Author: Tracey Alvarez
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 19, 2017
Marriage and happily-ever-after are for suckers…
Joe Whelan was fooled once on the way to the altar, and the Irish doctor isn’t about to be an eejit over a woman again. Especially not one who witnessed his broken-hearted humiliation years ago. He won’t be swayed by the sparks that fly whenever his eyes meet MacKenna’s or distracted by her sweet kisses. The only thing Joe cares about is preventing his sister from making the biggest marital mistake of her life.
MacKenna Jones loves a good wedding—so long as she’s sewing the bride’s gown, not walking down the aisle herself. Falling for Joe Whelan’s sexy bedside manner wasn’t on the cards, neither was a seven-day road trip with him to Las Vegas, the Marriage Capital of the World. When the stakes are so high, will these two gun-shy cynics ever say I Do?
Listen to the Saying I Do soundtrack here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLbJdPvEBMsygch3is5GjD4Ib_yXxSUTdB
Mac continued to gaze lustfully into the all-marble bathroom and giant tub that could easily hold a wedding party of six. As much as she wanted to soak in a tub filled with bubbles, if she wasn’t to be a complete wreck meeting Joe’s family later, she needed to crawl beneath those sheets and sleep for at least an hour.
“Shower and sleep,” she said. “I’m on an unstoppable trajectory to get clean and unconscious.”
He grinned that sexy, promising a good time grin, and she nearly caved. Before Mac changed her mind, she ducked into the bathroom and shut the door. Locked it. Keeping temptation out of reach—for her, not him. Tapping her phone, she selected her favorite playlist and cranked up the volume. Nothing like Freddy Mercury’s soaring vocal plea for someone to love to set the mood for a refreshing, loooongshower.
Mac sang along—too bad if Joe didn’t like her voice—and took her time under the steaming-hot jets while Freddy gave way to Madonna, Bryan Adams, and Simple Minds.
Once her fingers started to prune, she relented and got out, pouncing on the free bottle of expensive body lotion. While Cyndi told the world about girls just wanting to have fun, Mac finished slathering on the lotion. She’d been a little premature turning down the opportunity to mess up the sheets with Joe because parts of her were very refreshed.
She flung open the bathroom door, shimmying everything she had, the chorus on her lips—and met the startled gaze of Joe, beer bottle in hand…and two other men.
One sat on the sofa, the other reclined on their bed, beer balanced on his flat stomach. Three pairs of eyes locked on her assets, jaws sagged, followed by wide, appreciative smiles by the two strangers. Joe turned a murderous stare at the two men—who were obviously his brothers, judging by their same coloring and bright blue eyes.
Mac froze momentarily, like a possum in a hunter’s spotlight, a flight or fight response kicking in, even though in this case, embarrassment would kill her before the adrenaline overdose. She bit down on the urge to shriek like a train whistle and slapped an attitude-infused hand on her waist instead. What was the point of rushing away when men had a photographic memory for boobs and bums? They’d be retelling this story for years.
“You must be Joe’s brothers,” she said. “Nice to meetcha.” As if she met her boyfriend’s family bare-assed every day of the week.
“Pleasure is all ours,” said the brother from the bed, lifting his beer in a silent toast. “I’m Kyle.”
“Luke,” the older of the two men said, from the sofa. “We brought beer.”
Both men, after their initial surprise, met her gaze squarely without their gazes lowering to her…assets. Now if she could just figure out how to make a graceful exit…
Joe solved the issue by hauling the gold-and-purple bed runner off the comforter and crossing the room in double time to wrap it around her, using the bulk of his body to block his brothers’ view.
“Flippin’ hell, Mac,” he muttered, tucking the tail of fabric between her breasts.
His voice was gruff, but not with the chastisement she’d assumed. His face told her he was caught between laughter, annoyance, and possessive arousal. Suddenly, she wanted the Whelan brothers gone. Suddenly, she didn’t need a nap, she just needed Joe.
Music thumped from the direction of the bottom apartment. Joe cocked his head at the synthesized beat, his lips curving against his will into a smile as he recognized the late Whitney Houston singing about wanting to dance with somebody. He glanced at the darkened top apartment, expecting to see Rutna—who was even tinier than MacKenna—shoot out of the front door in a rolling ball of fury at the music volume. But the song continued without neighborlyinterference, so Joe headed down the path.
All the lights were on inside the lower apartment, the living room drapes wide open. Joe got a perfect view of MacKenna clutching an imaginary mic and dancing around the room. She still had on the leggings from earlier in the day, but she’d lost the baggy sweater and instead wore a skimpy camisole. And Holy Mother of God, she’d ditched her bra. Less than ten seconds of watching her breasts bounce and sway as she moved in time to the music and he was rock hard, his dick being strangled by his compression shorts. MacKennadid some sort of twerking move, her perfect jiggling butt cheeks aimed at the window. He bit back a groan.
