About the book
How to unravel your straight-laced lover . . .
Gabe Nelson would be a great district attorney, but his public image is too boring to get voters’ attention. Tattoo artist Devin Padilla can help him show off his fun, sexy side, but she needs something in return—Gabe’s legal expertise to track down her missing brother. She’s not his type, but they can’t keep their hands off each other, whether it’s good for his image or not.
At first, Devin thinks she got the easy end of the bargain. Gabe’s the sexiest stuffed shirt in Manhattan, and his kisses practically set her on fire. But every deal has its fine print. As their relationship goes from business to pleasure, Devin realizes this one won’t cost her soul…it’ll just steal her heart.
praise for Triple Time
Read an Excerpt
She shook off his jacket, thrust it at him and headed for the subway. She hadn’t gone three steps when he caught up with her. “Nice try, but you’re not getting rid of me that easily. I meant what I said. I’m taking you home.”
His eyes sparked with something. Anger? Frustration? Devin’s insides tingled in response. Maybe letting him take her home wasn’t such a bad idea. Then he could take her against the living room wall. And on the kitchen counter. And in the…
“Besides, my sister would kill me if she found out I left you alone in Central Park in the middle of the night.”
Right. His sister. Duty, not fantasy. Thanks for the verbal equivalent of a cold shower.
“Fine,” she huffed. “But we’re taking a cab. Your treat.” “My pleasure.”
He took her arm, propelling her toward Fifth Avenue, where he hailed a cab. Hustling her inside, he gave the cabby her address, one he knew well since, until recently, his sister had lived in the apartment directly below Devin’s.
“How is Holly?” she asked to break the awkward silence that descended once the cab pulled into traffic. “I haven’t talked to her in almost a month. Since she and Nick left for Istanbul.”
“She loves it there.” Gabe loosened his tie and unbuttoned the first couple of buttons on his impeccably pressed white cotton dress shirt, revealing a triangle of fine dark chest hair. “But my parents are worried sick about her. I can’t believe her doctor let her travel in her condition.”
Devin swallowed hard and turned to stare out the window. She’d tattooed her share of gorgeous, muscle-bound men and hadn’t so much as blinked. But one glimpse of Mr. GQ’s freaking chest hair and she was practically hyperventilating.
“News flash,” Devin said when she could finally breathe again. “Holly’s not due for like five months. Women in her condition travel all the time. And Nick added an ob-gyn and a nurse to their entourage.”
With his money, he could have a fully staffed maternity ward on set if he wanted to. And she had no doubt he would if shooting on his latest Trent Savage pic went longer than expected. She’d never seen a couple as devoted to each other as Nick and Holly. It was almost enough to make her forget what a fucking farce love could be. Almost.
They lapsed back into silence. Devin focused on the blurred buildings speeding by outside the grimy window. But no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t ignore Gabe, sitting only inches away. His thigh brushing hers when he shifted. The scent of his cologne—citrusy, with a hint of cedar—teasing her senses.
“Can I ask you something?” His words tumbled out, like he was afraid if he didn’t say them at light speed, they wouldn’t come out at all.
“Uh, sure.” She turned to him with shrug. “I guess so.”
“Would you say I’m…?” He raked a hand through his close-cropped, chestnut hair. “Do you think I’m, well, boring?”
Devin almost choked. Boring? Seriously? Of all the words in the English language, boring was just about the last one she’d choose to describe Gabe Nelson. A little straitlaced, maybe. Serious. Panty-meltingly hot. But boring?
She opened her mouth to answer but Gabe waved her off. “Never mind. Your hesitation speaks volumes.”
His shoulders stiffened and he turned his back to her to stare out his window.
Shit. What was it about this guy that always made her say the wrong thing, do the wrong thing? It was as if she was a tongue-tied teenage girl with a crush on her best friend’s hunky, totally hands-off younger brother.
Which was exactly what she was. Except for the teenage part.
Before she could figure out a way to straighten him out while salvaging her pride, they pulled up outside her apartment building and Gabe hopped out of the cab, holding the door for her.
“Keep the meter running,” he instructed the cabbie. “I’ll be right back.”
She brushed past him, ignoring his outstretched hand, and he followed her up the steps to the main door.
“Thanks,” she said, digging in her purse for her key. Where the hell was it? All she wanted was to get inside, change into sweats, scarf down a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Coffee Toffee Bar Crunch and forget this whole humiliating night. “Look, about what you asked earlier, in the cab. You’re not boring. A little repressed, maybe.”
“You know. Old-fashioned. Conservative.”
She let out a yelp as Gabe spun her around, pressing her against the door with his hips. “How’s this for conservative?”
“This” was his hands on her shoulders, his lips crushing hers. After a moment of shock, her body responded to him. Her purse slipped from her fingers, her keys forgotten, and her arms came up to circle his neck. Her hands tangled in his hair, holding him tight. Her lips parted and he didn’t waste any time in taking advantage, stealing his tongue into the opening and sweeping it across her lower lip.
Hot flipping damn. She was right about those lips of his. She could kiss them for hours. Days, even. And that naughty tongue…
She mentally struck straightlaced off her list of adjectives for him.
Not to be outdone, she met him lick for lick, running her tongue over his teeth and into the corners of his mouth. With a moan, he nudged her legs apart with his knee and moved between them. She could feel his rock-hard thigh pressing against her core.
She was ready to hook one leg around his hip and grind against him like a stripper on a pole when he broke off the kiss as abruptly as he’d started it.
“Christ, Devin, I’m…”
She pushed against his chest, resisting the temptation to grab his designer shirt in her fists and pull him back to her. “If you say you’re sorry, I’ll…”
He backed away, thrusting his hands in his pockets. “Knee my balls right through the roof of my goddamned mouth?”
“Something like that.”
“Then I’ll just say good-night.” One corner of his mouth curled into a half smile. “And sweet dreams.”
She slumped against the door, needing something to keep her vertical, as he climbed into the cab and drove away. Only when the tail lights disappeared from view did she let herself slink to the ground, fumbling for her purse in disbelief.
Dudley Do-Right had done what no man had done before.
He’d left her wanting more.