A steamy secret baby, step romance.
Sometimes being reckless can be a step in the right direction.
Abandoned at the altar, humiliated in front of everyone she knows, Silver Belle (save the stripper jokes, she’s heard them all), flees her wedding determined to erase her ex-fiance from her memory. There’s a soul-mate for everyone? What a joke: there’s obviously none for her. She’s done with love. Done with doing the right thing. So when she meets Warren McAllister, a heart-stopping, drool-worthy Australian, she throws caution—and propriety to the wind—and makes him an outrageous proposal.
Warren’s always up for a challenge, so when a beautiful stranger in a poufy white dress dares him to join her for a weekend of passion to erase her past, he’s more than willing to sign up. Sex is just sex, after all. Only saying goodbye is harder than he expected, and he can’t seem to forget her, even after heading back to Tahiti for work. So when he returns a year later for his mother’s wedding, he’s excited to see Silver, ready for another tryst—and possibly even more.
SilverStupid motherfucker. Selfish jackass. Prickless prick. If she ever saw that son of a bitch again, she’d rip his balls off with her bare hands and shove them down Candy’s throat. Lord knows that home-wrecking slut had other parts of Silver’s fiancé down her throat at some point.Fuckers. Both of them. And they could rot in hell for all she cared.Handing the cab driver a hundred dollar bill and not even bothering to get change, Silver stepped out of the taxi, slammed the door and made her way toward the wide double doors of the hotel bar. She’d asked the cabby to take her to a bar, far, far away from the church. To a place where she wouldn’t run into anyone she knew and could just wallow, drink and forget. He’d nodded solemnly, taking in her state of dress and tear-stained face, and then driven roughly forty minutes out of West Vancouver and toward downtown.The June weather was warm. Perfect wedding weather. Fuck weddings. Fuck grooms. Fuck commitment. Fuck life.The hinges squealed as she heaved on the brass handle and pulled open the door. The bar was dark, but clean and inviting. There were no weird stains on the carpet, the smell of Lemon Pledge hung gently in the air, and the bartender appeared to have all his teeth and not be a lecherous weirdo. Things were looking up … slightly.It was a newer hotel, so everything still seemed shiny and fresh. Yet, even then, there was an Old World vibe to the place. A grand piano sat on a stage near the back along with a microphone stand, there were dark booths lining each of the walls, and all the lighting was muted and intimate. The perfect place to get lost in one’s problems and not be noticed by a soul as the alcohol slowly numbed the pain. Dusk was setting in, so the outside patio seemed to be hopping, but inside was still rather quiet, and only a scattering of people rimmed the horseshoe bar.Silver pulled up a stool at the bar. It wasn’t lost on her that she was drawing a few glances. She was hard to miss. But she hadn’t had time to run home and change. At least not to their home. She fought back tears.I will not cry.Their home. God. She couldn’t live there anymore. Not with the knowledge that Trent had probably fucked Candy all over their goddamn apartment. Besides her clothes, Silver was going to have to burn the rest of her stuff, or at the very least disinfect the bejesus out of it.She shuddered at the thought.“What can I get you?”Silver’s head snapped up from where she’d been staring at the engagement ring on her finger to find the bartender, an attractive man in his mid- to later fifties, giving her the curious lone eyebrow quirk. “I’m guessing something hard and mind-numbing?”Silver nodded. “Sounds perfect.”The bartender nodded back and walked away for a moment. He returned seconds later with a clean lowball glass and a bottle of what looked to be decent whiskey. He poured an ounce.“More.” Silver nodded, tapping the bar.He added another ounce, then glanced up at her.She nodded.He poured.When it was around four ounces she finally tapped the bar again. He sniffed through his nose and gave her a lopsided smile filled with sympathy before taking off to the other side of the bar.Silver brought the glass to her lips and took a sip.It burned.She winced.She took another sip.It still burned.But she liked the pain. It matched the pain in her heart. It matched the pain she wanted to inflict on Trent and Candy.