They’re enemies—with benefits.
But what happens when their secret is revealed…
On the surface, ex-bounty hunter Asher Moon’s got it all together. But as soon as he sets foot on the family ranch, he’s thrown back into his role as his dysfunctional family’s glue, and now he’s got his own ugly past to cover up too. Just when he thinks he can’t handle any more drama, in walks the one woman who can make him groan—in every possible way.
Asher isn’t the kind of guy Kinsey Reynolds can take home to meet Daddy. But no matter how hard she tries, she can’t seem to keep the sexy man out of her panties. Problem is, he’s responsible for her brother going to prison, and that’s not something easily forgiven. As soon as she thinks she’s ready to kick Asher out of her life—and bed—he sweet-talks his way back, and the temptation is impossible to ignore…
Asher can’t trust anybody, not even a smoldering beauty who claims to have feelings for him. Kinsey wants the whole truth about the man Asher’s been hiding behind his tough-guy façade. But the more she learns about him, the more she fears she might be putting her heart at risk. Can these two opposites who attract create a happily ever after?
I’ve been loving this series and couldn’t wait to read Asher’s story.
Asher is a bounty hunter and his last bounty had some unexpected results. Totally shaken up, he returns home to Stokes but before he heads to Moon Ranch he goes to a friend’s birthday party.
Kinsey Reynolds has had a rough week but decides she needs the diversion of her friend Kelly’s birthday party to relax and unwind. It’s here she meets Asher and even before she gets that first drink they’re dancing but not for long.
This is a favorite scene.
Half an hour later, she left her apartment dressed in a body-hugging baby pink dress and heels. With her hair loose around her shoulders, she felt like a new woman, as far from her usual daily attire of game warden uniform and ponytail as possible.
When she reached Kelly’s house, she had trouble finding a place to park so made her own spot in the yard. Loud music greeted her ears. She didn’t bother knocking on the front door, because nobody would hear her anyway.
Bass drummed in her chest, and she cast a look at the packed house. Kelly had a lot of friends, but she’d obviously invited half of Stokes to celebrate her thirtieth birthday.
“Woo, girl. Lookin’ good!”
Kinsey glanced around to see an old high school acquaintance with a beer in hand bobbing his head to the music. Suddenly, she felt as if she’d tunneled back through time to her senior year of high school. The party guests, the music and the keg of beer in the corner felt like old times.
Okay, she’d only stay an hour or so, long enough to cut the cake and wish Kelly a happy birthday. Then she’d go home and have a big soak in the tub with her latest novel before falling into bed. Maybe she’d look at more rescue dogs. For a while now, she’d been considering adopting a pet—something to come home to and ease the stress of her life.
The guy waved his beer at her and ground his hips to the music. “Want some o’ this?”
She shook her head and moved through the crowd. People stood in clusters talking loudly over the music. Some sat in the corners of the living room drinking and vaping. When she reached the kitchen, she found Kelly seated like a queen on the kitchen counter, being hand-fed pizza by a hot body-builder type.
Kinsey giggled and swept forward to hug her friend, bumping the guy aside with a twitch of her hip. “Happy birthday! I see you’re taking full advantage of your special day.”
“Kinsey! Girl, I seriously didn’t think you’d come! Wowser, you look fantastic.” Kelly focused on the man who’d been feeding her the slice of pepperoni. “Doesn’t she, Mac? God, see those legs in high heels? I’m so jealous. And to think you’re stuck in that stodgy green and brown uniform all day long.”
Chuckling at her friend’s words, Kinsey simultaneously wondered why she’d chosen the curve-hugging dress and heels tonight. She hated being the center of attention.
Kelly jumped off the counter and landed on her own high heels. She didn’t bother tugging down her red skirt where it rode high on her hips, and then she grabbed Kinsey’s arm. “Let’s get a drink.”
“Okay, but I’m not letting you talk me into vodka. I’ll never touch the stuff again.”
“Not vodka. Nooo, I’ve got wine for us to celebrate.”
“That’s better.” She followed Kelly through the throng of people, who all shouted happy birthday to her as they passed. When they reached the bar cart in the living room next to the keg, Kinsey’s skin prickled.
Looking around, she caught sight of a man leaning against a doorway. One of the few not holding a drink, he stuck out from the others. Add in his height and muscled physique in low-slung jeans and a black T-shirt, and he definitely made a woman look twice.
His warm gaze locked on her, and her nipples beaded under her skimpy bra.
“Oh my God. Asher Moon’s looking at you.” As if avoiding being a true adult at thirty years old, Kelly sounded like a teenager tonight.
“Asher Moon,” she repeated with a shiver. “Is that who he is?”
