Disillusioned by love, Erica has tasted the bitter pill of betrayal and wonders if she's enough for one man. When a hot guy moves in next door, Erica decides to settle for good old-fashioned lust. What starts out as a simple seduction quickly evolves, and Erica is fast finding out Dylan is dangerous not only to her libido, but her heart as well.
Recently retired from the adult-film industry, Dylan hopes for a fresh start in Templeton where his porn persona, Drake Van Wulf, is unknown. His new neighbor is unlike the women he's accustomed to, but she stirs his blood nonetheless. His rule not to get involved is quickly tested by Erica and her lush curves. Unable to withstand her allure, Dylan finds himself wanting more from Erica than just her body. He wants her heart also.
With the secret of his past hanging in the shadows, Dylan's about to find out if love truly conquers all.
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Ellora's Cave Publishing, Incorporated
November 18, 2011
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Adobe DRM EPUB
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Excerpt from Dirty Beautiful by Jodie Becker
Erica scooped up her laundry basket in the kitchen, pushed open the screen door and came to an abrupt halt.
"Get away!" she shrieked at the terrier and his relentless bounce for her underwear.
At that moment, it grasped her floral full briefs and hesitated, its eyes wide, brows twitching in a desperate search for escape. Erica dropped her basket and ran down the steps. The dog shot off as fast as its little legs could take it. He dove through the hedges and Erika circled the bush only to see him shoot out from the other side toward a loose panel in the fence.
Stomping by her rose bushes and into the front yard, she crossed over into Dylan's property. The absence of his pickup in the driveway made her pause. She knew where the dog went and wondered if she should break into the backyard now that the house had an occupant. After a brief battle with her conscience, she threw up her hands and flicked the catch on the side fence. It opened to a bare lawn and she made her way to the back of the house. At the porch, she knelt down and peered underneath. Somewhere beneath the house a stash of her underwear and bras made a nice bed for the mutt. Wet dirt filled her nostrils and she caught a flash of fur in the bowels of darkness. He looked up, her panties dangled in his mouth. She leaned down until her head touched the grass. If she reached in slowly, maybe she could grab it from him...
"Here, doggy doggy," she called.
His head tilted to one side, panty swinging temptingly beyond reach. She shifted closer, then snatched for it. The dog bounced away. Erica punched the ground then sucked in a breath, desperate to remain calm. "Come out here, you panty-snatching little mutt," she crooned through clenched teeth. "You can have all the underwear you like if you just come here."
"Not quite the offer I was expecting," a familiar, dry tone replied.
Erica jerked upright and turned to face the witness to her humiliation. Dylan stood by the end of the porch, two tins of paint in his hands. Awkwardly, she dusted off the dirt on her knees and patted her hair. "Oh hi. I suppose you're wondering why I'm in your backyard."
"Not really. I take it you have a dog?"
She glanced at the cubbyhole the small animal was so fond of. "No. He's just some stray that likes to camp under your house and seems to have an affinity for my undergarments."
Dylan chuckled. "It's a guy thing."
Erica grimaced. "I bet."
He gestured to the ground. "You need some help there?"
Erica stepped back and invited him forward with a wave of her hand. "Be my guest. But he isn't coming out."
Dylan placed his items on the porch deck and dropped to his knees to have a look. "Uhp, there he is. Is that..."
Heat seared across her face. "Yes, they're granny panties!"
He pushed up on his arms and blinked at her. "I was gonna say I think he's a Parson Terrier. They're a playful breed. Probably thinks this is a game."
Her heart pounded once and she dropped her face in her hands. "Oh God."
"Hey, I'm not judging your choice of underwear."
"Kill me," she mumbled.
After a heavy silence, she dropped her hands to find him leaning down once more, clearly unaffected by her choice in panties. And with his good looks, what did he care what she had underneath her dress? Dylan whistled to the dog a couple of times then stood. His blue eyes glinted with suppressed amusement. "He is a tricky one. Looks like I'm gonna have to try something else."
He started up the steps and Erica's hands fluttered in protest. "Oh don't worry about it. I really don't want to be a hassle."
"No hassle. I'll be right back." Dylan unlocked the back door and stepped inside, leaving her alone with the dog responsible for her humiliation.
A moment later he returned with a piece of well-done steak. He tore off pieces and made a trail from the porch. "Nothing speaks to a man like a nice piece of juicy steak."
Erica folded her arms and tapped her foot while Dylan waited, crouched beside her. A moment later a white-and-brown head, sans underwear, appeared. Eagerly he ate up the line of steak and hesitated, eying the large chunk in Dylan's hand. She could see the dog weigh his options to either make a dash or take what the stranger offered him. Hungrily he licked his chops.
"That's it," Dylan murmured. "I'm not gonna hurt you."
As if not to scare the animal, Dylan eased out his free hand, which the dog sniffed, licked, then ignored. Dylan patted the terrier's side while the dog contemplated the last piece of steak. Hunger won out and he took the offered food. "Good boy."
Once the dog finished the meat he sniffed around Dylan and inspected both his hands. "All gone, bud."
He yipped his disappointment, then shot off back under the house.
Dylan laughed. "I guess I have a dog now."
"I suppose so," Erica said on a smile.
"I can't guarantee he isn't going to steal your underwear."
"I guess that'll give me an excuse to come over."
The glimmer left his eyes and Erica bit into her lip, wanting to take back the words. It'd sounded like such a bad come-on and she knew awkward disinterest when she saw it. She glanced over at her clothes on the line. "Well, I bet you have a ton of stuff to do and I better get back home."
Dylan dropped a hand on her arm and liquid heat spiraled up her skin. "Sorry, I didn't mean to come off as un-neighborly. I'm not in too much of a rush to get down to business. I could do with some coffee. You want some?"
"It's the least I could do for my dog snatching your underwear."
Erica smiled at his attempt at a puppy-dog look. "You only just claimed him."
"I'm a responsible dog owner."
She heaved a sigh. "All right."