Jenni’s home improvement plans have turned into a disaster. The only bright spot in her day is watching her handyman neighbor Rick as he helps out around the neighborhood. Jenni has need of his capable hands in more ways than one, but she refuses to become just another notch on his toolbox.
Rick is entranced by his standoffish neighbor. He has no time for the neighborhood women who throw themselves at him, but he intends to get into Jenni’s house, bed and heart if it’s the last thing he does.
An Excerpt from MR FIX IT, Copyright ©EMILY CALE, 2013
All Rights Reserved, Ellora’s Cave Publishing. Inc.
Bracing against the wind, Jenni took a few steps forward, sat down on the stairs and watched as her dog barked at the tree. “Keep it up. You’ll probably have better luck than I have today.” She hung her head. Now she needed to decide whether to keep trying to make her project work or cut her losses and put the doors she’d gotten off back on. At the moment, neither option sounded particularly appealing. The only thing she absolutely had to do was clean the floor. The rest could wait until she’d had time to drink a few glasses of pinot grigio and enjoy some trashy reality television. Nothing like a few hours focused on someone else’s life to make her forget about the troubles in her own.
Jenni didn’t need to look up to recognize the deep voice of her neighbor, but popped her head up to confirm her suspicions. It’d be rude not to at least look at the person talking to her. At least that was what she told herself. It certainly couldn’t be because she liked gazing at his tanned skin and sun-bleached hair.
Rick Maas leaned over the fence between their properties. Her cheeks felt hot as she tried to think of a witty reply. “Nothing that can’t be fixed.” Maybe not by me, but by someone. She’d kept an eye on him from the day he’d moved in three months ago. Scratch that. She’d had both eyes glued to his gorgeous body whenever she got the chance. He was a perfect specimen of the male form. Wavy hair, a strong chin and a smile that could turn her knees to jelly. A few times he’d caught her staring at him while he worked on his motorcycle in the driveway. She’d tried to pretend she was studying the garden or checking out a bird in a tree, but she doubted he’d been fooled by her ruse. She couldn’t help it though. The minute he took off his shirt, her brain turned to mush and her libido took over.
“Anything I can help you with?” That was a loaded question. Jenni could think of a hundred things she’d like his help with, but not a single one was home improvement related. Though a few of them risked damaging her bed frame. She supposed he could put that back together if they broke it. After they were done, of course.
She bit her tongue. His offer was completely innocent and she knew it. Rick helped many of the neighbors with little tasks around their homes. For the most part, his assistance went to older individuals struggling to keep up with seasonal maintenance, but many of the single women—and a few of the married ones—took him up on his offers as well. A little too often for Jenni’s taste. How many things could possibly go wrong in one house? She almost laughed at the thought. Maybe she should take a better look around her kitchen before she judged too harshly. Still, she swore a few of the ladies broke things for the sole purpose of having Rick over. They probably made him pitchers of lemonade and homemade chocolate chip cookies too. How clichéd. She hated them for it. Partly because she couldn’t even make chocolate chip cookies, let alone serve them hot out of the oven for the hunk-next-door.
About Emily Cale:
Emily Cale spent the majority of her childhood as a visitor to the worlds of her favorite authors. With encouragement from her English teachers, she put pen to paper and began imagining her own stories. Preferring the fascinating lives of her characters, she majored in creative writing. When not lost in a manuscript or a good book, she enjoys crocheting, rock climbing, and playing board games. She currently lives in Portland, Oregon.