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In this sizzling romance, Beau Chapman, a hunky horse trainer who is also an experienced builder, crosses swords with Nicole Harris, a spoiled, wealthy heiress. It doesn't take long for Beau to show her just how he feels about her arrogant attitude and foul mouth, and pulls her across his knee for a well deserved spanking.
Though Nicole was initially intrigued by his take-charge personality, she is truly shocked when Beau's hot hand makes her heart race and her body tingle with excitement. Beau doesn't take kindly to Nicole's demanding behavior, but as the days tick by the tempestuous diva remains an absent but constant companion, her face in the forefront of his thoughts.
When Cupid pulls back his bow he shoots his arrow straight and sure, and the electricity between Beau and Nicole crackles. Salacious sex, bondage, discipline and romance fills the pages of this torrid love story.
�� Nicole Harris looked every bit the wealthy young woman she was; her long hair was perfectly mussed, thick red lipstick matched the red bra peeking through the expensive white silk shirt and the red porcelain beads gracing her neck, but Nicole was none too happy. Clenching her fists in frustration, she was standing in what should have been a finished kitchen, complete with granite slab countertops, a picture window overlooking the lake below, and dark hardwood floors. Instead she was staring at plywood beneath her feet, a counter that was nothing but a frame, and a huge empty space where the window should have been.
������ Not only had her dream house become a nightmare, in a few minutes she’d have to face the man she’d refused to even speak with several months before; a local contractor named Beau Chapman. Her longtime friend, Helen Meyer, who lived in the small lakeside town, had done her best to persuade Nicole to meet with him but Nicole was having none of it, and as she surveyed the mess she grimaced as she recalled the conversation.
������ “I’m telling you, he’s terrific,” Helen had insisted. “Why would you want to use some city contractor when there’s a guy here who knows the people and the community? He’ll be able to get things done. He knows who to schmooze. Besides, the people here don’t like outsiders coming in and-”
������ “You can stop right there,” Nicole interrupted. “I’m not having some dirt kicking, blue jeaned, straw-chewing horse trainer as my contractor. I want someone good, someone who knows what they’re doing. Your friend might be able to repair a fence, maybe even put up a barn, but my super sleek vacation home? I doubt it.”
������ “At least talk to him. I’ve already told him you’d be calling. Please? You won’t be sorry, he’s total eye candy.”
������ Nicole had flatly refused, but now, several months later, she had no builder and her house looked like a modern-day ruin. Feeling backed into a corner she’d finally agreed to call the guy the locals referred to as the cowboy contractor. He’d been cordial on the phone, almost friendly, but it was clear he hadn’t forgotten the brush-off.
������ Hearing the sound of tires crunching up the gravel driveway, her high-heels clip-clopped quickly to the front of the house, but in her haste she failed to see the half-empty bag of cement laying in her path. With a wail she fell forward, her arms flailing in the air, and miraculously her hands hit a support beam. Stunned that she’d been saved she waited a moment, clinging to the pole as she caught her breath, and only when she began to straighten up did she realize what she’d done; reaching down she pulled off her black pump. Its sculptured glossy heel was hanging by the proverbial thread.
������ “Fuck,” she muttered. “How fucking great is that?”
������ Continuing to curse under her breath she pulled off its mate and dropped the shoes on top of the rogue cement bag, then continued forward in her stocking-feet. Reaching the patch of earth where the deck should have been she grunted as she stared down at the loose ground.
������ Screw this. I’m not walking over all that dirt.
�Peering down the driveway she spied an old truck moving slowly towards her.
������ Well, here goes nothing. I’ll be tough. I can’t let him see how desperate I am.� Fuck! I can’t believe it’s come to this, some dopey cowboy my last hope.
������ �The truck rolled to a stop, and to her surprise she noticed the sun was glinting off polished chrome, and the turquoise paint was as glossy as glass. Unexpectedly feeling a jolt of nerves, she slipped her oversized black sunglasses from the top of her head to cover her eyes.
