Mister Tonight, p.1Kendall Ryan
Copyright © 2018 Kendall Ryan
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All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without written permission of the author, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages for review purposes only.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.
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About the Book
Last night was the most embarrassing night of my life.
I was that girl.
You know, the highly intoxicated chick celebrating her thirtieth birthday with her two best friends—who are happily married. And the more I drank, the more I wanted to do something reckless to celebrate.
By reckless, I mean the sexy and alluring man dressed in a business suit standing near the bar. You know his type—tall, dark, handsome. I was sure he was out of my league, but I’d had just enough alcohol that things like that no longer seemed to matter. I’m not fat, mind you, but you can tell I like french fries, so there’s that.
He took me home, and I enjoyed the hottest birthday sex of my life. Well, until it came to a screeching and rather unwelcome halt.
There’s nothing quite like being interrupted mid-ride with a little voice asking, “What are you doing to my daddy?”
Just kill me now . . . or so I thought.
Come to find out, the man I rode like a bull at the rodeo is my new landlord.
“I need to get laid tonight.”
Jessie laughed while Rebecca handed out a round of tequila shots.
I tossed back the shot, screwed my face up, and stuck my tongue out, trying not to cough. “It’s so bad,” I said on a groan, the liquor burning my throat.
“Here.” Jessie shoved a lime wedge into my mouth.
After our second (or was it the third?) round of tequila shots, I had pretty much confirmed that I was no better at downing them now than I had been in college. And yes, I knew that I was probably too old to drink tequila shots, but I was determined to reclaim part of my youth with my two best friends before I officially turned thirty at midnight.
“Happy birthday, Kate,” Rebecca said, handing me a Corona this time.
“Cheers to being thirty.” Jessie grinned as we clinked bottles.
“Thirty and homeless,” I added, taking a large swig.
Jessie shook her head. “You’re not homeless. You just . . . don’t have anywhere to live.”
Rebecca and I laughed, used to her constant optimism.
My roommate had just gotten engaged, and a couple of weeks ago she’d sat me down to tell me I was being evicted. My stomach sank as I thought about our conversation. Apparently, she and her new fiancé didn’t want me third-wheeling all the time. Which was understandable, but it didn’t make me any less upset to have to move out of my rent-controlled apartment that was just down the street from my favorite coffee shop and frozen yogurt shop. You know what they say . . . Location. Location. Location.
“How’s the search?” Rebecca asked, shoving a lime wedge into her beer.
“I put a deposit down on an apartment this week,” I said, taking a swig. “I just need to go look at it tomorrow and make sure the landlord isn’t a psychopath.”
I’d found the apartment through an online ad. It seemed promising, spacious with lots of light and a nice little nook where I could set up an office. I wrote a successful weekly gossip column, and since I worked from home, a comfortable place to write was an important part of my living space.
“Enough adult stuff.” Jessie put her arm around my shoulders. “We’re here to celebrate.”
“One more beer and I’ll officially be drunk,” Rebecca said, scanning the bar. “Which means we should find you a guy now before the beer goggles set in.”
Rebecca, Jessie, and I had all been roommates in college. Jessie was a serial monogamist who had gotten married when we were twenty-four, and Rebecca had married her long-term boyfriend last year. Ever since they’d said I do, they’d tried to set me up with basically every available guy in a fifty-mile radius.
I didn’t mind the setups as long as the guy wasn’t expecting to get into something serious. I liked my life the way it was and lived by my personal motto: Don’t mess with a good thing. Besides, after watching my sister go through a very messy divorce with the man who was supposed to be the love of her life, I wasn’t exactly in a rush to settle down.
I looked around the bar. There were plenty of guys, but nobody who excited me. I needed to find someone who was looking for the same thing as me. Fun, casual sex. No strings attached.
I was on the verge of giving up when I saw him.
My breath caught in my throat, and my heart did a little jump for joy. He was leaning against the bar, casually sipping a beer. He looked like he was in his late thirties, and trust me when I say he was the total package. Tall with short, dark hair and a killer smile. He wore a perfectly tailored suit, like he’d just come from the office. I was a huge sucker for a guy in a nice suit, and based on the way it fit, I had a feeling he’d look even better without it on.
He laughed, revealing a perfect jawline and cheekbones that belonged on a GQ cover model. I swallowed, a little shiver running down my spine as I imagined him wrapping those firm biceps around me.
He was the hottest man I’d ever seen, and he looked like he’d fit in better on the cover of a magazine than he did drinking a Heineken in a bar called Bucky’s. I bit my lip, unable to stop myself from imagining climbing on top of him and celebrating my birthday by riding his . . .
Rebecca waved a hand in front of my face. I’d been practically drooling over Mister Perfect, totally forgetting that my friends were there.
