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Authors: Connor, Kerry

Breaking all the rules

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FROM NO STRINGS TO ALLTIED UP IN KNOTS

 

It was a perfect arrangement. For three years Nina Warrenmet up with U.S. Marine Bobby Dellucci for fantastic, no-strings-attached sexwhenever he was in the country. No drama. No expectations. Just fun. But whenBobby returns from his most recent overseas deployment, he wants to changetheir deal. He’d like to get to know her better and see if they can havesomething more.

 

“Something more” is exactly what Nina doesn't want with him.A military brat who grew up moving around the world, she isn’t interested indating anyone in the service. Fiercely independent, she knows what it’s likefor her life not to be her own, and she doesn’t want that anymore. She alreadybroke her rule getting involved with him at all. But Bobby isn’t one to give upeasily and he’s willing to fight for her—for them.

 

 

 

BREAKING ALL THE RULES

 

 

Kerry Connor

 

 

 

Kindle Edition

Copyright 2013 Kerry Connor

 

Cover Design by Paula Graves

 

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. Thisebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like toshare this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy foreach recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it wasnot purchased for your use only, then please purchase your own copy. Thank youfor respecting the hard work of this author.

 

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places andincidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are usedfictitiously, and any resemblance to actual events, locales or persons, livingor dead, is entirely coincidental.

 

All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction inwhole or in part in any form.

 

For questions or comments regarding this ebook, pleasecontact the author at[email protected].

 

 

Table of Contents

 

Prologue

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

ChapterThirteen

ChapterFourteen

Epilogue

Books by KerryConnor

 

 

Prologue

 

 

“My God, thatguy is hung.”

Amused, Ninafollowed her friend’s gaze across the club to the man Ashley was gawking at.Tall and slim with wavy blond hair, he was wearing a black T-shirt and obscenelytight jeans. Not her type, but certainly not half bad to look at. “I doubt it.”

“Look at thesize of that bulge. It couldn’t more obvious.”

Nina gave thebulge in question a passing glance. It was definitely impressive, strainingagainst his fly so massively it was a wonder the zipper didn’t burst.

She shrugged andreturned to her margarita. “I hate to break it to you, but he obviously stuffs.That’s not real.”

“How can youtell?”

“Please.” Shestarted to tick off the reasons on her fingers. “First of all, the size of thatthing is so exaggerated he looks like he was drawn by a dirty caricaturist.There’s no way it’s real. Second, if it were real, he wouldn’t be wearing pantsthat tight. He would be in physical pain and the jeans would be cutting off hiscirculation so much he wouldn’t have that thing he’s so proud of for long. Andthird, he wouldn’t even feel the need to wear those jeans if he was reallypacking. Trust me, the men who have it show it in other ways. They’reconfident, cocky even, if you’ll pardon the pun. They know what they’ve got andthey don’t need to prove it to anyone. The strut is proof enough. It’s the guyswho don’t who feel like they have to bend over backwards proving they’ve gotwhat it takes.”

“And how do youknow all of that?”

Nina winced atthe memory. “Personal experience.”

Ashley’s facedrooped with disappointment. She gave the guy one last wistful look, thenreached for her drink. “Boy, you really know how to take the fun out of girls’night.”

“Hey, I paid foryour drink, didn’t I?”

Ashley raisedher glass in a silent toast. “I stand corrected. At the moment, this has beenthe most fun part of the evening. Of course, it would have been more fun if aguy had bought it for me.”

Nina couldn’targue with her there. She sighed and took in the club with one sweeping glance.The dance floor in the middle of the room was swamped with couples. The musicwas fast, but most of the twosomes were moving slow, content to cling to oneanother, hands exploring each others’ bodies, instead of actually dancing.Along the sides of the room, everyone seemed pretty well paired up, either inlone couples or twosomes within larger groups. There didn’t seem to be anavailable man in sight. Even the stuffer was leering at a redhead in aminiskirt so short Nina wasn’t sure why she’d bothered with it at all.

She felt atwinge in her belly, the envy sharp and painful. She and Ashley had been sobusy the last few months she’d barely had time to think straight, let alonedate. They were going into business together, opening their own bake shop andcafé, Sweet Sensations. It had been Nina’s dream since she’d been a littlegirl, and now it was finally going to be a reality. Even the thought of it senta little thrill through her. The past several months had been spent finalizingtheir business plan, finding a location, establishing relationships withvendors, making a thousand little decisions and dealing with all the unexpectedissues that had popped up along the way.

Now everythingwas set. They were opening in two days. This was a night for celebrating, achance to revel in their accomplishment before the truly hard work began. Afterso many sleepless nights, she should have been exhausted. Instead, she merelyfelt exhilarated, the adrenaline that had seen her through the last few daysstill pumping through her veins.

