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Temptation Paperback

Temptation Paperback

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For additional information about the title such as tropes, descriptions and content warnings please see the author's website. www.baileyblackbooks.com

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Synopsis

After a disastrous hookup, I've sworn off men—at least for a little while. My poor 'lady bits' need a break after the last guy left them in shambles in the worst of ways. Easy plan, right? That is, until my new dance partner struts into my life.

He's like forbidden fruit, tempting me in all the wrong (yet oh-so-right) ways. With three months of self-induced celibacy looming and only eight weeks and eight weeks to whip my dance partner into shape, I’ve got my work cut out for me. Can I keep my no-dating promise intact, or will he be too much of a temptation to resist?

* A note to readers. This book starts off hot and heavy. If you don't like spice, complicated friendships, misunderstanding, second chances, old friends to lovers, he falls first; with a bet weaseled into the plot line and a happily ever after, this one might not be your cup of tea. 

If all of those things are right up your alley...well, then I hope you enjoy.

★★★★★ "Temptation by Bailey B a Sublime five-star read. Your heart will beat like music to your ears, the review took me days as I have only just stopped sobbing my heart out!!! It’s so good!!!" --Reviewer

★★★★★ "This book was a fantastic romance read. The way the author took something tragic that many women deal with and turned it into something unique was beautiful in this story. The magnetism between Carter and Avery burned the pages." --Reviewer

★★★★★ "Funny and wildly sexy!" -- Reviewer

Read the 1st Chapter

I chase a shot of tequila with an orange slice and set the empty rind in my glass. The bartender, a man who is too busy trying to get his other patrons their first drinks, ignores me, but that’s okay. I have a brand new martini happily waiting for me to kiss the rim while I attempt to forget about all the shit going wrong in my life.

If only it were that easy.

Bertha, the 1992 blue Ford Ranger I’ve had since high school, kicked the bucket last week. Let me tell you, I was pissed when she stranded me on the side of I-95. I decided we weren’t on talking terms until the mechanic told me her motor blew. I cried for hours, not wanting to admit defeat. The heartache was from more than having a car payment for the first time in my life.  I felt like I was saying goodbye to the last simple part of my life.

To make matters worse, Midget, my chihuahua, snuck between my legs and darted out the front door of my apartment complex’s lobby, only to be hit by a kid who was texting and fucking driving. 

She died on Monday.

It’s not a new revelation, but my Grams was diagnosed with breast cancer back in February. She recently started treatment, but it's not doing any good. Her days are ticking away faster than a hummingbird’s wings flutter. We have a week left, at best.

Oh! Did I mention the reason I moved back to this miserable sauna of a state this year was because my sister, Tamlin, was having a baby?

Sounds great. Right?

Wrong. She miscarried, and if losing the child wasn’t bad enough, that baby was the only link Tamlin had to her late husband. So, not only did she spiral into a deep depression over losing her baby, but the miscarriage unearthed some deep-rooted PTSD.

Florida’s been one tragic blow after another since I moved home, and it sucks. 

Don’t even get me started on my parents. I will say that Mom and Dad waiting until I’m twenty-three to get divorced isn’t exactly a shocker. They fought like kindergarteners over the last piece of chocolate in the candy jar whenever they were together. 

Messy. 

Without reason. 

And spitting words of hate wherever they could. 

Although Mom and Dad’s words are nastier than a five-year-old’s insults like booger-eater. I chuckle and take a sip of my martini. The thought of Mom screaming that Dad is a booger-eater is comical. 

Still, even though I’ve seen their divorce coming since high school, the realization we will never spend another birthday or Thanksgiving together as a family makes me sad. 

Like I said… nothing has gone right since I returned to this stupid, sweaty state.

I tip my wide-rimmed glass up and swallow the rest of my martini in one large gulp. It slides down my throat like silk, wrapping its deliciousness around every cell along the way. I set the glass back on the counter and wait for one of the bartenders to make their way down the long line of thirsty patrons to my end of the room again. 

It could be a while. 

When I first arrived, I could stretch my arms out and spin in circles without touching anyone. Granted, that was three hours ago and well before the sun had set. Now, if I sneeze, my shoulder will rub against someone’s something

“Thirsty?” a deep voice asks.

I look at the man leaning one arm onto the sticky mahogany countertop beside me. His dark hair is shaved at the sides, with a short but poofy quiff at the top. 

Quiff. 

I smirk, finding that particular word funny.

The man must take my smile as an invitation because he inches closer, his lips lifting at the corners. Even though his nose is too sharp, and his jaw has a butt dimple, he has a nice mouth. And, although he doesn’t fit the mold I’ve dated since turning seventeen eons ago—the blonde-haired, blue-eyed, rip-your-heart-out and shatter-it-with-a-sledgehammer type—this guy isn’t unattractive. On a scale of zero to ten, with ten being drop my panties and fuck him on the bar with everyone watching, I’d give him a seven. Definitely doable.

