Okay, so this is book three in my Shaughnessy Brothers series and it's a friends-to-lovers trope. Quinn Shaughnessy and Anna Hannigan have been best friends since they were five years old. But somewhere along the way, Anna's feelings changed and she fell in love with Quinn. And he has no idea. After years of hiding her feelings, she's had enough and decides that it's time to either move on or do her best to get him to notice her.
And notice her, he does!
Quinn's the perpetual middle child - doing his best to be noticed in such a large family. He's athletic, good-looking, confident and a former NASCAR driver. Now his business is a chain of automotive repair shops and he's taking on classic car restorations back in his coastal North Carolina home town. And other than his family, the only other constant in his life is Anna.
Anna is the consummate girl-next-door. Surrounded by the Shaughnessy clan as well as her own older brother, she knows how to hold her own around overly-confident men. She's a tomboy and never had a problem with it - until she did. Now she wants Quinn to see her as a woman and she thinks that means she has to change everything about herself. Little did she know it would take one tiny bikini and a bottle of sunscreen to make that happen!
There's so much emotion in this story - the transition for them isn't exactly smooth and for two people who were always fairly confident, they end up dealing with a lot of vulnerability. Not just with one another, but with how others see them as well.
And here's an excerpt!!
Quinn reached out and tugged her away from the car before she could sit. “Dan who?”
“Dan Michaels. From high school. Remember him?”
Quinn thought for a moment. “Pretty boy. Played baseball with me junior year. When did you see him?”
“Tonight. That’s who I was with earlier. He’s looking at the Stanley’s place on the beach. The house is like a damn showplace—like something out of a magazine!—and if I can convince him to buy it, the commission will go a long way in giving me some breathing space. Now with this car thing? I need it more than ever.”
“So you dressed up for him in hopes of enticing him to buy?”
“What?” she cried with disbelief. This time she shoved at his chest with both hands. “What is the matter with you? What the hell have I ever done to you to make you be such a complete ass to me?” They were both breathing hard as they glared at one another.
Quinn cursed under his breath and stormed back into the shop through the garage. Anna quickly followed. It wasn’t an easy task in the dress and heels – which she cursed the entire time. She found him in his office, throwing the rag down on the desk.
“Hey,” she snapped, slamming the office door closed behind her. “I asked you a question. Quinn’s blue eyes flashed with fire as he looked at her. Anna had seen that look before, normally directed at other people. It was the first time she was on the receiving end of it and she wasn’t sure if it scared her or just served to make her madder.
“Oh, yeah? Well I asked you one earlier and you didn’t answer. I guess we’re even.” Crossing his arms over his chest, he waited her out – a smug expression on his face.
“Seriously? Are we really going there? The whole I’m rubber, you’re glue thing? Aren’t we getting too old for this crap?” And then the fight started to leave her. This wasn’t getting her anywhere. The man clearly had an issue with her that he wasn’t going to share and she was just tired of the whole thing. “You know what? Never mind. Just…never mind,” she said wearily and turned to open the office door and leave.
“Did you kiss him?” he called after her and waited until she turned around and looked at him. “Did you kiss him, too?”
Slowly Anna stepped back into the office and looked at Quinn as if he’d lost his mind. “Are you high or something? Kiss him? Kiss who? Could you please explain to me what the heck you’re talking about?” She was completely confused by the turn in the conversation. Did he think she’d kissed Jake? She hadn’t even been out on a date in what felt like forever, so what was he even referring to?
He moved in close and kept going until Anna’s back was against the wall. “Is that your new thing? Just kissing guys to pass the time?” Quinn’s breathing was ragged as he looked down into Anna’s wide eyes.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I…I haven’t kissed anyone,” she said shakily as her tongue came out to moisten her suddenly dry lips.
“You kissed me.”
Those brown eyes got impossibly wider as she softly gasped. “No I didn’t.”
Wait…did I? Was that not a dream the other night?
“Yeah, you did,” he said lowly. “You fell asleep on the couch and then I carried you to bed and you kissed me.”
She shook her head no, unable to find her voice. But even as she tried to deny it, the image came to her mind that she would have sworn had just been a dream. Not that she was going to share that bit of information with Quinn.
He continued to watch her, his eyes never leaving hers. “Yes. You. Did.”
“I…I don’t believe you,” she stammered, wishing like hell she could just escape and die of embarrassment.
“Let me remind you,” he growled fiercely as he closed the distance between them so they were pressed together from head to toe. His hand reached up and anchored itself around her nape as his mouth crashed down on hers.
And just in case you missed the rest of the series...
LOVE WALKS IN (Book 2)
MADE FOR US (Book 1)
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