I’m so excited to share an excerpt from Jessica Lemmon’s upcoming release: Hard to Handle! I just finished reading this one in ONE sitting on Monday and really enjoyed it. There’s also a novella, Can’t Let Go, which goes into a little more detail about Sadie and Aiden’s relationship. Hard to Handle picks up a year after Can’t Let Go takes place.
Title: Hard to Handle
Author: Jessica Lemmon
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: October 01, 2013
ONCE BURNED Sadie Howard never dates a guy more than once-but Fate has other plans for her when it comes to Aiden Downey, the one that got away. Aiden loved her, left her, and broke her heart. Yet suddenly she’s bumping into him at every turn, driven to distraction by his wicked grin and rock-hard body. Now she can’t resist finishing what they started-as long as she doesn’t let herself fall in love . . . TWICE AS TEMPTING Aiden Downey threw away the best thing he ever had when he let Sadie go, and now he’s determined to win back the woman he’s always wanted. Sadie agrees to let him into her life-and her bed-as long as there are no strings attached. But Aiden’s not about to make the same mistake again. Can he convince her to take a second chance on a once-in-a-lifetime love?
Aiden guided Sadie to the house as she teetered on those pink stilts she called shoes. He had fond memories of her shoes. Fond because the added inches brought her within kissable reach. His heart gave an echoing ache. “You should take those off,” he said, stopping short of offering to carry her. He’d lifted her in his arms once before. One year ago. Felt more like a dozen.
“I’m fine,” she said, tipping again. Her argument was garbled but genuine.
“I assume your things are already in your room?” He tucked her against him as they stepped inside the cabin, then shut the door behind them. He also assumed their matchmaking friends had put them both upstairs. Since there were only two bedrooms on this floor, and since he was staying in the master on the right, he assumed Sadie’s was to the left.
She mumbled something and he moved to settle her into the recliner.
“No,” she protested, locking her arms around his neck. “I have to get out of this stupid dress.” She gazed up at him, her brown eyes slightly glassy.
Aiden swallowed thickly, taking in all that blonde hair falling in waves around her heart-shaped face. She always was beautiful. And those lips. She licked her bottom one and he was half-tempted to lean in for a taste.
She’s drunk, you idiot.
She started toward his room and he caught her hips and steered her away. “Not in there.”
She spun on him, narrowing her eyes. “Why not?”
Lie. But he couldn’t lie to Sadie. He never could. Even when it would have benefitted him the most. “Because my stuff’s in there,” he mumbled.
She blinked at him. He readied for a fight. “Fine. I’m too tired to argue. And I have to get this off.” She moved one hand to the bodice of her dress and wiggled it back and forth, sending her breasts jiggling inside the fitted top.
Aiden stared. Actually stared. Like when he’d found his older brother’s stash of Playboys for the first time. No one filled out their clothes like Sadie.
She cleared her throat and he jerked his eyes north. “Help me?”
He was being tested, here, in the cruelest way. She was asking him to undress her?
Exposing herself to him, and Aiden to her naked body? He couldn’t do it while sporting a woody or she’d cut him off at the knees. Drunk or not.
Aiden mentally tied a noose around his mojo. And pulled. “Sure thing.”
He followed her into the room and she dropped on the bed, falling back with an oomph! She toed at her shoes until they hit the floor. Aiden retrieved them, dangerous-looking spikes covered with winking rhinestones. How women walked in these things, he’d never know. Sadie told him once that because of her diminutive size she preferred the tallest shoes. He’d concurred at the time. Without them, Sadie only came to the middle of his chest. He was in favor of any contraption if it meant bringing her lips closer to his.
And now he was thinking of kissing her. Again.
He shook his head to wipe away the memories of the intense kisses they’d shared in the past: the sound of her truncated breaths against his ear, the feel of her fingernails spearing into his hair. He tracked back to the bed, jaw set, brain focused squarely on the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. He pulled back the covers intending to bury the tempting vision of her breasts bursting from the top of her dress, but she rolled onto her side before he could.
“Unzip,” Sadie demanded, her manicured nails fumbling at the back of her dress. When he hesitated, Sadie shot him a displeased look over her shoulder, crinkling her heavily made-up eyes at him.
Even sexier when she’s angry, he thought with a groan.
Jessica Lemmon writes sexy contemporary romance for Grand Central (Tempting the Billionaire, Hard to Handle). She is an artist, dreamer, former meateater, fun-loving, fast-talking wife, and a den mother to two dogs.