“Parched.” I shift, angling myself and the girls towards him. They look extra nice tonight in a much too-small, much too-tight push-up bra that makes my decent C-cups look like small Ds. 

Looking good wasn’t the plan. 

Tomorrow is laundry day. If I’m being honest, last Saturday was laundry day, but finding the motivation to do anything besides dance has been hard lately. I have a mountain of clothes beside my dresser, waiting to be washed. I just don’t want to do it.

Walking into my closet four hours ago, I was lucky to find a clean pair of jeans. The V-neck shirt I paired with them was a bonus, and the singular bra in my bureau that I haven’t worn since my first year of college was all I needed to make myself semi-decent looking. Actually, I needed underwear too, but my period-panties were not an option. Even I have my limits, and big granny-style lines peering through my skin-tight jeans cross them.

“Can I buy you a drink?” he asks, that infectious grin eating away what little resolve I have. My intention tonight wasn’t to find a playmate, but when life gives you lemons… 

I cross my legs at the knees, allowing my ankle to brush up against his white dust-covered boots paired with crisp blue jeans and a black button-down shirt. The contrast between dirty and clean is comical, but the ruggedness adds an extra checkmark to the sexy boxes.

Nice Smile. Check.

Hard-working. Probably, so check.

Toned arms. Check. Legs. Check. And possibly every other part of him. Check.

Big hands. Big feet. Check. Check. I glance down at his jeans and smirk. Check.

“I’ll take a martini. Dirty.”

“Coming right up.” My new friend holds his hand up, and the purple-haired chick who has avoided me all night makes a bee-line to us. She set her sights on the men in the room hours ago. I’d say it was a strategic move by the looks of the wad of cash in her back pocket.

“What can I get you, Sunshine?” She smiles brightly and leans against the bartop. The girl is short, and with the way she’s standing, we have a clear view down her shirt. I’m impressed when my new friend’s gaze never strays from her face, not even for a glimmer of a second. Brownie points for you, mister.

“I’ll take a Miller Lite, and the lady would like a dirty martini.”

The bartender nods and sets both drinks on the counter a few moments later. I pinch the stem of my glass between my fingers to slide it closer. I take a sip, smiling into the rim because my martini is perfect. Strong enough to make my head swim but sweet enough that it doesn’t make me want to puke from the taste of alcohol. 

“Do you have a name?” If I’m going home with this man, I need to know what to yell into the pillow. I’ve got a feeling that this guy knows how to please a woman. He’s got this aura to him. One that sends electricity bouncing between us. 

I need a good lay. 

The past few guys I’ve hooked up with were horrible. I know how that sounds, but don’t judge me. I’m young. Stressed. And I need a healthy way to let out my frustrations.

Lately, though, I’ve been in a rut. The last guy I slept with was terrible. I’m talking epically bad. He was into bondage—which could have been fun—but he left me tied up in a hotel room, and the maid had to set me free. To make matters worse, he never found that magic spot. 

The one before that, his whole body shook like he was having a seizure when he came. And he snorted. Fucking snorted! 

The guy before that one wouldn’t have sex in any position besides reverse cowgirl. Not only is that position my least favorite, but he took FOREVER to come. My legs were killing me. I could barely walk after, which he, of course, took as a sign of amazing sex. 

Not. Even. Close.

The stories get worse and worse. It sucks because I never used to have this problem. The guys in New York, they knew how to dick a girl down. These Florida boys, though… 

I sigh into my glass and take another sip. Moving back to my hometown was the best decision for my family… I think… but the worst decision for my vag.

“I’m heartbroken.” My new friend presses his hands over his chest like a lovesick cartoon character. He’s got big hands. Big fingers. Girl! Hide those dirty thoughts behind your glass before you come across as a deprived cat in heat! “Am I really that forgettable?” 

I smirk and shrug. Maybe I’d recognize something about this guy if I weren’t four martinis deep. As I sit, the only thing that rings a bell is my needy vagina, aching for something besides my pink vibrator to touch it.

My new friend chuckles, his head shaking in bemusement. “Damn. And here I thought our rooftop conversations made a lasting impression.”

Rooftop conversations? 

No. It can’t be…I look at the man before me through new eyes. The Carter Rigdon I knew in high school was pudgy, with a baby face and this weird haircut that made him look like Rosie O’Donnell’s second cousin.

“Carter? Holy shit! You look great.” I stand, needing to rise onto my tip-toes, even in heels, and wrap my arms around his neck. He’s taller than I remember, his body firm underneath my touch. My head swims in a pool of confusion, lust, and vodka as I try to wrap it around the fact that this hunk is the guy I used to know.

I’ve known Carter since grade school, when his parents moved four houses down from me. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that boy would turn into this.