“Sorry.” I laughed, nudging my head in his direction. “I think I found my Mister Tonight. But don’t look at the same t—”
Before I could get that sentence out, both Jessie and Rebecca were craning their necks to get a look at him. I mentally slapped my palm on my forehead, hoping he hadn’t noticed them staring right at him.
“Oh, he’s hot,” Rebecca whispered, turning back. “And he has this thing about him.”
She was right. He had a vibe, a raw sexual appeal that practically pulsed in the air between us.
“If that thing is a large bulge in his pants, then yes,” Jessie added.
Rebecca nodded. “Well, he is really tall. I’m thinking things might be proportional.”
“I think he just smiled at us,” Jessie said, grinning.
I sneaked a quick glance. He was defini
“You’re gorgeous,” Rebecca said earnestly. “He’d be lucky to date you.”
I shook my head. “Not date. Just birthday sex. I’m looking for a Mister Tonight, not a Mister Forever.”
“But seriously, look at him. Fuck. The things I would do to him if I wasn’t married . . .” Jessie bit her lip.
“Exactly. He’s like a twelve out of ten. And I’m . . .” I looked down at my outfit, a black cocktail dress that only barely concealed my curves.
I wasn’t fat; I was pleasantly plump. Curvy. Ample. Sturdy, if you will. But yeah, you could tell I liked french fries. And that I liked to dip those fries in ranch dressing.
Rebecca pressed her hand on the small of my back, nudging me out of my introspection. “You’re a total babe.”
“Just go over there and say hi,” Jessie said, taking my empty beer and giving me a little shove.
Normally, I’d be too shy to approach a guy that jaw-droppingly handsome, but the last tequila shot we’d taken had apparently obliterated all my common sense, as well as my verbal filter. It was my birthday, and I’d be damned if I didn’t at least get a hot make-out session. I hadn’t shaved my legs and squeezed my butt into a too-tight dress for nothing.
I gave myself a mini pep talk and was ready to walk over to him when I realized he wasn’t there anymore. Fuck. Had I missed my chance?
My heart sank.
“Excuse me,” a deep voice said from behind me.
I turned and felt myself flush. He was standing there, all six-plus feet of him, and he was smiling. At me.
“I’m Hunter,” he said, holding out a hand. “I figured instead of trying to make eye contact through a crowd of people, I should just introduce myself.”
He was sexy, funny, and straightforward? I was in full swoon.
I slid my hand into his. “I’m Kate.”
Not one to be shy, I looked straight into his warm brown eyes, electricity running through my body from his touch. He had big, strong hands and a firm grip. I was having a hard time shaking off the image of what those big hands could do when I realized he was speaking to me.
“Can I get you a drink?”
“Of course.” I smiled seductively, almost not believing it was working out so well. I must have had some majorly good karma to land this guy.
Before he turned to order, his gaze slid over my curves, taking in my little black dress that left very little to the imagination. Did they turn off the air-conditioning? Heat rushed from my cheeks down to my chest and settled between my legs.
“What are you drinking?” he asked. His full lips and movie-star smile made everything he said sound dirty.
“Whatever’s fine,” I said, trying to keep my cool. “Just not tequila.”
“I noticed you taking a shot earlier. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone make a face like that before.” He smirked, and I put my hand on my hip in mock offense.
“Are you always this complimentary to women you meet at bars?”
“I guess that’s the reason why I’m still single.” He grinned, signaling to the bartender.
I laughed, wondering how it was possible that this guy was single.
After a minute, he turned back with two martinis. “So, what’s the occasion?” He held up his glass in a toast.
“It’s my thirtieth birthday,” I said, clinking my glass against his and taking a sip.
“Happy birthday. So, how does it feel to be thirty?”
“I’ll let you know at midnight.” I grinned, looking him up and down. “But I have a feeling it’s going to feel pretty damn amazing.”
Jesus, Kate. This was why I shouldn’t drink tequila. I lost all my inhibitions.
I was afraid I’d come off too strong, but Hunter didn’t seem to mind. He was watching me closely with a sexy, deep stare, his gaze occasionally dropping to my lips as he spoke.
What had he just asked me? Oh yeah, he’d asked if I had any interesting hobbies.
I sucked in a breath and smiled. “Yes, actually, I love to cook.”
“What a coincidence. I love to eat.”
Chuckling, I shook my head. “You do understand your pickup lines are awful, right?”
He grinned at me, an amazing, mega-white smile that said he was both amused by me and not the least bit bothered that I was poking fun at him.
“I’m actually glad we bumped into each other tonight. I mean, your game needs a lot of work,” I added.
“And you’re offering to help?” His eyes crinkled at the corners.
I pursed my lips, looking him over. “Depends. What’s in it for me?”
“The satisfaction of knowing I won’t be out there somewhere inflicting horrible pickup lines on some unsuspecting girl?”
I shrugged. “Fair enough.”
