Jessica Jayne

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Excerpt from Let Me Love You

Removing two tall glasses from the cabinet, Stacey placed them on the gray granite island countertop and exhaled. Had she just flirted with Ren? Pool boy! Ha! What was she thinking?

Perhaps she’d stayed in the sun too long. Or the lack of sex for months had driven her crazy enough to flirt with her twenty-three-year-old neighbor.

Sure, he was good-looking. Understatement of the year. He was stunning. Light brown hair cropped on his head, revealing deep blue eyes and a chiseled jaw, all of which made him fit for the cover of any magazine. The kind of guy who turned heads when he walked by. Not to mention he was smart and funny and kind.

Even before Randy admitted to the affair, their lovemaking had become rote. Nothing sensual. A means to keep her from speculating if he had been banging his paralegal.

After the finalization of her divorce, she’d needed some time to lick her wounds. Being cast aside for a younger woman had damaged her self-esteem. Not to mention the bimbo getting knocked up by her ex.

Why was life so unfair? She’d asked Randy for years to start a family, always to be told “soon.” One broken condom in a lust-ridden affair and he was “soon” to be a daddy and she was a single woman again.

She’d wanted desperately to be a mom. Her biological clock ticked. She knew the statistics, the difficulties in getting pregnant the older she became. Plus, she wanted to be young with enough energy to enjoy her children. Knowing what she did now about Randy, it was for the best they hadn’t tried. But that didn’t stop the desire to want a family or the fear that she’d miss the opportunity.

At some point she’d venture back out on the dating scene. For Christ’s sake, she was only thirty-one.

She and Randy had bought the house as a short sale during the first year of their marriage. They’d remodeled the kitchen and several other rooms, making the home their own. Ten years. Lots of memories. Some good. Others not so.

She’d taken the house in the divorce because she wanted some consistency. Needed the comfort of familiarity after being blindsided. She’d never envisioned her marriage would fall into that fifty-plus percent that ended in divorce. Or that she’d be in her thirties trying to figure out her life. Screw comfort. Maybe she should have rented an apartment on the beach and started new, fresh.

Speaking of fresh, her mind wandered back to her hot neighbor who sat outside waiting. Her pulse kicked. If she were a few years younger, she’d eagerly take him for a test ride as a means of putting herself back out there, but he was eight years younger and in a different place in life. Just starting out. Plus, he was her neighbors’ son. Flirting with him fell in the inappropriate category. Right?

Of course, right!

The soft flop of his thongs on the tiled floor warned her of his approach. She strode toward the refrigerator for ice. Shaking her head, she attempted to dislodge any and all naughty thoughts of him before she made an even bigger fool of herself.

“Did you want tea or soda?” She reached for the handle of the stainless-steel refrigerator. Before she could yank the door open, he pressed his muscular chest against her back. To keep her balance, she flattened her palms against the refrigerator.

He slipped his fingers between hers, pinning her.

She stared at the contrast between their hands. Hers, so petite under his big, strong, tanned ones. She felt small and feminine enveloped in the cage he created for her. A feeling she hadn’t had in a while.

His salty, beachy scent wrapped around her like a blanket, warming her all over. A splash of cocoa butter sunscreen mixed with something just him. Masculine. A heady combination.

What was happening? And just how long had it been since a man had been this close? Perhaps she was still fantasizing, day-dreaming.

He released her hands and captured her hips, holding her still as he brushed his erection against her backside.

Nope. That was real.

“Ren!” Shocked by both his boldness and the size of him, she sucked in a breath. Good God! She’d been with one man so long, she had forgotten penises came in different sizes.

He was an extra-large.

“Shhhh. Don’t talk.” He swept aside a few wisps of hair along her neck, tickling her.

(c) Jessica Jayne