Marc must face the biggest challenge of his life--convincing Liv Davis that he means to love her forever.
Book Three in the Chase Brothers Series
Liv Davis has just about given up on her happily ever after. Burned by love more than once, she's beginning to think Mr. Right isn't in the cards for her.
Marc Chase is a confirmed bachelor and lover of women--lots of them. He's determined not to fall head over heels the way his brothers have. Until he kisses Olivia Davis and realizes head over heels may not be such a bad thing after all.
Can Liv open her scarred heart for this younger ladies man? She loves Marc more than she can begin to admit but she's terrified of being rejected again. Marc faces a challenge greater than he's ever faced before. Making a woman believe he's more than just a great bedmate--making her believe he's in it for good.
In the end it will all come down to two days in a hotel and a bet. Can they both win?
Warning, this title contains the following: explicit sex, graphic language.
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January 01, 2010
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Excerpt from Chased by Lauren Dane
"Hey there. Whatcha doing in here?"
She nearly jumped out of her skin when Marc spoke behind her as she left the building on the side away from the crowds. "Jeez, give a girl a heart attack!"
"Sorry. I ran to my truck to grab a blanket. It's getting a bit cold. Should have known. It is mid-April."
He made no move to leave though. Standing there, staring at her mouth in the moonlight.
"Do I have sugar on my lips?" She felt slightly guilty for eating the popover and made a promise to herself to go and grab Bill a piece of something sweet.
He stepped forward and she had no place to go, the wall was at her back. "I don't know. Do you?" he murmured, his body just shy of touching hers.
"I...uh." Before she could say anything else so spectacularly witty, he closed the last inch between them, his hand moving to cup her cheek.
"You're one of the most beautiful women I've ever seen. I've always thought so. Soft. You smell good too."
His lips brushed hers, just the barest hint of pressure but within a breath, that soft touch exploded and need so dire it scared her, welled up and swallowed her whole.
It must have been the same for him because he angled his mouth and went in for a real kiss this time. A skillful combination of teeth, tongue and lips all working to devastate her defenses. Her fingers gripped his shoulders, digging into the muscles, registering the softness of the sweater he was wearing.
His taste bloomed through her, spicy, delicious. It made something deep within her ache for a moment, seize and then warm all over. A soft moan escaped her and he swallowed it eagerly.
His hands, large and capable, held her hips, the tips of his thumbs stroking over the naked skin just beneath the hem of her sweater, just two inches shy of the bottom slope of her breasts.
That's what snapped her out of it, the longing, the yearning to reach down and move his hands up over her breasts and arch into his touch. She let go of his shoulders, sliding her palms down to push him back gently.
"Holy moley," Marc breathed out.
"When can you leave? We can go get a late drink somewhere or you could come to my place." Marc brushed a thumb over her bottom lip and she shivered.
"I'm here on a date, Marc. God, I shouldn't have done that." Especially because it awakened something deep inside her, a recognition that freaked her out. It was something she couldn't afford to feel. He wasn't capable of giving it back.
"Of course you should have. Olivia, this thing, that kiss has been brewing between the two of us for a long time now and you know it. We can go to dinner another night. I'm sorry for suggesting you dump your date. I know you're too kind to do that."
"I can't have dinner with you, Marc. Not tonight, not tomorrow night."
"Okay, well then come to my apartment. I'll make you dinner after I've had you three or four times." He grinned and she groaned, pushing him back so she could move away from the wall. She felt cornered in more ways than one. She vowed to eat a cupcake that very night. Two even. This addiction to dangerously handsome men without an ounce of desire to commit would be the death of her.
"There'll be no having!"
"Oh now, Olivia, don't be offended. I didn't mean it to sound crass."
She shoved a hand through her hair. "No, not that. I'm not offended. I'm flattered. Confused." Panicked, scared, freaked, aroused and a dozen other things it would not pay to feel. "But it can't happen, Marc. Not ever."
He narrowed his eyes at her. "You're joking. Olivia Davis, that was the single most hottest kiss I've ever shared with a woman and you were on fire in my arms. I felt your nipples through your sweater. You wanted me, you can't deny that."
Oy. "I'm not denying that. Yes, yes there's chemistry but there are too many reasons to not give in."
He put his hands on his hips. "Like what? You're single, I'm single. We're attracted to each other and you know we're going to be hot in bed together."
"Marc, you're too young for me. I'm six years older than you are. And," she held up her hand to silence him, "I've just recently decided that I'm done with casual relationships. I am not going out with another man who thinks of women as a box of chocolates and he has to sample every one. I want something real, something lasting and that's not what you want. I'm not judging you, Marc, but I want a relationship. I want to end up married."
He paled so much she could see it in the moonlight. She laughed tightly. She'd known it but it hurt to see his reaction anyway.
"See? Even the word freaks you out. You and I are friends. We really are and I like that. I like you. But this can't be more than a friendship, spectacular kiss or not. Now I have a date who'll be wondering where I am and you do too if I'm not mistaken. I'll see you on Monday when I come to work out."
She hurried off before she changed her mind.
Watching her walk away, Marc slammed his fist into his thigh in frustration. Friends? After that kiss? His lips tingled with her taste, his cock throbbed, pressing against the fly of his jeans.
"Too young my ass," he mumbled, heading back to where Becky Sue waited for him. It wasn't like Liv was old. She was gorgeous and totally in shape. He knew that for sure. He'd seen her body enough as he worked with her over the last month.
Images of her stretching and sweating assailed him until he pushed them firmly out of his mind or he'd go find her and fuck her against the trunk of the nearest tree. God, he wanted her bad and he knew she wanted him too. That was the kicker. This artificial barrier she'd created over their age difference was just dumb and she was using it to keep him away.
As he turned the corner he saw her with Bill, head tipped up, body leaning into his as they watched the sky. As if Marc had called her name, she turned toward him. Her gaze caught his for long moments until she let go and returned her attention to the fireworks.
Frustrated, he glanced back toward the blankets where Becky Sue waited with Cassie, Shane, Maggie and Kyle. He smiled when he caught Kyle placing his palms over Maggie's growing baby bump. They were good together.
He froze a moment. Marriage? Liv said she wanted long term. Said she wanted to get married. Okay, so he wasn't too young to have a nice fling with her but he was definitely not interested in marriage. Yikes. No, he'd go back to being her friend, sport a few furtive fantasies about bedding her and continue on with his happily unencumbered life. Marriage was for suckers and he was most certainly not a sucker. Yeah, sure.