Well Built by Carly Phillips and Erika Wilde
Date of Publication: July 25, 2017
When it comes to women, sexy, well-built Kyle Coleman has always been a lover, not a fighter. His one exception? The sassy, tempting, smart-mouthed Ella Fisher. Her family and his are sworn enemies, which make the two of them off-limits—despite the fact that she’s inspired some of his dirtiest, most erotic fantasies for years. But when the lines between animosity and lust become irrevocably blurred one fateful evening, their one night stand leads to a very unexpected consequence—that changes everything between them forever.
Ella flinched, and without thinking, she clutched on to Kyle’s arm with both of hers, one hand clamping tight around his bicep and the other around his forearm as she clung to him. As if he sensed something was majorly wrong, he anchored her closer to his side and pulled her into the first alcove they came across, which was a boutique that was closed for the evening. She gulped in a breath, feeling as though she couldn’t inhale enough oxygen into her lungs.
“Jesus Christ, Ella. You’re not okay,” he said, his voice gruff as he framed her face in his hands, his brows furrowed in worry. “You’re shaking and on the verge of hyperventilating.”
On top of everything else, she felt her cheeks heat with embarrassment that he had to see her like this. “It’s the city,” she wheezed out. “I hate everything about it. The noises, the people, the traffic.” She was starting to pant, which only increased her light-headedness and her panic. “Everything feels like it’s closing in on me.”
He immediately pulled her against his chest, and she went willingly. Wrapping one arm securely around her waist to hold her tight against his body, he pushed his other hand through her hair until his fingers were curved around the back of her head, which he guided down to his chest with her face turned away from the congested street. She desperately gripped his T-shirt like a lifeline.
“Close your eyes and concentrate on slow, deep breaths,” he ordered huskily. “Just relax. I’ve got you, Ella, and you’re going to be fine.”
She swallowed hard and concentrated on each inhale and exhale while he stroked his big hand up and down her back and gently massaged her skull with his fingers. Her cheek was pressed against his warm, solid chest, and she couldn’t remember ever feeling so safe and protected. For so long, she’d been the responsible one taking care of everyone else and putting their needs above her own. It had been that way for so many years that it had become second nature to her and a part of her daily life taking care of the market, her father, her sister . . .
But this comforting embrace . . . it was almost luxurious. Like a rare treat where she could let down her guard for a few minutes knowing that someone else had everything under control. She’d never thought that someone would be Kyle Coleman, or that being in his arms again would feel so good . . . or so perfectly right.
God, she’d missed him. So damn much.
She burrowed closer, stealing a few more moments with him. With her heart rate and breathing returning to normal, the masculine scent of him filled her senses—woodsy with a hint of spice—calming her jangled nerves and elevating her awareness of him as a man who was attentive, tempting, and becoming increasingly irresistible by the second.
While her body had softened against his, she realized that he’d gone tense, despite the gentle stroking motion of his palm along her back. Her breasts were cushioned against his muscled chest in the most sensual, arousing way, and through her skirt, she felt his thighs flex against hers as he shifted ever so subtly. She bit back a soft groan when the firm bulge in his jeans pressed against her lower stomach, telling her just how affected he was by this embrace, as well.
“Better?” he asked, his gruff voice reverberating through his chest and against her cheek.
“Yes. Much better,” she murmured, but made no effort to move just yet. Not until she was absolutely forced to, because this was sheer heaven. “Thank you for being so patient and understanding. I really do appreciate it.”
“Of course,” he responded, as if him taking care of her was a given. “I had no idea you had urban-phobia.”
“Urban-phobia?” She couldn’t contain the giggle that bubbled up inside of her as she lifted her head to meet his rich, dark brown gaze. “Did you just make that word up?”
“Maybe.” His eyes crinkled at the corners as he gave her a boyish grin that peeked through that trimmed beard on his face and was filled with humor. “But you’ve got to admit, it sounds official, doesn’t it?”
She laughed, the last of those jittery nerves ebbing into a slow, simmering warmth that settled in her belly just as everything and everyone around them faded away. They stared into each other’s eyes, and with his arm still wrapped tight around her waist and his fingers still tangled in her hair, the atmosphere between them changed, their mutual desire growing into a nearly tangible thing.
Slowly, she released his shirt from her fists and splayed her hands on his chest so she could better span the impressive expanse of muscles beneath the soft cotton. He was solid and strong and well built, and so deliciously hard, she thought, as she dared to skim her hands a bit lower, until her thumbs boldly brushed across the upper ridges of what was undoubtedly the start of a spectacular six- or eight-pack abdomen.
A deep, tortured groan rumbled in his throat, and the fingers in her hair tightened. Holding her head immobile, he tipped her face up to his while his darkening gaze dropped to her mouth. His chest rose and fell much heavier now, as if he was trying to maintain a tight rein on his control, and right or wrong, she wanted to crumble that polite restraint.
About Carly Phillips and Erika Wilde
***About Carly Phillips***
Carly Phillips is the N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of over 50 sexy contemporary romance novels featuring hot men, strong women and the emotionally compelling stories her readers have come to expect and love. Carly is happily married to her college sweetheart, the mother of two nearly adult daughters and three crazy dogs (two wheaten terriers and one mutant Havanese) who star on her Facebook Fan Page and website. Carly loves social media and is always around to interact with her readers. You can find out more about Carly at http://www.carlyphillips.com.
***About Erika Wilde***
Erika Wilde is the author of the sexy Marriage Diaries series and The Players Club series. She lives in Oregon with her husband and two daughters, and when she’s not writing you can find her exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest. For more information on her upcoming releases, please visit her website at http://www.erikawilde.com.
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