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Not Your Mama's Mambo by Barbara Barrett

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  • Sullivan's Creek Series, Book Three

    When the overbearing parents of billionaire Mike Woodley move back to town and reclaim the family home, he's ready to escape to his new house. First, he needs an interior decorator. Local artist Darren Williams could be the answer to his prayers, until he insults her. But to pay off yet another of her sister's gambling debts, she puts her bruised ego aside and accepts the job.

    As they work on Mike’s house, the sexual attraction between Mike and Darren ignites, though neither wants anything more than a fling. Darren is still getting past the death of her fiancé, and the marital discord in Mike’s family has discouraged him from settling down. Still, they can’t stay away from each other, until family matters intervene. Before their relationship can move on, Mike has to confront his family’s expectations and Darren must allow her own family to help her for once.

    Rating: Spicy
    Page Count: 342
    Word Count: 86148
    978-1-5092-1211-8 Paperback
    978-1-5092-1212-5 Digital

    Excerpt

    “What direction do these face?”

    He joined her and gazed out. “East, I guess.”

    “Nice. I like to wake up to the sun.” Great. She’d meant to depersonalize their being in his room together and had instead set herself up. “Uh, I meant, my room at the studio gets morning light also, which makes it easier for me to wake up early and get to work.” Could she sound more inane?

    “Hadn’t noticed that detail until you pointed it out. I need all the help I can muster getting out of bed in the morning.”

    “How do you stay on top of all your business ventures if you’re not up before everyone else?”

    He chuckled. “Two alarm clocks. But I’ll deny admitting as much if you ever mention it to my competitors.”

    “It’ll be our secret.”

    He reached over and placed a stray tendril of her hair behind her ear. “Deal.”

    Did he have any idea how this mere contact awoke the nerve endings behind her ear? Momentarily, she was glued in place, telling the rest of her body to ignore the shock waves rippling down her neck to her lower region.

    Even in the room’s dim shadows, she could tell when his eyes went smoky. “This room is giving me ideas I probably should ignore.” He paused, stared directly in her eyes, giving her a chance to decide the next move.

    He was coming on to her. No mistake. She’d never been propositioned by a guy she barely knew. Well, maybe at a rave when she was much younger, but that didn’t count. Nothing from those days was real. Did he actually expect her to roll around naked on this wood subfloor? She couldn’t help glancing down. “Uh…”

    “Let’s check out the other rooms.” His voice had gone hoarse, urgent.

    They were headed toward the next bedroom when they heard, “Mhrph.”

    “What was that?” Darren asked.

    “Beats me. Sounded like it came from downstairs.” He turned around and started for the stairs. “Stay behind me.”

    Halfway down, Mike jerked to a stop. Darren caught herself from bumping into him by a nanosecond. “What the…?”

    A creature about two feet in length guarded the bottom of the stairs. A few feet behind it, four tiny balls of fur gazed up at them as if miffed by their presence.

    “Raccoon?” she said in a whisper.

    “Think so, but aren’t they nocturnal?”

    “Not if they’ve been disturbed.” When her studio was being renovated, she’d experienced more than one irate raccoon that had been rudely awakened.

    “How do we get rid of them?”

    “Not sure. If you try to scare her off, she may go into defense mode to protect her brood.”

    “Do we wait them out, then?”

    If it weren’t getting so close to dusk, that might work, but the animal seemed comfortable in the house, as if she and her brood had been here for a while and didn’t cotton to having company. Darren remembered the water she’d stuck in her purse earlier in the day. She eased her hand down over the clasp and carefully removed the bottle. “Our best bet is surprise,” she said sotto voce. “I’m opening a bottle of water and will slip it to you. Step down and shout as many expletives you can think of while you pitch the contents at her. The second she backs away, let’s run for the door.”

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Not Your Mama's Mambo

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