Single mom Jade Moran isn’t ready for any big changes in either her horrible ’70s kitchen or her romantic life. Her ex did a number on her, and she isn’t interested in getting hurt again. But when she meets a super-hot contractor, she wonders if avocado appliances are on the way out and romance is on the way in.
Max Gianopoulis doesn’t have a clue why he’s so enchanted by Jade. She’s almost as big a mess as her kitchen, and he’s a guy who likes to keep things simple. He let himself get involved with a previous client, and he’s not interested in repeating the experience. But Jade has turned up the flirty heat—and he can’t keep his hands off her. With everything moving too fast and coming too easy, Jade’s insecurities kick into high gear. She’s not sure she can trust another man again—and she definitely doesn’t believe in magic.
Finished with her coffee, she jiggled the cup and glanced at the trash can a few feet to her left. Looking back at him, she smiled, lifted a single eyebrow, and hooked it. It almost went in, instead rolling around on the rim. She shrugged then, saying, “I gave it a shot.”
“Is it your policy to give things a shot?” he asked, suddenly feeling as if the air around them was charged.
“Some things,” she allowed.
“What sort of things?”
“Things that seem like they might be worth the effort.”
“What about men?”
“What about them?” she asked, stilling, her eyes wary.
“Do you tend to give them a shot?”
“Not usually,” she said, shaking her head and pressing her lips together.
“But it’s possible.”
“Anything’s possible.” She wasn’t giving anything away, but Max dug in.
“Does your daughter’s approval weigh in at all?” He was grinning now—he couldn’t help himself.
“Maybe a little, but she’s thirteen. Our standards are different.”
“What, you don’t like ruggedly handsome men who carry Butterfingers and have a vampire connection?”
Her eyes widened with interest. “Ooh, yeah. Do you know any guys like that?”
She smiled at him, leaning back in her chair, and he smiled back.
They talked for another hour, only touching on her kitchen, and by the end, one of them—he wasn’t sure which—suggested that he should just come and look at it and they’d figure everything out then. They settled on Saturday, and he watched her walk away, imagining a short cape and tall boots.
He’d been attracted to plenty of women, but Jade fascinated him. The way she was confident in herself but shy with strangers, the way that shyness eventually warmed to sassiness, even, surprisingly, the fact that she was a single mom to a thirteen-year-old daughter. A hot, kick-ass mom. Honestly, he didn’t care if he was ready for that reality or not. He suddenly had a fierce desire to get this job—he was, in fact, desperate for her to give him a shot—and that didn’t bode well at all.
His willpower was but a vague memory now, easily vanquished by talk of cosplay and possibilities. As of right now, all bets were off.
Alyssa is a Texas girl who dreams of British accents. She currently lives between Houston and Galveston with her husband, two sons, and their adventure dogs, Indiana Jones and Short Round. She does her writing with an ice-cold can of Dr. Pepper, or when she's feeling spicy, a handful of Hot Tamales. She fangirls over Masterpiece Mystery, good Tex-Mex, and boxed chocolates. And, of course, books.
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