Title: Ask Me Nicely
Author: Amy Andrews
Length: 263 pages
Expected Date of Publication: March 3rd,
Publisher: Entangled/ Brazen
Rating: 5 Stars
A sexy category romance from Entangled's Brazen imprint... She craves what only he can give her. But he's not giving in without a fight... Veterinarian Sal Kennedy's lost her mojo and is desperate to get it back. In fact, as the anniversary of the tragedy that destroyed her life looms large, she'll do anything to erase the painful memories, including overdoing the tequila and making a pass at the most annoyingly inappropriate man on the planet. Fellow veterinarian Doyle Jackson is her flatmate and her employee and therefore strictly off-limits. Unfortunately, Doyle knows how to bring the goods and make her mojo sit up and beg. Doyle is only too happy to oblige Sal in her hour of need, but then she demands more, and she's perfectly happy playing dirty to get it. He wants more, too—more than just sex, that is, and it's something Sal's not willing to give. But Doyle is in this for the long haul now, and he's prepared to fight even dirtier to get what he wants. Even if that means they both keep losing all their clothes in the process… -Goodreads
Ask Me Nicely
by Amy Andrews
Copyright © 2015 by Amy Andrews. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce, distribute, or transmit in any form or by any means. For information regarding subsidiary rights, please contact the Publisher.
Sally Kennedy needed more tequila. And an orgasm. Not necessarily in that order, of course. In fact, tonight of all nights, she definitely needed an orgasm more than alcohol. More than oxygen, even. But the tequila was right there. And the orgasms, sadly, were not.
She couldn’t even remember the last time she’d had one, but it was months ago. Hell, she couldn’t even remember who had given it to her. If she’d known it was going to be her last one, she would have paid more attention.
If only she could manage it herself, she’d just get on with business, but even that wasn’t working for her lately. Considering she’d been pretty damn deft at seeking her own pleasure since about the age of fourteen, she had no idea how that was even possible.
Sure, she’d faked it plenty since the tap had started to run dry. She’d become an expert at faking. But those really good orgasms, the ones that took her to another plane where all the crap in her life fell away and she didn’t have to think anymore, the ones that made her forget, that helped her sleep deep, dreamless sleeps—they were gone, baby, gone.
Great. She was sexually dysfunctional at the grand old age of twenty-six. Wasn’t that just the big, fat cherry on top of her sucky cake.
Her phone sitting next to her glass on the coffee table vibrated quietly, a tiny glow from the screen lighting up the surrounding dark like a firefly in the night. She didn’t check it, since she knew it would be another concerned text from Josie. Or Mack.
They were all loved up and in London. And she was fine. She just needed more tequila.
She reached for the bottle and poured the clear elixir into the shot glass, some of it splashing onto the coffee table. She glanced at the clock on her still-lit-up phone. Eight p.m.
Jesus. Only eight?
The day had sped by, crammed with practically every sick dog, cat, guinea pig, and goldfish in greater suburban Brisbane. But the long, lonely night stretched in front of her, and that didn’t bear thinking about.
Closing her eyes, going to where the memories lay in wait for her, didn’t either.
It was almost that time of year again, and the dreams that never really ever went away would return with a vengeance.
She was going to need to get much, much drunker.
She slammed the shot down and collapsed back on the couch. The room shifted temporarily and Sal shut her eyes while it righted itself. A loud meowing a few seconds later forced them open again to find that a large, marmalade feline was making itself at home on the coffee table, lapping up the spilled tequila. Jesus. Sal sat up abruptly. The animal welfare people would have a cow if they could see it. Sal could just imagine the headline—“Local Vet Jailed for Feeding Cat Cuervo.”
“Matilda…no.” She reached over for the giant fluffy cat, removing her from the scene of the crime and trying to think back to what she’d learned at vet school about the effects of alcohol on the feline constitution. “Are you trying to get my license taken away?”
