Publisher: Montlake Romance Release Date: July 26, 2016
Category: Hot Contemporary Romance Buy Link: http://amzn.to/1ROM2Ih
Forbidden Fling, Book 1 in the Wildwood Series by Skye Jordan
Delaney Hart has come a long way from her wild youth, dating tattooed bikers at her father’s bar, The Bad Seed. But when his death pulls her back to Wildwood, California, she must stay to renovate the dive he left her. And also face the lies and secrets that sent her running ten years before.
When Wildwood’s chief building inspector, Ethan Hayes, shows up on the property, Delaney doesn’t recognize him. The last thing he wants to do is save the bar where his cousin died in a brawl. But the good boy from her past is all too willing to remind her of the bad girl she used to be. And one night of passion leaves them both in a compromising position.
The last place Ethan should be is in Delaney’s bed. Guilt, family pressure, and plans for a brewpub of his own make shutting down The Bad Seed his top priority…until his feelings for Delaney interfere. Because her future depends on the success of the bar’s renovation and his dreams are rooted in its failure, their forbidden romance may be destined for heartbreak.
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“Here’s the thing.” She was done with the push and pull. Time for her line in the sand. “You may be the only game in town, but you’re not the only inspector in the county. And if I catch you in one more lie—just one—I’ll not only file a formal complaint with the city, I’ll go over your head and demand the city manager bring in an inspector from one of the cities nearby. If I have to, I’ll go over the city manager’s head and bypass the mayor by going to the city council, because we all know how tight the Hayes and Ryan families can be when things go bad. And this time, I’m not leaving until I decide I’m leaving.”
She stabbed her index finger toward the floor. “This is more than a building renovation. This is my entire life savings. This is money I’ve worked the last decade of my life to put away. This is my future, Avery’s future, Chloe’s future. This, Ethan, is business. And in business I play straight, clean, right up the middle. I’m good at what I do, so I don’t need to play dirty. But even better, I know how to beat dirty with good business. So I’m more than happy to take dirty and meet it head-on, and I can guarantee those on the dirty side won’t like the outcome.”
When she stopped and took a breath, Ethan looked both shocked and awed. For a long moment, Delaney didn’t think he was going to say anything, but he finally said, “All this arguing is useless. You’ve only got twelve days to start renovations. There’s no way any architect is going to be able to get all the required documents together for the building permit by then, let alone begin working on this place.”
She smirked. “Keep telling yourself that, Hayes. Tell your dad, too, while you’re at it. Maybe it will keep him off your back while I’m weighing all my options. Thanks for your time. Sorry we called you in on a Saturday.”
She slid her hands into her back pockets again, turned on her heel, and sauntered toward the door, avoiding the divots in the floor that Phoebe had marked with fluorescent sticky notes. But she didn’t feel vindicated or triumphant for standing up to Ethan. Nor did she feel hopeful or excited the way she always did when she was on the brink of a new project.
She felt mean and thoughtless and bitchy. When she’d left Ethan’s bed this morning, she’d hoped they could be friends while she was in town. Maybe even have an occasional hookup and keep it quiet.
Now they were enemies. On opposite sides. The very last place she wanted her building inspector or her lover.
She’d only gotten halfway to the door when Ethan’s hand closed on her bicep. He swung her around so hard she hit his body, and his arm closed at her waist, keeping her there. His eyes burned a deep, smoky green, his mouth firm with frustration.
Delaney saw a little of that wild side he’d shown her last night. Intensely passionate, demanding, edgy. Lust rolled through her body in waves. God, she wanted that again.
“This,” he said, breathing hard, his voice rough, “is going to be a fight every step of the way. You know that.”
It wasn’t a threat. Wasn’t even a warning. Not exactly. It was more like the voice of reality. Making sure she realized just how dicey it could get. But she’d lived here. Part of her had died here. She knew how wild Wildwood could get with the Hayeses and the Ryans at the helm.
She curled one hand into the tee at his shoulder. The other into the cotton at his side. “Are you talking about you and me? Or this project? Mr. Hayes.”
His gaze lowered to her mouth, and the sight kicked up an urgent need to taste him, to have him taste her . . . “Both.”
She let the tension slide from her body and softened against him. He was as hard and warm as she remembered. Lifting her hand from his shoulder, she ran her thumb along his lower lip. “Then I think you have a few problems on your hands.”
I am a big fan of Skye Jordan’s books – I have reviewed her popular Renegades series and I was very excited to hear about this new Wildwood series. As usual, the author does not disappoint!! This is another hot romance with plenty of drama and surprises to make for an intriguing plot, and her characters are flawed, authentic, and full of surprises of their own.
I work for a Design-Build firm in Charlotte, and I LOVED the backdrop of commercial renovations in the story: the demo, inspections, county zoning, etc. I couldn’t help but cheer for Delaney as she fought an uphill battle to keep and transform the family business. As if building standards and deadlines are not hard enough, she has serious opposition from town leaders who don’t want her to succeed.
Delaney has a one night stand (which is hot enough to melt your e-reader) with Ethan, an acquaintance from high school. This leads to another obstacle because Ethan is the only building inspector in town. The conflict of interest would undermine her project, so she and Ethan have to shelve any possibilities of dating. Ethan has his own crosses to bear: serious family drama, obligations, priorities, and dreams of a different life make him a very complex, and sometimes disappointing, character. As he struggles with what he feels he HAS to do and what he WANTS to do, you realize they are both victims of the status quo in Wildwood. The transformations of Delaney’s project and Ethan’s career are very rewarding, and you can’t help but hope they are able to find their way back to each other once the dust settles. I look forward to the next story in this series!
Skye Jordan is a pseudonym for New York Times bestselling romantic suspense author Joan Swan. Skye’s novels are about enjoying that little wild streak we don’t let out often enough. About those fantasies we rarely get the opportunity to indulge. About stretching limits, checking out the dark side, and maybe even acting a little naughty. They’re about escape and fun and pleasure and romance. And, yes, even love, because while wicked-great sex is good, happily ever after with wicked-great sex is even better.
When she’s not writing, Skye loves to read, knit, craft, row, ride, and dabble in photography.