re-create the magic of their first time, but how amazing would their wedding night be if everything below the neck was off-limits until then?
Today, like yesterday, and the day before that, Neve Jaimes thought dying would be easier than living. Mostly because she didn’t do sick very well.
“Damn this flu.” Damn feeling so weak and dizzy every time she tried to sit up. But she’d done it, had even managed to remain upright long enough to put on her bathrobe. Now, for the next challenge, she slid her bare feet into the slippers beside her bed, used her arms to push off, and stood with the ease of a severely arthritic 109-year-old. Everything hurt. Ten miserable days with no end in sight. “Enough already.” She needed to get well. Needed soup, which was why she’d forced herself out of bed.
With Mom and Dad away and her best friend, Brooke, now living hours from New York, there’d be no homemade chicken soup deliciousness in her immediate future. Takeout from the deli down the street would have to do.
In the kitchen Neve steadied herself against the counter long enough to pick out a spoon, then plopped into a chair, exhausted from expending the minuscule amount of energy required to travel a few dozen feet, thankful her one-bedroom condo was small and all on one level.
When someone knocked at the door she opened her eyes and lifted her head from where it rested on her folded arms on top of the table, but made no move toward the door, partly because she felt too dizzy to stand right at that moment, but mostly because her brother, Nate, the bringer of the soup, had a key.
She met the second, louder knock with a groan. Honestly, what the hell was the purpose of giving your overprotective big brother a key to your condo—which he had annoyed and harassed you for until you begrudgingly gave it to him—if he didn’t use that key for emergencies? Which this was, on account of Neve not being able to remember the last time anything other than ginger ale or warm tea had passed her lips. With her body completely depleted of nutrients, she needed sustenance to fight off the virus running rampant through her system.
Once the dizziness faded, Neve stood. “Pain in my ass.” And everywhere else, for that matter. Hunched over and clutching her old purple robe closed in front of her, she shuffled to the door and opened it. The of refreshingly cold November air felt good on her fevered skin. But the bright midday sun shot like spears into both eyes, blinding her. “Jeez.” She slapped a hand over her face, a little harder than intended, sending a throb of pain through her skull. “Owwwww. Did you bring the ibuprofen?”
Shit. That didn’t sound like Nate. Positioning her hand like a visor, she squinted at her unwanted visitor, to find five feet, seven inches of sexy, way too good-looking male dressed in tan boots and matching light green camouflage pants, jacket, and bucket hat. Well, triple shit. It’d been four months since she’d met him in person for the first and only time, when she’d learned he wasn’t the good guy she’d thought him to be during their eight months as pen pals. This man who she’d confided in, who knew more about her life than her best friend her brother, turned out to be a liar, and she wanted nothing to do with him.
“Go away, Rory.” She turned and reached out to slam the door in his face. In one quick motion, he stopped it. Most people would consider Rory average height for a guy, but he was much taller than Neve, who stood a tiny bit over five feet. And with his big, defined muscles, he had her beat in the strength department, too.
“What’s wrong, Neve? You look like crap.”
Probably smelled like crap, too, since she hadn’t bathed or changed her pajamas in . . . too many days. And you know what? She could care less. “Why, thank you for those kind words, you sweet-talker. You really know how to make a girl feel beautiful.” She tugged at the door again. It didn’t budge. “Now move your hand. I don’t have the strength to fight with you today.”
“Even if you did, I’d be ready for you this time.”
She did not appreciate the amusement in his voice. A few months ago she’d taken him, a U.S. Army soldier, down to the ground and incapacitated him, with surprisingly little effort, and they both knew it. “You promised not to come looking for me if I didn’t want to be found. If I recall correctly, you wrote, ‘But I swear on the life of Father McGinty, my priest back home, that when I’m stateside I’m not the man I need to be when I’m here, that I would never hurt you, or come looking for you if you didn’t want to be found.’”
Shifting so the sun wasn’t shining directly into her eyes, she gave him her very best glare. “And well, whaddya know? You did hurt me”—not physically and she’d never willingly admit how much—“ here you are. There’s a reason I used a PO box, a reason I never gave you my home address. Because I didn’t want to be found! Maybe next time you should think twice before swearing on the life of your priest, because you, Rory McRoy, are a damn liar.”
That mini-tirade zapped what little strength Neve had, and she fell back against the door, trying to catch her breath, praying her legs would hold her up for a few more minutes.
He stepped toward her. Too close. “Let me—”
“No.” Neve tried to yank her arm out of his hold, her weakened state making the attempt totally ineffective, embarrassing even.
A deep, familiar, very welcome voice bellowed, “Get your hand off of my sister.”
Thank goodness. Help had arrived in the form of her six-foot-tall, big and strong police officer brother, in full uniform—which meant he had his gun. “Shoot him.” Of course he wouldn’t, but saying it felt good.
Cool, calm, and collected, Rory remained on track. “We need to talk, Neve.”
“No, we don’t.” This time when she pulled away he let her.
“Are you pregnant?” Rory asked, loud enough for Nate to hear.
Nate yelled, “Why the hell does he think you’re pregnant?” as he came within arm’s reach of Rory. Close enough to strangle him, which might just come in handy.
I’m a fan of Cassie Mae’s books. I’ve found that when I pick up one of her titles I’m going to get a fresh read, something I won’t quite find in another story. Doing It For Love is a wonderful after the happily ever after love story. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect with the opening chapter but I couldn’t put it down.
I loved Liz and Landon. I really liked that Mae gives readers characters that are likable and relatable. I may have switched up which I was cheering on in their bet but at no time was I not cheering them on. I ended Doing It For Love with a smile and had a hard time putting the book down…I just wanted it to continue.
Along with writing, Cassie likes to binge-watch Teen Wolf and The Big Bang Theory. She can quote Harry Potter lines quick as a whip. And she likes kissing her hubby, but only if his facial hair is trimmed. She also likes cheesecake to a very obsessive degree. Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads