March 23, 2015
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance (Adult), Romantic Comedy (Adult)
Iris Alden and Carter Blackwood couldn't be more different. Change-averse Iris likes her life neat and organized, while Carter's itchy feet mean he doesn’t plan to stay in the same place for long.
When Carter moves into the house across the street from Iris, to renovate it, she fights the disruption it causes in her life. Before long, though, it's not simply the house Carter's rebuilding, but Iris's heart, too.
“What are you doing here?”
It’s Carter freaking Blackwood. Of course.
He smiles that ridiculously bright, white smile of his and lets out a soft snicker. “I’m fixing a floor for a friend, what are you doing here?”
It’s completely obvious what I’m doing here, seeing as I’m carrying two huge trays of sugar cookies in my arms.
“A friend? You just moved in. How do you have friends already?” I say it a bit harsher than I probably should but honestly, how does he have friends already? James and I were here a good six months before people started really talking to me. It was a year before I could call any of them friends. The edges of Carter’s mouth turn down and his head dips to one side as his shoulders hunch then settle.
“People like me, I guess.”
The smug look on his face is enough to make me want to slap it. Or kiss it.
Wait. Not kiss it. I didn’t mean kiss it. Why am I staring at his lips?
“People who don’t want to kill me that is. Are you okay?”
I blink, and search my brain, but I’m still not quite sure what to say to him, so I extend my arms. “I brought cookies.” As soon as I say the words, I hear them. I sound ridiculous and Carter’s bright eyes crinkle with amusement.
He closes his lids and he breathes the baked goods in. Then hums. The sound of his voice sends a vibration through me and I shiver. I am eternally grateful that he doesn’t see it happen.
His eyes open slowly. When they reach mine, I’m glued to his stare like a deer in headlights.
“Those cookies smell really f****** good, Iris.”
The bedroom eyes catch me off guard and my mouth falls open so I snap it shut. I’m a buffoon with no ability to speak.
“Can I have one?” He reaches out and I balance the platter with one hand, then slap his fingers with the other while I find words. A word that is.
“Ow.” He pulls his hand away, like a child getting reprimanded, only when we make eye contact again, he doesn’t seem child like to me.
I wouldn’t say he’s angry. He doesn’t exactly laugh, either. And his eyes gleam as he stares at me. I hate his eyes almost as much as I hate his teeth. Maybe more. Dammit, I’m staring, again.
“They’re for Ally’s class,” I tell him. “Fundraiser, I mean bake sale.” I fumble my words. He’s so frustrating.