by: Drea St. James
Poetry for Beginners, #1
Publication Date: March 31, 2016
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Synopsis: A serial dater and self-proclaimed ninja, Liv Lester thought accidentally running into her date from hell was as bad as her day could get. As it turns out, there areworse things. Not only is her company getting sued, but the only person able to clear its name has disappeared without a trace.
A brilliant lawyer on the fast track to becoming a senior partner, Dax Morgan follows strict rules that don’t include crazy women who pretend to be his girlfriend. His latest case was supposed to be easy. Get in, sue, get out. He certainly didn’t plan on meeting Liv, who throws color into his black and white world and makes him question his loyalties.
After chance encounters, misunderstandings, and a trailer load of sticky notes, the two grudgingly team up and find out they might not be as different as they first thought.
“Get off me,” she wheezed out from underneath his big frame.
“Only if you promise to clean it all up. Right now.”
“I can’t, I need to be somewhere. And besides, how do you know I put all the balls in here?”
Dax looked at her, but still wouldn’t let go. “I am pretty sure I haven’t pissed anyone else off this week, and you are inside my apartment.” He nodded towards his room. “Since you just put thousands of balls in my apartment, I think whatever it is you are about to do can wait.”
“But it really can’t. I need to go to Jefferson City. Today.”
“You want to know what I think?”
“I think you are lying.”
“Not true. I really do have to go and I’m kind of running out of time.”
He was still pushing her down into the balls and Liv felt all too aware of his big body pressing into hers. He smelled so good she was tempted to bury her face in his chest. Before she could think about it, she leaned in closer, sniffing his neck. Delicious.
“Did you just smell me again?”
“No, just got a cramp in my back.” Liv immediately pulled back, pushing her hands against his body to gain more distance, which turned out to be a move she didn’t really think through, because now she was touching his abs. And there was a definite six-pack there if her counting skills were still up to scratch.
“Did your hand cramp up as well?” He smirked at her.
She dropped her hand from his abs as though it were burned. Her cheeks were on fire, and she was too embarrassed to meet his gaze. “Nope, that was on purpose. I simply have no control over my hands.”
Dax leaned in closer and she froze. “Tell me why you have to be in Jefferson City today, and I might consider letting you go.”
“Can this stay between us?”
“Is it about the case?”
“Then I refuse to tell you.” Liv pushed against him again. “Now if you would just let me up…”
Dax grinned down at her, shaking his head. She noticed a dimple in his cheek and fought the urge to lick it. She really needed to get some distance or she would never stop thinking about his body parts again. “You should smile more often; it makes you look almost human.”
Ignoring her, he pressed in closer. “What’s in Jefferson City, Liv?”
She groaned when she felt his breath on her skin. Just like that, she would tell him the combination to her safe if she had one. “Fine.” She sighed, knowing he’d won. “David is. And it’s in everyone’s best interest if I find him as soon as humanly possible.”
Dax sat up, pulling her into a sitting position with him. “I think it would be in everyone’s best interest if I came along.”
“And I think it would be in everyone’s best interest if Ben and Jerry’s developed a chocolate-covered-pretzel ice cream.”
“What does Ben and Jerry’s have to do with this case?”
“It’s a metaphor, Mr. Morgan. And the metaphor just told you no way in hell.”
Liv struggled to stand up and tried to walk without landing on her face again.
“You are welcome to use my front door if you promise not to break the lock again.”
She looked at his front door suspiciously. “I think I’ll take my chances with the balcony. There are about five steps separating me from freedom if I use the balcony and more than twenty if I go the other way.”
“I don’t think it’s safe for you to climb over the balcony again, and it would be a real inconvenience, not to mention a mess, if you fell off. I don’t have time to deal with the questions.”
“Tell me how you really feel, why don’t you?” Liv turned her back to him, ignoring his protest.
“He seemed quite rude to me,” Liv responded under hear breath, meeting Dax’s eyes for the first time since she’d arrived. He studied her, and she squirmed uncomfortably under his gaze. How he still affected her like this was a mystery to everyone but her lady parts. Traitors.
“You’re right, and I shouldn’t make excuses for him.” Dax looked tense, his eyes never leaving Liv, who was unable to look away again.
He seemed poised to say something else, when Amelia interrupted. “Let’s move this to the living room. I for one feel like a strong drink. Who’s with me?”