Carter pulls me into him, lighting my body up in ways I never thought possible. His arms wrap around my waist, and his frame swallows me. When he lets go, I’m hot. Achy. And have officially upped his hotness from a seven to a ten. Watch out, people! My vag is on a mission!

“How’ve you been?” he asks, taking the newly open barstool beside me.

I smile and take a large sip of my drink. It’s cold, and I need to douse my insides with something before I spontaneously combust. “I’ve been okay. Moved back home last year when shit with the family started going south. Dad had a heart attack back in September. It’s been a rough ride ever since.”

Carter frowns, and even that is sexy. Mercy, what is wrong with me tonight? My hormones are off the charts, like a preteen who’s just discovered herself. 

“Damn, that sucks. I’m sorry about your dad.”

“He’s good now.” I twist the stem of my glass between my fingers. I need to pace myself if I’m going to make it through the night. The last thing I need is my stomach to empty itself mid-thrust because I can’t hold my liquor. That’s never happened, but considering the bad luck streak I’ve been on, I don’t want to leave anything to chance tonight. “Grams was moved to hospice, though. About three weeks ago.”

“Aves.” Carter pulls me into another hug. He smells like Old Spice shampoo. I’ve always liked the scent. 

“It’s okay. She has cancer, so we knew it could happen.”

Carter drops his arms and takes my hand. The little squeeze he gives me shoots a bolt of lightning straight to my vag. Forgive me, Grams! 

I cross my legs because I am not an uncivilized cavewoman. I can control the urge to rip his clothes off. I can! 

“Grams would probably die if she saw how hot you’ve gotten.”

Carter’s lips lift in the corners. He drops my hand and reaches for his beer. No more than five seconds pass between the time his skin leaves mine to when he opens his mouth to speak again, but I feel every pound of my heart and every ounce of nervous adrenaline pumping through my veins. 

Making my intent to fuck known to a stranger is easy. But telling Carter… the guy I never saw myself lusting for, the guy who dried my tears when Jimmy Dumont—my high school boyfriend—cheated on me, the guy who rode his bike to the CVS when I got my first period to get me tampons in the sixth-grade… 

This takes nerve-racking to a new level.

“Avery Andrioli thinks I’m hot.” He smirks.

My cheeks flush an embarrassing shade of red, but I hold his gaze. I’m not the same girl he knew in high school who shied away from life. New York hardened me and shaped me into the woman I am today, and this girl knows what she wants. 

I’m not leaving until I get it. 

I lean forward and slide my hand up Carter’s thigh. If he’s surprised by my advance, he hides it well, holding that irritatingly sexy smirk along with my gaze. “I think you and I could have some fun tonight, if you can handle me.”

Carter chuckles and shifts to pull his wallet out of his back pocket. He drops a fifty-dollar bill on the counter, almost double what our drinks cost.  

He tangles his fingers with mine and leads me outside. Once we’re outside, Carter pins me up against the wall and presses his mouth to mine, his tongue moving with expert precision, turning me into a wet mess. 

Carter grips my thighs and lifts me. I wrap my legs around him instinctively, and the bulge I speculated about presses against my center through his jeans. I rock my hips, moaning into his mouth while his fingers pull at my roots. 

If I wasn’t so lost in this kiss, I’d be embarrassed at how close I am to coming from a little lap love and lip-locking. Dear God, I hope Carter is as good in bed as he is at kissing.

Carter tugs at my roots again, forcing my lips to leave his. Normally, I can barely brush my hair without it making me wince in pain. My scalp is a wimp. Tender and always unhappy with life, but the way Carter pulls at my hair, wrapping my long auburn strands around his fists, is a good kind of hurt.

“Are you sure? Once we cross this line, Aves, there’s no going back.”

I press my lips to his again for a quick kiss. It doesn’t come close to satisfying the ache taking over my body. “We crossed that line when I felt your dick rub against me through your pants. I want you to fuck me, Carter.”

Carter straightens and adjusts himself through his jeans, then extends his hand for me. I take it, feeling like a kid again, all giddy and hot. 

“I took an Uber tonight,” I tell him.

“My car is across the street and I’ve only had one beer.” 

Our fingers link together, not something I usually let happen with a one-night stand, but considering our history, I let it slide. He clicks the unlock button on his key fob as we reach the parking lot. Anxious bees buzz inside me. I’ve had my fair share of hookups over the years. All of them started off exciting, even those that fell flat. This nervousness is new. Not necessarily bad, just different. 

“Your place or mine?” he asks, opening the door of his Toyota Corolla for me. 

“Mine.”

Tropes

  • Second chance
  • Friends to lovers
  • Learning to love
  • It was always you
  • Shares cases
  • The dare/bet

Trigger Warnings

Thank you for reading In Temptation. Please be warned some content may be triggering for some readers: sexual conent, brief mention of family members dying, ballroom dancing, stress of passing a test, heartbreak, difficulty with fertility.

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