He took another sip of his drink, watching me over the rim of the glass. “Where do we begin?”
I tapped my finger against the side of my glass, appraising him coolly. “You’re going to need a lot of work.”
His mouth twitched in amusement. “Clearly.”
After setting my glass on the bar, I turned to fully face him. It was like being smacked across the face with a GQ magazine.
I swallowed. “Let’s start with . . .” My gaze locked mischievously on his. “What’s really on your mind right now?”
Hunter didn’t answer right away. His gaze dipped again, ghosting over my cleavage and then my lips before returning slowly to my eyes. “I want to know how a woman like you could possibly still be single at thirty. And I want to know if you taste as sweet as you look.”
My cheeks grew warm. Okay, then. Maybe he did have some game.
“Is that all?” I asked, slightly breathless.
“I want to know the noises you make in bed. And other really inappropriate things you’re not supposed to talk about the first time you meet someone.”
“I see,” was all I could manage.
Hunter leaned a little closer, our knees touching beneath the bar. “Does that let you know where my head’s at right now, and which areas I’ll need the most help with?”
You could practically cut through the attraction buzzing between us with a knife. It was definitely too warm in here, and my insides felt all melty. In a good way, not in the I’m going to toss my cookies kind of way.
“Very much so.” I took another sip of my drink before returning it to the bar. Time to move to a safer topic. “So, the martinis, the suit.” I gestured at his outfit, trying to keep my mind on the conversation and off of Hunter’s package. “Are you some kind of high-powered businessman?”
“Not exactly.” He gave another low, sexy laugh, rubbing a hand on the back of his neck. “I’m a civil engineer for the city. You know, building projects and public transit. Really exciting stuff,” he added sarcastically.
I smiled, relieved he wasn’t a business exec. I’d slept with enough of those to last a lifetime. Dry and boring, and about as exciting as a baked potato. “No, I think it’s great.”
“Most women tune me out as soon as I say public transit.”
“Well, I’m not most women,” I said with a smirk, looking into his eyes again.
“I can see that.” He held my gaze for a moment before taking another sip of his martini.
Normally, I was so confident and relaxed, but this man . . . he was on a whole other level of sexy.
“I have to admit,” he said as he leaned in closer, “I just ordered the martinis to impress you. I’m usually a beer guy.”
I tried to keep my jaw from dropping. He was trying to impress me? I hadn’t expected that.
“So, what do you do?” he asked, interrupting my thoughts.
“I write a gossip column.”
Usually, guys shut down when I say that, thinking it was a fluff job or a hobby. But Hunter nodded with interest, listening to my every word. And the sexual tension between us was crackling like a low fire, just waiting to be stoked b
“That’s way more interesting than my job. How did you get into that?”
I shrugged. “I’ve always loved writing. I didn’t necessarily picture myself writing about celebrities, but a friend of mine had an in for this job, and I was sort of a natural, so I kept doing it.”
“That sounds fun.”
“You’d be surprised.” I set my empty glass on the bar. “It’s a lot of sitting alone in my apartment in sweatpants, researching stories. But don’t get me wrong, I love what I do.”
The conversation flowed easily between us, and as we sat there talking and flirting and laughing for another hour, I realized I hadn’t had this much fun in a long time. His eyes were a hypnotic shade somewhere between coffee and cognac, and it was refreshing to talk to a man who was so easygoing and who actually seemed to be interested in what I had to say and not what I could do for him. This much of a connection really wasn’t necessary, as I was only looking for a good time, not a lifetime partner. But still, it was nice.
He finished the last of his martini. “Should we get another round?”
Before I could answer, someone bumped me from behind, and I put a hand on Hunter’s chest to steady myself. Beneath his shirt, he was hard and muscular; he definitely wasn’t skimping at the gym.
I swallowed, tempted to grip his shirt in my hand and pull him toward me. Instead, I stepped away, mentally composing myself. I usually didn’t get tripped up this easily by a guy, but there was something about him that had my heart fluttering like a teenager. I didn’t want another drink . . . I wanted Hunter. Plus, I was worried one more round with him would push me from being adorably tipsy to embarrassingly drunk.
“Maybe we could just get out of here?” I said slyly.
He seemed caught off guard for a second but quickly composed himself. “We could also do that.”
Nervous and excited, I told Hunter I’d meet him out front, and went to find Jessie and Rebecca. They were huddled in a corner of the bar and had obviously been watching the whole thing.
“He looked super into you,” Jessie said enthusiastically as I walked up.
“We’re going to his place.” I grinned. At least, I hoped we were, because I was sort of homeless at the moment. And I was fairly certain that hooking up on your soon-to-be-ex-roommate’s couch was frowned upon.
Mister Tonight by Kendall Ryan / Romance & Love / History & Fiction have rating 3.6 out of 5 / Based on25 votes