“Yesss. Just walked back into town. I heard he hasn’t even gone home yet—he’s been crashing with an old friend here in Stokes.”
“I don’t remember him from high school.”
“Because he’s closer to my age. You were still in elementary school. I forget you’re the baby of my friends. C’mon—I’ll introduce you.”
Kelly dragged her by the arm up to the man leaning in the doorway. Up close, his hazel eyes looked like two bottomless forest pools, reflecting more than an alcohol-induced haze of the other men around her.
“Hi, Kelly. Happy birthday.” He leaned in and kissed her powdered cheek.
Kelly gripped his shoulder and gave him a big smile. “Do you know Kinsey?”
He shook his head. Kinsey definitely wished she’d foregone the tight dress, because her nipples were trying to jump out of the bodice and attack the gorgeous man standing before her.
Tall didn’t begin to explain him. Handsome either. Asher Moon seemed to own the room with a casual aloofness that told everybody he was head and shoulders above these small-town people he grew up around.
Why was she staring at his mouth? God, his lips looked hard—chiseled into the granite of his face.
Kinsey scrambled for her wits and smiled. “Hi.”
“Now you’re friends. Have you seen Gray anywhere, Asher?”
He shook his head.
“My boyfriend is never around when I’m looking for him.”
Kinsey spoke up, “I didn’t know he was your boyfriend.”
Kelly’s eyes sparkled. “One of them. I’m going to find him. Have some of that wine, Kinsey, darling.” She air-kissed Kinsey and vanished into the crowd, who threw out more “happy birthdays” as she went.
Suddenly, the music changed, and people flooded into the center of the room to dance. Feeling more out of place by the second, Kinsey chanced a look at Asher.
“You dance?” she asked. She had come out on a Friday night looking for fun.
His eyes warmed, but he didn’t smile. “C’mon.” He twitched his head for her to follow, and damn if her body didn’t sit up and beg at the unspoken command.
After he shouldered their path into the crowd, he stopped and turned to her. When he extended a hand, heat curled through her belly like a wisp of smoke. She placed her hand in his rough one, and he drew her in.
Her hips bumped his. And he began to grind to the music.
Oh God. She really couldn’t dance all that well, but her body reacted like it had taken classes. She swayed with him, and he brought a palm to her lower back.
“I like your dress. You look different from everyone else here.”
She didn’t—some were much more scantily clad and some looked downright slutty. “Thanks,” she said above the music.
His stare beat down into her, and her heart pounded in rhythm to their moves. “You grew up in Stokes?”
“Funny we never met.”
“Kelly said you’re close to her age. I’m five years younger.”
“Ah. Well, I’m happy to make your acquaintance.” He rubbed his hips against hers, and she felt the full-blown arousal in his jeans. Not any ordinary bulge—the man was packing.
“You wanna get outta here?” His steady gaze asked far more than for a breath of fresh air out on the deck.
Her body said yes. Her mind… Well, she didn’t have anything to lose. Leaving the party with the hottest man in Stokes—hell, in Colorado—didn’t seem like something she’d regret.
She nodded and slipped her hand into his. With a flash of white teeth that had her heart doing back-flips and warmth licking at her insides, he towed her to the front door and outside.
Em Petrova. ChiseledandCherished (Kindle Locations 155-219). Kindle Edition.
Now Kinsey had meant for it to be a one night stand, as did Asher. However they get thrown together again as a pack of coyotes starts attacking ranches in the area. It also comes out that he’s the one who found her brother Trent after he skipped bail, and she’s a bit delusional where her brother’s credibility is concerned.
Here’s the thing, I love a really hot sexy book and this one definitely qualifies, but a lot of those scenes showed up where Kinsey is working. They were in the middle of nowhere, but I felt that even though Asher and her have that intense attraction, he totally disrespected her and her position as a Game Warden.
This is my least favorite of the series, I thought the others were much better story wise and I could see the love all the way through them. This one not so much. With this one I think I would have liked more story and romance, with fewer of those Kindle melting scenes.
3 Purrs for Em!
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Em Petrova was raised by hippies in the wilds of Pennsylvania but told her parents at the age of four she wanted to be a gypsy when she grew up. She has a soft spot for babies, puppies and 90s Grunge music and believes in Bigfoot and aliens. She started writing at the age of twelve and prides herself on making her characters larger than life and her sex scenes hotter than hot.
She burst into the world of publishing in 2010 after having five beautiful bambinos and figuring they were old enough to get their own snacks while she pounds away at the keys. In her not-so-spare time, she is fur-mommy to a Labradoodle named Daisy Hasselhoff and works as editor with USA Today and New York Times bestselling authors.