������ These will help. I’ll be able to look at him but he won’t be able to look at me. That’ll give me the upper hand right away.
������ The door of the truck opened and the first thing she saw was the cowboy hat; it was light tan, and sitting forward on his brow made it difficult to see his face.� As he stepped from behind the door she couldn’t believe how shockingly white his shirt was, and then she saw the rest of him.
������ My God, talk about filling out a pair of jeans. I’ll bet he’s worn them a thousand times, they fit so...wow...grab a chair and sit me down!
������ He raised his head, and to her dismay he was wearing reflecting aviator glasses.
������ Shit. So much for my upper hand.
“Hey there, you must be Nicole Harris.”
������ He was approaching the wide patch of dirt, and as he neared she found herself scrutinizing him; his square jaw and rugged handsome features, the broad shoulders...
������ ...and I’ll just bet you’ve got a stomach I could wash my clothes on. Helen wasn’t kidding.� Eye candy? You’re not eye candy, you’re the whole damn box of chocolates.
������ “Good to meet you. I’m Beau Chapman. I think you’d better start by tellin’ me what’s happenin’ here?”
������ His voice matched; it was a drawl, thick, and deep.
������ “You mean what isn’t happening here,” she quipped. “It’s a joke, one big fucking joke.”
������ “Huh,” he muttered walking through the dirt, his dark brown cowboy boots paying it no heed. “Looks like what you said, someone just up and left, and a while back.”
������ “How can you tell it’s been a while?”
������ “The amount of dust over everything for a start, cobwebs-”
������ “Cobwebs? Where?” she interrupted. “I hate spiders.”
������ “Yep, see up in the corners?” he pointed walking past her into the house. “I’d say, at least a couple of months, maybe more.”
������ “You’re wrong, it’s been-”
������ “Nope, I’m not wrong.”
������ “I’m not good with time,” she said vaguely. “I’ve been real busy. This the first chance I’ve had to come up here, I told you that on the phone.”
������ “Hmm, well I’m tellin’ you, Miss Harris, it’s been a whole lot longer than a couple of weeks,” the cowboy remarked as he continued to meander into a massive space that was supposed to be the living room.
������ “I don’t care,” she grimaced. “I just need to know what I’m looking at.”
������ “What you’re lookin’ at is a mess,” he said turning to face her.
������ “Oh, for fuck’s sake, I know that. I know it’s a mess!”
������ She had followed him and was standing about ten feet away, feeling decidedly uncomfortable in her stockinged feet; as he slowly removed his sunglasses she felt an unpleasant churn in her stomach; he didn’t look happy.
������ “So,” she continued, “when can you start and how much is it going to cost me?”
������ “I haven’t agreed to work for you yet,” he said staring at the plywood under his feet, “and I’m not sure I’m gonna.”
������ “Excuse me?”
������ “I said, I haven’t-”
������ “I heard you, I just don’t understand,” she said sharply.
������ He lifted his chin, and for the first time she saw his eyes.��������
������ What the hell color are they? Shit, I can’t tell with these glasses on. Are they grey? Damn, those lashes, but he’s scowling. Why is he scowling at me?
“This is what I’d suggest,” he drawled. “You find yourself a builder who doesn’t mind bein’ spoken to like a lackey and who isn’t particular about bein’ called by their name, and I’ll bet the two of you will get along just fine, but me, I’m leavin’.”
������ He’d delivered his soliloquy in a monotone, his gaze never leaving her face, and though she knew he couldn’t see her eyes she felt as if he’d been looking right through her. Suddenly he was moving, marching past her, and panic-stricken she turned to catch up but he was traveling at a quick clip.
������ “Fuck, would you wait a minute?”
������ “I don’t think so,” he muttered, and if you do find someone who’s willin’ to work for you, I hope he spanks your ass between sawin’ planks of wood. Damn, I don’t think I’ve ever met a woman so arrogant...and that mouth!