Matilda meowed indifferently. Sal held the one-eyed cat beneath her forearms, her long body hanging down as their noses almost touched. “Remember me? I’m the one who operated on your crushed belly and squished leg and mangled eye for hours after that car hit you, and then when no one claimed your mangy stray arse, I took you in.”
Another indifferent meow had Sal smiling. “You’re welcome,” she said, rubbing her cheek against the soft white fur of Matilda’s face. She liked cats. A person always knew where she stood with a cat. And Matilda had been good company for those months between Mack and Josie’s leaving and Doyle’s arriving.
Suddenly Sal wasn’t thinking about cats anymore. She was back to orgasms again. And it wasn’t something she should be thinking about in relation to Doyle. Not even if she’d had the entire bottle of tequila on board.
“Must not think about Doyle like that,” she said to Matilda.
The meow she got this time was much more perky, and Sal rolled her eyes. “Yes. I know. You have a crush on Doyle.” Traitorous cat. She’d patched her up and took her in, yet Doyle got all the purrs and attention.
She pulled Matilda close and hugged her tight for some distraction but, as ever, Matilda didn’t deign to be the subject of affection for too long and squirmed in protest. “All right, all right,” Sal said, pulling her up until they were nose to nose again. “You want to play a drinking game with me?” Matilda stared dispassionately with her one freaky yellow eye. “The first one to blink, or wink in your case, drinks. You milk, me Cuervo. Whaddya say?”
The marmalade cat stared some more. Unblinking.
“Ooh, you’re good at this,” Sal murmured. “But first we need music.” She put Matilda down and stood. “You want a shot glass or a saucer?”
At half past eight, Doyle Jackson powered two at a time up the internal stairs of the Kennedy Veterinary Practice to the apartment, sweaty from his run and looking forward to a long, cold beer. He wiped the perspiration off his forehead with the back of his hand as he kicked off his trainers on the doormat. He could hear music through the door and moved his ear closer.
“Wicked Game.” Oh, Jesus. Chris Isaak. Or Chris watch-me-make-all-your-clothes-fall-off Isaak, as one of his sisters called him.
He gave an internal groan as he rested his forehead against the door. Sal was probably in there dirty dancing with whichever hapless guy she’d crooked her finger at recently.
He contemplated turning around and hitting the pavement for another hour or so, then instantly rejected it. He was dog-tired after a long day. All he wanted was a shower, a beer, and his bed. In that order. And this was his home, too.
The apartment was dark when he stepped inside, the low light emanating from the range hood in the kitchen to his left saving the apartment from complete blackout. Doyle looked around. No Sal. Maybe she’d moved the dirty dancing into the bedroom?
“Sal?” he called.
A blond head poked up over the top of the couch to his left, and she smiled at him. Doyle blinked. Considering scowling was her default expression where he was concerned, the smile almost knocked him on his butt.
Sure, he’d seen her smile. A lot.
Just not at him.
“Why are you sitting in the dark?” he asked as Matilda appeared at his feet, meowing and winding herself seductively around his ankles. With a bumleg and a missing eye, she wasn’t the prettiest cat he’d ever seen, but she was an affectionate thing, and the tenderness with which Sal treated her belied the cranky exterior she tried so hard to cultivate around him. He rubbed absently at her belly with his foot.
“You’ve been for a run,” she said, completely ignoring his question, her gaze traveling all over his damp shirt and down lower to his Lycra running shorts.
Her gaze lingered there for way longer than was appropriate. Not that anything in that general area was complaining.
“You run a lot.”
“You must like being…”
Her gaze roamed again, licking heat wherever it touched, and Doyle knew what it must feel like to be sitting in a red-neon window in Amsterdam.
He supposed some men might feel cheapened by such blatant perving.
“…fit,” she said finally, completing her total eye-fuck of his body.
Doyle gave a half smile. Sure, he could run with that. He doubted she wanted to hear the real reason why he’d suddenly become obsessed with jogging after work. “It clears my mind.”
