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.
Toni leaned back and narrowed her eyes. “What?”
“You heard me.” Craig readjusted Ronald against the wall, ignoring her date’s mumbling. “If you want me to help you get this bum home – to his house,” he emphasized, “then you have to agree to have dinner with me Friday night.”
Toni hesitated. Intense hazel eyes sprinkled with specks of green and laced with a light brown stared at her, awaiting her response. She would love to have dinner with him, heck, she’d love to spend the rest of her life with him, but there lay the problem. Craig already had the big house and the white picket fence, but he wanted the wife and the three-point-five kids to complete the fairytale. The problem in a nutshell was that he wanted her to be a part of that dream, and she couldn’t give him what he wanted.
“I can’t believe you.” She glanced back at the bathroom door and then closed it. Returning her attention to Craig she said, “After all we’ve been through, has it really come to this? You’re going to blackmail me into having dinner with you?”
“Hey, if it means spending time with you, I’m not ashamed to do whatever I have to do. Besides, I don’t see it as blackmail. I see my request as being nothing more than a man, who is still in love with you, asking you out to dinner.” He shrugged. “But you can call it whatever you want. I do know one thing though. If you don’t make up your mind in the next five seconds, your drunk boyfriend here is going to find his ass back on the cold marble tile. So what’s it going to be, Sweetheart?”
Toni scrunched up her face and twisted her lips into a frown. Could she have dinner with Craig and then just walk away? Walk away from the only man she’s ever loved? Walk away from a man who had the ability to make her heart rate triple and her body sizzle with just a look. Heck, occupying the same space with him now, his hot sexy body only inches from her and his unfaltering gaze appearing to look right through her was almost more than she could handle. How in the world would she be able to break bread with him and not want to jump his bones?
She glanced at Ronald. She knew Craig well enough to know that if she said no, Ronald would hit the floor quicker than a hooker’s panties and Toni would be right back where she started. She wouldn’t be able to hide out in the bathroom for much longer, and the last thing she wanted was for her grandfather to get a hold of Ronald, or her for that matter. God! Why me?
She finally threw up her hands. “Oh, all right. I’ll go out to dinner with you Friday, but I’m not going to enjoy myself!”
About the Author:
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 PAN member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), board member and 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.
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