For years, Jodie's next-door neighbor Todd has been one of her closest friends. In the two years since Jodie lost her husband, Todd has been there for her no matter what she's needed, from someone to shovel snow to someone to watch her kids while she goes to the store. Jodie has come to depend on Todd, and now she realizes that her feelings for him run much deeper than just friendship.
Jodie believes she's ready to move on, but her guilt over doing so gets in the way of her new relationship with Todd. Out of practice with relationships, Todd pushes a little too hard. Can the two of them form a future together?
Todd reached his hand across the table, palm up, and Jodie rested her hand on it. “I’m glad I brought you here,” Todd said. “How long has it been since you’ve treated yourself to anything?”
“I don’t know,” Jodie admitted. “I don’t really have time or money to treat myself, not with the kids to take care of.” Besides which she didn’t usually think about what she wanted or needed. She had too many other things on her mind.
“Then it’s a good thing I’m doing it for you.” He squeezed her hand gently. “You spend all your time taking care of your kids. You should let someone take care of you once in a while.”
“You don’t see me arguing, do you?” Jodie said. Todd had been taking care of her for over a year. She’d become used to it. She understood that he meant something different this time. It wouldn’t be a stretch for her to let him take care of all her needs given how accustomed she was to having him around.
“I’m glad you aren’t arguing,” Todd said. “Otherwise I’d have to take drastic action.”
“Oh, really?” Jodie raised an eyebrow. “And what might that be?”
“I guess you’re just lucky enough that you won’t have to find out.”
“I don’t believe you’d do anything at all,” Jodie said. “I think you’re just trying to fake me out.”
“Believe what you want.” Todd drank some of his cola. “I assure you, I do make good on my threats. So maybe you should just watch your back.”
“Okay, sure.” Jodie stuck out her tongue. “You’re all talk and no action.”
“You don’t know that.”
“I know many things.” She couldn’t help laughing. She and Todd joked around sometimes, but she hadn’t felt this playful in a long time. Their banter was just what she needed.
Not just banter. Flirting. Something she hadn’t done in so long that she almost hadn’t recognized it. To her relief, she didn’t feel guilty about flirting with Todd. Far from it. As they teased each other, her mind began sorting through the possibilities of how the evening might end.
Most of those possibilities appealed to her. The kiss she and Todd had shared the week before had increased her attraction to him, and she realized now how much she wanted him. Her body craved his touch, and just thinking about it started her arousal simmering inside her. She wondered what he looked like naked, and whether she’d give herself a chance to find out.
“What are you thinking about?” Todd asked.
Jodie’s face heated. “Um, nothing.” She definitely didn’t want to tell him what was on her mind!
Buy Links: "Help Around the House" will be available on Amazon & Pink Petal Books
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Karenna Colcroft is the alter ego of a normally shy, sedate wife and mother. She began writing at age five, and delved into erotic romance in 2006 after a challenge from a friend. She received her first e-publishing contract in 2009, and since then has had over a dozen novels, novellas, and short stories published by publishers including Pink Petal Books, Ellora's Cave, MLR Press, and Passion in Print. Karenna lives in the northeastern United States with her two children, her real-life romance hero husband, and two cats. She is currently trying to talk her husband into buying a boat.
What We Did Last Night
from Ellora’s Cave, release to be determined
After a six month self-imposed dating exile, Lissa is ready to try again. At a club with her friend Kerri, Lissa meets Ross, and sparks fly instantly. The two go to a hotel room where the sex is hot–and where Ross abandons Lissa after asking her to spend the night with him.
The next night, Lissa and Kerri return to the club, where Lissa again encounters Ross. He apologizes for leaving without saying goodbye the night before and asks for another chance. But can Lissa forgive him that easily?