“People only drink like that for two reasons,” said a deep and sexy voice with what sounded like an Australian accent. “They’re either wallowing or celebrating. And I’m guessing right now,” his eyes traveled the length her, climbing her body with such lazy indulgence you’d think she was naked, “you’re the former.”Yes, definitely an Aussie. Her skin broke out into gooseflesh despite the warmth of the bar. She could have sworn she felt his hand travel up her arm. But he was several seats over, and both his hands were cradling his beer bottle.“What gave it away?” she asked with a snort.His smile stole the breath from her lungs, and she swayed where she sat. Glancing briefly at her glass, Silver contemplated another sip. Was she already drunk? Or was he just that handsome?“You here alone?” she asked. Glancing at her glass again, she shrugged, tipped it back and drained it. This time both the bushy brows of the bartender lifted on his forehead. She nodded. He was over in a jiff, topping her up.Aussie man chuckled. Fuck, even his laugh was sexy. Throaty and deep, and just rough enough to suggest he may at one point have enjoyed the odd cigarette or indulged in a weekly cigar. He was tucked just far enough away, near the dimly lit corner of the bar, so she couldn’t quite tell how old he was or what color his eyes were. She knew his hair was dark, but if his eyes were blue, she was a goner.“I’m here alone,” he finally answered. “Why do you ask?”Silver’s eyes drifted to the vacant seat beside her. “I hate to drink alone,” she said.Taking her invitation, he moved over three seats and joined her. One of the pot lights overhead was shining down on him now, giving her the perfect opportunity to see every inch of his big, hard body.He was younger than she would have thought, given the deep voice, maybe twenty-eight or thirty? But his face didn’t hold an ounce of baby to it, it was all man. Chiseled and refined, with a dark, close-shaved scruff hugging his angular jaw.His laugh stirred her from her scrutiny. “Ya done checking me out?”Silver swallowed and removed her eyes from the V of his legs. Fuck, had she really been staring at the crotch of his dark-wash jeans? She was biting her lip, and her face was warm.Yup, she had been.Shit.With embarrassment clinging to every cell of her body, she slowly lifted her head.Double shit.Those were some blue eyes.“Hmm?” he hummed.Swallowing again, she nodded. “Uh-huh.”“Good.”She rolled her bottom lip between her teeth again. Could she? Should she? She’d never done a reckless or spontaneous thing in her life, and look where that got her. Sitting in a random hotel bar on her wedding night, contemplating asking a hot, sexy foreigner to fuck her brains out on what was supposed to be the happiest day of her life. Yep, if this wasn’t rock bottom, Silver didn’t know what was.“You, ah, you staying at the hotel?” she asked, nerves running rampant through her at the idea of what she was doing. She’d never propositioned someone before; hell, she’d never even hit on a guy before. But just like a bolt of lightning, that whiskey hit her in the brain hard and then whooshed right down until her toes tingled. She could do this. She was going to do this. Tipping back her glass one more time, and with new whiskey-fueled confidence, she signaled for the bartender.He was back in a flash. “Careful, Miss. I hope you intend to cab home.”“Cabbed here,” she said, flashing him a big, drunk smile.He nodded solemnly as he poured her two more ounces.“So.” She turned to face Mr. Sexy-Accent Man. “You staying upstairs? Got a room?”His smile was slow and sexy, and the way it made every muscle inside her clench had Silver crossing her legs and squeezing before she knew what she was doing. “I don’t fuck drunk chicks.”Her bottom lip dropped open. “I … uh … ”Reaching back down the bar closer to where he’d been sitting, he snatched a big leather menu off the top of a pile. “Pick something to eat. I’m buying. You need to put some food in your belly, otherwise you won’t be able to walk, let alone talk or fuck in an hour.”“I … uh … ”He flipped open the menu and started perusing. “I could go for a burger. You?”She hadn’t even been thinking about food. After this afternoon, nothing but booze and lots of it had been on her mind. But then the more she thought about it, the more she realized she was starving. She’d been too nervous to eat this morning. Her aunt had said it was cold feet, the jitters, but now Silver thought perhaps it was intuition. That she knew, deep down, how the day was going to play out.A burger sounded perfect. A greasy, gooey, cheesy burger with lots of fries. And onion rings. She didn’t have to fit into a dress anymore, so she’d eat whatever she wanted.She nodded. “Sounds perfect.”