I used to think that if you could combine all three into one female, you’d have the perfect woman. The other guys in the Single Dads Club razz me for wearing the crown of the forever bachelor. The one who’ll be in his seventies chasing down young hotties in his wheelchair.
Then why the hell does Ava Pearson—an outdoorsy girl, a brunette, and a woman who screams stability and responsibility—seem to be the only woman on my mind lately?
Especially when I’ve got enough obligations without adding any complications to the mix—my son, my bar…well, that’s about it. But that’s enough for a guy like me.
It’s the cupcakes. It’s gotta be the cupcakes she bakes that keep me coming back for more. After all, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, right? Well, it’s apparently a direct target to his dick, too.
Did I forget to mention that she’s my buddy’s daughter…another member’s daughter?
Ava might say she can handle being friends-with-benefits, but I’m not sure she can. Unfortunately for her, I’m too selfish of a prick to care—until I do.
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Excerpt: I slide in and search for any sign of the spunky brunette who’s always on my case. She’s nowhere to be found, so I tiptoe further back, noticing to my dismay the cupcake case empty.
A thud echoes throughout the quiet space. “Fuck!” There’s some more grumbling I can’t make out and then, “Where the hell is it? Stupid, Ava, so stupid. Why did you ever think you could do this?”
I should let her know I’m here.
“Hello? Yes. This is Ava Pearson from Mad Batter.” Another pause. “My power just went out. Yeah. I don’t know where a fuse box is.” The flashlight moves and shines right past me.
You’re being a dick. Let her know you’re here and help her my inner self keeps repeating.
I click the green button on my phone again.
“Ugh. Hold on a second.” The lighted phone pulls away from her face, she presses ignore. “Ugh, asshole.” Then places it back to her cheek. “Sorry, where would I find the fuse box?”
“My guess is back in the storage room,” I say.
She jumps so far back, she trips over something and falls, her phone scattering along the floor.
I bend down and pick it up.
“Ma’am. Ma’am.” Frank’s never sounded so scared.
“Hey, Frank. It’s Dane. No, I got it no need for the fire department to come down. Yeah, I saw from across the street. We’ll call back if we need you guys. Yeah, see you on Trivia night.”
I click the red button and turn on the flashlight on her phone.
She’s getting to her feet, brushing off her ass after tripping on a bag of flour.
“Here.” I hold my hand out for her, but she refuses to take it.
“I’m fine. Knocking would be the polite thing to do.” She blocks the light from the flashlight with her arm and I lower it a little.
“Well, I’m an asshole so you shouldn’t expect much.” I shrug, taking her phone with me into the storage room.
“You don’t have to help me. I’m sure the fire department would be willing.” She rambles as she follows me.
“They should be available for actual fires.”
“I imagine fires are like crimes in this town—almost nonexistent.”
I turn around, flashing the light toward my face so she can see me. “You’d be wrong then. Forest fires.” I tap my head and all I hear is her huff.
“You think you’re so smart.”
She’s embarrassed, I get it, so I don’t rub in the fact I am fucking smart.
“Would you rather me not know how to fix your breaker?”
She hems and haws for a second. “I don’t understand. I was in the middle of making a huge batch of frosting and then total darkness.”
“Was that your way of asking me for help?” I open up the box, purposely not touching any of the breakers.
“I didn’t know I had to ask, since you took upon yourself to sneak into my shop, scare the crap out of me and then walk to the storage room.”
“And I haven’t even told you to keep your doors locked when you’re closed yet. But usually, people say please and thank you when they need a favor.” I give her a wide, condescending smile just to piss her off a little more.
“I’m not most people.”
I nod. “Agreed, but I have to believe that Vic taught you manners.”
“Seriously, you have my hands tied and you’re going to play this game?”
I step closer to her, the firmness of her breasts now pushing against my chest. Damn, she feels good and I don’t even have a hand on her.
“I can tie you up and play games if you like.” I raise a brow.
“Ugh. No. I’m not interested in your games.”
She says no with those plump lips of hers, but it doesn’t escape me that she’s still pressed up against me.
“I thought we played pretty nice together. No?”
All I’m able to hear in the darkness is her unsteady breathing—in and out as though it’s a struggle.
“I really need to finish this cake so that I can maybe get three hours sleep tonight.” Her voice is so low and tense. She’s stressed and I’m only adding to that state.
“Say please and it’s yours.”
“Please, Dane.” She even includes my name and by some small miracle, she didn’t even use a sarcastic tone.
I click the button and the lights flicker on. Her eyes widen and a genuine smile tugs at her mouth like I just pulled her up on my horse and rode us away from the monsters.
That smile could be addicting.
If you were a different type of guy.
What Others are Saying:
“SEXY, SWEET, & SCRUMPTIOUS!” – Dani from Dani’s Book Review Blog
“This book was hilarious and hot! Ava and Dane's story is everything I hoped it would be!” – Mary from Smut Your Mouth
“Dane has totally stolen my Heart!” – Elizabeth from White Hot Reads
Piper Rayne, or Piper and Rayne, whichever you prefer because we’re not one author, we’re two. Yep, you get two established authors for the price of one. You might be wondering if you know us? Maybe you’ll read our books and figure it out. Maybe you won’t. Does it really matter?
We aren’t trying to stamp ourselves with a top-secret label. We wanted to write without apology. We wanted to not be pigeon holed into a specific outline. We wanted to give readers a story without them assuming how the story will flow. Everyone has their favorite authors, right? And when you pick up their books, you expect something from them. Whether it’s an alpha male, heavy angst, a happily ever after, there’s something you are absolutely certain the book will contain. Heck, we’re readers, too, we get it.
What can we tell you about ourselves? We both have kindle’s full of one-clickable books. We're both married to husbands who drive us to drink. We're both chauffeurs to our kids. Most of all, we love hot heroes and quirky heroines that make us laugh, and we hope you do, too.