Along Came Trouble

Elisa Cardoso longs for passion in her life. Though she’d much rather spend her days photographing the stunning Wyoming landscape, food photography is a lucrative, if uninspiring, way to pay her bills. But when her next assignment brings her face to face with sexy restaurant owner Brody McDermott, Elisa can’t deny the delicious effect he has on her.

From the minute Brody sees Elisa, he’s dying to unleash her inner bad girl. He knows there’s more to the sophisticated photographer than meets the eye. Now getting the sexy shutterbug into his bed is on his menu, but when she starts making her way into his heart―big problem. Love has been tricky for Brody, and he’s not too eager to try his luck again. But when a golden opportunity means Elisa may be leaving Trouble for good, can Brody find the courage to grab on to love…before it slips away?

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He led her outside, and she didn’t protest when he placed a hand on the small of her back. Not only didn’t she oppose, but she kind of liked it. Liked it a lot, actually. His touch made her bones feel all gooey, and a warm feeling skittered up her spine. And was he walking so close to her on purpose? Because she swore she could actually smell him—some kind of woodsy bar soap that was nothing but cleanliness and masculinity.

Low-lying clouds drifted across the sky in the gentle breeze and hid the sun. Wind in Wyoming could often be in issue, especially in their area. At times it blew nonstop and often posed problems when she went out to take pictures. Luckily today it was pretty tame. With the low winds and cloud cover, it was actually a pleasant day.

Elisa led Brody to her compact SUV, parked on the side of the building. Before lunch, she’d taken the time to load all of her equipment in the back of the car.

“When I get home, I’ll upload the photos to my computer and put together a proof sheet for you. From there, we’ll go over the pictures together, choose what you want, then they have to go to the magazine for approval.”

He nodded his understanding, even though he looked like he wasn’t interested in their conversation. Elisa could safely say that he looked interested in something, just not what she was saying. He tilted his head and dipped his gaze downward, touching every part of her until she felt exposed. How could a man have the ability to make her feel naked? And why did she like it so much?

“Okay,” he said noncommittally, as though he were commenting on the weather. He took a step closer to her, but she didn’t back up, mostly because he smelled so damn good. “What do I have to do to get you to come back here? I’ll even cook the meal myself.”

The huskiness of his voice bushed over her skin and left her breathless. A man hadn’t come on to her like this in a long time. Oh sure, they flirted with her. But this was more than flirting. This was outright seduction. The tone of his voice held all sorts of promises, the kinds of promises that led to screaming.

For a moment she couldn’t say anything, because she was literally speechless. Not only was Brody gorgeous, but he was so easy to talk to. He was the kind of guy she could spill her guts to, tell things she hadn’t shared with anyone. She ought to say no. She really wanted to. No, needed to. But jumping into a relationship with him could be exhilarating at the very least.

Then what happens when you leave?

As she’d told him earlier, her ultimate dream was to travel the world and capture some of its wonders through her camera. Life in Trouble was nice…but lacking. In her mind it had always been temporary, until that one dream job came long.

Until now.

With Brody standing in front of her, smelling so good, big and wide and so masculine, it didn’t seem all that lacking.

“Just for drinks,” he continued when she hadn’t accepted his invitation. “You don’t even have to eat anything. Because after that meal I wouldn’t blame you.”

She giggled despite the tension humming through her body. Just do it! Go out with him and have all sorts of wicked sex.

And then he touched her. If she thought herself incapable of speech a second ago, now she was practically paralyzed. She just stood there like some fool while he cupped her cheek with one warm hand. His hand was callused but felt divine on her skin. He rubbed his thumb in small circles over her earlobe. She’d never thought of her ear as an erogenous zone, but her eyes almost rolled back in her head. Had any man ever paid such attention to her ear before?

She sucked in a sharp breath when he skimmed his thumb just along the edge of her jaw.

“You think you can stay away from me, but you can’t,” he stated in a low voice. “Even if you don’t come back here, we’ll see each other again.”

She barely managed to peel her tongue off the roof of her mouth. “Is that a warning?”

He stepped closer and bent down so his lips were against her ear. “Just a promise,” he whispered.

Without another word, he sauntered away as though pleased with himself for throwing her off balance.

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