“Come,” she said, crooking her finger at him.
Doyle regarded her seriously. If there was anything he’d learned in the last four months of cohabitation with Sal, it was that men obeyed that imperious little finger.
It was probably about time one of them didn’t.
“Are you okay?” he asked instead.
“I’m fine.” She waved airily before turning away, then swinging back to face him, a shot glass full of clear liquid raised to him. “I’m drinking, thought you might want to join me.”
Doyle was fairly sure she wasn’t fine. Just looking at her, he wouldn’t have thought she was any different from the Sal she’d been this morning or any morning since he’d moved in. She was the same petite blonde who had pricked his libido from day one.
But he’d never seen her drink other than the odd glass of wine. And he’d never been subjected to a very thorough eye-fuck from her, either. In fact, she’d made it known in very specific terms that theirs would only ever be a professional relationship.
“Tequila?” she asked, smiling again.
He glanced at the bottle on the coffee table. “Actually…I was going to have a beer.”
“Good idea,” she said, slamming back the shot, then leapt up from the couch. Before he could tell her not to bother, she was sashaying past him in her itty-bitty pajamas.
The tank top and tartan boxer ones.
That she wore with no bra.
He could see every bounce of her perky breasts and a whole lot of exposed pale, petite leg.
Doyle cleared his throat as she yanked open the fridge door and the light illuminated her profile and the wispy tips of her pixie-cut blond hair. “I was actually going to have a shower first.”
“Sit,” she insisted, grabbing two frosty bottles, kicking the fridge door shut with her foot. “Have a beer with me first,” she said, suddenly right in front of him, in those ridiculous excuse for pajamas—a very tempting hand reach away. Twisting a lid off, she thrust the cold bottle hard at his chest.
“Okay…” Doyle grabbed the bottle, their hands brushing as she let go, and eased the edge of his butt down onto the barstool behind him. The cat made herself at home underneath. He frowned. “Are you sure you’re okay?”
There was a definite desperation in those freakishly blue eyes of hers tonight. And it was, after all, the first time she’d shown any interest in conversing or spending time with him or tequila. Their usual conversations involved the mundane crap that took up everyday life when you lived and worked together. Can you get kitchen towels? We’re out of them. The electricity bill arrived. Your turn to vacuum. Or, I need a second opinion on this wound. Can you do the anesthetic for me? We’re out of 4-0 vicryl.
But tonight there was a vibe. A definite vibe.
And he was all for vibes. God knew he’d spent hours in the past months fantasizing about various scenarios that involved a very strong vibe.
But Sal had been adamant from the beginning that they weren’t going down that track. I don’t screw the crew. Those were the exact words she’d used his first day, all fierce and cranky, like the instant attraction that had flared between them was all his fault.
He’d felt it and he knew she had as well.
But she’d never acted on it. Had always kept him firmly at a distance, and he was fine with that. He wasn’t that hard up for action that he needed to encroach on her big Keep Out signs.
Despite those damn pajamas.
She wanted to pretend that the air didn’t crackle between them whenever they were in the same room? Whatever. His temp position was up in another two months, and he preferred his relationships uncomplicated.
“I’m sure,” she dismissed. “Having a little trouble sleeping is all.”
“Cuervo”—he glanced over at the bottle again—“is your usual drug of choice for insomnia?”
She smiled at him as she plonked herself down with a very interesting little bounce on the stool beside his, her knees bare inches from his. “I generally prefer something a little more…physical.”
Doyle took a swallow of his beer. Yes. Of that he was aware. Privy to the comings and goings from her bedroom, he didn’t need her to elaborate. He was intimately acquainted with her physical preferences.
Why the fuck did she think he jogged so damned much?
She didn’t want him? Fine. But that didn’t mean he wanted to lie around and hear how much she wanted every other guy in the freaking city.
The woman came loud.
“You can’t just…go to sleep?”
