I’m determined to enjoy myself during what was supposed to be my honeymoon, crashing alone at my brother’s best friend’s houseboat. But I’m not alone–he’s here, and he’s tan, toned, and tempting as hell. Readers who enjoy the Man of the Month Club collection will devour Flirt Like a Fool by Ellen Brooks, a steamy, small town, brother’s best friend, beach romance.
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I don’t need a change of pace; I need a change of life, but for now I’ll settle for a week of surf, sand, and fun in the sun, along with my new mantra—flirt like a fool.
I’m determined to enjoy myself during what was supposed to be my honeymoon even though, thanks to a cheating ex-fiancé, I won’t be a newlywed lounging at a five-star resort in the Caribbean, but rather crashing solo at my brother’s best friend’s houseboat in the Florida Keys while he’s away.
It might be a Christmas themed small town, but it’s still the beach, right? As long as there’s a fruity frozen cocktail with my name on it, I’ll be fine, really.
Until I arrive and discover my brother’s best friend isn’t away after all. He’s right here and is toned, tan, and tempting as hell. But, he’s off limits… even if his houseboat only has one bed.
Copyright 2023 Ellen Brooks
With one towel wrapped turban-style around my wet hair and another around my body, I emerge from the bathroom, belting out the chorus and dart to grab my clothes from the dryer down the hall, not expecting to slam directly into AJ’s broad frame.
Startled, I slip, and my wet feet slide out from underneath me. I flail one arm out and try to grab the doorjamb but go down, landing unceremoniously on my ass with a loud, “Oomph.”
My other hand keeps a deathlike grip on the towel, which fortunately, has prevented it from falling off completely. As it is, the slit gapes wide, and my entire thigh and half of my ass are on display. I squeeze my legs closed and hope he’s tall enough that, from his angle, my position doesn’t reveal any more than that.
AJ springs forward and reaches down to help me to my feet. With one warm hand on each of my shoulders, he holds me steady. His eyes, wide with concern, meet mine. “Are you alright?”
“I’m fine,” I insist, aware of how my breathless answer sounds completely unconvincing, and add a firm nod.
Our bodies are mere inches apart. Close enough the towel brushes him. I secure it tighter around my naked body. The fall jarred the one wrapped around my head, and it’s about to slide off, so I reach up and pull it down, shaking out my hair. The wet strands fall past my shoulders. I don’t even want to think about how I look right now, not that my thoughts are anywhere close to coherent at the moment. Not with this sexy man so close his body warmth is raising my temperature—fast.
Then I register his appearance. If someone told me an athletic apparel company was doing a photoshoot on Candy Cane Key and AJ was the model, I wouldn’t doubt it. His face is flushed, eyes bright with energy, and the light stubble across his cheeks and jaw beg for my touch.
A sheen of perspiration glows on his skin, and sweat darkens his light blue shirt. He opens his mouth as if he is going to speak but then snaps it closed without uttering a word. He shakes his head. Not a vigorous movement. In fact, it’s barely noticeable. Likely, I would have missed it if he wasn’t so close. And staring directly at me.
My tongue darts out to wet my lips, and his gaze falls to my mouth. His eyes narrow, and it might be my imagination, but he leans in, and I tilt my head up.
He’s going to kiss me. I feel it in my bones. But the boat rocks on a wave and interrupts the moment. As if coming to his senses, he releases my shoulders and steps back. Cool air rushed to fill the gap, and I shiver.
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About Ellen Brooks
Ellen Brooks believes in love at first sight, eating cake for breakfast, and staying up way too late.
She’s a classically trained pastry chef who now spends her days whipping up sexy and satisfying modern day love stories.
When she’s not dreaming up her next characters, or plotting a happily ever after, you’ll find her absorbed in a book, relaxing into shavasana, or downing a caffè americano. Oh, and belting out the lyrics to Hamilton.
Ellen lives in the desert southwest where she still *occasionally bakes a batch of cookies for her real-life hero and two girls.
*code for not often enough, if you ask them
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