Title: Build: A Bad Boy Snowed In Romance
Series: Burns Brothers #1
Author: Gillian Archer
Genre: Steamy Contemporary Romance
Release Date: January 29, 2019
Welcome to Bad@ss Builds where the motorcycles are as sexy as the brothers building them.
I thought she wasn’t real the first time I saw her. To be fair I was a hungover mess when I woke up and looked into her gorgeous eyes. After getting the second worst news of my life—that my father would be paroled soon—I’d escaped to my buddy’s posh cabin near Lake Tahoe. Now the maid with the gorgeous eyes is snowed in with me, and I wonder if she might be a better distraction than the mountain of booze I’d planned on drinking. She’s curvy in all the right places, and the snow is falling faster.
As a single mom, I don’t have time for men, especially irresponsible tattooed bad boys like my ex. But Austin is hot. And sexy. And stuck here in the cabin with me. I can’t say no to a fling with this bad boy, especially since Austin is so gorgeous and awkwardly sweet.
One night becomes two, and I don’t know if I can risk my heart—and my little boy’s—if Austin wants it to become more when we get through the snow and back to reality.
Apple Books: https://apple.co/2PSUl1A
I’d just straightened up the pile of mats when a scraping sound caught my attention. Raising the blinds, I looked out the window and saw Rachel standing in the middle of the road, shovel in hand, pushing the snow into big piles. She’d got about ten feet of road cleared in addition to her car.
Did she really think she could plow the fucking road between here and the highway? It was miles of road!
“Son of a bitch.” I ran out of the room. Three steps later, I almost tripped over Blue in the hallway. He’d taken up a post between me and the doorway, almost like he couldn’t decide who he should be guarding. “Hey, boy. You okay?”
Blue sat up with a whine and swung his head toward the front door.
“Yeah, I think we gotta talk some sense in her. She can’t plow the fucking road all by herself. Come on.” I grabbed my coat next to the door and pulled it on over my naked chest. My shirt was balled up somewhere in Cole’s home gym. I shoved my bare feet into my boots next to the door and half-assedly laced them up. Blue whined next to me, urging me to hurry. I ripped open the door, and Blue bounded out, with me close on his heels.
“What the hell are you doing, woman!” I shouted before I met up with Rachel.
She glanced at me then bent down to pet Blue. “What does it look like?”
“It looks like you’re fucking insane. You do know there’s like five miles of road between us and the highway, right? Are you planning on plowing the whole fucking thing by hand?”
“I have to do something!” Rachel waved an agitated hand as she stood back up to face me. “I can’t just sit here and wait for someone to call or show up. I have people waiting on me—my family is counting on me.”
“You think I don’t know that? You think the same fucking thing isn’t happening to me right now? I was supposed to be at work today too. Our scariest fucking client is expecting a bike delivery today, and I’m not gonna be there to stand between him and my brother. That’s my job! That’s what I’ve done my whole life, and today I’m not gonna be there. I won’t be there to protect him.”
Rachel stared back at me with wide eyes, and her mouth opened and closed like a fish.
I sighed as some of my anger melted away at Rachel’s bewilderment.
I hadn’t meant to reveal so much. My shit was my shit. No one else needed to know what was really going on in my life—least of all a piece of ass I’d hooked up with for a night. I just had so much anger pent up. Booze hadn’t helped. Exercise hadn’t helped. Really the only thing that’d worked was when I had her naked and under me, but that’d never happen again.
I needed to get my shit under control.
“Look, I’m sorry, okay?” I reached over and gently took the snow shovel out of her hands. “We all have shit—that’s all I’m saying. Well, that, and there’s no way either of us is going to be able to dig our way out of this mess. There’s too much road between us and the highway. It’s dangerous. We’re better off waiting until the plow comes. I don’t know where the hell Cole’s business manager is, but he still hasn’t called me back. If you’d like, I can call around and see if I can find another service.”
Rachel bit her lip and looked down the long, snow-covered road, her brow wrinkled.
“I’ll even pay.”
