Author: Karla Doyle
Release Date: February 28, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance
More Info: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon US
Purchase: Amazon UK
Purchase: Amazon CA
Nia has one rule—don’t date neighbors. Simple, except the guy next door is single, handsome, and not inclined to close his blinds while naked. When her car dies, Conn takes “being neighborly” to a new level by offering a ride to her long-distance destination. Nia has resisted his looks and charm for months. Surely she can handle a few hours in his truck…
For months, Conn has blatantly put himself on display, hoping his pretty blonde neighbor would tire of secretly watching and come knock on his door for a cup of sugar—or more. No such luck—until an unusual opportunity arises. After a six-hour drive turns into a sweet-and-sexy weekend, Conn wants more than neighborly status with Nia. To get it, he must convince her to break the rule protecting her heart—by putting his on the line.
Conn bent and peered through the window, giving a light rap on the glass as he did. “Hey, neighbor.”
Her muffled “hello” was as soft as he imagined her skin and hair would be—if she ever let him close enough to find out. Her gloved hands gripped the hell out of the steering wheel. The keys dangled from the ignition. Small clouds formed and dissipated as she breathed the cold air. She darted another glance at him, but didn’t move.
“Everything okay, Nia?”
Her shoulders slumped and a larger puff of fog left her lips. “My car won’t start.”
Chalk this one up as a late Christmas present from the universe. He motioned at the passenger door. She nodded in response, so he opened it, stuck his head and shoulders inside. “I’m at your service. I can jump you or give you a ride.”
She squeaked—actually squeaked—and the frost melted from her expression. Oh, she was still pink in the cheeks, the color just didn’t look cold-weather induced. Maybe this New Year’s Eve wouldn’t completely suck after all.
But he didn’t grin, though it pained him greatly to hold it in. Any sign of wolfishness and she’d bolt again. That much he was pretty damn sure about. No problem. He could take it slow and easy.
“What happens when you try to start it up?”
“It goes click click click click click.”
Goddamn, she was cute. So much so, the grin almost got away from him. He nodded at the steering column. “Mind giving it a go so I can hear it? Not that I’m doubting the accuracy of your impression.”
“Oh god, of course. Sure.” She mumbled something under her breath while leaning forward to turn the key in the ignition. The Chevy clicked in rapid-fire succession.
“Okay, good enough. You can stop. I’m not a mechanic, but I’d wager it’s your starter. Maybe the solenoid.” A guess he’d already made, based on the operational status of the car’s lights and the adorable-as-hell sound effects she’d made.
“What’s a solenoid? Wait, better question—what are the odds I can get it fixed tonight?”
“Unless you have a mechanically inclined relative or close friend with access to automotive parts and a warm garage, I’d say zero.”
“What if you jump me—will that help?”
It’d help him, hell yes. But he couldn’t say that either. Not to a woman he didn’t know beyond some casual conversation and eight months of ogling from his side of their mutual property line.
“Nope. That only works for a low battery. And yours,” he nodded at the windshield, beyond which her headlights bounced off the fence, “seems to be working just fine.”
“Shit.” She slumped again. A cloud of curly fog rose as she sighed. “Thanks, Conn.”
Since moving in, she’d never called him by name. And man, did it sound good in her sweet voice. If she thought he could close the car door and walk away after hearing that, she could think again.
“Give me ten minutes to toss my stuff in the house, feed Zeus and I’ll give you a lift wherever you need to go.”
She didn’t raise her head, but turned it enough to look at him. A curtain of long, blonde hair obscured half her face. “Why?”
The eye he could see squinted at him. “Because it’s New Year’s Eve and I’m quite sure you have plans.”
Really now. This could get interesting. “And why would think that?” he asked while sliding onto her passenger seat and closing the door.
That move had her sitting straight. “What are you doing?”
“Oh my god, just no.” She shot from her seat and out of the car as if her cute little ass was on fire. When he didn’t follow suit, she leaned in and scowled at him. “Are you going to get out?” She rolled her eyes and huffed at his shrug. “Good lord, this is all I need.”
“See, now we’re getting somewhere. Tell me what you need, Nia. A ride to…?”
“I do not need to ride you.” Forget squeaking, this time she shrieked. Then clapped one gloved hand over her mouth, and with the other hand, slammed the driver’s side door.
He choked down the gut-busting laugh that threatened at the base of his throat. But when she reached the door of her house and realized she’d left the keys in the ignition, the dam burst. One loud laugh erupted from his lips. No doubt that was going to get him in serious shit with his neighborette. He’d just have to make it up to her.