Author: Tracey Alvarez
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.
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?
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.
A not gentle, not polite, not going to stop thinking about it for days 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.