Wynne Carter’s one-night-stand with Hollywood bad boy Derek Shaw resulted in life-changing consequences in the form of her precious daughter. Years later, she isn’t prepared to face him or his questions when he returns to her small town seeking answers.
With his acting career on hiatus thanks to his wild past, discovering he has a daughter is reason enough for Derek to stick around. Spending timing with her mom isn’t too shabby either, and soon he can’t keep Wynne or her long legs off his mind.
Wynne knows a man like Derek is made for sin, not happily-ever-afters, but resisting him proves pretty darn impossible. For a while, it looks as if the unlikely pairing of the single mom and the heartthrob might make it after all. Until Hollywood wants its leading man back, and their new relationship threatens to fall apart forever.
Wynne turned on Derek. “You gave her ice cream, didn’t you?”
He bit his lip, not answering, looking like a recalcitrant schoolboy. Okay, a sexy, grown-up version of a recalcitrant schoolboy, she amended. Not that his looks had any effect on her. Because they didn’t. In fact, the only effect he had on her was anger and she was about to indulge it.
“After I asked you not to, you intentionally went behind my back and gave Paige ice cream? You were with her for forty-five minutes and you couldn’t resist the urge to undermine my authority, could you?”
“Wait a second.” He closed in on her, standing way too close again. “I wasn’t trying to undermine your authority. I just couldn’t say no to her.”
“And that makes it okay?” She stepped away from him, unnerved.
Derek took a step closer. “I’m sorry. I didn’t realize it was such a big deal.”
“I have rules,” she informed him coolly. “Breaking them is a big deal.”
“Come on.” He raked a hand through his hair. “It was just one time.”
“You don’t know anything about parenting, so I don’t think you should be breaking my rules.”
“I don’t know anything about parenting because you kept our daughter a secret from me,” he pointed out, an edge to his voice. “So don’t give me that crap, Wynne, because it’s your fault. It’s your fault that Paige hasn’t had any idea who her father is for four years. If I break rules, it’s your fault because I should have had a say in making the damn rules in the first place.”
“Your breaking rules is not my fault,” she snapped, hating that what he was saying had a ring of truth. “And stop standing so close to me.”
A slow grin of realization spread across his face. “What’s the matter? Afraid you can’t resist me?” He moved even closer, so close she could feel his hot breath on her cheek.
“No.” She pushed at his shoulders—a mistake since once her hands were there, they lingered. Derek, meanwhile, didn’t budge. “Derek, just stop.”
“Stop what?” His beautiful mouth was haunting her now. If she leaned just a little bit closer, swayed forward the slightest bit…
No. She had to pull herself together. She hated this man. She wasn’t attracted to him. Even if her palms were tingling and his shoulders felt incredibly broad and strong beneath her hands. Even if he was more beautiful than any man had a right to be. Even if the title Sexiest Man Alive was the world’s biggest understatement.
There was one problem with her reasoning. She couldn’t seem to take her hands from his shoulders or keep them from sliding down across his impressively sculpted pecs. Mmm. It just felt so nice. He felt so nice, and it had been oh so long since she’d been with a man. Five years, to be precise.
No. She couldn’t be doing this. Shouldn’t be doing this.
“Stop,” she said again, as much to Derek as to herself.
His eyes burned into hers, blue and fiery. “I’m not doing anything.”
She knew, and that was the problem. She wanted him to be doing things—things like kissing her, for instance. Damn it, why did she have to have such a weakness for this man, of all men in the world? Why did he have this power over her?
Her hands stopped on his chest. They stared at one another. Wynne felt drawn to him as if he were physically reeling her in. It had been the same that night. It was shocking to realize that after five years, as far as Derek Shaw was concerned, Wynne wasn’t so very far removed from the naïve girl who had given him her virginity. It would be alarmingly easy to slip back into that role, back into his bed.
“Wynne, I want to kiss you,” he said.
Her breath caught in her throat and she knew he was asking permission. She also knew she had to deny him. She had Paige to think about, and Derek had more women trailing after him than he could count, she was sure. This could never work.