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Return to Cupid, Texas Book 9
BY SYLVIA McDANIEL
The Billionaire Wants Forever. She Only Wants Tonight.
After being humiliated in front of the town, Whitney Beckett becomes anti-marriage. She dates men for a couple months, but before the relationship turns serious, kicks them to the curb. Known in town as a man eater, she focuses on her career as town librarian. Working late one night, Whitney is shocked to see Aaron Johnson running naked down the street.
Billionaire Aaron Johnson returns to Cupid, Texas, and against his better judgement does the Cupid Stupid dance. Imagine his surprise when the girl he always had a secret crush on, Whitney Beckett, rescues him. When she refuses to date him, he uses his hush-hush project to lure her to work with him, hoping she will let down her walls and see him as the man for her.
Can he convince her to take a chance on love again? Or will he become just another of her victims?
As Whitney Beckett passed the sheriff’s office, his sedan pulled onto the road, and a block later, into the park. It was Valentine’s Day and someone would try to do the Cupid Stupid dance and wind up in jail.
Every few weeks, someone paid the town of Cupid lots of money and time in community service after doing the dance. Tonight would be no exception.
Just then her headlights picked up the flash of long white limbs running down the street. The man turned and glanced back and her heart skipped a beat before she laughed out loud. Dark hair and a trim beard and mustache with a stunning smile.
When did Aaron Johnson return to town?
She pulled up alongside him and rolled down the window. “There’s not many naked men I would offer a ride to. Are you looking for one or just out for a Cupid run?”
He stared inside the car, his dark brown eyes appeared stunned, though his hands never moved away from his privates. Why was he hesitating? Was he hoping for someone better to come along and give him a ride?
“You might want to hurry, the sheriff’s patrol car just pulled into the park. In a matter of seconds, the first thing he’ll see when he comes out of the park is your naked ass.”
“Yes,” he said breathlessly as he grabbed the passenger door and yanked it open.
As he slid onto the seat beside her, she tried not to stare, but in the darkness, her eyes saw everything the good Lord endowed him with. Together the two of them were squeezed in her tiny car, inches separating them.
With a shake of her head, she laughed. “Aaron Johnson, you are the last person I expected to see running naked down the street.”
“Yeah, me too,” he said. “Not one of my exceptional decisions.”
Dancing naked in the park didn’t qualify as a smart idea by any means of the imagination. In fact, she often wondered how people could take their clothes off in a public place.
“Where can I take you?” The sooner he got out of her car, the better.
“I’m at the hotel out on the highway,” he said. “Crap, how am I going to get inside? They’ll call the sheriff on me.”
As she pulled away from the curb, she glanced up and watched the sheriff’s patrol car only about two blocks behind them. “Grab my coat lying in the back. In fact, put it on as the law is not far behind us.”
With a yank, he grabbed the garment and hurriedly shrugged into the coat, covering his privates, which left Whitney kind of disappointed. The material barely covered him. “What made you decide to do the Cupid Stupid dance?”
Since wrapping up, she noticed he now faced her and smiled for the first time. “Max Vandenburg,” he said. “We were at Valentino’s catching up and he told me this was how he and Meghan got back together. Somehow, I let him convince me to try the dance. Then he took off with my clothes.”
That sounded like the Max she remembered. His wife was a sweetheart, a fellow librarian, but Max liked to stir up trouble sometimes.
“What about you? Why aren’t you out being wined and dined by some lucky guy?”
The glare she shot him should have made him nervous. “Everyone in town knows my luck with men is a love/hate relationship. One where I take what I want and when I tire of them, send them merrily on their way.”
Since her disastrous wedding, she’d been the one breaking hearts, and she liked it that way. Never let a man too close as he always would find a way to hurt you.
“Yeah, I kind of heard you had become a man eater. Really hoped that wasn’t true.”
“You were standing beside him in the church that day.” A chuckle escaped her. “Why shouldn’t I take advantage of men?”
“Because I hoped you got over the break up with Jason.”
Oh, she got over the break up with that jerk. She decided to use men the way they had been using women for centuries. Love ‘em, leave ‘em and on to the next one.
“Three years have passed since that disastrous day. Getting over Jason was easy. Now, he’s married to the woman he wanted more than me.”
Getting over the humiliation was a work in progress.
“So why haven’t you found someone?”
Oh, she had dated several someones, just no one she wanted to stay around for any length of time. They always left on her terms. Date ‘em, then when they were starting to care for her, panic would overwhelm her and she kicked them to the curb.
No, maybe her icy demeanor with men could never be called nice, but having your heart ripped out of your chest in front of the whole town hadn’t been a walk in the park either.
“I could ask you the same question,” she said. “Me, I go out with someone and I soon tire of them. So I dump ‘em.”
The realization that she was the first woman he saw didn’t bother her because frankly she didn’t believe in the Cupid nonsense. She was no one’s forever love.
USA Today bestselling author Sylvia McDaniel has published fifty western historical romance, contemporary romance and even a few sci-fi novels. Known for her sweet, funny, family-oriented romances. In this crazy world, laughter and love lead to a happily ever after.
Married for over twenty years to her best friend, they have two spoilt dachshunds that reign supreme over the house. She loves gardening, hiking, shopping, knitting and football (Cowboys and Bronco’s fan), but not necessarily in that order.
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