Rachel’s eyes shot to mine. “It’s not the money that’s bothering me. Well, it is, ‘cause I can’t afford it, but I’m worried about the weather. There’s supposed to be another system moving in this afternoon. If we can’t get out of here by noon, I doubt you’ll find another outfit willing to come out in the middle of another storm. We could be trapped here overnight again.”
I nodded slowly. “I’ll get on the horn and see if we can get you home to your little boy sooner than later.”
“Are you this indecisive with every fucking thing, or do I just bring it out in ya?” Austin grumbled from somewhere inside the room.
I cleared my throat. “Where, um, where is the dog?”
The room in front of me was a dark cave, and I had that prickling sensation that someone or something was watching me in a menacing way. I just knew it was Blue.
“He’s in here next to me. Relax. Contrary to his growl, he’s just a big baby. You got nothing to worry about.”
“Maybe you could grab one of those chargers for me and fling it in my general direction?” I would’ve turned tail and run already, but I needed to charge my phone. I had to talk to my kid soon, and I should’ve called my boss an hour ago.
“Blue is really docile. I swear. Come on over and pet him. You’ll see.”
My eyes had adjusted to the lack of lighting, and I could see Austin in the front row of recliners with a large dark shadow at his feet.
My heart pounded into my throat. “Yeah, no. I’m good here.”
“Blue, stay.” Austin commanded before he huffed as he got up then walked to the back of the room and fiddled with something. I didn’t really watch him—I was too busy keeping my eyes on the shadow in front of the recliners. A soft panting let me know that I was right. Blue was right there, probably watching me with his big, hungry eyes.
I flinched when Austin appeared at my side. My fight or flight instincts kicked in as I took a few steps back—away from him or the dog I didn’t know. I just wanted to fly away.
“Whoa. Hold up. It’s okay. No one here—man or dog—is gonna hurt you. If it’ll make you feel better, you can take your charger and hole up in a bedroom with the door locked or whatever. Here.” He held the cord out in his hand and the gentle, understanding look in his eyes melted me, and I started babbling.
“I don’t want to be antisocial, it’s just that dogs kinda scare me.” And you kinda scare me too.
“Ah, I’m sorry, sweetheart. I’ll put him in the garage so you don’t—”
“Oh no. You don’t have to do that. I don’t want you kicking him out. I can hang out upstairs or something.”
“It’s not exactly like I’m putting Blue out in the cold. Cole’s garage is nicer than most people’s houses. It’s nicer than the house I grew up in. Blue will be fine.”
I shook my head as I accepted the cord. “I’d still feel bad.”
Austin rocked back on his heels and stuffed his hands in his back pockets. “How deep is this fear of yours? Could you come over and meet Blue? I’ll turn on the lights and stand between you. Despite his size, he’s really a big marshmallow, I swear.”
I bit my lip in indecision. Austin was persuasive, but my fear of dogs went pretty deep. If Blue was a Pitbull, I was out of here. “What breed is he?”
“He’s a Great Dane. They’re the teddy bears of dogs, I promise.”
“I, uh, okay.”
Austin smiled at me as he grabbed my hand. My heart stuttered for a second before it pounded hard in my chest. I’d like to attribute my sudden arrhythmia to fear, but I knew better. I just didn’t want to think about it. Nothing was going to come of this anyway—Austin still thought I had a man back home.
He flicked on the light switch with his other hand, flooding the room with light. I blinked against the glare then focused on the large dog on the floor. My whole body tensed. The dog’s head tilted as he watched me. Unlike the monster that’d mauled me as a teenager, this dog was kinda…lazy looking. Blue let out a soft sigh then fell over onto his side with a human sounding groan. My lips curled slightly, and most of the tension drained from me. He looked sweet and not threatening at all.
“See? He’s a lazy lump. Most days I’m lucky if I can get him off the couch. He’s like a big, lazy teenager but with none of the attitude. And trust me, I’d know.”
I nodded slightly, not letting Blue out of my sight. I knew Austin was the oldest of four brothers. But I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to look like the crazy stalker I clearly was.
Austin’s rumbling voice tore me from my thoughts. “Are you okay with getting closer to him? Blue won’t mind.”
“I, uh, okay,” I mumbled. Blue looked sweet enough, but I was still too nervous to trust he was a teddy bear. He still looked very doglike to me.
