Liselle isn’t looking for a hero, especially not at the ripe old age of forty-three, but when John saves her from a blizzard, she can’t help falling just a little bit in love. He’s sexy, strong, and ex-military, with a sassy niece and four older sisters who clearly adore him.
Even so, looks alone aren’t enough to convince her that he can be trusted. After all, her brother and father tormented her for years—she knows better than to think a man can make her happy.
When John comes to her rescue, will she let old habits rule? Or will she let him heat her up and melt the fear in her heart?
She shifted, still trying to get her legs warm. Stupid wet jeans, she thought. “You shouldn’t apologize for feeling protective. I had no idea what to expect, either.” She shrugged, then froze as the movement pushed her ass into his groin. That was definitely his cock.
He sucked in a breath and moved his hand to her hip, holding her still. “Easy. We don’t want to damage anything here.” He sounded both amused and strained.
“Sorry, sorry,” she choked out, going rigid.
“Hey, calm down. No big deal,” he murmured.
His voice in her ear was not helping. She tried to relax and bit her lip, holding as still as she could, but she was still chilly. A violent shiver wracked her body. Her hips pushed into him, despite her best efforts. He grunted and she flushed hot with dismay as she tried again to stop moving.
“I can’t help it, I’m still really cold,” she muttered, hooking a hand over the back of the sofa to give herself something safe to hold onto. How the hell could she still be freezing when a beautiful, amazing, sweet man was holding her against his insanely hot body? She wished she could thump her head against something hard. Repeatedly. Until she had control of herself again.
“Hey, it’s okay. Relax,” he said, pulling her hand back down into the blanket. He laughed, dropping his face into the nape of her neck. “I’m the one who should be apologizing to you.”
“What? Why?” she asked, biting her lip again. Maybe the pain would keep her from injuring the poor man.
“Uh, well, I’m just trying to warm you up and my body is giving me a hard time,” he said, voice taut with some unspoken emotion. “Because you’re really beautiful.”
She stopped breathing. He thought she was beautiful? “What—” She had to clear her throat and try again. “You think I’m pretty?”
She could almost hear him frown.
“You don’t think you are?” he murmured, tracing a finger over her cheek.
She shook her head. She was in her forties. Guys did not think women her age were pretty, particularly not when they were a bit plump and somewhat short. It was a rule, or something.
“That’s crazy. You are. You have gorgeous hair, so long and shiny it moves like water through my fingers.” He demonstrated, picking some up and letting it slide to her shoulder. “And your skin is pink when you’re warm and you smell like vanilla. And you’re soft and curvy in all the right places.”
She shivered again, trying really hard to believe she wasn’t hallucinating from hypothermia.
He continued. “But aside from all that, I can tell you’re beautiful inside, too, which is more important than all the stuff on the outside. I knew as soon as I saw you with Beth. Your face when she hugged you—” He broke off, voice thick.
Liselle couldn’t believe he was saying these things out loud. “Am I dreaming?”
He chuckled, tightening his arms around her for a moment. “No, of course not. But I must be insane, telling you those things when we barely know each other. I can’t seem to help myself.” He cupped her cheek, pressing the warmth of his hand into her face. She shivered a little, but not because she was cold anymore.
He cursed softly. “You’re still chilly. You need to get out of these wet pants and skirt.” He moved his hand to the waistband of her leggings. “Okay?”
Liselle was too stunned to say anything or explain that she wasn’t shivering from the cold anymore. Instead, like a ninny, she nodded her head. He popped the button and slid down the zipper of her skirt. She helped him shove it over her hips. He tossed it over the back of the sofa and hooked his thumbs under the waistband of her leggings.
“This okay?” he asked, voice husky.
She didn’t trust herself to speak. She nodded and lifted her hips, feeling clumsy and shell-shocked. Was this really happening?
His breath in her ear was hot as he eased the soft fabric down over her hips. The thin silk of her panties did nothing to hide the blazing warmth of his erection against her ass, but she wasn’t going to mention it if he wasn’t. For the first time in what felt like years she was warm. Gloriously warm and almost … content, except for the way her libido was yelling: hot guy here! Woo!
John shifted behind her, pulling her leggings out from under the blanket and tossing them to the floor. He settled the fleece over them again and smoothed his hands down her arms.
Liselle trembled, trying not to rub against the blazing heat burning into her backside. She wanted to … oh did she want to. She wanted to turn around and kiss him and take him into her arms and never let go, but she had to remember this man wasn’t for her. He was too nice. He had his whole life ahead of him and she was nothing but trouble.