We’re celebrating the release of LOVE SO HOT by Marquita Valentine!
Bank Teller and all around good girl, Sydney McKnight, is tired of being the girl all the guys want to have as a friend. Who better to help unleash her inner vixen than her best friend and secret crush, Brody Lawson? Only, Sydney has no idea how to ask him, without their friendship going up in flames, until that is, the town of Jessamine’s annual Firemen’s Auction gives her the perfect excuse to set her plan into motion.
Fire Captain Brody Lawson has been in love with his best friend, Sydney, for years, but he would never risk their friendship by confessing his feelings to her. So, when Sydney beats out the competition to buy his time at the annual Firemen’s Auction, Brody can hardly believe his luck until she asks him to teach her how to seduce a fellow fireman.
Now, it’s up to Brody to show Sydney how perfect she already is and convince her that the only man for her is him, because if Sydney is going to seduce any man, it’s going to be him. And once he has her in his bed, he’s not letting her go.
The thought of Sydney’s love life made his jaw clench.
“Want some help?” he asked, unable to stay away a minute longer.
Pausing, she glanced at him over her shoulder. “Sure.”
He began to clean up alongside her, working in comfortable silence for a bit. “Have you seen the new Avengers movie yet?” he asked, knowing full well she hadn’t.
“We’re going together, remember?” she said, tossing a water bottle into the recycling bin. “Next Saturday.”
“That’s the night of the auction,” he pointed out.
“I planned on going to both. We can go to the matinée instead and still have plenty of time to get ready.” She sat down on the bench and looked up at him, her baby blue eyes vibrant. “Want to be my date to the auction? I’ve never been before, so—”
“I already have a date, but you could come with us.” Smooth, Brody, real smooth. Asking her to be the odd man out was exactly how he should treat his best friend.
She made a face. “I think I’ll pass.”
He exhaled. “Look, about the other day. I hurt your feelings, and I’m sorry. Cherry put me in an awkward spot. We’re friends, and I don’t want anything to come between us.”
Her eyes became downcast. “Yeah, me either,” she said quietly.
He knelt down beside her and hooked a finger under her chin, lifting it up. Her lips were so close to his that he could hardly breathe. He’d never been this close to Sydney in his life, and he never had to fight back the biting need to kiss her before. Not like this.
“You’re a beautiful woman, Syd, and someday, the right man will come along. Nothing and no one will be able to stop him from making you his,” he said.
Her lashes fluttered, her eyes turning dark. Then she blinked. “Except when he figures out I’m better at being friends than anything else.”
“Then don’t give him a chance to see you that way.”
She pulled out of his grip. “It’s not that easy.” Busying herself with the last of the trash, she tossed more bottles into the recycling bin. “Anyway, if you still want to go to the movie with me, meet me there at one. If not, I’ll see you at the auction.”
“I can’t imagine who you’ll bid on,” he said, rubbing his chin.
“Why?” Her blue eyes blazed at him. “Do you expect me to only sit in the audience and not participate?”
“Then I don’t see what your problem is.” Head held high, she attempted to march past him.
He caught her by the shoulders. Man, it felt amazing to touch her. If only he had the excuse to touch her all the time. To kiss her, to be the reason why her lips were swollen and her hair was messy in the morning. He gave himself a mental shake. Best friend. Best friend. There was no way he’d ruin that with her.
“My problem is with my best friend being treated poorly. You know how the auction goes—it’s rigged. I don’t want you to be embarrassed.”
“I didn’t feel embarrassed until right this minute. Besides, how do you know that I don’t already have someone in mind, and he’s very happy about it? And, Lemon is the emcee. She’ll make sure I get who I want.”
“Excuse me?” Who she wanted? Who did she want?
“You heard me. You’re just choosing not to listen.” She made a noise of disbelief. “Our first fight and it’s over this.”
Taken aback by her observation, he let go of her shoulders. “We’re not fighting.” They never fought, even when they had a difference of opinion.
She fisted her hands on her hips, a mutinous expression on her face. “I’m going. You don’t have a say in what I do. So, if you don’t like it, then stay home, Brody Lawson.”
He fought to get control of his rising temper. “Oh, I’ll be there. If only to make sure you don’t do something stupid like bid on Kyle Davidson.”
Face flushing, she gasped. “What?”
“You heard me,” he said, throwing her words back at her. “He’s too young for you, and he’s—”
“Too young for me? Wow.” She shook her head. “First, I’m stupid, and now I’m old. Thanks, buddy.”
This time, he let her march past him without stopping.
Yep, he was a first-rate jerk and selfish to boot. He scrubbed a hand over his face. There had to be some way to make it up to her, even if it meant making sure she had the winning bid on Kyle.
$50 Gift Card (winner’s choice)
New York Times Bestselling Author, Marquita Valentine, writes sexy heroes that make you swoon and sassy heroines that make you laugh. She’s the author of the bestselling contemporary romance series, Holland Springs, and the new adult romance series, Boys of the South.
Marquita met her husband aka Hot Builder at Sonic when they were in high school. She suggests this location to all of her single friends in search of a good man—and if that doesn’t work, they can console themselves with cheesy tatertots. She lives in North Carolina in a very, very small town with Hot Builder and their two children.