Taxed by Love
(St. Fleur #5)
By A.J. Renee
Publication date: August 29th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Love was in the air and Gabrielle wasn’t interested. Even if she was willing to risk her heart again, which she wasn’t, any man would have to get past her overbearing brother first.
Andrew was unashamed of his love of women… until he found himself yearning for what his friends had found—love and family. When a gorgeous woman caught his eye at a buddy’s wedding reception, he blindly followed, unable to resist her allure.
Their encounter was meant to be no-strings fun, but months later, Gabrielle couldn’t get him out of her mind. Andrew regretted never getting her name or number, leaving them both with only memories and unanswered desires.
An unexpected reunion brought the couple to St. Fleur, where trouble had been stirring for their friends and family. Can Andrew persuade Gabrielle to take a risk on a playboy? Or will tragedy jeopardize their chance at love?
The rich sound made Andrew’s cock perk up. He looked from Jesse, the bartender in his sister’s town’s pub, to the siren who’d walked up to the bar. Long dark hair framed her face, and her chocolate eyes twinkled at Jesse.
“Hey, mama!” Jesse told the woman. “Are you having a good time?”
She slid into the seat next to Andrew. “Yeah, this has been great. Sofia’s perfect for Noah. Kind of reminds me how lonely I’ve been.” Her lips pouted with exaggeration.
Andrew stared at her mouth, his mind concocting vivid images of her lips wrapped around his cock. Licking and sucking him dry. His pants became tighter when her pink tongue ran along her lower lip as her eyes met his.
He didn’t know what Jesse or the siren said next, but her small hand came forward. Andrew noted her short red nails before wrapping his hand around hers. The simple touch stole his breath.
Forcing himself to release her hand, he grabbed his pint and tipped it toward her. “To the single life!”
She smiled, and he froze. He’d seen plenty of beautiful women but none like this woman. Her sexuality was natural, complimenting her striking features. Raising the glass to his lips, he drank deeply. Never had a woman affected him so strongly, yet he couldn’t bring himself to walk away.
Instead, like a dumbstruck idiot, he smiled back, enjoying the pretty blush on her cheeks. “Groom or bride’s side?”
“Groom, and you?” she asked.
He watched her throat as she drank from the beer. The noise around them dimmed and his heart pounded against his ribs. Her question was easy small talk. Something he’d participated in numerous times, but the way blood rushed through his ears was unlike any other time. He hadn’t even touched the woman past a quick handshake and his body was reacting as if she’d run her hand up his thigh.
She stared at him for a moment before he mumbled, “Groom.” If he didn’t get his shit together, she would walk away and any chance of getting to know her or getting her into his bed would disappear. “So, um…” Andrew cleared his dry throat. “Do you live here?”
Her legs uncrossed and crossed again as she turned toward him. He ate up every inch of her smooth skin, hoping he wasn’t drooling at the same time. Andrew didn’t know why he was acting like a high school virgin. She was turning his brain into mush and it was more than clear that she held the power between them.
When her small hand touched his, he met her eyes. He’d missed whatever she had told him. Leaning in closer—but not so close to draw his friends’ or family’s attention—he said, “Sorry, what?”
“I asked if you wanted to get some fresh air? It’s kind of warm in here.”
Andrew nodded before finishing his beer in one gulp. “Ladies first.”
He bit his cheek so as to not resemble the wolf in the cartoons he watched as a boy, his tongue nearly rolling out of his mouth. The woman’s front was smoking hot, and he couldn’t stop staring at her hips and ass as they swayed with each step she took. He’d dated women of varying sizes, but he preferred them with a little curve. This woman was like the porridge in the three bears story—just right.
January’s cool night air hit him as they stepped outside. A few people entered after them and two more left. It seemed Whiskey’s Pub was the place to be. Not that he was surprised. Many of the townspeople had turned out to celebrate the union of the two sweethearts.
“It’s so quiet out here,” she whispered as she looked at the star-filled sky.
