All I Ask
(Man Enough #1)
by Nicole McLaughlin
Release Date: May 30, 2017
About All I Ask
They served their country, now these National Guardsmen will find their Happily Ever Afters. Fall in love with All I Ask, the first sizzling standalone romance in Nicole McLaughlin's Man Enough series.
Staff Sergeant Reeve Miller lives by his own golden rules: Train hard, Work hard, and f*ck hard. This way of thinking has served him well. He’s enjoyed a successful career in the military, started his own landscaping business while serving part time in the Guard, and left a string of very happy females in his wake… until he meets one feisty, smart woman in a bar looking for a one-night stand.
Emily Phillips is tired of working her ass off and not enjoying her life. According to her accountant, Emily is a millionaire. But her friends say she is a workaholic heading for lonely spinsterhood. The night of her high school best friend’s bachelorette party seems like a good time to try something new, and when the blue-collar hottie at the bar gives her the look, she’s ready to take a walk on the wild side. He makes it clear that he can give her a night to keep her very satisfied, and since it’s only a night, why bother sharing her title of CEO? But as one night becomes two and three, both Reeve and Emily find it harder to keep their hearts safe.
"A super sexy, naughty-alpha-but-sweet hero, a boss-employee relationship with a twist...
Nicole McLaughlin had a new fan by chapter two!"
-- New York Times bestseller Erin Nicholas
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An Excerpt from All I Ask
The monotonous sound of the mower soothed her as she watched him walk slowly up and down the backyard. She could sit here and watch him all evening. The flexing of his abs as he leaned forward and then pulled the machine back toward him; how his butt looked in those shorts.
When he was finished he pushed the mower back to the front and Emily went inside to refill his water glass. She heard the sound of the garage door, and then he was coming through another door into the kitchen. She turned from the sink and handed the glass to him, once again watching him closely as he drank it.
Setting the cup down on the counter, Reeve stepped into her space and put his hands on her jaw. “Can I kiss you?” he asked quietly.
She stared up at him, not missing the look of uncertainty in his eyes. That was new. He’d been so sure of himself every other time they’d been together, especially when it came to anything physical, and it reminded her how the past few days had reopened an emotional wound for him.
Emily pretended to consider it, despite the fact that she wanted nothing more. “I guess so.”
His lips quirked the slightest bit and then he leaned down to take her mouth in a kiss. It was tentative at first, but quickly turned hot. Within seconds he was done with subtlety or teasing, and began to consume and taste every inch of her lips and tongue. She let him have what he wanted from her, and planned on getting what she wanted in return.
It was hard for Reeve to believe that this woman was standing here in his kitchen. Getting his mouth on her had proven that it wasn’t a dream; she had in fact come to him. Sought him out. By the way she was gripping his back with one hand and running her fingers through his hair with another, she still wanted him.
Even after what she’d seen—and she’d seen it all. Every single thing he’d spent a lifetime trying to hide from the outside world. All the filth, the shame and self-loathing. And yet here she was.
“Still can’t believe you’re here.” His words were ragged and breathless against her temple as her lips sucked on his sweaty neck.
“You were supposed to be mine today, remember? Hard to believe you’d rather mow the yard then be with me.”
“You should know better than that,” he said.
She lifted her lips from his neck and looked at him. “How would I? You never called.”
“Let me make it up to you.” He trailed his fingers over the waistband of her pants, rubbing small circles on the skin of her abdomen, teasing her lower and lower.
Fuck, he was glad she was here and was willing to do anything to show her just how sorry he was for being an ass, for losing his temper, for not calling.
Emily’s hands clenched his back hard when his fingers slipped lower and pressed against her. The knowledge that she still wanted him after all that happened was more of a turn-on than anything he’d ever experienced. Suddenly he needed to be as close as possible, to show her with his body just how much he desired her to make up for his lack of words.
He gently pushed her against the kitchen counter. Wanting to see more of her, he lifted her T-shirt. She leaned back long enough for him to pull it up and over her head. After dropping it on the kitchen floor, his palms immediately went to her breasts. Slowly, he rubbed his thumb over the lace of her bra, feeling her nipples harden beneath the scratchy fabric.
“You’re too good for me, Em,” he whispered, believing the words with every fiber of his being. He ignored the shaking of her head and couldn’t meet her eyes after he said it. He wanted her, that was all there was to it. Whether he deserved her or not no longer mattered. From the first moment he’d seen her in that bar he’d wanted her naked and underneath him, all the while knowing full well that she was not meant for him. Even so, the pull of Emily had been too great and it still was. He should send her away now.
He couldn’t. She’d come to him and he couldn’t deny himself.
Nicole McLaughlin wrote her first full-length book (6 pages) about the birth of her baby sister when she was eight years old. She only finished it because her mother bribed her with a Rick Astley cassette tape. Sad, but true. Now her characters are what keep her writing and her subject matter has gotten a little bit deeper and a lot more romantic. She resides in a small town outside of Kansas City with her husband and three sons. When she isn’t writing, she’s a wedding and portrait photographer who loves to cook and watch historical dramas or documentaries. Nicole is the author of two series with St. Martin's Press, the Man Enough series (All I Ask) and Whiskey and Weddings (Maybe I Do).
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