Icing on the Cake
Close to Home Series ● Book 2
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Series: Close to Home, Book 2 (may be read as a standalone)
Release Date: July 1, 2014
Book 1 info Cup of Sugar: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20626922-cup-of-sugar
Nia and Conn’s wedding will be fairytale perfect…if their siblings can get along.
Free-spirited, anti-establishment Sara has always been on the outside of her family’s fairytale mold. Now she’s being forced smack into the middle of it at her sister Nia’s wedding. Alongside the cocky and annoyingly sexy best man—Conn’s cop brother.
Curtis doesn’t buy in to organized romance and fairytales. But for his brother, he’ll throw on a tux and fake it for a few hours. His flak vest would have been a better choice around the maid of honor. He should have brought his handcuffs too, because somebody needs to restrain the dark-haired spitfire—and he’s just the man for the job.
One night to indulge the spark between them, then goodbye—that was the agreement. Curtis isn’t looking for a relationship and he sure doesn’t want a troublemaker for a girlfriend. The last thing Sara needs in her daily life is a cop looking over her shoulder, no matter how hot he is.
But giving in to their chemistry is much more fun than giving it up…
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It’d been a year and a half since fate—or more specifically, car trouble and bad weather—had brought Conn and Nia together. In that time, there’d been several occasions where the Lawler and Chambers families had mixed. Sara hadn’t attended. Not even Christmas dinner at her sister’s house. Sara’s family didn’t make excuses on her behalf, nor did they seem upset. Instead they affectionately tossed around terms such as “free-spirited” and “nonconformist.”
Well, the free-spirited nonconformist better walk through the church doors, stat. Anybody who got in the way of his brother’s happiness, especially this weekend, would be answering to Curtis. Badge and handcuffs not required for that job.
“You didn’t bring a date for the wedding,” Conn said, interrupting Curtis’ internal threats toward a woman he’d never met.
“Nah. With the wedding all the way up here, that would’ve meant spending an entire weekend together at the various family-bonding events. An invitation like that tends to send the ‘this is serious’ message.”
Conn stretched his arms along the top of the church pew while nodding. “Gotcha.”
“Yeah.” Not that Curtis had anything against commitment. The right woman just hadn’t come along. Because he purposely kept busy with the wrong ones.
“Since you’re flying solo this weekend, I need a favor.”
“Spending tomorrow in a monkey suit isn’t favor enough? Especially after that overly friendly tailor at the tuxedo-rental place got a little too much enjoyment out of measuring my inseam?”
One of Conn’s patented grins took over his face. “Did you check the pockets yet? He might’ve slipped you his number.”
“Whatever, man.” He gave Conn a friendly shot to the ribs. “How you, the totally unavailable groom-to-be, got the hot Asian chick to measure you while I got stuck with the grabby-hands guy, I have no fucking idea.”
“Was she hot? I didn’t notice.”
Oh man, he was serious. Love had put blinders on his brother. Big time.
“Ten out of ten,” Curtis said, shaking his head. “So, what’s the favor?”
Conn’s smile thinned. “Keep an eye on Sara. Make sure she doesn’t cause any trouble.”
“Is she that bad?”
“I hope not,” Conn said as the church’s front door slammed and all heads turned toward the entryway.
Call him fucked-up, but one look at the dark-haired beauty who’d just strutted into the building, and Curtis kinda hoped Sara lived up to her troublemaker reputation.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The pastor wrapped up the rehearsal with a reminder of when everybody needed to arrive tomorrow. Nia practically jumped into Conn’s arms. Forget about waiting to kiss the bride, Conn laid one on his bride-to-be right then and there.
Sara had to admit, it was a hot one. Kind of had her rethinking her decision about the sexless weekend—and the tattooed cop.
“Everybody back to the house for barbecue and beer.” Her dad waved his hand in front of him, as if the simple action finalized the command. “You too, Ben.” This, he directed at the pastor. “Bring a date if you’d like, we’ve got plenty of food and drinks.”
“Thanks, Peter. No lady in my life at the moment, but I’d love to join you all after I lock up here.”
“Great.” Dad shot her a hopeful look that included a wink. “We’ll see you there.”
Oh, for crying out loud. It wasn’t enough that she’d agreed to be the pink-satin-wearing sidekick in Nia’s fairytale wedding, now her dad wanted to set her up with a freaking pastor? Her family really needed to get with the program. The one where she was a lost cause in the growing-up and settling-down departments.
While the Lawler and Chambers family units hovered around the glowing couple, Sara beelined it toward the outside aisle, and temporary freedom.
“Hey,” a deep, husky voice called as she reached the vestibule.
Not her dad. Not the pastor or Conn, either. That left two men—Conn’s father or his brother. Sara only had fifty bucks spending money to get her through to payday next week, but she’d bet it on the brother. A voice that sexy had to belong to a hard-bodied hottie with lots of ink.
She paused, turned, and won the self-imposed bet.
“Last one to show up, now the first one to leave.” Conn’s brother took a few more steps, positioning himself between Sara and the door. He tucked his hands into the front pockets of some fine-fitting jeans. “You’re not trying to skip out on the rehearsal party, are you?” His stance and tone were casual. His pointed remarks, not so much.
“Aww, isn’t this sweet? We haven’t even been formally introduced and already you’re devastated at the thought of an evening without me.”
His eyes twinkled and the corner of his mouth twitched. “Curtis Lawler, Conn’s older brother.” He didn’t offer a hand to shake. Just stepped closer, completely invading her personal space. “And you’re Sara.”
“Figured that out on your own, detective, or did they show you my mug shot in advance to make things easier?”
“It’s Constable first-class, but that’s a mouthful, even for one that works as well as yours. Probably easiest if you call me sir.”
“Never going to happen, lawman.” She tried to sidestep him and he mirrored the action, halting her getaway without laying a finger on her. But damn, he might as well have touched her, because every inch of her skin had goose bumps from the electricity between them.
“Never’s a long time.” Curtis’ gaze locked with hers and a wicked smile curved his sensual lips. “And for the record, I’m not a patient man.”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Social Media Links for Karla Doyle
Book 1 info:
Cup of Sugar: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20626922-cup-of-sugar