving her with a mental hint of his form. Solid. Muscular. Warm. She wondered about possible back hair. I’ll turn off the lights. Problem solved. She’d focus on his dark eyes throughout the ordeal. Note to self…do not use the word ordeal. She didn’t want to give him the wrong impression. Exchange. Tryst. Affair. All three sounded sordid, not that ordeal left her with the warm fuzzies.
Ian tilted her chin to meet his gaze. “Stop thinking so hard, beautiful. You’ll give yourself a migraine.”
She laughed. “I’m not beautiful.” His endearment almost made her believe his flattery, much more so than when that Byron guy called her pretty lady earlier. “This façade of makeup and hair product is brought to you by the artistry of Eschwaldo. Master glamour magician. His words, not mine.”
“Do you turn into a pumpkin and me a field mouse at the stroke of midnight?” One side of his mouth quirked up. He waggled his eyebrows. “Because I love pumpkin.” Leaning in close, he whispered in her ear. “I could eat it all night long.”
The implication of the word stroke and all its derivative forms—stroked and stroking, for instance—spiraled pleasantly along her spine, kick starting her libido. His declaration of love for orange squash and what he could do to it all night long didn’t hurt either. “I hope I’ll get a kiss at midnight.” She wet her lower lip with her tongue, waiting for his response. A kiss wasn’t too forward, considering he almost certainly had her pegged as a sure thing. And if she were a pumpkin and he a mouse, it wasn’t a stretch to assume he’d eat her, unless her interpretation of sexual innuendo left much to be desired. The possibilities delighted her and her Brazilian wax job.