Andrew glanced at the bright stars and moved toward her. “Much different than the city.”
Her brown eyes looked into his. Side by side, he dwarfed her, even in those fuck-me heels she wore. His dick twitched as he imagined them digging into his ass as he took her in slow and deep strokes. She swayed, so he grabbed her hips and steadied her.
Tilting his head, he studied her a moment. “Are you okay?”
A shadow crossed her face, one that bothered him more than he was willing to think on. After all, he’d only just met this nameless woman.
“I’m peachy. Just over all the pressure to find someone and settle down.”
“Yeah. I know what you mean,” he said.
Ever since his sister and best friend became a couple, it seemed his mom had been working full-time to hook him up with a “nice girl.” All thoughts of his mom, sister, and anything else fell away when her palm pressed against his chest.
The door behind him opened and she jumped back, taking with her the light floral scent enveloping her. Andrew rubbed his face, unsure what he was doing outside with this beauty. It was clear she was a little buzzed and a lot emotional. He usually avoided this kind of problem. His dick, on the other hand, didn’t give two shits.
Gabrielle wrapped her arms around her body as the chilly air sent goose bumps down her arms. The happy guests leaving the reception turned onto the sidewalk and disappeared as Andrew put his jacket over her shoulders. The fabric was still warm from his body, and when she breathed deeply, she smelled his cologne mixed with the smell of soap. It was a heady sensation.
She should have known better than to come outside with him. Their attraction had been instantaneous, but the little something more than sexual tension that she couldn’t identify was a problem.
Gabrielle avoided relationships. At least she had for the last two and half years. Fuck buddies. That was what she could handle—until they forgot the rules and told her they loved her and wanted to be with her.
Shaking her head free from her thoughts, she knew exactly what she needed to do. “Do you even remember my name?” His eyes darted away, so Gabrielle stepped into him. Startled eyes looked down at her. “It’s okay. Let’s chalk it up to being too loud inside.”
Relief softened his face, and she couldn’t help but admire how handsome he was. Gabrielle cupped his face and brought it to hers. Their lips softly pressed against each other’s, testing the sensation, memorizing the feel.
The door opened again, and she hid her face in his body. When the street quieted, she peeked around him.
“Come on.” She slipped her hand into his larger one and pulled him toward the side of the building, away from intruding eyes and nosey family.
Silence cocooned them, and shadows hid their secrets. His handsome eyes watched her, waiting to see what she would do next.
Gabrielle stepped into him, his heat warming the front of her body. “Kiss me,” she demanded, her eyes drawn to his full lips.
His large hands cupped her face, tipping it up before taking her lips in a slow kiss. A fire ignited in her belly the moment his tongue swept inside her mouth. Gabrielle rolled to her toes and locked her fingers behind his neck.
One of his arms banded around her waist, pulling her tightly against him. Her breasts strained against the dress and his erection pressed against her belly. The kiss was wild, stealing her breath and all thoughts straight from her mind. She tipped her head back, searching to fill her lungs with the oxygen it needed.
He moved his mouth down the column of her neck, stopping at the tops of her breasts. His sigh tickled her sensitive skin, and he peppered more kisses along the side of her neck and shoulder.
She’d never had a one-night stand. Gabrielle may have enjoyed no-strings-attached sex, but she’d been careful in choosing her partners. At this moment though, she quit thinking things through.
Andrew’s free hand cupped her ass, pulling her up and into his hard dick. She needed desperately to kiss him, and since he was occupied with sending bolts of desire down between her legs, she settled on his neck. Breathing him in, she sighed before flicking out her tongue and tasting him.
They made out like overeager teenagers in the dark, away from prying eyes, his fingers kneading into her hips and ass. Hers dug into his scalp as she sucked on a sweet spot on his neck. His touch and kisses added to her tipsy state.
“More…” she whimpered, warmth spreading across her cheeks at her wanton behavior.
Andrew lowered the zipper at her back enough to free her breasts. The cool air sent goose bumps along her fevered flesh.
