Willow Cavanaugh would be happy if she never saw cocky football star Nick Hamilton again. Sure, their fling was the hottest she’d had, but he’s way too much of a playboy to settle down with one woman. Plus, she’s got her heart set on a piece of real estate for her catering business—and Nick owns that property.
Nick may be at the top of his game, but all he wants is a second chance with Willow. When he offers to sell her his commercial space if she agrees to a series of dates with him, their chemistry is so scintillating that jumping back into bed seems like an inevitability. But Willow’s decided all’s fair in sex and blackmail. Little does she know, Nick’s playing to win…and she’s the prize.
“Come in here.” She grabbed hold of his hand and yanked him inside, shutting the door behind her and twisting the lock into place. “Let’s stay in tonight. It’s cold out there.”
“But...wherever you wanna go, darlin’, I’m game. My treat. You could order fifty lobsters for dinner, and I won’t protest.”
She grimaced. “I hate lobster.”
“You do not,” he said, frowning. “You grew up here. You can pluck a lobster straight out of the ocean from your dad’s deck.”
“Just because I grew up here doesn’t mean I have to love seafood.” She scrunched her nose. How she hated explaining this. No one ever got it. “I’ve never been a big fan. Lobster’s sorta freaky. Crab is too much work, not enough reward. I don’t mind shrimp, though. You can just pop them in your mouth and eat them.”
“I’ll take you out for all you can eat shrimp, then. You can stuff your face until you wanna burst,” he suggested eagerly.
Laughing, she shook her head. “I don’t think so. I’d rather stay in tonight with you.” She sobered up quick. The more they stayed in the better. This so- called relationship needed to stay quiet. One mention of it to the media, local or bigger, and all hell was going to break loose. As in, her father would have an epic freak-out.
“We always do that, though. Stay in.” He scowled. “Aren’t you getting bored?”
Oh, no. “Are you?” God, he was already tired of her. Really, she shouldn’t care. She should be glad. The faster she got rid of him, the better.
“No. Hell, no. Anytime I’m with you is good, Will.”
He reached for her, settling those big hands on her hips. Dipping his head, he bent his knees a little so he could peer directly into her eyes. “Are you getting sick of me yet?”
She pressed her lips together to keep from saying what she really wanted. I could never get sick of you. You’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me.
“No. Well. Your constant sweet talk is getting sort of old.” She rolled her eyes, putting on an act. Nothing Nick did when they were together was getting old.
His mouth curved upward. “What are you talking about?”
“All the darlin’s and the sugars and the princess remarks. I think you say that sort of thing so you never have to worry about the name of the girl you’re with,” she teased.
His face turned frightfully solemn. “You really think that?”
Uh oh. She shrugged. “I’ve wondered.”
“Really.” His fingers bit into her flesh, he held her so tight.
“Maybe?” He had her doubting herself. How did he do that?
Dope. He constantly keeps you on edge.
“Trust me, I always know who I’m with when I’m with you.” He kissed her—the softest, sweetest kiss ever. So soft, so sweet, she immediately wanted to weep when he pulled away to murmur against her lips, “Willow.”
He never called her Willow. Ever.
USA Today bestselling author Karen Erickson writes what she loves to read - sexy contemporary romance. Digitally published since 2006, she's a native Californian who lives in the foothills below Yosemite with her husband and three children.
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As part of her Release Day Launch, Karen is giving one winner an eCopy of GAME FOR MARRIAGE. You can check out my review of the book here.