Like his brothers Zach and Zane, Trey Barnes thought he had found the love of his life. But fate had other plans. A widower who’s had to raise his five-year-old son on his own, Trey has not allowed himself to be with another woman. Until he meets Ressa Bliss at—of all places—a children’s library program. The beautiful librarian is wonderful with his son, Clay, but every time Trey even considers asking her out, he is tortured by guilt.
Fate is indeed fickle. When the two meet again at a conference, this time the attraction is too powerful to resist. But is their connection and passion strong enough to survive Trey’s deep inner torment?
It took almost twenty minutes to get to her room, thanks to the crush at the elevators. During that twenty minutes, Trey waited for the voice of reason to ruin things. Waited for that awkwardness that had accompanied the last two dates. Waited for his gut to start to churn at the thought of sitting down over a drink—it did, every time. He dealt with it, smiled through it and handled the headache after. Waited for a rush of guilt, for the elevator to get stuck, an earthquake, a meteor strike…anything that would signify this was just a bad, awful idea. But with each minute that passed, he just wanted to be in her room—at this point, any room would do, so long as he had some privacy—because he was dying to touch her. He didn’t know exactly what she was offering. Part of him thought he did, and he was almost certain he was right, but Trey was a realist. He was also more likely to believe in the negative with some things, because it was easier that way. Disappointment sucked. He was also fully aware that more than likely, even if she was interested in…anything, this was the most likely scenario—if she touched him, his brain was going to screw everything up and then he’d look like a basket case in front of a woman he wanted more than he wanted his next breath of air. His hands were shaking. To hide it, he shoved them into his back pockets as they waited for their turn to shuffle onto the elevator. Finally, they managed to wedge themselves in and then more people wedged themselves in after that. Trey found himself so close, he could have turned his head and he’d be able to bury his face in her hair. Soft, wild twists of curls…what would she do— “Oh! Sorry!” There was a giggle, a squeal…and then like a bunch of dominos, people half fell, half crashed into others as the woman in the front continued to giggle. “Oopsie! Too marny—ah, too many marnis—too many martinis!” A couple of snorts, a couple of snickers and more than a few curses. Trey barely heard any of them. Ressa had ended up crushed against his chest and he was pinned to the wall. Her hip was pressed snug to his crotch and even as he tried to ease her away, her gaze shifted, lifted… His cock started to pulse, throb. Her gaze dropped to his mouth. Her hand fisted in the material of his shirt as she licked the full, ripe curve of her lower lip. If he didn’t at least taste that mouth— The elevator dinged and bodies spilled out. As the person next to them escaped the press, Ressa eased back. Dusky color rode along her cheekbones as she slid her eyes up to meet his. Tearing his gaze away, he looked at the lights flickering above the elevator door. It hit her floor and as she turned away, she slid her hand down, caught his. Sweat beaded at the nape of his neck and he had one brief moment of lucidity. Trey Barnes was a man who liked order. He liked to be in control. But he had absolutely no idea what in the hell he was doing. And he was absolutely fine with that.