When my best friend asks me to put her brother up at my place for a while, I’m totally on board. After all, I practically grew up in Chloe and Gideon’s house, so I used to kind of know him. Those childhood memories don’t compare to the real Gideon Reece when he shows up ready to be my temporary roommate. He’s grown into a smoking hot guy complete with tattoos, rakish-looking hair, and a face that looks like art. Too bad he’s a pompous jerk.
My sister’s best friend is going to drive me crazy before my stay here is over. She’s prettier than I remember, but she’s all sunshine and chatter, like she thinks we’re going to be besties while I’m here. Spoiler alert: we’re not. I’m here to secure a job and find a place to live, and in the meantime, I have no interest in palling around with Skye Stafford.
Then why did I kiss her? Probably the same reason I can’t get her off my mind. She’s completely different from any woman I’ve ever known, and to my regret, I can’t get enough of her. I have to keep my hands to myself, because I’d never forgive myself if I came between Chloe and Skye.
Skye wasn’t sure what she was expecting when she said her best friend Chloe’s brother Gideon could stay with her. He certainly could be her twin they look so much alike. It’s his whole demeanor that throws her off. Why she was expecting him to have Chloe’s vibrant personality she has no idea. He isn’t anything like her in that respect.
Gideon is a composer, although he plays just about any instrument and has made his living playing around the country. He’s come to St. Louis for a job interview and staying with her will only be temporary until he settles. The Hep Cat could be his if he finds it to be a good fit. They have all types of vinyl, rent and sell instruments, give lessons and rent out practice space. The owner, Wamba, is going to visit his children and grandchildren out in the desert and if he likes it there, he’s going to move. Life hasn’t been the same for him here since his wife passed.
They pretty much work out a schedule that fits them. He stays late at the music store most nights.
This is a favorite scene.
“What are you doing?”
Frame in one hand and my hammer in the other, I stop just inside my bedroom and look at Gideon.
“What’s it look like?”
My sarcasm flies out the window when he tips his head like he’s actually thinking about it. I feel the heat from his intense stare as it travels up over my black heels and bare legs and skinny gray pencil skirt. What had he called it last night? Corporate getup?
“Kinda like an eighties music video,” he answers with a shrug. “Maybe porn.”
Stunned by his answer, I take half a second to wonder if I’m offended. The laugh pops out before I make up my mind. I hold out the hammer and twist it this way and that and finally shudder when I look back at him.
“I’m going to hang this picture.” I turn my back on him and put the frame and hammer down on my bed.
I peek at him over my shoulder and shake my head. “No thanks.”
“Well, I mean, you can’t just hammer a nail in a wall and be done with it. You have to measure, so you’re not crooked.”
“I’m not crooked,” I promise him. I kick off my heels and lead him to the spot on the wall I’ve already measured and marked. “I did that first.”
Rather than look at the spot on the wall, Gideon studies me. Up close to him like this, I smell his cologne. Something woodsy but not overpowering. He also smells like old books or at least an old building— like the mix of paper and dust.
“Did you work late?” he asks me, and when I shake my head, he asks, “Why are you still dressed like that?”
Wow. He really does have an issue with professional attire.
“Had a date,” I answer. I left my nail out on the counter, so I go to get it. When I come back in, Gideon’s looking around my room. My cheeks heat with embarrassment when I see a lacey black bra tossed over the nightstand. He looks at me again with narrowed eyes, as if he’s trying to work out if I brought my date home and slept with him and forgot to put my bra on when I got dressed again.
“Mm-hmm.” I stick the nail between my teeth and eye the spot I marked earlier with a pencil.
“Don’t know him.”
“No kidding.” I speak around the nail in my teeth and roll my eyes. “He works at the bank.”
“That your type?” I wouldn’t swear to it, but he sounds disappointed.
“Will you gimme the hammer?” Nail still between my teeth, I hold my hand out and nod my thanks when he puts the hammer on my palm. Taking the nail out of my teeth, I lean closer to the wall and tap it gently with the hammer.
“Did you use a stud finder?”
“For the date? No.” I shake my head. “Maybe that was the problem.”
I have to look at him when I hear his soft laugh.
“I meant for the nail.” He points at the wall. “I’m surprised you can use nails in a new apartment.”
“Landlord thinks that sticky stuff is the devil’s invention. Told me to hammer as much as I want.”
Gideon’s eyebrows shoot up to his hairline as his face crinkles with laughter.
“Tell me you meant to say that.”
“Totally did,” I promise him.
Tracy Broemmer. The Jane Thing (Kindle Locations 538-566).
Skye gets a bit miffed when he takes her favorite reading spot, but she doesn’t say anything so how could he know. Her huffing and puffing won’t magically give him that information.
There’s an intense attraction between these two as well, and when that leads to more things really get interesting and very hot.
Things do get complicated when Gideon’s sister comes to visit and that leads to something I didn’t really see coming.
This is a fun read, with sightseeing, dates, tears and kindle melting heat.
5 Contented Purrs for Tracy!
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Tracy Broemmer is the author of several contemporary romance novels including The Mississippi Queen Trilogy, Toasted, and the H Books. Tracy also writes women’s fiction and is the author of the Williams Legacy series as well as several stand-alone titles. Tracy’s books have been called gripping, emotional, and timely, and readers describe her characters as real and relatable. Tracy lives in Midwestern Illinois with her husband of 29 years.
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