Resisting the sexy bad boy next door should be easy…shouldn’t it?
Tabby has spent her life following the rules and creating an orderly, regimented life. Nothing is out of place, from her landscaping, to her business, to her nonexistent love life. All that changes, however, when a tattoo-covered, motorcycle-riding bad boy moves in next door and throws her perfectly ordered life into chaos.
Gray has always been wild, a guy who values his freedom above all else. It’s left him with a string of one-night stands and no intention of ever getting tied down. But as soon as he meets his nerdy and uptight neighbor, he can’t deny how badly he wants to see her come undone. He doesn’t want forever, but a few nights can’t hurt.
The more time they spend together, the more the sizzling attraction between them grows. Even as they remind themselves it can’t go anywhere, both Tabby and Gray find themselves wondering…what if? Will they give up and go back to their own lonely lives, or will they risk it all and realize there’s a reason why opposites attract?
General Release Date: 23rd June 2020
How is it possible for a man to be that attractive?
Tabby curled into the small chair set on her porch, a cup of tea between her palms as she watched her neighbor in front of their duplex in a way she had to convince herself was not creepy.
Gray Conners. The motorcycle-riding, tattoo-covered nuisance who had turned her life upside down since he’d moved in three weeks before.
She missed her old neighbor, the sweet elderly lady, Gayle, who never stayed up past eight and always kept the shrubs out front properly trimmed. Unfortunately, Gayle had moved in with her daughter, and the hoodlum standing in the driveway with his hair more than a little mussed and his pants undone but still somehow hiding everything important had moved in.
The tall blonde woman with a chest that seemed to defy the laws of physics set a hand on Gray’s bare torso. Gayle had never done that either. She’d been past the days of early morning walks of shame, but Gray liked to parade them past Tabby’s duplex every morning.
And despite knowing that—or maybe because of it—Tabby always drank her tea out front.
She justified it by reminding herself she’d used her front porch to sip her morning tea since well before he’d moved in. She liked to start her day with the quiet and peace of a rising sun. The fact that it now left her in the perfect position to see Gray’s latest conquest—and usually him in some state of sinful undress—was just a lucky bonus.
The blonde—Haylee from what Tabby had overheard before—went in for a kiss. Gray didn’t often have repeats, but Haylee had been there more than a few times. He must like her.
Gray gave her one, but he pulled away so fast that she tried to follow. Then again, Gray struck Tabby as the type not to care for long entanglements. In fact, the number of times she’d watched that blonde leave was surprising.
And not at all jealousy inducing. If she wants to be stupid and let a man like that ruin her life, that’s her business.
Haylee turned and sauntered down the driveway—an actual, honest-to-god saunter, like she was walking a catwalk instead of a duplex driveway—with Gray staying put until she reached her car, parked on the street.
Gray had his thumbs tucked into the belt loops of his unbuttoned jeans, his chest and feet bare as though he’d pulled on the minimum amount of clothing he had to without worrying about being arrested.
And no matter how annoying the man was, how he pushed every neurotic button Tabby had, she couldn’t deny he was nice to look at. He had dark brown hair, pushed back out of his face and shorter on the sides. A beard covered his jawline, dense enough to give him that wild edge but short enough to avoid the mountain-man look. His eyes were a bright icy blue that shone in the darkness no matter how far away he stood. Tattoos covered his muscular frame, all the way from neck to knuckles. They had bright pops of color mixed with deep blacks, many blending into the next. A wolf sat on his hip, its howling face over his defined abs and disappearing below the waist of his pants that sat dangerously low.
Just how far down do those tattoos go?
The thought made her take her bottom lip between her teeth, distracted by images she couldn’t help of him and some faceless girl, of the things they must have gotten up to the night before. Tabby didn’t have much experience, so she had no doubt that her imagination was as strait-laced as could be, but that didn’t steal her desire as she considered her very vanilla fantasies.
Before she could stop it, the cup of tea slipped from her hands and crashed to the porch, shattering.
Tabby yanked her foot up to avoid the scalding liquid, cursing herself for the mistake. When she lifted her gaze, she found that her frustratingly distracting neighbor was staring right at her with a smirk that said she was in way over her head.
Gray had never found the whole nerdy thing all that sexy, so why was it that he couldn’t quite stop thinking about his neighbor?
She dressed without flair, in disappointingly shapeless functional tops and leggings. Her long brown hair always hung down around her shoulders, not wavy enough to be considered curly but not straight, either. Thick black-framed glasses perched on her nose, making her look young and damned smart. She wasn’t that young, not according to his aunt Cindy, the landlady. Tabby Kasey was twenty-five and had lived there for seven years. On paper, she was the perfect neighbor.
In reality, her sharp looks and never-happy glares said they didn’t mesh.
Her perfectly kept porch with its fresh herbs all in matching pots without a speck of soil out of place said it, too.
Gray wasn’t a perfect sort of person.
Still, each time she didn’t melt for him, each time she didn’t give in to his smile to win her over, Gray found himself just a bit more tempted.
His aunt, who owned both sides of their duplex, had warned him about the sweet but strung-tight girl who lived next door. He’d expected someone he hated, and despite all the reasons he should, he found her far more interesting than he had any right to.
Sure, he knew she sat outside most mornings, but ignoring her little voyeur kink was just good manners. Plus, he was perverse enough to enjoy the audience. What did that say about him, though? That he suspected he liked his neighbor’s eyes on him more than he liked Haylee, the girl he’d had sex with?
Except when she went so far as to drop her cup, he couldn’t keep up the entire ‘I don’t see you’ game anymore.
And seeing the red flush up her cheeks? Worth it.
“Enjoying the show?” He leaned his shoulder against the corner of the duplex, just off her porch. Close enough to get a good look at her but not so close he crowded her. He wasn’t sure if crowding would backfire or not with her.
Besides, he wasn’t even trying for anything. It took one good look at her to know they didn’t fit, that they’d do nothing but annoy each other.
That didn’t mean he couldn’t flirt, though. Flirting was like a battle, a wonderful back and forth that never failed to draw him in, and Tabby seemed like one hell of a fun opponent.
“It’s not my fault. You’re the one out here putting on a show.” She spoke in a low voice, as if he should be embarrassed by the topic.
“You’re out here every morning. You must enjoy it.”
“Hardly.” She rose to her feet, a large baggy sweater hanging on her thin frame with a pair of black leggings beneath that gave him no real sense of her figure. Too bad he doubted he’d get a chance for a more hands-on feel. “If you’ll excuse me?”
Funny how such a polite phrase could be muttered with so much fuck you in her tone.
Suddenly, he wanted to mess up her life a bit. He wanted to put askew a few pieces of her perfectly organized world, to see her smile and laugh and come undone under his hands and his lips. A girl strung that tight would be so much fun.
“I’m having a few people over next Friday. Wouldn’t be very neighborly for me not to invite you.” The moment the invitation left his lips, he wondered what the hell he was doing. Sure, she could use some time around his sorts of people, but that didn’t make it a good idea.
Her eyes widened in surprise before she withdrew. “No, thank you.”
And there it was again, that impressive ability to make a polite statement sound like a curse. Not that her answer surprised him. She didn’t strike him as the stopping-in-for-a-beer sort of girl.
She gathered up the large pieces of ceramic from her broken cup before slinking back into her house, leaving him alone in the early morning light, the scent of her chamomile tea lingering.
Her answer was for the best, but damn if he wasn’t still disappointed.