Her pale blue eyes were suddenly as bleak as a winter morning, and for a second he thought she was going to say something that mattered, something that came from somewhere deep and dark inside her.
But then the clouds cleared from her eyes and she smiled at him again. He gripped the bottle hard. He really hoped she didn’t make a habit of that. He found it way easier to keep the distance she insisted on when she was being cool and polite.
“You must be hungry, right?” she said suddenly, ignoring yet another question. “I’ll cook you something. What do you want? Chocolate chip cookies?”
Doyle ran his hand over his buzz cut, trying and failing to keep up with her. “O…kay?”
It wasn’t something a person usually made at this hour of night, but if she wanted to bake chocolate chip cookies—his favorite—who was he to stop her?
She was a conundrum, that was for sure. She tried so hard to keep her guard up, to keep him at a distance, but he’d observed her long enough to see beneath all that to the woman who was universally adored by staff, patients, and animals alike. To the woman who’d fixed up an aging, banged-up stray, then kept her. To the woman who often didn’t charge patients she knew could ill afford their bill. To the woman who treated dating like an extreme sport but would blow off a date in a blink if an animal required her attention.
And now impromptu cookies?
“Seems like a lot of hassle…”
She shook her head. “Prepackaged cookie dough is a wonderful thing. Just don’t tell my mother.”
And then she was up again, twirling away from him, and he was watching her in the half light, drinking his beer as she grabbed a tray and some baking paper and the frozen tube of dough from the freezer. Five minutes later, she was slipping a tray of twelve cookies into the oven.
“Ta-da,” she said, smiling over her shoulder at him as she shut the oven door. “In ten minutes, piping-hot biscuits.”
“Wow,” he said, not wanting to admit even to himself what a turn-on it had been to watch her moving around the kitchen like some scantily clad fifties housewife. Even though he didn’t want a fifties housewife and he was pretty damn sure she’d kick him in the nuts if he even suggested it.
“You don’t mess around.”
She shrugged, and a small smile touched a perfect bow mouth that he’d dreamed about a little too often. “I want what I want.”
Doyle nodded. Somehow he just knew that speculative gleam in her eyes spelled trouble.
He tracked her movement as she picked up her beer off the counter near the oven and moved back around to where she’d been sitting before she got all domesticated. She smiled at him before taking a long pull of her beer, her head tipped back, her gaze firmly fixed on his face.
The warm glow from the range hood illuminated the pale stretch of her throat, and Doyle watched it move as she swallowed, aware of her eyes on him. She wiped her mouth with the back of her hand as she pulled the bottle from her lips, her eyes roaming his neck, his chest, his thighs on another sexy search-and-destroy mission.
“You have a great body,” she finally said as her gaze returned to his face. “I don’t think I’ve ever told you that.”
Doyle blinked at both the directness of her statement and the sudden hot jolt that streaked through his loins. What the hell did she expect him to say to that? He took a deliberately measured swallow of cold, bitter beer. “Considering you barely tell me hello most days, I’m not surprised.”
She feigned a hurt expression as she toyed with the beer she’d nestled at the juncture of her thighs, picking at the label. Doyle did not want to think about the latent phallic signals. Not when he was fairly certain she’d done it deliberately.
Desire coiled tight in his belly as his smoldering loins inched closer to combustion.
“I say hello.”
Doyle quirked an eyebrow at her. They both knew her hellos were perfunctory at best. “Plus officially you’re my boss and that could be classed as sexual harassment.”
She smiled at him then, those blue eyes of hers dancing a flirty little dance with his. Bewitching. Beguiling. Breathtaking.
No wonder men flocked to her. When Sally Kennedy wanted to, she could really turn it on.
“That’s not sexual harassment,” she said, putting her beer down. “This is sexual harassment.”
And, as Chris Isaak started to sing baby did a bad, bad thing, she leaned in and pressed her mouth to his.
