From the moment that Taryn Michaels runs into her new landlord, Evan Connolly, on the stairwell, she is dangerously attracted to him. She's starting her career as a veterinarian at the Los Angeles Zoo and isn't looking for any complications. The more she gets to know him though, the more she realizes that he might be worth the risk.
Evan Connolly has moved back to L.A. to pursue his lifelong passion for growing exotic orchids. When he buys a florist shop, building and all, he gets far more than he bargained for when it comes with a gorgeous, feisty tenant. As the sparks fly between them, he's finding her more and more difficult to resist.
When they finally give into temptation, it quickly develops into something deeper. As the truth of Taryn's past comes back to haunt them, will Evan be able to break down the walls she's built around her heart? Will she let him?
As she started up the second flight of stairs, she let out a surprised yelp. Quickly dodging a box as it rolled down the stairs toward her, she turned to watch as it broke apart at the bottom of the landing with a thunk.
“Shit! I’m so sorry. Are you okay?” a worried voice asked from the top of the stairs.
“Yeah. I think whatever was in that box probably isn’t though,” Taryn said, turning back toward the voice at the top of the stairs.
He wore a pair of faded jeans that were torn in several places and a snug black T-shirt. His lower jaw was covered in dark stubble. His black hair was short and messy, as if someone had been running their hands through it. His eyes looked almost black in the dim light of the hallway. He was in his mid-thirties, Taryn decided. He was the very definition of sin.
Suddenly, aware she had been staring, she asked, “So, uh. Why are you throwing boxes down the stairs at me?”
Tall, dark, and sexy gave her an all-out grin now and said, “Hey now. I didn’t throw it so much as it fell.”
Dear Jesus. That voice. It was deep and smooth. A sexy face, a ridiculous body, and that voice, too? She couldn’t look away as he descended the stairs and stopped in front of her.
Reaching out, he extended his hand and said, “Evan Connolly. I bought the building.”
Taking his hand and giving it a firm shake, she said, “Taryn Michaels. Your tenant.”
“Nice to meet you.”
“You, too. I’m gonna head on up so you can can go ahead and finish throwing your things down the stairs,” Taryn said, grinning.
“Yeah,” he said, smiling good naturedly as he ran a hand through his messy hair. “I’m not likely to live that down, am I?”
“Probably not any time soon,” she said, stepping around him. “Have a good night.”
As she moved toward her apartment door, she thought, Well. This was certainly an interesting development.
An hour later, Taryn had showered and changed. She was applying a coat of mascara when she heard a knock on the door. Putting the mascara wand back in the tube, she moved back through the bedroom.
“Hang on,” she shouted as she moved toward the door.
When she opened it, her sister Cora stood on the other side of the door. All but tackling her, she squealed, “Tare, you’re a vet now!”
Grinning, Taryn said, “I am!”
Taryn pulled her inside and said, “Help me lace up the back of this shirt. When I bought it, I didn’t think about the dynamics of trying to put it on without help.”
Turning around, she presented Cora with the back of her red corset top.
“Ooh,” Cora said. “This is hot! Are you looking to get some tonight?”
Snorting, Taryn said, “You’re staying the night tonight. I’ll pass.”
“The girls were out,” Cora said, gesturing to Taryn’s chest. “I was just checking!”
Rolling her eyes, Taryn moved toward the bathroom, saying, “Lemme mascara and then we can leave.”
Ten minutes later, they walked across the street. Darla’s was a little hole in the wall place. Darla, an older heavy-set woman, had been behind the bar the few times that Taryn had gone in. It was low key and close to home. In deference to the fact it was technically her celebration, the girls from work had let her pick the place.
As they walked in the door, she immediately spotted Serena from administration sitting at a table with Mindy, one of the other veterinarians on staff. Serena immediately jumped up and said, “You’re official now! Congrats, honey.”
Taryn was immediately pulled into hugs, then gifted with a tiara and a martini. She took a sip of a martini, placed the tiara on her head, then introduced Cora.
Over the next few hours, several people stopped by the bar to congratulate Taryn. Even her new boss, Mike, had showed up for a while. He’d congratulated her on finishing her internship and reminded her that now she, too, would know the joy of telling the intern to shovel the poop from the rhinoceros cage.
Everyone had wanted to buy her a drink. After the fourth one, she’d started giving them to her sister and had switched to water. At 5’3”, Taryn was a light-weight to say the least.
It was after midnight when they finally walked back across the street to Taryn’s apartment. She wasn’t particularly drunk, but she was definitely feeling relaxed. As they turned to walk up the second flight of stairs, Taryn ran directly into a wall of warm, male chest.
Looking up, she saw Evan. Reaching out, she grabbed his shoulders to steady herself, then felt his hands settle on her hips. Feeling the warmth of his fingertips against small swath of skin between where her top ended and her jeans started, awareness coursing through her veins. She watched him now as he slowly appraised her, taking in the corset top and dark-washed jeans.
His hands flexed against her hips as he released her and stepped back. Even though they no longer touched, she could still feel the electricity arc between them.
Next to her, Cora said, “Well, hello. I’m Cora. Who are you?”
“The new Mrs. Weatherly,” Taryn answered, not breaking eye contact with Evan.
Sparing her a glance, he said, “Evan Connolly. Nice to meet you.”
Looking him over, Cora grinned and said, “Definitely easier on the eyes than Mrs. Weatherly.”
When neither party responded, she continued, “Well, I’m going to go inside and make another drink while you two stand out here on the landing and eye fuck each other.”
Giving a little wave, she wobbled up the stairs.