“I got Blue two years ago. When he was a puppy, he was the size of most medium adult dogs. But he was as lazy as ever, even as a puppy.” Austin chattered away as we approached the dog in question. Blue blinked languidly at us but didn’t get up, or even lift his head. A low thumping sound pulsed in the silent room as Blue’s tail wagged, walloping away at the floor. “He’s lazy; he won’t get up even when he’s excited.”
My smile grew as I watched Austin kneel down next to the prone dog. He rubbed Blue on his ribs, but still the dog didn’t really move—aside from his tail, which continued to thump against the floor. “Who’s a good boy? Who’s a good boy?”
The baby talk was ridiculously sweet and totally at odds with his professional persona. With the tattoos and muscles and overall badass aura, it made my ovaries flutter to watch Austin caress and sweettalk his dog. And it totally distracted me from my fear, right up to the point that Austin grabbed my hand again.
“You okay with giving him a little pat? I’ll keep myself between you two for your peace of mind, but you’ve got nothing to worry about. He let my brothers lay on top of him.”
My heartbeat thrummed in my ears from the combination of my fear and Austin’s touch. But that sweet, soft look in his eye had me grinning, and before I even realized it, words were coming out of my mouth. “I, uh, yeah sure. That’s okay.”
Austin guided my hand toward Blue’s blue-grey coat. The dog didn’t flinch as our entwined hands moved over him. His fur was soft and kinda bristly. And warm. After a minute Blue groaned again and rolled onto his back, leaving his soft fleshy belly exposed.
“He really loves belly rubs. Here.” Austin moved our hands over Blue’s belly which felt surprisingly like my own skin—soft, hairless, and with that give of a not really firm tummy.
I laughed as I petted him. Austin smiled and looked into my eyes as our hands continued to move over Blue.
“See? Nothing to worry about. Blue’s just a big ol’ baby. Not a scary bone in his body.” Austin’s fingers linked with mine for a second.
I looked down at our joined hands and felt a tingle between my legs. It’d been so, so long since I’d been near a guy I kinda liked, let alone touched one. But I knew no matter how I felt, nothing would ever come of it. I had a son at home, a mom to take care of, and besides, I doubted he had the same jolt that I’d felt just because our hands had touched. He still thought I was married.
You could fix that, a naughty little voice whispered in my head. But I couldn’t think of a way to bring it up that didn’t sound like a come-on. I didn’t want to look like a needy hussy, especially if he wasn’t into me. How embarrassing would that be, if I all but threw myself at him and he rejected me? Meanwhile, we had to spend however much time together. Alone.
No thank you.
I broke our kiss with a groan. I needed air. The combination of his nimble tongue and my dirty thoughts had me panting. Meanwhile Austin’s lips cruised down to suckle my neck. His teeth rasped against my tender skin just before he sucked a bit of my skin deep into his mouth. But apparently that wasn’t enough for him because a moment later he shifted his hands, grabbed me under my arms and hoisted me over his shoulder.
“Austin! Oh my god, don’t drop me.”
“Fuck me. You worry too much, sweetheart.”
I wanted to laugh at that, but the position I was in made breathing kinda difficult, let alone laughter. I did, however, have a spectacular view of his muscular back and his jean-clad ass as he bounded up the stairs while carrying me. All the blood rushed to my head as the jumbled scenery flashed by. Austin’s tread was silent on the hardwood floor. He didn’t grunt once, which was honestly kinda amazing.
Anticipation sang through my bloodstream. I was doing this. I was going to have a one-night stand with Austin freaking Burns. I’d picked up every magazine he’d been in. I’d spent so much time drooling over his gorgeous body with his hard muscles and sexy scars and tattoos. And in a few moments all that was going to be under my fingertips. All of him. Oh my god.
A few seconds later he set me down on a white down comforter atop the largest bed I’d ever seen in my life. I was immediately enveloped in a white cloud of comfort. What was this bed made of? Feathers from angel wings? I closed my eyes with a blissful sigh. The rich really knew how to live.
