Opposites attract when a sexy builder falls for the little blonde rebel intent on destroying his life…
When tragedy claimed the life of Beau Westhaven’s father, he didn’t just lose his dad, he lost his future. Now the project manager for Aspen Construction, Beau has two goals—to rebuild the family construction business and to get his still-grieving mother out of her dire situation. His plan was simple until a beautiful activist named Bobbie Cruise arrived.
Bobbie Cruise lost everything to corporate greed. Despite a deathbed promise to her cancer-stricken mother, Bobbie hadn’t planned on being a real activist. But when the construction company responsible for her mother’s death showed up with yet another potentially lethal project, she chained herself to the front door of the building to stop their progress. She wasn’t expecting the man in charge to be tall, dark, and unforgettable.
He’s focused on his success. She’s counting on his failure. Two lives pushed together by fate and torn apart by circumstances. Can they set aside their pasts to build a future together?
Her presence shouldn’t have come as a surprise—in fact, she had warned him with her, see you soon—but he didn’t expect her this soon.
“Are you in charge here, Bobbie?” He wanted it to be someone else, but he knew it was her. She was like a burr chafing his skin. She rubbed him the wrong way, but he still had an unexplainable attraction to her. She was going to turn out to be a burn on his ass. “Close in your line and talk to me.” He wasn’t asking. His tone demanded. She was blocking his project, and he needed this resolved and fast. There was too much riding on it.
Bobbie said something to the men beside her, and they closed the gap when she stepped from the line. She walked up to him, lifted on her tiptoes, and pressed a chaste kiss to his cheek. “Good morning, Big City.”
He stepped back and eyed her with suspicion. She’d nicknamed him like they were friends. In any other situation, he would have pinned her against the wall and shown her what an actual kiss would feel like, but she was pandering to the press. There was no doubt the cameraman had gotten that shot. This was getting messier by the moment.
“What’s your place in this, Bobbie?”
“It’s my mission to bury Aspen Construction, Beau.”
“My mother, Catherine.” She looked down at the sign in her hands. Pain flashed across her face. “They made her suffer; eventually, the illness they caused took her life.” Tears pooled in the corner of her eyes. “The least I can do is make it painful for them.”
After glancing at the press, he moved in front of Bobbie to shield them from prying eyes. “I’m sorry for your loss, but you understand I had nothing to do with that. The former project manager was at fault. He’s in jail. I’m not that guy.” He pleaded with her. “This is my site, and you’re creating a financial burden for me. I need this job, too. It helps take care of my mother.” He hoped to tug at her heartstrings, but her eyes turned glacier cold.
Bobbie swiped at the tears running down her cheeks. “This isn’t a personal vendetta against you, but it’s a personal fight for me, and I don’t plan on giving up.”
“You have a right to protest. No one can stop you, but you know you can’t block the entrance to the building.”
“I’m well aware of my rights.” She turned around and looked at the people who were dwindling in numbers. Holes in the line were becoming visible.
“Looks like your line is falling apart, beautiful.”
She shrugged. “Fifty bucks doesn’t buy much. I’ll have to remember that for next time.”
“You paid each one of those people fifty bucks to protest for you?” He quickly calculated the cost of her demonstration. There had been at least a hundred people present. She had shelled out over five grand to make a point. There were better ways to spend her money, but he had to give her credit for her commitment.
“My costs are a pittance compared to the cost of public opinion. I hope you don’t like Colorado too much.” She lifted her shoulders. “This may be your only job here.”
“Don’t count me out, sweetheart. I’ve got more staying power than you can imagine. Besides,”—he leaned in and whispered in her ear — “I just ate your pie, and I’m pretty sure I’d like to explore another piece.” He brushed his lips across hers as he pulled away and left her standing with her mouth hanging open.
After yelling at his crew to get to work, he entered the building. He could only imagine what the press would do with that kiss, but he couldn’t bring himself to care.
She had watched the door all night. Each time the bell jingled, she looked up, hoping to find a handsome construction worker standing in perfectly fitting jeans and a T-shirt that strained to cover his chest muscles. By eight o’clock, she’d given up hope he would come.
They were probably opposites in their convictions, but an undeniable tug pulled her toward him. He made her stomach flutter, and something magical happened when his lips brushed against hers. Life energy filled her for the first time since her mother died. The problem was that he was the enemy. Or at least he represented the enemy, and that would never do.
She poured herself a cup of coffee and sat in the seat he had occupied the night before. Had it only been a day? So much had transpired that it seemed like a lifetime had passed.
When the bell on the door sounded, she didn’t turn to see who had entered. “Take a seat anywhere. I’ll be right with you.”
No one replied, but there was an energy that crackled silently around her. She stiffened when a man’s hands gripped her shoulders, and his breath brushed against her neck. She inhaled his scent, and after today, she’d never forget it. Beau smelled of cinnamon and something woodsy. A pure male essence made the space between her thighs throb, another sign that something profound had changed. She hadn’t had a date or any interest in men in years.
“You’re late,” she said.
“We had a date?” His question floated across her ear and sent shivers down her spine. “I didn’t know.”
“No, but I thought you’d come.” She turned her head to him and let his lips brush slowly across her cheek. He was inches from her mouth, and when his fingers left her shoulders, the loss of his heat disappeared immediately. She liked the way his hands were on her—the way his breath skittered across her skin. How would it feel to have his palms roam her entire body?
Beau slid onto the next stool and leaned on the counter with one elbow while his body turned toward her.
“I came because I heard you offer the best pie.” He captured a strand of hair falling across her face and tucked it behind her ear. “I want more of what you’re offering.” His soft voice made her insides coil and pulse. She wanted more, too.
about the author
International bestselling author of more than thirty novels, Kelly Collins writes with the intention of keeping love alive. Always a romantic, she blends real-life events with her vivid imagination to create characters and stories that lovers of contemporary romance, new adult, and romantic suspense will return to again and again.
Kelly has sold more than a quarter of a million books worldwide, and in 2021 she was awarded a Readers’ Favorite Award Gold Medal in the Contemporary Romance category for A Tablespoon of Temptation.
You can learn more about Kelly at www.authorkellycollins.com.