a Cat Johnson RED title
As “Plain Jane” Dolan—what an ex once called her—makes her way through her little black book and the men from her past searching for the Mr. Right who got away, there’s another man who makes his way into her little black panties. She can’t deny he feels oh so right.
Gorgeous and much too young Damian serves up both tongue-tantalizing cocktails and mind-boggling orgasms and Jane finds her post-date sexual encounters with the tempting bartender completely irresistible.
But her soulmate is waiting and there are still more men from her past to re-date—or are there?
Reader Advisory: Contains smoking hot sex with no strings–but with toys!
Excerpt #1 (rated G)
“Need a refill, ladies?” The deep, dark and come bite me, you’ll like it voice of Damian the bartender shattered her illusion, but Jane wasn’t all that upset about it.
“Definitely. We’re celebrating Jane’s big birthday and her upcoming dates—plural.” Candice spilled the news and leaned closer to the bar like Damian had his own gravitational pull.
Jane really didn’t need to have her big and unwelcome birthday announced to the hottie behind the bar. She also wasn’t sure she wanted her new re-dating scheme to be common knowledge. She cringed at how pitiful Damian would think she was. Most women he met probably didn’t need a battle plan as detailed as Jane’s to find a man.
Candice eyed the bottles in Damian’s hands and pursed her lips. “I think we need to move on to something harder than wine.”
“Harder, huh? What did you have in mind?” Damian’s dimples appeared to accompany the playful twinkle in his eyes. He put the wine bottles down and leaned his forearms on the bar, putting him closer to Jane and Candice. He shot them each a smoldering look. “I’m sure I’ve got something hard back here somewhere.”
“I’m sure you do.” Candice laughed.
Feeling a little envious of her friend, Jane watched their banter filled with witty double entendres. Candice interacted so easily with Damian. With all men really. That’s what came with being a little older and married, Jane guessed. One more reason to hate being single.
If Jane flirted with men the way Candice did, it wouldn’t look like innocent joking. It would look like Jane was trolling to get laid. Not that she wasn’t. It had been too long since she’d engaged in that particular activity, but she really didn’t need to look like she was on the prowl. Especially not with a bartender who could possibly be six or maybe even seven years her junior. But damn, she bet what was beneath his uniform was nice.
Jane sighed and remained quiet.
“How about we start first with a chocolate martini and maybe we’ll move on to something else hard later.” Candice smiled at Damian and then turned to Jane. “That okay with you?”
Not really processing what had been asked as she pictured all the many enticing things that could be hard on Damian, Jane nodded. “Um, sure.”
There was a reason she and Candice came to this bar at least once a week after work and it wasn’t just because it was walking distance from their office. It had nothing to do with geography and everything to do with the tall, dark and tempting tidbit behind the bar. Nothing like a drink and a little innocent ogling after a tough day at the office.
Damian. Even his name sounded dangerous. He stood before her, the tiny silver hoop in one ear glinting in the light as he wielded a different liquor in each hand. All the while he wore a smile that made him look as if he’d partied with the Devil himself, and liked it.
He stepped closer, put the bottles down and planted two stemmed glasses on the spill mat in the well at the edge of the bar. His eyes narrowed as he glanced from one woman to the next. “Chocolate martinis? Hm, are you ladies trying to test my skills? Because I have to warn you, I’m very well schooled in a wide variety of creative uses for chocolate, only one of which is the making of the perfect chocolate martini.”
Candice sighed. “Ah, Damian. You truly are the perfect man. Where were you ten years ago when I was single?”
“Uh, I’d have to do the math but ninth or tenth grade, maybe.” He grinned as Candice and Jane both groaned.
“God, that makes me feel old.” Jane let her forehead drop to the smooth wooden surface before her.
“Stop. Don’t be silly, Jane. You’re only as old as you feel.” The sound of ice in a shaker accompanied the sexy purr of Damian’s voice.
Jane heard Damian’s words of encouragement coming from above her, but didn’t believe them. She raised her head and watched him expertly strain the dark liquid from the glass shaker. The combined scents of the sweet liquor and Damian’s cologne reached her nose, causing her to breathe in deep to capture the essence of them both.
