Falling in love might not be the smart thing, but it might be the one thing they both need.
Harmless, Book 5
Jocelyn Dupree has come to Hawaii to heal. After a horrific experience with her last boss, she is on the mend and ready to start again. She is focused on rebuilding her life and her career as a pastry chef. She definitely doesn’t need a man in her life, or so she thinks.
Kai Aiona has always been the guy to mend a broken heart. Unfortunately, the last heart that was broken was his. He has sworn off damaged women, but he can’t resist Jocelyn’s sad eyes, not to mention her determination to succeed.
One little date turns into several and soon, Jocelyn finds herself easily addicted to Kai’s sensual nature. Resisting him becomes impossible, but Jocelyn isn’t ready to trust completely. When Kai discovers she hasn’t been telling him everything, Jocelyn is left with two choices: trust her heart, or let the one man she has ever loved go.
Scenes from Hawaii, nosey friends and family, two people who are right for each other but too stupid to realize it, a tattooed and pierced hero, a sassy Southern heroine, one drunken night, and love scenes that will curl your toes, warm your heart and leave you panting for more. Remember, Harmless stories are not for the weak.
He saw her sitting there, the crisp white linen shirt, red capris and sandals had him gulping. It wasn’t particularly sexy, but with her, it didn’t seem to matter. He had seen her toes earlier and they were painted. Red. God, how was he supposed to ignore a woman with red toenails who had every physical requirement he desired in a woman? He would have to be a saint, and that was something he never aspired to.
She noticed him and smiled as he approached. He felt that little hitch in his heart again. Damn.
“Thanks. I’m used to heat, but it has been awhile since I’ve lived near the water. The salt in the air can sometimes zap your moisture away.”
He nodded and gulped down half his bottle. She sipped at hers as she watched him with those emerald mermaid eyes. Kai knew it was wrong, knew that it would cause all kinds of complications, but he wanted to see her, needed to. Not just today. Tomorrow, or the next day. Or both. Damn, this compulsion was going to drive him insane and he hadn’t even spent that much time with her. He gave in.
He took one last swallow of water. “Okay, I have to ask again.”
He opened his mouth, but the sound of the other travelers reached him and he grimaced. His timing with women had been off for months, but it seemed to be worse around Jocelyn. She was watching him patiently waiting for his question.
“It’ll have to wait. Want to meet the other passengers?”
She eyed him for a minute then nodded. “Sure.”
Jocelyn watched Kai talking to a small girl about four years old. He was good with people. In the last two hours, she’d found herself amazed at his patience. She had been in the public-services industry for years, but rarely had this much contact with the public. And for good reason. She couldn’t take the constant attention they wanted. Or the whining, or well, them.
She chuckled to herself as she remembered her run in with a bridezilla two years ago. The girl had wanted to make changes the morning of her wedding to both the groom’s cake and the official wedding cake. She’d had the nerve to threaten Jocelyn’s job. It must have taken her a long time to get that icing out of her hair after Jocelyn had dropped it on the woman’s head.
She settled back against the bench and looked out over the water. She had spent her childhood in New Orleans, and a ton of her time near the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Neither could compare to the crisp turquoise of the Pacific. It was smooth as glass today. She could see the coastline as they chugged along and she drew in a deep breath. The air was so clean, so vibrant. She closed her eyes and enjoyed the warmth of the sun on her face.
She slowly opened her eyes and found Kai standing beside her. Without invitation, he slid into the seat to the right of her.
“Yeah, I am. I’ve always liked the water. It’s one of the things I missed most when I lived in Atlanta.”
He nodded. “I don’t think I could live landlocked.”
He looked out over the boat, and she could see him taking note of what was going on. He might play the easygoing guy, but she recognized a businessman when she saw him. He might have picked something that he loved, but in his heart he understood his responsibilities. And dammit, that made him even more enticing.
“It’s different though.”
He turned his attention back to her face and she wished she could see what he was thinking. His sunglasses made it hard.
“Yeah. I was just thinking of the Gulf and how it is so different than this.”
“Hmm. I’ll have to take your word for it. I’ve never been there.”
She cocked her head to the side. “Not many trips to the mainland?”
He shook his head. “I’ve been to the west coast, we have family there, and to Japan and China. But I get a little buggy when I’m on the mainland.”
“I can’t see you reacting that way anywhere. You seem so laid-back.”
He shrugged. “Too many rules. Too many people.”
She laughed and he stilled.
“What?” she asked when he continued to stare at her.
He swallowed convulsively. “I like your laugh.”
There was a hint of heat threaded in the words that hadn’t been there before. She ordered herself not to pay attention, to not let it get to her. It was hard because she knew without a doubt he would be good in bed. It was easy to see in the way he moved, all power and grace. Plus, he was patient, so a woman had to know that he would definitely do everything in his power to make it worth her time.
“Why did you laugh?” he asked.
“Oh, because someone living on Oahu saying there are too many people is kind of funny. This place is crowded.”
He leaned back and looked out over the water, then back at her. “There are a lot of places you can find solitude. LA, hard to find. And too much pollution.” He shook his head in disgust.
“That’s one of the things I hated about Atlanta. The pollution was starting to get to me. I have to say I do like the Windward side of the island better. It seems to be at a slower pace.”
He nodded. “I like it. There are other places…if you would like a tour guide?”
She studied him, still irritated that she couldn’t see his eyes. Without seeing them she didn’t know what his expression was. And she knew from the tone it wasn’t just a friendly invite. Kai saw it as a date. He didn’t ever attempt to couch it any other way and she liked him even better for it. A devious man would pretend to want to be only friends and try to talk her into bed. Kai wouldn’t do that. He didn’t need to.
God help her, she wanted to try. She wanted to go out with a man who wanted to spend time with her and wasn’t psychoanalyzing her every move. It would be fun to just be Jocelyn and enjoy her day out. Like today.