Firefighter and eco entrepreneur Walter Graham II is tired of dating beautiful, but unsettled women who don’t know what they want from life. He wants to date a woman who’s as smart as she is attractive—someone who can talk about interesting things—someone confident about her work. He wants to date Jane Fox, but the sexy older woman keeps coming up with logical reasons why a relationship could never work between them. Yet he has to keep trying because Jane is the only woman who has even turned on his body and his brain at the same time. If he could just get his reluctant ‘cougar’ into bed, Walter is sure he can give that smart mind of hers a lot more to consider than just their age difference.
MILDLY SPICY EXCERPT 1
Walter grinned, reached down, and took her hand gently into his, tugging her toward the door. “I wouldn’t know. I don’t do caffeine much. Come on.”
He looked at Amanda. “Heads up,” he said, tossing her the keys to his van.
Amanda laughed and caught the keys. “At least you throw straighter than Daniel. He usually beans me in the face.”
Jane wrinkled her face as Walter propelled them out the door. Daniel? Who was Daniel? She heard Harrison laughing again, but couldn’t quite catch what he said.
“Going completely off the grid is not possible in most established locations. When I did the feasibility study. . .”
“You did a feasibility study?” Jane asked.
Walter laughed. “Well it seemed like a good idea before I started spending thousands of dollars doing more renovations on North Winds. You did quite a lot before I bought it.”
Jane swallowed. “Yes. I did. Of course. . .I didn’t mean. . .” She halted her speech when she and Walter cleared the door of the building.
“Jane,” Walter said, laughing as he looked down into her wide scared eyes, “do you want me to kiss you until Mrs. Cochran over there starts blushing. . .”
Jane’s gaze swung to the older woman, walking toward the pool house with her flamingo beach towel over one shoulder.
“. . .or can we just have an agreement that we’re going to explore all this sexual tension later? I would like to talk to my architects while the blood is still mostly in my brain,” Walter finished, chuckling as Jane bit her lip in thought.
“I didn’t come here for. . .” Jane stopped when she saw Walter was still smiling. “Would you believe I don’t know why I’m here? Are you still dating that woman you were with the other night?”
Jane’s question made him dizzy. . .and oh so incredibly happy. Walter’s slow head shake from side to side was accompanied by a grin that stretched his face. Harrison was going to laugh his ass off again, but Walter couldn’t find it in himself to care.
“No. That didn’t really work out well, though I did make the number one slot on her ‘worst guys to date list’. She updated the online version with her phone right after I paid the check for dinner. How about you? You still dating the suit guy you were with? He seemed mostly decent.”
“Kenneth?” Jane asked, swallowing hard as she scrambled for a way to explain. “Not really. . .well sort of, I guess. It’s not. . .I found Kenneth when the guy before him stiffed me for dinner. Kenneth got to hear the waiter inform me that the guy had run out the side door.”
Walter laughed. Guys could be such idiots. “Nice save. . .I suppose. Are you seriously interested in your rescuer?”
This was the moment, Jane thought. This was the moment she could move on or do something about the tug inside her that was stronger than Walter’s grip on her hand.
“Kenneth kisses well, but. . .” She bit her lip when Walter raised one eyebrow. “But it wasn’t anything like kissing you. Nothing has been like kissing you. That’s my problem.”
Walter let out the breath he’d been holding and tightened his grip. “Have dinner with me, Jane Fox. I haven’t kissed anyone since I kissed you. Just know that at the end of the evening, I will definitely want to kiss you again. We’ll flip a coin for who pays for dinner though. I’m about to sink the rest of my savings into this project and I may lose my ass.”
Jane giggled with panicked relief that all Walter had asked for was a dinner date. Her fluttering pulse and the throb between her legs meant she’d have probably done pretty much anything. It was shameful, but still true.
“That would be a terrible shame, Walter Graham. Your ass is really cute, especially in those jeans you’re wearing. I don’t think I can just stand by and let that happen.”
Two seconds later, Jane squealed when Walter lifted her in the air and spun her around. “Put me down. What was that for?” She pushed out of Walter’s arms the moment her feet touched earth again. Her instant reaction to being plastered against him made her extremely glad she had worn the padded bra today.
“You are the smartest woman I’ve ever met. I want to hear what you think of their estimate. It’s due today,” Walter said, grabbing a hand to tug her forward with him again.
Jane rolled her eyes. Had she agreed to dinner? She didn’t remember doing so. “Walter, not that you asked exactly, but I might not be able to do dinner tonight. I’m on call for babysitting JD. Lauren almost never calls, but I did offer.”
“Ah yes. . .you’re being the Super Aunt of Super JD,” Walter recited. He wondered what Jane would be like if she got to start from scratch with a baby. His gaze went to her breasts before falling to her stomach. It was pretty easy to imagine his child there.
“I don’t think I like that look in your eyes. It reminds me too much of Harrison,” Jane said.
“Maybe I’m trying to channel him today. He refuses to have anything to do with the eco improvements. Time to sink or swim, boy,” Walter said, mocking his grandfather’s gruffness.
“Harrison does not sound like that. Never moonlight as an impressionist, Walter,” Jane ordered, liking the low snicker she got in reply.
Behind the pool house, Jane saw three men talking as they studied the area. Two had tools in their hands. A third carried a computer tablet, which he wrote on with a stylus.
“Are those your architects?” she asked.
Walter raised his hands and cracked his knuckles. It was his one nervous tell. “Yes. Their original guesstimate was high. If I can’t get them to come down to something reasonable, it will take most of my savings just to install the geo thermal system.”
“I know how those work. What are they asking?” Jane demanded.
Walter quoted the number and watched Jane shake her head. “No way. Half that I think.”
Walter snorted. “If you get them to go half, I will definitely buy dinner.”
“Deal,” Jane said, smiling as they made their way forward. Excitement climbed as she met their surprised gazes. She hadn’t spoken a word yet and this was already the most fun she’d had in days.
Donna McDonald’s idea of success is to be on an airplane and see a fellow passenger reading one of her books. If the person is laughing or smiling, she will consider it a bonus.
Her work history covers everything from housekeeper to business owner to college English instructor. It also includes an eighteen year stint as a technical writer, publications planner, and information architect in the corporate world.
Her current career goal is to be a prolific, multi-published author for the rest of her life and write stories readers will love to read.
She thinks a little travel and adventure would be nice, too.