Running into a man once is an accident. Twice is a coincidence. Three times makes it fate... right?
Unless he is now your grumpy boss who holds the future of your fading dance career in his hands. And you hooked up with him when he was just a mysterious stranger rescuing you…
My life is a hot mess. I’m Dakota Tanner and I speak before I think, I spend before I earn, and I live totally in the moment. Which is why I’m down and out in need of a major life makeover. Cue the hot guy who has it all together and makes my toes curl in bed. Who then disappears before I wake up. When he reappears five months later as head coach of a pro football team he wants a secret romance (aka a no-one-can-ever-know bangfest) while I’m a nanny for his wild-child daughters.
I should say no. But he just might be my one true love … or my biggest mistake yet.
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The plan had a flaw.
I hadn’t counted on someone being right at the bottom of the railing, pressed against it, holding a drink.
There was no way to stop myself. I tried, attempting to jump off the railing, but my timing was off. I was going too fast, and before I could maneuver, I just plowed into the back of him. As if he had sensed movement behind him, he turned exactly at the moment of collision. My center of gravity was off and I was falling head down.
I took an elbow to the chin.
And a martini in the face.
Vodka went into my mouth. Not bad.
Vodka went up my nose. Not great.
Vodka went in my eye. That freaking sucked. “Ow!”
I grabbed the guy around the midsection and tried to find my feet. My eyes were closed against the blinding, stinging liquid. Damn it. It was a dirty martini. Olive juice on top of vodka really was a bad combination. In my eye, anyway. I licked it off my lips.
“Are you okay?”
I couldn’t see shit, eyes watering viciously and still primarily closed, but I managed to right myself to a standing position. “I think so.”
Except for the fact that a giant manhand was on my face, attempting to wipe away the spilled drink. It almost made me lose my balance all over again.
I took a step back to escape the swiping.
The man knew my name. Thank God. That would be way less embarrassing than running into a total stranger. Unless it was the landlord because I owed him two hundred bucks. I wasn’t sure I was ever going to know because my eyes were still stinging and I had zero visibility. But I used my knuckle and dried my tears.
My words died when I realized who this guy was.
It was him.
The man who had helped me escape my surprise wedding and taken me ice-skating at Rockefeller Center.
Standing there in a navy button-up shirt over tight black jeans that showed off his muscular build. Looking big and broad and sexy as hell. His eyes were wide in recognition.
“Dakota,” he murmured again, this time without question.
His tone was so pleased, so sensual, so intimate, like we had shared something more than one hot kiss under the mistletoe, that I nearly had an orgasm listening to him.
“It’s you,” I said, because I’ve always wanted to say that. They do it in movies all the time, and never, ever, in real life is there an opportunity to say something as dramatic as “it’s you.” But this was my chance and I took it.
I had been absolutely sure I would never see this man again and yet, here he was standing in front of me.
USA Today and New York Times bestselling author Erin McCarthy sold her first book in 2002 and has since written over seventy-five novels and novellas in the romance and mystery genres. Erin has a special weakness for high-heeled boots, martinis, and Frank Sinatra. She lives with her renovation-addicted husband (he built her a bar, so it’s all good!) and their blended family of kids and rescue dogs.
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