EXCERPT #2 (Rated PG 17)
Damian hefted the rack full of dirty glasses onto the stainless counter. The guy they’d just hired as a dishwasher would take care of cleaning them in the morning. Damian’s shift had come to an end and thank God washing the dishes before he could leave was not part of it.
Back out front, he headed for the door to lock up and was surprised to find he wasn’t alone. He stepped behind Jane where she stood fumbling in her bag by the restroom door. “Hey, there. I thought you’d gone home.”
“I was trying to call a cab, but I don’t have a number. So I thought I’d call information but I can’t seem to find my phone in this stupid purse. Then I thought I could call on the payphone, but you don’t have a payphone. Then I needed to go to the ladies room.” Jane swept one arm toward the restroom, threw off her balance and swayed.
He reached out with both hands to steady her. “Whoa. Easy. And just so you know, I always have numbers for cabs behind the bar. I even would have called one for you if you’d asked me.”
When he was certain she was standing okay on her own two feet, he let her go, not that it was any hardship holding on to her. Not at all. Of all the women who came to hang out at his bar, Jane was always a pleasure to be around, not to mention to look at.
“I didn’t want to bother you. You looked busy, with that big…thing of yours.” Her face colored. “The thing you carried, not your big thing.”
Damian laughed. “Yeah, I got it. You meant the rack of glasses.”
“Yeah, that must be what I meant. Because it would be rude to talk about, you know, your other big thing.”
Usually drunks were annoying. However Jane being drunk was proving to be absolutely adorable. He smiled. “Oh, I don’t know. I never mind talking about any thing, my thing included, when it’s with a cute girl.”
A scowl creased her brow. “Unfortunately, I’m not a girl anymore.”
“You’re right. You’re definitely a woman.” A successful, smart, attractive, funny and very inebriated woman who he should be putting in a cab home rather than noticing how one of the buttons on her blouse had opened and he could clearly see the lace of her bra. She wasn’t big up top, but what was there was really nice. Huge tits, especially the fake ones, were overrated in his opinion.
Jane frowned and touched her head. “I think I had too much to drink.”
“Mm, hm. I think you’re right.” And that was his fault. He’d been having so much fun mixing drinks for them he hadn’t realized what the combination of liquors, as much as the amount, would do to two women. Candice had gotten into her cab fine. Drunk yes, but functioning, but Jane seemed to be handling the alcohol less well. He’d keep that in mind when pouring for her from now on. She required a lighter hand.
That thought had him thinking other far from bartenderly thoughts about his hands on her.
“I’m attractive, aren’t I?”
He nodded. “Yes, you are. Very.”
“Then why am I alone? I mean I’m not even talking about being unmarried. I mean alone like I burnt out the motor on my vibrator last week and now I have to buy a new one.”
And now he had a hard-on. Wow. That was some piece of information. It put a hell of a visual in his head. Jane, splayed out on her bed, working herself to an orgasmic frenzy.
Excerpt #3 (rated G)
“Holy hell, what happened to me?” She sounded so scratchy, she barely recognized her own voice.
“Tequila shots happened to you.”
Jane groaned. “I never drink tequila.”
“You did last night when you moved from chocolate martinis to the coffee-flavored Patron your friend wanted to try.”
Chocolate martinis. The bar.
It all started to come back to her, along with the realization that the voice she’d heard was familiar because it was Damian’s.
“Where am I?” Perhaps if he answered her, and the answer was acceptable, she wouldn’t have to open her eyes or move for a little bit longer. On the floor behind the bar would be okay with her right about now if it meant she didn’t have to move anytime soon.
“In my apartment.”
“Your apartment?” Jane’s eyes flung open and a wave of nausea hit her along with the feeling of an ice pick stabbing into her brain. Dammit. If she’d had sex with him and couldn’t remember it because she’d been too drunk, she’d be really pissed. “I, uh, hate to have to ask this, but how did it happen that I’m waking up in your apartment?”
“You don’t remember anything?”
“No.” She stifled the urge to groan as she imagined all sorts of things.
“Well, after all that wild sexual intercourse we had last night I figured it was rude to throw you out into the street, and you certainly couldn’t drive, so I let you sleep here on the couch.”
