Caution: Filling is Hot
by Tara Mills
Here's a recipe to share with friends. Take one prickly demonstration cook, handle carefully. Add one lonely widower, slightly beaten. Mix gently. Fold in two six-year-olds, one at a time to temper the batter and avoid scrambling. Then finally, add the mother with an agenda—but just a dash, because she's spicy. Whip into stiff peaks then spread over an ungreased sheet for best results. Method of cooking can vary, however—Caution: Filling is Hot.
Piper Frost is taking a break from men when contractor Chad Thomas crashes her cooking class and turns on the charm. His persistence annoys her but she's already melting, even without his sneaky mother and conspiring twins in the mix. But just when things are really starting to sizzle, disaster strikes. Can Piper save her recipe for happily ever after or is it already ruined? Grab your oven mitts and find out.
Content Warning: contains sensual sex and mild language
Note: This book has been previously published.
Time moved sluggishly while Piper and Chad sipped wine, their eyes locked. The space between them felt weighted. As it collapsed into itself, it drew them in too, until they were so close their breath mingled. The faint smell of the crisp wine seemed to be the only thing resistant to the pull. Piper's lashes drooped, suddenly heavy. Just when she felt the barest tickle of his lips on hers a sound as loud as a bowling ball crashing down the stairs jolted them both back to reality. They sprang guiltily apart right before Kenny stormed into the room.
"Missy's not out yet!"
Chad looked at Piper with a mixture of disappointment and apology. "Will you excuse me a second?"
When Chad walked back through the archway a few minutes later the pleasure Piper felt was so intense it terrified her. Shaken, she downed the last of her wine and bolted to her feet, setting the empty glass on the coffee table.
"I'm sorry, but I really need to get going. My work schedule is changing and I've got an early day tomorrow," she said in a rush, practically stumbling over her excuses.
He looked disappointed, but didn't argue. "Okay. I'll get your purse."
She followed him back to the kitchen and waited impatiently while he pulled it out of the drawer. Handing it over, Chad followed Piper back down the hall to the foyer. She wanted nothing more at that particular moment than to put some distance between them, fast, before it was too late.
Her pulse quickened when she realized his intentions. "You don't have to walk me out."
"Of course I do," he said. She could see there was no discouraging him.
They reached her car and Piper moved to open her door, but Chad's palm landed flat against the window, holding it closed. Startled, she faced him, acutely aware of just how close he was to her.
"Listen, I should have thanked you for tonight. I had a nice time." Piper's lame attempt at defusing the tension was obvious.
Chad nodded, his heavenly eyes considering her thoughtfully.
Nervous perspiration started to trickle from her pores. "And you have two really great kids. Say goodnight for me, would you?"
He nodded again. "Why are you running, Piper?" His voice was so soft, so low it was almost a whisper. He leaned closer, forcing her to look up at him.
Her eyes darted to the right when she tried to deny it. "I'm not."
"Oh, that was convincing." He chuckled. "Can we cut the bullshit? You do something to me. Clearly, I'm affecting you. I think we owe it to ourselves to explore it—together."
Piper couldn't formulate a single coherent thought when he was practically touching her, crowding her like this. Chad was much too close, too warm. Way too appealing. The intoxicating smell of him insinuated itself into her nose like a drug and pumped her already careening blood flow even faster through her body.
His control astounded her. There she was, practically firing flames from her fingertips, and he was the definition of cool. She held her breath when he slowly tipped her chin up then lowered his mouth to hers. Piper found herself responding, unable to do anything else. When he eased back his eyes held hers, a captured thing. She only had enough time for one quick intake of air before he dove again and swallowed the breath right out of her.
This kiss was harder, more demanding, and Piper rode the curve of the car like a chamois cloth as he bent her backward. Chad's body molded itself to hers, pressed tight while his fingers combed through her hair. When he finally moved back, he brought Piper with him, returning her to an upright position. Her legs buckled.
"Whoa there," he said, catching her.
He pulled her door open and Piper dropped weakly onto the seat and stared up at him with dazed eyes.
"Where are your keys?" Chad's question barely penetrated her mental fog.
Piper pulled them from her purse and started the engine.
Chad watched her, concern etched on his face. "Hey, are you going to be okay?"
She nodded, completely rattled and not entirely sure what he just asked.
"Open your window. I think you need the air." He smiled and closed the door for her.
Piper lowered the glass and looked up at him, her fog of confusion beginning to clear.
He leaned in. "Be safe. I'll call you."
"Okay," she mumbled.
Piper stared in confusion at her steering wheel. She'd lost her marbles! Where the hell was she going again? Oh right, home, she needed to get home. She hoped she could find her way back from here. She couldn't believe how he'd completely rearranged her gray matter with a kiss.
~About the Author~
I write stories I like to read--contemporary romances with identifiable characters and themes. Life is hard. Love makes it bearable. If you enjoy stories with heat and humor, I have a title for you.
I'm a pampered wife, lucky mom to three amazing sons and one wonderful daughter-in-law, and I recently became a very young grandma. I should probably underline the word very. Oh heck, why not the word young too? Nah, you get the picture. I'm also the daily monitor of one naughty dog with attitude.
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