With her dreamon the verge of coming true, she was ready to cut loose. This was the firstchance she’d had for a night out in months—and probably her last in a while—andshe’d wanted to make the most of it. It wasn’t until she got here and startedwitnessing all the mating rituals being enacted around her that she realizedjust how long it had been. Being around all these raging hormones wasn’t doingmuch to calm her own.

A few yearsback, she and Ashley might have taken to the dance floor themselves, notworried about hooking up with guys, just wanting to have fun. But that wouldn’tcome close to satisfying the low ache she could feel throbbing through her.“This isn’t exactly our best night, is it?”

Ashley gave herhead a rueful shake. “Why do you think I was staring at that guy? That’s aboutas much action as I’m going to get tonight. I was trying to enjoy it before youburst my bubble.”

“Sorry,” Ninasaid. “I just didn’t want to get your hopes up about somebody like that.Believe me, I’ve been there. You’re only setting yourself up for a biggerdisappointment that way.”

“I don’t knowwhy a guy would even bother to do that. He has to know it’s not something hecould lie about for long. As soon as the pants come off, it’s going to bepretty obvious what he does or doesn’t have.”

Nina shrugged.“Men are foolish creatures with fragile egos. Nobody ever said they makesense.”

A loud, verymale snort of derision cut her off before she could continue. More curious thanannoyed, Nina turned to look behind her at the man who’d made the sound.

His closenessimmediately caught her off guard. He was sitting right behind her at a tableonly a few feet away, close enough for her to feel his body heat. She was surprisedshe hadn’t felt him before. Now that she’d noticed him, his nearness wasoverwhelming. A rush of pure maleness filled her senses. He couldn’t have heardtheir conversation better if he’d been seated at their table with them. Thesmile curving his mouth left no doubt that he’d been listening.

She couldn’thelp noticing that it was a nice smile on a very nice face, all hard angles andrugged planes. He was a big man, maybe in his mid to late twenties, with alarge frame and a muscular physique. The short sleeves of his button-down shirtbarely contained his biceps. Her fingers flexed of their own volition, and itwas all she could do not to reach out and feel the packed muscle in just one ofhis arms. His dark hair was cut short, buzzed along the top and sides. He wasclearly military, not exactly a rare sight in San Diego. Judging from thetattoo peeking out from his shirt sleeve, a Marine.

As she watched,his smile deepened, giving her a glimpse of perfect white teeth. She had toforce herself not to return the gesture.

Instead, shearched a brow and speared him with a glare. “Were you eavesdropping on aprivate conversation?”

“Obviously,” hesaid without remorse. “I figured it wasn’t too private if you decided to haveit in the middle of a bar with people sitting less than five feet away.”

The low sound ofhis deep voice sent a rumble through her body straight to her belly. Awarenesssparked along her nerve endings. He was so unmistakably male her body couldn’thelp but respond. Her recent celibacy only intensified the reaction.

She did her bestto keep her response from showing on her face. “Do you often come to bars tolisten in on other people’s not-so-private conversations?”

“Not usually,no, but your theories about men were so interesting I couldn’t help it.”

“I take it youhave something to contribute to the conversation?”

“Just thatwomen’s egos are more fragile than any man’s.”

Nina nearlysnorted. “And how to do you figure that?”

“The way I seeit, there are a lot more women walking around out there with padded bras thanmen with padded jocks. If anyone’s more foolish thinking they’re going to getaway with tricking anyone, it’s women.”

“Women can getaway with it because most of the time they don’t have to deliver the goods,”Nina retorted. “By the time a woman gets her bra off, most men are so dazzledby the sight of bare breasts it doesn’t matter what size they are. Women, onthe other hand, are rarely struck dumb by a mere penis.”

“Then theyobviously haven’t been looking at the right ones.”

“And I supposeyou have one of those mind-blowing specimens?”

“That’s an awfulpersonal question coming from a woman who hasn’t even given me her name.”

She hesitatedonly for a split second. “Nina.”

A laconic smilespread across his face, and damned if she didn’t feel a surge of heat low inher belly. Man, he had a great smile. “Bobby.”

She’d alwaysthought that Bobby was a name for ten-year-olds with skinned knees and backwardbaseball caps, not a grown man like the impressive one seated next to her. Butsomehow it suited him. As soon as he said it, she couldn’t imagine him beingcalled anything else.

“Would anyonecare to introduce me?”

Ashley’s voicecut into Nina’s thoughts, reminding her of her friend’s presence for the firsttime since she'd laid eyes on the man in front of her.

“I wouldn’t mindan intro either,” another man said. Nina slid her gaze off of Bobby’s smilelong enough to register that he wasn’t alone at his table either. Anothermilitary man sat on the other side, watching her with a supremely amusedexpression of his own. She’d been so caught up in their conversation she hadn’teven noticed him. Some part of her noted that he was good-looking, too, like ablonder, fairer version of Bobby, but he couldn’t begin to compare to hisfriend. Even as the thought crossed her mind, her eyes were already driftingback to Bobby.