who sees you as nothing more than a friend.
It really sucks to be in love with someone who sees you as nothing more than a friend. Darcy Owens knows this from personal experience. From the moment she met Sean McKenna as a wary ten-year-old, he’s owned her heart. So when he asks for her help with an important construction project, she can’t say no.
Building a boutique hotel on Boston’s waterfront is a career-making opportunity, and Sean needs Darcy’s interior design expertise. She’s incredibly talented, and there is no one he trusts more. He knows he can always count on his childhood friend, but doesn’t know why he’s thinking about her tight skirts and blue eyes instead of tight deadlines and blueprints.
When Sean and Darcy’s excitement about their work turns into an entirely different kind of excitement, it’s a sexy surprise. But they soon realize that building a new relationship is more challenging than building a new hotel, especially when life-long habits and old insecurities create cracks in the foundation.
Sean had never noticed the cobweb in the corner of his living room before. The thin and delicate web shifted slightly as the evening breeze wafted in from the open window.
Back and forth it moved. Back and forth.
He looked down at his watch for the thousandth time. Half past eight. They were supposed to meet Ewan and Quinn a half hour ago.
“Darcy! What’s the holdup?” he yelled. “Did you fall asleep up there or something?”
He heard some rustling and drawers shutting before she yelled back, “I’m almost done!”
With a sigh, he let his head fall back against the chair. Women were notorious for taking forever to get ready. He’d dated a couple of women who would take forever to put on the finishing touches while he waited in their foyers or living rooms. He just never figured Darcy would be that type of woman.
Not that he minded. Not much about her bothered him, except when she made him all hot and bothered. But then again, he didn’t mind that either.
He’d gotten the impression earlier she was a little nervous about tonight. She’d asked a million questions about where they were going and who would be there. He didn’t know why she was nervous. They were meeting Ewan, Quinn, and some others who they’d been out with a million times since they were old enough to get into bars without fake IDs.
Whatever Darcy’s hang-up was, it was cutting into their night. They had to stay at the bar for a socially acceptable amount of time before they excused themselves so they could hurry home to the confines of his bedroom, where he planned to do all sorts of naughty things.
It had been two weeks since London, and he couldn’t get enough of her. She was to Sean what catnip was to cats.
Darcy was Sean-nip.
He twisted his lips at the clever quip and let his mind wander back to last weekend. He’d driven down to Providence the moment he had left the office on Friday. They hadn’t left her apartment until Sunday night to go to dinner. He’d driven back to Boston afterward and floated on some sort of sex high the rest of the week.
The moment she’d walked into his townhouse last night, he hadn’t even bothered with the polite “Hey there” or the casual “So, how was your drive?” He’d lifted her up by the waist and kissed her all the way out of the kitchen, up the stairs, down the hall, and into his bedroom. He hadn’t even cared that his roommates were home and saw the whole show.
He flexed his fingers against the upholstery on the armchair. Sex had never been this exciting. Sure, he’d looked forward to it before.
But being with Darcy was like walking around with a set of blue balls all the time. He ached at the thought of her smooth skin. He constantly thought about getting inside her, and then when he finally got there, he never wanted to leave. She was becoming less inhibited—more confident—and the sex just kept getting better.
Over the last two weeks, he’d wondered why that was. Why was she so irresistible to him when other women were so forgettable? Why did he find himself thinking of her all day long when he should have his mind on work?
If he and Darcy had started a relationship years ago, would it have been this good? Was Darcy some untapped sex siren who would have rocked some other guy’s world if he hadn’t gotten to her first?
Whenever such questions would arise, he’d dismiss them as quickly as he could. His mother always told him he was like an ostrich. Instead of facing issues or tough questions or challenges, he’d stick his head in the sand and wait until they’d passed him by.
He didn’t necessarily agree with his mother’s assessment. In fact, when it came to his mother’s advice, he usually let it go in one ear and out the other. She’d have him married with a whole brood of kids by now. That was definitely something he wasn’t ready for. At least at this point in his life. Maybe someday in the future. Way in the future.
He wasn’t running away from tough questions, he just didn’t think it was worth his time and effort to worry over something that wasn’t going to affect anything in the present or future.
Why ponder such things? They were together now, exploring each other and this thing they had going on. Why sit and think about the past when she was upstairs in his bedroom at this moment getting dressed in what he hoped included some hot lingerie?
He felt himself hardening and cursed. Maybe they should just skip the bar altogether. Tell everyone that he’d come down with a case of dengue fever or some shit like that.