Lori got up to help her mom to the living room, looking over her shoulder. “Your turn to do the dishes.”
Dax and Liv didn’t move. Liv felt like she’d swallowed a golf ball that was now stuck in her throat. “Help me with the dishes?” Dax asked, breaking their stare.
Pulling herself together, she nodded and gathered the dirty plates. “You sure know how to make a girl feel special,” she said as she walked into the kitchen. She set the dishes in the sink, turned around, and promptly collided with a hard chest.
“Oh, I know how to make a girl feel special, trust me. I just didn’t want to chance an interruption before I did this,” Dax said before picking her up and depositing her on the kitchen counter. “I’m sorry, but I can’t be this close to you for one more minute without touching you.” Liv was momentarily stunned, unable to move as he stepped in between her legs, his arms engulfing her completely. She felt safe and more than a little turned on at his fierceness, two things she’d sworn she wouldn’t allow him to make her feel anymore.
“I missed you,” he said before hungrily kissing her half- parted lips.
As soon as she felt his soft lips on hers, she was ripped out of her trance and responded just as fiercely. Her hands went to his hair, tugging on it to pull him closer. Dax responded with a low growl and deepened his kiss. He nibbled on her bottom lip and she sighed, opening her mouth slightly. That was the only invitation he needed before his tongue met hers. Liv’s legs wrapped around him and his hand somehow found its way beneath her shirt. She loved the feel of him and her hands travelled down his smooth chest. It felt right to be with him and her brain didn’t utter a single protest.
“For all that is holy, stop before I go blind,” someone shouted. Liv went stock-still and her hands moved from stroking his chest to pushing him away. Dax reluctantly stepped back, kissing Liv on the nose before pulling her shirt back into place.
Lori stood in the doorway and covered her face with her hands. “Is it safe yet?” she asked.
“It’s safe,” Dax said, helping Liv back onto safe ground.
“Good, because I would never want to erase a moment we spent together. It doesn’t matter what happened.” Dax pulled her back. “I think I’m in love with you.”
Liv stared at him, eyes going round. She pinched him, earning a howl in response.
“What are you doing? Why did you pinch me?” he asked.
“Just making sure I’m not hallucinating again.” She grabbed a hold of his shirt, pulling him closer. “How much do you love me?”
“Enough to ignore that you felt the need to pinch me. I will also ignore that you think you are having hallucinations, because nothing will stop me from kissing you again. And then I plan to strip this god-awful sweater off you and show you just how much I’m in love with you.”
She kissed him lightly, brushing his lips with hers. “This sweater is not ugly.” Replacing her lips with her hands, she traced his lips. “But you may strip it off me.”
A triumphant grin on his face, he moved his hands underneath the offending garment, tracing her waist and slowly moving up her body, taking the sweater with him on the way up.
“There was a little incident at Wentworth and Miller’s, but I already have a plan to get out of a charge.”
“So how little was the incident? Someone cried a little or there were casualties little?” Liv chimed in, taking in his spotless appearance. He looked like he’d just stepped out of a photo shoot, not spent some time in a cell. Grinning at her, he gave her no chance to react before he swept her up into his arms and kissed her thoroughly in front of their audience.
Liv melted into his embrace, forgetting they were standing in the middle of a police station. A throat cleared loudly and pulled her back to her senses.
Lori looked at them with interest. “Well, that’s a new development.” Shaking her head, she walked out, leaving Dax to put an arm around Liv and kiss her forehead.
“Let’s not make her wait or she’ll leave us here.”
They piled into the car, Liv and Lori making Dax sit in the backseat.
“What happened with the case?” Dax asked.
“Why don’t you start by telling us why you spent the last few hours in lockup?”
ABOUT DREA ST. JAMES
Mastering uncooperative cooking utensils, fixing wardrobe malfunctions and the ability to speak to dogs are all on Drea’s bucket list. One thing she did tick off her list recently is the conquest of the computer. Well for the most part. There may have been a few incidents proving the contrary to be true. Just don’t mention a supposedly missing ON button to her.
Drea lives with her husband and two extroverted dogs in Perth, Western Australia, the world’s most isolated capital city whose population thinks daylight savings is code for government conspiracy.
Lucky there is always Drea(m)land, where everything is possible. Even staying out past nine o’clock on a school night.
Drea is currently in treatment for her book addiction.