The sound of Austin shucking his jeans had me sitting up and taking notice. And it was everything I imagined it would be. His legs were muscular and dusted with light brown hair with no tattoos in sight. But it was what was behind his boxer briefs that held me spellbound. The stark white material clung to his body and perfectly framed everything he was packing.
And it was immense.
Austin murmured to me, but it sounded like he was underwater or I was or something. All I could do was look at that thing in horrified fascination. Sure, it’d been a while—over three years, actually. Had I forgotten what they looked like or how big they were? I couldn’t remember being this fascinated by Jordan’s thing before.
Austin’s laughter popped the bubble around me. “Has it been a while, sweetheart?”
I jerked my attention away from his package and looked at his face. “I, uh, what makes you ask that?”
“Intuition?” He shrugged slightly. “Or your fascination with my body? Or the way you are trembling right now? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a woman shake so much when I haven’t even touched her.”
I was trembling. Closing my eyes, I tried to will the tremors away, but if anything, that only seemed to make them worse. Or I was more aware of them or something. Either way they weren’t stopping, and I felt like a fool. Maybe I should just get ‘inexperienced goober’ tattooed on my forehead. “It’s okay. I do this sometimes. The shaking thing, not the sex thing. Or something. You know what? I think I’m just gonna stop talking.”
Austin crossed over to the bed and sat down on the edge. His hand hovered over my knee before settling on the bed between us. “You’re not really throwing confident, I-wanna-do-this vibes. Have you changed your mind?”
“No.” I shook my head. My hands went to the bottom of my polo and tugged it free from my pants. “I swear, I haven’t changed my mind. I just didn’t know how this was supposed to go. I’ve never hooked up before. I didn’t know we were supposed to get undressed right away. I’ll—”
“Rachel.” Austin put a hand on mine, stopping me from pulling my shirt over my head. “There’s no supposed to-s here. I got a little overeager there. That’s totally on me. I have a tendency to rush things. Like tasty liquor, or a steak dinner, or apparently a gorgeous woman in my bed—which is a dick move. So how about you and me do a little kissing, and see where it goes from there?”
I melted under the power of that smile of his. I couldn’t see the room around us or Austin’s impressive muscles or his…you know. All I could see was his gorgeous smile with that dimple in his left cheek that his stubble couldn’t hide and the sexy anticipation burning in his eyes. Instead of replying, I sank back onto the bed and tipped my chin up, suddenly eager to be worthy of the fire in his eyes.
Austin’s smile deepened as he leaned over me. His breath was hot and minty against my face as he looked into my eyes. “Shit, girl,” he whispered. “I gotta remind myself to take my time. It’s really fucking hard to do when you look at me like that.”
I blinked, shocked that I was testing Austin’s self-control just by looking at him. Little ol’ me. I had to laugh. “Would it help if I closed my eyes?”
Obediently I closed my eyes and waited with bated breath for Austin’s kiss.
Instead he laughed huskily. “That doesn’t fucking help. Maybe if you move your hands? They’re crossed over your chest like you’re fucking Cinderella or something, waiting for your prince to wake you up with a kiss. Unconscious girls don’t do it for me, and no one has ever called me a prince.”
“You mean Snow White?” Giggles instead of nerves shook my body. I opened my eyes and smiled back at him. “You’re kinda ridiculous, you know that?”
“I’ve heard that a time or two.” He still hovered over me, his face now inches from mine. The grin that stretched his mouth was full of levity with a hint of naughtiness. Then he dipped down and rubbed his nose against mine. “Whereas you are fucking adorable.”
I opened my mouth to rebut his compliment, and Austin took advantage of the moment as he swooped down and covered my mouth with his. He swallowed my gasp, his lips moving confidently over mine. A beat later I sank into the kiss, and everything else just fell away. Austin seduced me with his mouth while his hands were busy holding his body up.
Gillian has a bachelor’s degree in mining engineering but prefers to spend her time on happily ever after. She writes the kind of stories she loves to read—the hotter the better!
When Gillian’s not pounding away on the keyboard, she can be found surfing the couch indulging in her latest reality tv fixation, baking something ridiculously tasty (and horrible for her waist line) or snuggling with her husband.
Home is currently in the wilds of Nevada with her amazing husband, ridiculously cute kiddo, and goofy dog.
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