He heard another drawer slam upstairs.
“Seriously!” he exclaimed. “You must be sleeping ’cause I have no idea why else it’s taking you so long. I know I wore you out last night and all, but you drank all of your girlie latte plus half of my man coffee this afternoon. You can’t possibly be tired with all that caffeine.”
A laugh floated down the stairs. “I’m not sleeping, I’m getting ready! And stop flattering yourself, Sean. If anyone wore anyone out last night, it was me.”
“Woman, please. I’ve been taking it easy on you since you’re just past virginal.”
Another laugh from upstairs. “What’s the next step then?”
Sean stood up and went to the bottom of the steps. “See, that just goes to show how not ready you are. You don’t even know what the next step is.”
He heard a zipper, then a light switch turned off. “Please, Mr. Sex Guru. Enlighten me.”
Sean leaned against the wall. “I can’t. It’s against guru policy to divulge the secrets of the next level of sexual satisfaction if you’re not ready. You gotta pass the test first.”
He heard footsteps and looked up to see Darcy finally coming downstairs. She wore a long-sleeved green dress and nude high heels. His eyes moved from the roundness of her breasts hidden underneath the dress down over her shapely hips and her exposed legs. She looked good enough to eat.
Darcy stopped on the last step, and her warm, familiar minty scent surrounded him. “What kind of test is it? Multiple choice? Short essay?”
He reached for her and pulled her snug against him, loving the way her breath hitched when he squeezed her ass.
Sean smiled before answering, “It’s an oral exam.”
This is book #2, in the McKenna series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. For reader enjoyment and understanding, I recommend reading the series in order.
Darcy has been in love with Sean for almost twenty years. They are best friends. She is getting to a breaking point where it is time to decide can she live with herself if she walks away?
Sean loves having such an amazing buddy. He has no idea how she feels about him. He just knows he never wants to live without her.
This series just gets better and better. I loved this story and the characters! They were so much fun to read. Lots of humor, and some really sexy moments between them. I cannot wait to see what the author will do next.
***This ARC copy was given by Netgalley and its publisher, in exchange for an honest review.
Interview with Jamie Hollins:
I’m really excited to be here on Kitty’s Book Spot! Thanks for having me!
1. Do you write to music, or make music playlists for your stories?
I can’t write to music. I tried at first, but I found out quickly that I need peace and quiet when I write. Even my dog’s snoring, when he’s curled up next to my desk, is a distraction!
I do make playlists though. You can find the playlist for NOT IN MY WILDEST DREAMS on Spotify at – https://open.spotify.com/user/jhollinsauthor/playlist/7cmXShkTUuMze9AfpFdJp6
2. What got you started writing romance? (Got you interested in writing)
I’m an avid reader and I pretty much read anything I can get my hands on. I read a lot of literary fiction and historical fiction when I was younger, and I realized that my favorite part of every book I read was the romance element. So I started reading a lot of romance and paid attention to the way authors constructed their books, built their characters, and developed their conflicts. About the same time, Quinn and Ewan (from book one in the McKenna Series) started dancing through my mind and I decided I’d give writing a try. I signed up for an online writing class and I kept going from there!
3. What is the one genre you hope to one day write, if you haven’t already?
I’m a huge fan of YA epic fantasy so I’d love to give that a try one day! One thing I can promise is that regardless of which genre I write, my stories will always have a romance element. And I’m pretty positive I could never write a book that didn’t have a happy ending.
4. Will you share with us something no one else knows about you?
Just like my heroine in NOT IN MY WILDEST DREAMS, I had a secret crush on a guy in high school. Now, you should know that I’m an outgoing person. I can walk into a room full of strangers and strike up a conversation without any issues. Yet whenever I got around this one guy, I would clam up. I couldn’t form an intelligent sentence. WTF! What was wrong with me? Why did I get tongue-tied around this guy?
For four years, I seriously crushed on this dude. Four years. It took my mother finally mentioning something to his mother (cringe!!!!) to bring the whole thing to a halt. He wasn’t into me. He thought of me as a friend.
It sucked at the time, but in the long run, it worked out. I’m happily married to my hubster. Thank God for unanswered prayers.
5. Have you ever been part of a fandom? (ie: been a follower/reader of really popular works? EX: Game Of Thrones, Harry Potter, Anne of Green Gables, etc?
I’m a loyal Outlander fan, both the books and the TV shows. Right now I’m into everything that Sarah J. Maas writes and I can’t get enough of her Throne of Glass series.