Pawing through her foggy memories, and appalled she was coming up empty when it came to last night, Jane dared to glance at him. He was grinning.
“Kidding, Jane. We didn’t have sex, wild or other.”
She let out a breath, though on some level that was kind of disappointing. “Really?”
“Really.” Damian laughed and walked from behind the kitchen island with two coffee mugs in his hand. He handed one to her.
She cradled the ceramic with two palms to keep it from shaking as she brought it to her lips. The hot liquid, just the right sweetness and color, slid over her tongue. “This is perfect. How did you know how I like my coffee?”
“You ordered it once last year. I remembered.” He shrugged, looking even more gorgeous in the morning in sweatpants with his hair messed from sleep than he did behind the bar at night in his black button-down shirt and trousers.
“You have a good memory.” Jane took another sip since the first one hadn’t threatened to come back up her throat from her gurgling stomach yet. Aside from that, she made a concerted effort to not move too much until her headache subsided.
“And you have a hangover.” He laughed.
“So true.” She couldn’t deny it. Jane let out a sigh. “I’m very sorry.”
He frowned. “Sorry for what?”
“For whatever I might have said or done, or thrown up on last night.” She hated not remembering things she’d done while drunk, which was one reason she hadn’t gotten this drunk in years. Not since law school. It was disconcerting. Dangerous too, if Damian hadn’t been there to take care of her.
Jane didn’t dare think of what she might have revealed last night. She’d probably tried to rip his clothes off or told him she masturbated to thoughts of him sometimes after seeing him at the bar. How humiliating.
“You didn’t do anything bad so don’t worry.”
She glanced at him, saw his smirk and groaned. “I don’t believe you.”
Damian laughed. “Why not?”
“Because you totally don’t have a poker face. I did something embarrassing last night. I can tell by looking at you. Just tell me what it was so I can apologize and then slink away in my humiliation.” She needed to know how bad it was so she could gauge how long she’d have to avoid the bar and him.
“It was nothing—”
Damian sighed and rolled his eyes. “Fine. You just admitted you hadn’t had sex in a little awhile.” He paused. “And that you burned out the motor on your vibrator.”
Jane groaned. “Oh God. I don’t want to even think about how I came to be telling you all that.” A horrible idea struck her. What if Damian was editing the story to not embarrass her? Maybe she didn’t want to find out any more.
“You were talking about how you had to get home and find some book so you could start having steady sex again.” He sipped at his coffee. Jane had a feeling it was an attempt to hide his smile behind the mug.
She put her cup down and covered her face with her hands. “I’ve been working really hard lately. I haven’t made relationships a priority.”
Damian, looking totally comfortable having coffee with his unexpected overnight guest, was sprawled in the chair opposite Jane as she remained perched on the very edge of the couch.
He nodded. “I know you work hard, but sex shouldn’t be work. That’s the difference between men and women. If a man wants to get laid, he’ll go out and do it. Sometimes with women it seems like it’s a big production. There has to be this whole buildup toward a relationship. Every date is like a job interview for a potential long term boyfriend or husband.”
“Not true. Women can just have sex with no strings.” Jane had done it with Jim.
She could definitely very happily have sex with no strings attached with Damian. Not that he would want any sex at all with her. Hot twenty-something bartenders who had boob-baring girls throwing themselves at them nightly did not go for a thirty-year-old lawyer wearing a boring navy blue suit, and who had small breasts and a big butt.
“Oh, sure they can.” Damian’s voice dripped with sarcasm to accompany his eye roll.
“Seriously, I can do it.”
“Uh, huh.” He cocked a brow and stared her down, as if daring her to tell the truth.
Jane pursed her lips. “Fine, think what you want, but it doesn’t say very much about men that sex means nothing at all to them, now does it?”
“I didn’t say that. I said to men, or at least to me, not all sex has to mean something, but some sex can mean everything.” His gaze locked with hers. “See the difference?”
God, to be that one woman who meant something to the man who usually felt nothing. She swallowed hard. “You really mean that?”
Damian nodded. “Definitely.”
This might have been the most surreal conversation of her life. Sitting in last night’s clothes, actually, yesterday’s work outfit, discussing the philosophy of sex with her bartender over coffee.