������ “Wait,” she called again, “can we start over?”
������ Already across the patch of dirt and heading to his truck, Beau Chapman was insulted and angry, but not just angry with her. He was angry at himself for having made the trip; it wasn’t as if she’d been warm and fuzzy during their phone call.
������ I should’ve known this would be a waste of time. I don’t know who you think you are, but I sure as hell am not puttin’ up with that bull-crap.� I drive all the way up here, and you don’t even say hello or have the decency to use my name? You’ve got an attitude as big as the lake, and the mouth of a drunken sailor.
He’d reached his truck and was about to open the door when he heard it; a shrill cry of pain. It pierced the silent, still air, and spinning around he saw her laying on the filthy plywood in her pristine white suit, her head thrown back, wailing in shock. Without a thought he sprinted back, bolting through the dirt and leaping up the step. Reaching her side he dropped to one knee, put an arm around her shoulder and tried to sit her up.
������ “Easy now, easy. Tell me what happened.”
������ “M-my f-foot,” she stammered. “It’s, oh, fuck, it hurts.”
������ “I’m gonna take a look, okay?” he said keeping his voice even.
������ Already suspecting what had happened, he gently released her and leaned down the length of her body to study the soles of her feet; what he saw wasn’t pretty. Swallowing his reaction he moved back to her side.
������ “Okay, Miss Harris, I need to carry you into my truck and get you to a doctor.”
������ “Is it bad?”
������ “Looks like you stepped on a nail,” he said smoothly. “Be better if a doc saw to it. You need an x-ray before it gets...uh...removed.”
������ “Ooh, it’s so painful. Just t-take m-me to m-my hotel. Hillsboro.”
������ “You’re not talkin’ sense. Nope, no way, you’re goin’ straight to a doctor. I’m gonna lift you, okay?”
������ “C-can we take my c-car?� M-my stuff is in there.”
������ He’d noticed the Lexus SUV when he’d driven up, and staring across at the luxury car he realized it would certainly offer a more comfortable ride.
������ “Sure, yeah, you bet,” he nodded.
������ Carefully scooping her up he carried her through the dirt and across the driveway, but as he settled her into the passenger seat she began panting and moaning; she was clearly in distress.
������ “You doin’ okay?”
������ “K-kind of, I guess.� Thanks s-so much for not leaving me there,” she muttered weakly.
������ “Of course I wouldn’t leave you there.” What kinda people are you used to dealin’ with? �“Let’s take these off you,” he suggested reaching for her sunglasses. �
������ Worried that she’d fallen into shock he needed to study her eyes, and carefully lifted the glasses off her face.� It was immediately apparent that under the thick red lipstick and heavy makeup was an attractive, but frightened and vulnerable young woman, and one whose looks bore no resemblance to the nasty witch he’d met just a few minutes before.
������ “I...uh...feel a bit f-funny,” she stammered. “C-cold.”
������ “I have a blanket in my truck. I’ll be right back, don’t worry, you’re in shock. I’ll have you to a doctor in no time but we need to keep you warm.”
������ As he sprinted across to his truck he pulled out his phone; his doctor was also a close friend.�
������ “Should I take her to emergency or to you?” he asked as he grabbed the blanket and began jogging back to the Lexus.
������ “Bring her here. You don’t want her sitting around in a waiting room.”
������ “Got it, thanks, Hank.”
������ He was back at her side in a flash, and as he placed the blanket around her his worry grew; she was white, and she gazed at him with a vacant expression.
������ “I’m taking you to my doctor. He’s really close. You’ll be fine.”
������ Running around the car he jumped into the driver’s seat and said a prayer of thanks that the keys were in the ignition.� As he drove carefully down the gravel driveway he shook his head.
������ You never know what’s gonna happen when you wake up in the mornin’. Unbelievable.