“Wow.” He sighed and flicked his tongue against one nipple then the next. “Beautiful, absolutely beautiful,” he murmured against her skin before sucking a nipple into his warm mouth.
Gabrielle grabbed his shoulders, her head falling to the side as she let herself feel. He flicked, sucked, and bit the tender tip, then repeated it all over again for the next. She clamped her thighs together as the ache built.
The material on her hips rose, and her legs were no longer constricted by the fabric holding them together. His large hand cupped her bare ass cheek and skimmed down her exposed thigh. She was naked from the waist up and waist down, her dress bunched around her midsection. Her body stiffened as her heart lurched with a mix of excitement and fear at the thought of anyone finding them like this.
“What?” Andrew asked, his brows knitting with concern.
Gabrielle looked past him. “Anyone—”
He looked around as he took her hand and pulled them farther into the darkness. “Is this okay?”
Her nerves were messing with her, but the tenderness in his eyes made her breathe deeply and nod. “Kiss me,” she told him for the second time that night, needing this man, this stranger, to take her mind away from it all.
Except he stepped back. His eyes devoured her before meeting hers. “I won’t do anything you don’t want. We can go back inside right—”
“No,” she said, hooking her fingers into his pants and pulling him forward. “I need this.” She stared at his chest, avoiding his eyes at the confession.
Andrew’s fingers grabbed her chin as he studied her closely. When Gabrielle thought he’d call it off, he kissed her tenderly. She was surprised at the emotion he poured into the kiss, and her nerves melted away with his touch. Breaking their connection, he left open-mouthed kisses along her shoulder to her ear.
“I’ll make it better,” he whispered.
He caressed her in ways she’d never been touched before. His fingers were magical as they slid in and out of her, her body coiling with the impending orgasm. Andrew took his time, working her body to a frenzy with his hands, fingers, and mouth. When she shattered in his arms, he kissed her deeply, leaving her dizzy. Andrew held her limp body against him, his erection prodding her belly.
“No. That was for you,” he said with a quick kiss to her forehead. Andrew steadied her and pulled down her dress. “Turn around.”
She moved slowly, unsure of herself as the man who had made her come zipped up her dress. “But you—”
He kissed the back of her neck and turned her around. A beautiful smile made his eyes crinkle before he rubbed his lips against hers. “The pleasure was all mine. Seeing you come was un-fucking-believable. You deserve more than a quick fuck out here.”
Andrew picked up his jacket from the ground and slipped it on. His large hand wrapped around hers, and she let him pull her along as she processed everything that happened. Lost in thought, she nearly fell over when he stopped by the front door. He cupped her face and kissed her one more time.
Gabrielle memorized his touch and smell before he ended the quick kiss. Tipping her head to the side, she asked, “Aren’t you coming back in?”
“I will. Go on in first. I need a minute.” He smiled mischievously as his eyes flicked down to his pants.
After noting his erection, she nodded and pulled open the pub door. As Gabrielle moved through the tables, she felt Jesse’s smart eyes on her. She refused to feel bad about what had happened outside though. It wasn’t as if she’d had sex. Reaching her table, she forced a smile for her family, her hair falling over her shoulder and his smell filling her nose.
From the corner of her eye, she saw him sit at the bar. Her buzz was gone and all she could think was that it was for the best. Andrew was a man who would make her want to change her ways. Complications and heartbreak were written all over his sexy body. Steering clear of him was all for the best, even if the thought alone caused a strange ache under her breastbone.
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AJ Renee is the author behind the St. Fleur series, Beauty Unmasked, Winter's Surprise, Surviving Paris, and Finding Love at the Falls.... She's a military wife and mother to three young girls. She graduated from the University of Central Florida with her Master of Science in Criminal Justice and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology while working at the library.
She loves to write steamy romance with suspense and a happily ever after. When she isn't writing or interacting with her readers, you can find her spending time with her family or reading. AJ enjoys traveling, researching family history, and all things New Orleans.
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