New from Ferndean Press: Rebound Babies, a very sexy contemporary romance novel by Tobi Doyle and Rebecca Barray. This is the third book in the Rebound Baby standalone series chronicling the widespread effects of tampering with the condom stash at a fraternity house party.
Melinda Noonan has perfected the art of looking cool under pressure, intelligent when confused, and happy when she’d rather cry. Her mother’s strict rules of propriety drive her to be the woman she is today: successful, organized, and independent. Her reserved facade hides the fear that her imperfections make her unlovable. She loves her mother but the constant interference pushes Mel to act out of character, tipping the first in a series of dominoes that ends with triplets.
Michael Salvatore loved the Marines: order, hard work, his brothers, his service to his country. After getting out, he built a successful security firm in Indianapolis and hires Melinda to handle PR. When she admits she’s pregnant, Mike is reminded of his ex-wife who had an abortion without his consent while he served overseas. With nine brothers and sisters, and forty-four nieces and nephews, he always presumed he’d have a big family, but lately, the women he’s dated are more concerned with their career. He’s in awe of Mel’s strength and dedication to her unborn babies, but frustrated by her insistence on doing everything herself. Mike struggles with his dominant nature and his desire to provide.
As they grow closer, Mel discovers that submitting to Mike in the bedroom is an empowering experience. But all those years of being taught what’s appropriate make it difficult for her to look past her preconceived notions that an unconventional sexual relationship is not respectable.
Can Mike persuade her that if you strip away the titles, the nature of their D/s relationship is perfect for them?
She was nervous to drive over to the store alone with him, afraid that she would drool or somehow make a bigger fool of herself. Mike led her out to his SUV and helped her in. He climbed in and started rambling about his family. It struck Mel as odd, since Anna had said he was so quiet. Mike explained that out of his ten siblings, he had one OB/Gyn and two sisters that owned the resale shop Frugal Momma. He briefly mentioned a brother that was a police officer in Texas, and one that was an architect, or maybe that was a brother-in-law.
As he turned into to the busy traffic, he looked over at Mel. “Anna says you’re good with social media stuff.”
Mel nodded, unable to speak in his presence.
He tapped his fingers on the steering wheel. “So, I gotta gal.” He looked over at her. “A client. She kind of got into a situation with a real douche, ‘scuse me, and I need someone to handle her,” he grimaced and growled, “social media presence.”
Mel found her voice. “I can do that.”
Mike nodded and flicked his eyes over to her. “I don’t bite, ya know.”
Mel laughed mirthlessly and muttered, “That’s a damn shame.” She noticed the car slow and winced at Mike’s surprised face. “God, I’m sorry. It’s like I can’t be normal around you. I understand if you don’t want to hire me, because quite honestly, I can’t imagine working with you.”
His brows furrowed. “Why?”
Mel snapped. “Because my brain stops working. You’re too freakin’ attractive to be real. Oh, hell, I’m pregnant and hormonal, and dammit, whatever pheromones you’re producing are driving me insane. It’s all I can do, not to climb into your lap and beg you to…” Mel’s eye widened, and her hand slapped over her mouth. “Ohmigod. I’m so sorry. I apologize.”
He winked at her. “Don’t apologize. I believe honesty is always a good thing. Do you think you can be professional between nine and five,” he laughed before continuing, “if I’m not there?”
Mel blinked. “Um, we won’t be working at the same office?”
He chuckled. “No, Irish, not usually. I spend about half my time in the field and I generally work out of my house. There’s an office on the 465, just south of Carmel, where you will work.”
Mel pouted and caught herself. She wrinkled her nose at him. “I suppose that would help. Not being in your pheromone zone, I mean.”
“Yes,” Mel said drily, “You heard me, and I didn’t appreciate your attempt at footsies under the table.”
He chuckled. “I like the way your breathing changes when I touch you. I had to see if it was a fluke or easily reproducible.”
“Oh, God,” Mel moaned. “Just shoot me now.” She scolded, “It’s not cool to make fun of the single, pregnant woman.”
Mike watched the traffic, weaving in and out, but his eyebrows were raised. He was silent for a few moments before he flicked his gaze at her and held hers, saying quietly, “I would love to fucking bite you.” His eyes went back to the traffic and he shrugged. “Look, nine to five is reserved for work, anything after that is up to us.”
Mel nodded, her cheeks burning. The thought of actually having sex with a man who had the ability to turn her on just by being near, sent electricity through her body.
He grunted. “Fuck, keep looking at me like that, and I’ll have to pull over.”
Mel blinked and whispered quietly, “Sorry.” Her uterus leapt in joy. A man—a real man—was interested in her.
He grunted and shook his head. Mel’s insecurities took hold, his simple head shake could be interpreted in a multitude of ways. Mel knew that nonverbal communication was fraught with misunderstandings, but still, her brain was working on a different wavelength due to hormones. Mel interpreted his grunt and head shake as disgust with himself for finding her attractive. Her lips thinned and she felt herself shrink in the seat. Mike pulled into a parking lot and abruptly stopped the car.
“Irish.” Mike commanded her attention. He unbuckled his seatbelt and hers, and leaned over to cup her face. “Don’t think so much.” He kissed her, his lips demanding, his hand burying itself into her hair and drawing her closer. She moaned in appreciation of his technique. Soft lips but sure, the man kissed with confidence and her body responded. Her toes curled in her shoes, and her hand gripped the front of his shirt, knotting it as she pulled him closer. Her body wanted him; it was illogical, imprudent, and extremely ill-timed. Yet, there was no denying her reaction to him. He bit her bottom lip and growled, “Want to taste you, dammit.” Somewhere in her brain, she registered the slight sting of pain, but the way he soothed it made her want more. He sat back and shook his head, “Fuck, you taste sweet.” He gently disengaged her hand from his shirt, “Look Irish, you’re too fucking sweet for a guy like me.”
“Why?” Mel asked breathlessly.
He grunted. “Because all I want to do, is fuck you until you forget the piece of shit who was there before me.”
Mel blinked. “Who?”
Mike chuckled darkly. “You’re so damn sweet.” He leaned over and kissed her lips chastely. “Come on, Irish.” He pulled the key out of the ignition and the doors unlocked. Mel moved to open her door and Mike grunted, “Wait up.”
She waited until he came around and offered his hand as she slid out of the SUV. His face was completely neutral, but his shirt was pulled out from his pants and he was walking stiffly, her only assurance that he was as affected just as much as she was.