On summer vacation, teacher Katie Parker is happy to leave behind her latest dating disaster as she joins her best friends from high school for their annual group outing. This year, they’re going on a Caribbean cruise, and Katie is determined to find a hot guy for just one night of anonymous passion.
On board the ship, she meets hunky Mac Coleman, cruising to Mexico for his brother’s wedding. He was more than willing to go along with the sexy, mysterious redhead’s plan for forgetting her ex. But now, can he convince her they’re worth more than just one night?
Here’s a little teaser.
“So where is your redhead going?” Tommy wondered as he and his brother watched the women leave the dining room.
Mac shrugged lightly. “She said something about karaoke tonight.”
Danny watched him for a moment. “Aren’t you going after her?”
“Nah, she wasn’t really up for getting together.”
“Dude, that dress is killer. She’s all dressed up for somebody,” Tommy observed.
“Yeah, well…” Mac sipped his water for an excuse to stop talking. “Hey, aren’t we hitting the casino tonight?”
Seated between his brothers at the roulette wheel, Mac watched the tiny white ball skitter around and come to rest on the thirteen. Of course, he’d bet on the twelve. After three rounds, he’d lost forty dollars. Tommy had the best luck, winning with every spin.
“Gents, I’m going to have to stop while I’m behind,” Mac said, pushing back from the table.
Tommy gathered his chips and Danny joined them. “What do you want to do now on your last night as a free man?”
Tommy grinned impishly at Mac. “I’m kind of in the mood for karaoke.”
Mac’s expression was dubious. “Karaoke? Since when are you into karaoke?”
“Since my older brother started mooning over some sexy redhead whose name he doesn’t even know.”
The brothers pushed their way through the crowded lounge searching for an empty table. Not finding one, they lucked out with three stools at the bar. Settled on his stool, Mac scanned the room and found her nearly immediately at a table fronting the stage. Her red hair stood out in the crowded room.
She looked up and her eyes widened in surprise before her lips curled in a suppressed smile. He raised his beer that had just been served and she smiled wider, lifting her shot glass and overturning it dramatically.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” the emcee announced, “up next, we have the Heartbreakers!”
A squeal rose from their table and the four women made their way onto the stage. Mac watched in fascination as they took their cordless mics and stood with their backs to the audience. Wondering what they might sing, he heard the opening disco beat and bass of Hot Stuff and laughed out loud as they women began a slinky choreographed dance routine. He watched as the four took turns singing lines. When it was her turn, she locked eyes with him.
“Dude, your girl is hot!” Tommy commented.
“Yes, she is,” Mac agreed.
“I’m guessing they’ve done this before,” Danny opined. “God bless’em!” He raised his beer in salute.
Much like that first time back in high school, the end of the song was met with thunderous applause and the four friends returned to their table flushed with the exertion. “That never gets old,” Michelle laughed. “Do you remember the look on old man Adams’ face? He couldn’t decide whether to kick us out of the talent show or give us first prize.” The women laughed at the memory.
“It took forever for our turn,” Chelsea commented. “I want to go blow some money in the casino. Are you in?” She looked around the table.
“You guys go on. I’m enjoying the music,” Katie hedged. “Maybe I’ll just stay here a little longer.”
“Yeah, her mystery man and his brothers are here,” Michelle laughed. “She wants to blow something, just not money.”
“Oh, for Pete’s sake!” Katie blushed furiously.
“Come on girls,” Jayma said, “let’s give Katie a little space.” She kissed Katie’s cheek gently. “Good luck, hon. Have fun!”
Katie waved goodbye to her friends as they left. Another group was onstage, working their way through Paradise by the Dashboard Light. She saw his brothers stand and leave the bar. He sat smiling at her and she smiled back.
Taking a cocktail napkin, she wiped the water rings from the table in preparation for his joining her. Except that he didn’t join her. When Katie looked again, he was watching the singers with rapt attention, even swaying a bit on his stool.
She frowned a bit. His brothers left. He saw the girls leave. What gives? She crossed her right leg over her left and jiggled her foot restlessly. No way am I going over there. If he thinks I’m going over there, he’s got another think coming.
She glanced his way again. He was watching her with that same amused expression. The one that made the butterflies in her stomach go bungee jumping. Oh, fine!
As the group onstage finished and another singer was announced, Katie left her table and made her way to the bar, relieved to see an empty stool beside him. As she approached him, the corner of his mouth curled slightly and his eyes sparkled with the smile he suppressed.
“Hey, you. Would you mind if I joined you?” Katie asked.
“Hey, you. I’d mind if you didn’t.”
She accepted his hand and he helped her onto the stool next to his. “Thanks!”
“My pleasure.” He surveyed her appreciatively. “That’s a really nice dress.”
She flushed with pleasure. “Thanks. I wanted to be dressy for Formal Night. You look very handsome yourself.” She reached to touch the cuff of his shirt sleeve, pushing back his jacket. “Cuff links?” She fingered the textured silver squares.
He watched her with curiosity and nodded. “Is that okay?”
She looked back to his face. “I love cuff links. They’re so…civilized.”
Mac laughed out loud. “Something I’ve never been called: civilized.”
Katie’s brow furrowed. “So why? Why didn’t you come to my table?”
His eyes smiled. “Because you said ‘one night only’. I respect your boundaries.”
“Yeah.” She idly fidgeted with a cardboard coaster. “About that…” She looked up at him through her long lashes and began to lightly caress the inside of his wrist as it rested on the bar.
He watched her another moment, a knowing gleam in his eyes. “You can’t resist me.”
She looked back down to his hand. “You’re pretty cocky.”
He gave an exaggerated snicker. “You said ‘cock’.”
Katie giggled and rolled her eyes.
The next singer came on and began a spot-on version of Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On. They both laughed. Mac grinned and joined in, his cheek brushing hers as he sang along softly. Katie felt goose bumps as he crooned into her ear. “Let’s get it on…” Lightly, he nibbled her earlobe. He planted a gentle kiss on her bare shoulder.
Katie took his hand and he looked back up. “Come on, let’s go,” she said softly.
Originally, JUST ONE NIGHT was available exclusively on Amazon. Now, it’s on sale everywhere, and it’s only .99!
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