Her eyes never leaving his, she reached to the zipper under her arm and drew it down. Sliding the straps of the dress off her shoulders, she pushed the dress slowly down her body until it fell to the floor. Stepping out of it, she kicked it aside. She stood before him now in a black strapless bra, matching thong, fishnet thigh highs, and heels.
Her breathing was rapid as she waited for him to speak. Finally he said, “I don’t even have words…”
Reaching out, she grabbed the buckle of his belt and pulled him toward her. Repeating her earlier request, she said, “Touch me, Evan.”
Quickly closing the remaining space between them, he lowered his mouth to hers. The kiss started out gentle, but quickly grew out of control. He nipped sharply at her lower lip, then stroked his tongue over it to soothe. His hand slid up her rib cage to cup her breast, squeezing it. Taryn sighed against his lips and pressed herself into his palm, clutching his shoulders.
He slid his arms behind her back and deftly unclasped her bra. When he leaned back, his eyes were heavy lidded as he took in the sight of her bare breasts. On a groan, he leaned down to take one tight peak into his mouth. She was unable to look away as he flicked his tongue against it. The sight of her nipple disappearing between his lips and the sure strokes of his tongue were almost too much to bear.
When he grazed his teeth over her nipple, she cried out. Feeling his teeth nip at her more sharply, she moaned his name. After a few moments, he moved to her other breast and gave it the same treatment. She was almost incoherent with want now, her nails digging into his shoulders.
The hand cupping her other breast drifted lower, his fingertips brushing gently over her thighs. When his fingers shifted the crotch of her soaked thong aside, he groaned against her breast. His fingers teased the bare outer lips of her pussy.
He released her from his mouth and said, “Fuck, Princess. You’re so wet. Is this all for me?”
Taryn pressed herself shamelessly against his hand and said, “Yes. It’s all for you.”
She almost gave a sigh of relief when he slid a finger between her wet folds and stroked it over her clit. Tilting her head back, she let out a soft whimper as she flexed her hips and pressed against him. She felt that familiar tension start to bloom low in her belly, and was surprised when he tilted her chin down to say, “Look at me, Princess. I want to see.”
She looked at him, for the first time uncertain. His voice thick with desire, he swept his thumb over her lower lip and said, “I want to see you come for me.”
She sucked in a ragged breath as he continued to slowly rub tight circles against her. Working her hips against his hand, she felt the tension build to an almost unbearable level. Still, she hovered right there at the edge.
Maybe he sensed that she needed the extra push because a moment later he slid his hand further into her panties and pressed two fingers inside her. He fucked her with them as he ground his palm against her aching clit.
“Oh. Oh, god. That’s it,” she moaned. Seconds later, she came apart, shuddering and crying out, as she bucked against his hand in release.
He continued to slide his fingers into her until she stopped rocking against him. Watching her, he slid his fingers out of her panties and said, “That was so sexy.”
Still panting, she said, “My legs are jittery now.”
She picked one of her legs up to slide off her heels and saw him shake his head. Grinning wolfishly, he said, “I’m going to need you to leave those on.”
Moving forward, he swept her into his arms and carried her toward his bedroom. She clutched onto him dizzily as he walked into the bedroom. He set her on the center of his bed.
She propped herself up on her elbows, watching him as he shed the rest of his clothing. Sporting a massive erection, he crawled on the bed toward her like a predator stalking its prey. His eyes flared as his body slid over hers. He took her mouth again, as he trailed his fingers lightly across her skin.
She shifted underneath him, feeling the beginnings of arousal again. He seemed to know exactly what he was doing to her, because he shifted his thigh slightly to hold her in place. Breaking away from her mouth, he nibbled a line along her jaw.
Lifting his head, he said, “You’re so responsive.”
She grinned at him and then said, “You’ve got talented hands.”
Evan took his time working his way down her body, nipping and sucking until she was writhing underneath him. By the time he had reached her navel, her arousal was at fever pitch again.
He propped himself up on an elbow and said, “Lift your hips up. I don’t think you’ll be needing these anymore.” He gestured to her panties.
She complied, lifting her hips. He slid her panties down and over the heels of her shoes. Tossing them aside, he moved further down her body until he was eye level with her pussy. Sighing, he said, “On second thought, let’s take off the shoes so you don’t stab me with them.”
Turning around, he removed one shoe, and then the other. Resettling between her thighs, he turned his head, placing kisses against her thighs. Each time his warm mouth settled on her, it was pure torture.
Taryn pressed her hips up, desperate to feel his mouth on her aching core. Finally, he worked his way up to her pussy. He licked the wetness away from the outside but didn’t give her what she desperately needed.
Panting, she begged, “Please. Don’t tease me anymore.”
His gaze flicked up to hers and must have seen the desperation on her face because he leaned back down, and parted her folds with his fingers. He swiped his tongue over her, sucking and flicking her clit with the tip of his tongue. When he slid two fingers into her and curled them upward, she cried out in relief.
Release Date: Dec 16, 2014
Buy Link: http://www.bookstrand.com/in-full-bloom
Bookstrand Author Page Link: http://www.bookstrand.com/michelle-roth
About the Author:
Michelle Roth is a novelist from Los Angeles, California. When she’s not disappearing into foreign lands, or making two perfect strangers that she invented fall in love, she’s probably curled up somewhere with a glass of wine and a good book.
In her spare time she is typically hanging out with her awesome boyfriend and their two equally awesome cats. She likes taking road trips to nowhere in particular, cooking elaborate meals then making other people do the dishes, and being nerdy on the internet. Her books are currently available on http://www.bookstrand.com/michelle-roth
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