Joint heir to the largest construction company in the state of Ohio, master plumber, Toni (TJ) Jenkins has been groomed to behave in a way that is befitting of the respected Jenkins’ family name. But after she breaks up with the only man she’s ever loved, to protect a secret she holds close to her heart, poor decisions lead her down a path of destruction that risks ruining the reputation of the company her family has worked hard to build.
Cincinnati police officer, Craig Logan, knows Toni is the woman for him. They’ve been apart for months, but when they run into each other at a party, the passion between them sizzles stronger than ever. She says she can’t handle dating a cop, but he senses that something else keeps her from rushing back into his arms. Craig wants her to be his wife, and he’ll do whatever it takes to prove no matter what she’s hiding, she’s still the best woman for the job.
A wave of giddiness gripped Toni the moment she pulled up to Craig’s house. She wasn’t sure what had come over her. She grinned like she’d just learned the secret to keeping a manicure fresh for a month. It wasn’t like she hadn’t seen Craig every day for the past week and a half. Maybe the joy flowing through her veins had something to do with the fact that they were meeting for their first afternoon rendezvous at his place.
She climbed out of her work van and practically floated to the door, and then rang the doorbell.
“Who is it?” Craig asked through the closed door.
“It’s the plumber. I’ve come to fix the sink.”
She heard him laugh before he pulled open the door. “You’re crazy. Get in here.” He tugged her inside and into his arms. Toni couldn’t think of any other place she’d rather be than right there molded against his lean body. “Well hello,” he mumbled, his lips brushed against hers as he spoke. “I have to admit, you’re the finest plumber I’ve ever laid eyes on. But,” he broke off the kiss suddenly and released her, “you have to hurry and take care of that sink problem before my woman gets here. She’s the jealous type and doesn’t like fine-ass plumbers hanging out in my house.”
“Ha, ha, ha, very funny. I see you’ve got jokes.” Toni took off her work boots and followed him into the kitchen.
“So do you use that ‘I’m here to fix the sink’, line often?” He glanced over his shoulder as he removed a long pan from the oven. “Maybe to pick up unsuspecting men like me?”
“Actually my dear, you’re the only man I’ve used that line on.” She wiggled her eyebrows at him and grinned.
He flashed a goofy I’m-the-luckiest-man-in-the-world smile that lit up his hazel eyes and jump-started the giddiness that swirled around inside her body. When he turned back to his delicious smelling dish and sprinkled additional cheese across the top, Toni couldn’t help but recall the first plumbing job she did for him, he was cooking then too. A small smile tilted her lips as she admired how easily he moved around the kitchen. Unlike the first time they met, today he didn’t have his police uniform on and didn’t look as intimidating. She loved a man in uniform, but Craig’s tall figure in blue jeans hanging low on his hips and a white tank top showing off thick muscular arms and washboard abs were just as sizzling.
Toni’s gaze shot up to find Craig checking her out and wearing a crooked grin. She swallowed hard and rubbed her sweaty palms down the thighs of her jeans. Hopefully he couldn’t read minds. If he could, he would know that she was now imagining him naked.
“Uhh … so what’s for lunch?”
Craig sauntered across the room. He pulled her close and nuzzled the side of her neck, his hands easily sliding underneath her T-shirt. “My version of baked Ziti, but now I’m thinking that maybe I should have you for lunch, and we save the Ziti for dessert,” he mumbled against her burning skin. “We have about fifteen minutes before I have to take it out of the oven. Just enough time for a quickie.”
He backed her up to the granite countertop and her entire body went liquid with anticipation when he lifted her shirt over her head and cupped her breasts, sending a spark of desire straight to her midsection. His mouth covered hers in a deep penetrating kiss as he skimmed his skillful fingers over her lace bra, tweaking her nipples, immediately making them rise to attention. All thoughts of food flew out of Toni’s mind and was replaced with a yearning desire to have their bodies joined as one when he paid her other breast the same attention as the first.
Craig lifted his head. “I have to get you out of these clothes,” he said, his gruff voice turning her on almost as much as the quick work he did in stripping her out of her jeans, leaving her with only her bra and bikini panties on. He stood back, his hungry gaze raked over her body and lingered on her breast. “Damn, girl, you’re sexy with or without clothes, but right now I need you up higher. Sometimes I forget how short you are without your heels on.”
“Craig!” she yelped when, without warning, he lifted her and placed her on the cool granite countertop. “My grandmother would have a fit if she saw me sitting on a kitchen counter. Especially if she knew what we were about to do.”
“Well, it’s a good thing she’s not here.”
Bestselling author, Sharon C. Cooper, lives in Atlanta with her husband and enjoys reading, writing, and rainy days. She writes sweet and contemporary romance, as well as romantic suspense. Sharon is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), member of Georgia Romance Writers (GRW), and a member of the Page a Day Writers Group. To read more about Sharon and her novels, visit www.sharoncooper.net