Was she trying to kill him?
MacKenna whipped around—still not spotting him gawping at her like a peeping Tom, thankfully—and scooped up a black cat from the armchair.
Oh. She’d been twerking for the cat.
The thought made the reflection of himself in the window grin like a loon.
Diablo, Mrs. Dixon’s chubby fur baby, who couldn’t be accommodated in the nursing home, lived with Holly and Ford part time and stayed part time with Rutna or whoever else would feed him. That Diablo would allow MacKenna to grab his paw and boogie another circuit of the room with him proved the woman must have some kinship with the sly feline creature.
Diablo, deciding he was done being a dancing queen, pulled his paw from her grip and lashed out with his claws. MacKenna swore, dropping the cat like a hot potato and cupping her boob in one hand. She also chose that moment to look up from the retreating cat to see Joe standing outside her window.
The window frame was above crotch level, so at least she couldn’t see the evidence of his lustful spying. He raised a hand in greeting then pointed in the direction of the front door. Her jaw sagged and “how long have you been standing there?” might as well have been stenciled across her face, but she strode out of the living room.
Stretching the hoodie down over one helluva boner, Joe waited for the front door to open. Whitney had given way to U2’s Bono still not finding what he was looking for. Something he had in common with his fellow Dubliner.
Feet moving of their own accord, Mac stomped over to him. “You can learn a lot about someone in a short amount of time, and I’ve learned this about your sister already—if you push her too hard too fast, she’ll dig in her heels. So back the hell off for a bit. You’re too heavy-handed.”
His jaw bunched, and suddenly he wasn’t leaning against the door anymore—she was—with Joe’s big hands still clamped on her arms, which was how he’d twisted her around and pinned her.
“Heavy-handed, am I?”
Deeper and rougher than his usual silky tone with a hint of Ireland, his accent came out in force. It wasn’t the voice of a doctor with a charming bedside manner, but the voice of a man who could walk through the rougher parts of Dublin with confidence.
The word came out high-pitched like a chick’s peep because his grip had loosened on her arms. Both his thumbs stroked over the curve of her biceps, and, dear God—she couldn’t for the life of her stop a delicious shiver from skimming down to her toes. Oh. And the shiver made a couple of pit stops at her nipples along the way.
Her breath shuddered out on a gasp. Even though she knew how to break away from a man by inflicting enough pain to ensure he wouldn’t grab her again, Mac couldn’t do anything but curl her toes and stare at the working of Joe’s Adam’s apple.
She licked suddenly dry lips. “You, ah, need to use a gentler touch.”
“Do I, darlin’?”
The mean streets of Dublin had left his voice, and a new tone appeared. One she’d never heard from him. One that a tiny corner of her heart recognized with a skittering jump, conjuring up a fantasy of a stone cottage on a lonely, Irish cliff top, the sea roaring below and a man whispering Irish endearments in her ears.
His hands skimmed up her shoulders, and one finger traced the line of her jaw, coming to rest in the cleft of her chin. “That’s how you expect a man to handle you, no doubt. As if you were made of spun glass, and a kiss that was anything but gentle would shatter you.”
“A kiss won’t shatter me.” That didn’t make sense, but then nothing did when she could barely hear his words over the pounding bass and the pounding thrum of blood firing through her veins.
“Are you sure now? Because I’m not wantin’ to be gentle.”
He dipped his head and brushed his lips along the path his finger had taken a moment before. A total contradiction of his words. Mac’s stomach dropped in a giddying free fall, and her hands—which had found their way onto his hips—bunched in the soft wool of his sweater.
“Anyone ever tell you you talk too much?” she said.
When she’d meant to say, “I need you to kiss me, fool.”
Apparently, his diagnostic powers were good because he figured out what she needed, and he cupped one big hand behind her neck, lowering his mouth to hers. Warm, firm lips teased hers, not quite a kiss, more testing for reaction as he drew back a fraction, waiting for her to broach the hairbreadth of distance between them again. And with a ragged inhale, she did, parting her mouth slightly to draw him in deeper. If she was going to kiss Joe, then, dammit, it was going to be a good kiss. A grand kiss.
Tracey Alvarez is a USA Today Bestselling Author living in the Coolest Little Capital in the World (a.k.a Wellington, New Zealand). Married to a wonderfully supportive IT guy, she has two teens who would love to be surgically linked to their electronic devices.
Fuelled by copious amounts of coffee, she’s the author of contemporary romantic fiction set predominantly in New Zealand. Small-towns, close communities, and families are a big part of the heart-warming stories she writes. Oh, and hot, down-to-earth heroes—Kiwi men, in other words.
When she’s not writing, thinking about writing, or procrastinating about writing, Tracey can be found with her nose in her e-reader, nibbling on smuggled chocolate bars, or bribing her kids to take over the housework.