Doyle groaned as the kiss hit him at full speed, her mouth opening, her tongue gliding over his lips and pushing into his mouth. His hand slid into her hair, cupping the back of her head as she melted against him, his beer bottle clinking against hers as he shoved it on the bench. His thumb angled her jaw as every trace of common sense fled. Heat and blind lust boiled and seethed through every cell of his body, propelled by the deep, rapid thud of his heart.
He’d been fantasizing about this moment from the second she’d scowled at him and told him she didn’t screw the crew, and it was better than he’d imagined. She tasted like Cuervo and beer and smelled like cookie dough, and he wanted to lick every inch of her.
He wanted to lay her out on the counter beside him, where they ate a near-silent breakfast every morning, and feast.
She grabbed the front of his T-shirt as if trying to get nearer, and he slid his hands onto her butt, obliging her, tugging her, dragging her closer to the rampant heat and hardness between his legs as the kiss grew hotter.
His dick throbbed, and he wanted to feel her on him, around him, so fucking bad.
Her hands pushed under his shirt, molding his belly and his pecs, her fingernails dragging across his nipples as he thrust his tongue in and out of her mouth in time to the grind of her hips.
His head spun as his senses filled with the smell of her. Chocolate chips and aroused woman. Beer and tequila. Fuck. He’d wanted to taste her from that first day, and he was starving. He wanted to tip the rest of the Cuervo over her and lap it from her skin, finding all the places it ran.
Her hand landed on his rock-hard cock, squeezing it before dipping inside his shorts and grabbing hold. The bold move dragged him under and pushed him out all at the same time.
Jee-zus. So freaking good. But…
Fuck. What was going on here? What was he doing?
He couldn’t bite back the groan that escaped his throat even as his hand landed on her wrist and he tore his mouth from hers.
“Okay…whoa,” he said, holding her tight and reaching for a slither of sanity inside a head completely addled by lust. “Stop.” Fuck. How did they get here so quickly?
She was breathing hard as she looked at him, her blue eyes turbulent with confusion. Or maybe that was just the remnants of lust. She moved her hand again, reaching for him, but he clamped her wrist harder, dragging it out of his shorts.
She frowned. “What…I don’t understand.”
“I’m sorry,” Doyle muttered. More sorry than she could ever know. His body was screaming at him, blood pounding through his chest and ears, drumming an urgent, insistent beat.
Kiss her. Touch her. Fuck her.
But his honor demanded that he not take advantage of a woman who’d been shooting tequila and was clearly in some kind of turmoil.
Which didn’t stop his libido from being thoroughly pissed.
The two had never really gotten on.
“Look,” he said, staring at her wet, ravaged mouth for way longer than was good for his sanity. “Something’s obviously…going on with you tonight and you’re…a little drunk. So I think we need to stop this now before you do something you might regret in the morning.”
He’d spent the last four months in her bad books and he hadn’t done a damn thing other than his job and keep out of her way as much as possible. He could only begin to imagine the crap she could dish out if he’d slighted her.
No matter how damn much she begged for it.
And if she thought he was one of her yes-men, someone she could crook her finger at and have him drop to his knees at her feet, then she didn’t know him at all.
Amy Andrews pulls out all the rom/com stops in this laugh-out-loud situational comedy with a heartrendingly dramatic twist.
The interactions between Doyle and Sally as they go through their days are priceless.
They are a couple that readers want to fight for.
As much as Sally tries to fight her attraction to Doyle, the giving in is soooooo good!
Doyle is truly the perfect romantic hero in this read. That...and he makes holding a kitten seem pornographic. It is truly refreshing to see a man hold out for a date, and have a real need to get to know his lady before taking her to bed.
Sally's back story provides readers with a dramatic emotional touchstone that works to explain Sally's reluctance and give Doyle the much needed 'dragon' that every white knight needs.
This is an excellent read, that can easily be finished in one sitting.
The steamy scene with the bar stools in the kitchen, gives a whole new meaning to "communal cooking".