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Girl's Guide to Hunting & Kissing

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«Girl's Guide to Hunting & Kissing» - Джоанна Рок

When it comes to breaking the rules, Summer Farnsworth is an expert. From her wild braids to her vintage bustiers, she lives by her own guide.So how can she explain her attraction to Mr. By-the-Book, Jackson Taggart? Sure, the guy is gorgeous with to-die-for shoulders, but she can't get to those shoulders through all the starch in his shirt! After a few steamy kisses, however, she's willing to play by the rules of seduction…if only for a day or two!Jackson knows that life with Summer would be simpler if he just wanted a fling. But something about her uninhibited ways has him captivated and he knows it will take more than a few weeks to satisfy his desire for her. In fact, it could take forever. So, armed with a few sensual moves, Jackson begins his campaign to persuade Summer that the best sparks fly when opposites attract….
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Summer kissed his lips to steal a taste

Summer kissed his lips to steal a taste

Jackson possessed a full, soft mouth for a man of such chiseled features and hard angles. Her eyelids fell shut, heightening the sensations of his kiss. The warm whiskey taste of him intoxicated her, made her even bolder.

Splaying a hand across his broad chest beneath his jacket, she absorbed the feel of starched cotton and warm muscle through his white dress shirt. Her fingertips itched to cover more ground, to explore the terrain of the rock-hard abs currently plastered against her. To follow the silky path of his tie to the leather of his belt then and dip lower still….

He deepened their kiss, delving into her mouth to join them further. Summer closed her eyes more tightly against the onslaught of heat, the tingly wave of needy sensation that tripped through her whole body. As his tongue probed hers, an answering shock wave pulsed through her.

She had to have this man…now.



Dear Reader,

Have you ever met a guy in an unusual manner? Maybe accepted a date with someone you wouldn’t have considered before, because his approach was just too standout to ignore? Jackson Taggart really wants to meet Summer Farnsworth in Girl’s Guide to Hunting & Kissing, and he’s not willing to trot out the stale old pick-up lines for an introduction. Would you say yes to a man who tried his tactics?

Welcome back to South Beach for the second book in my new series! Now that Brianne and Aidan have embarked on their happily-ever-after— Sex & The Single Girl, Blaze #104—ambiance coordinator Summer Farnsworth is starting to feel the tug of dissatisfaction with the lack of eligible men in her life. But can she date a guy who needs to play by the rules all the time? Of course, she might find it hard to resist a man as determined as Jackson to get what he wants.

If you enjoy Girl’s Guide to Hunting & Kissing, I hope you’ll join me for next month’s SINGLE IN SOUTH BEACH story. One Naughty Night will be a November Temptation title, #951, and we’ll finally get the scoop on Giselle Cesare’s sexy older brother, Renzo. Visit me at www.JoanneRock.com to learn more about my future releases or to let me know what you think about the series so far!

Happy reading,

Joanne Rock

Girl’s Guide To Hunting & Kissing

Joanne Rock



www.millsandboon.co.uk

For Michele Goes, my childhood friend who always encouraged me to tell stories with a happy ending.

From our Barbie scenarios to our bedtime stories, we wanted the women to triumph! Thank you, Michele, for helping me to realize a dream. I wish you every happiness.

Contents

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

1

Let the hunt begin…

BREASTS BOUNCED in every direction on the dance floor of the Moulin Rouge Lounge. The hottest new nightclub on South Beach overflowed with women dressed in clothes that would be at home on the beach as much as the bar scene—halter tops, plunging necklines and enough Lycra to clothe the U.S. swim team well into the next decade.

Despite the dazzling display of feminine flesh highlighted by flashing blue strobe lights, attorney Jackson Taggart wasn’t looking for breasts. Other guys might get caught up in cup sizes or long legs, but for his first venture into Miami’s decadent nightlife in nearly a year, Jackson narrowed his focus to one thing.

Tonight, he’d sell his soul for the woman with the right…mouth.

In an effort to forget the hell his private life had become over the last few weeks, he watched women of every shape and size flirt, dance and sip brightly colored drinks from the Moulin Rouge’s signature bar glasses featuring the frilly panties of a cancan girl with long, stocking clad legs.

He had a certain woman in mind, a woman unlike any he’d ever been with before. A bedroom goddess who didn’t give a damn about his well-known family or the scandal of the decade in which they were currently ensnared.

Flagging a brunette bartender dressed in a uniform of silky white lingerie, Jackson started to request his standard imported beer and stopped himself. The hunt for a wild bedroom goddess at least deserved a shot of whiskey. His order given, he settled in for the search, eager to engage in anything that didn’t involve damage control in the media, angry family shouting matches and an ever-looming pressure to enter a cutthroat state legislature race.

Damn.

Tossing back his whiskey, he concentrated on a single, simple task.

Finding the right mouth.

He scanned the crowd and found…pink bubblegum lips. Nah. Too sweet for what he had in mind. And even worse, too much like his ex-girlfriend.

Sparkly gold lips. High-maintenance diva—not a chance.

Bright-red lips looked wild enough, but broadening his visual scan he noted that the pale face and solid black outfit looked a bit Goth.

Too moody.

None of those mouths pointed to the kind of woman he needed to find. But he had no intention of going home unfulfilled. Not this time.

Then he spied them.

The deep, rich muted burgundy that was neither too red nor too purple. Soft, full lips that suggested lush sensuality. A lack of shiny lip gloss made for a mouth that was at once kissable and not too self-conscious.

Bingo.

Jackson flung a bill across the bar to pay for his drink, scarcely noticing the glass-encased waterfall behind the throng of busy bartenders. Already on the move, he followed the woman who had caught his attention as she turned away and headed toward the back of the room.

From the brief glimpse he’d snagged of her face, he acknowledged she was uncommonly pretty. Still, he had a vague impression of her being a little unusual. Something about the odd mix of fabrics in her rosy-hued dress with the ragged hem maybe, or the wavy flaxen mermaid hair decorated with scattered thin braids that looked to be…pink?

He caught up with her just inside the bar’s back room—a decadent lounge ringed with private, curtained booths. She met a tall woman with auburn hair and kick-ass legs dressed in an unadorned, steel-gray cat suit. He didn’t bother checking out her lips. He’d already found perfection.

Straying closer to their position near a scaled-down minibar, Jackson didn’t necessarily mean to overhear them. They shouted over the music, making it nearly impossible not to hear them. Especially considering he loomed just a few feet away.

“No luck with the manhunt?” the auburn-haired woman asked between sips of a green drink. Margarita, maybe.

The blonde shook her head and rolled her eyes. She was as expressive as the redhead was reserved. “Every guy I’ve met here has been too forward, too obvious and too eager to cut to the chase. I’m not asking for big-time romance, Bri. I’d just like to see a little originality in the approach. I mean, where’s the…”

The sudden whirr of a blender at the minibar drowned out the rest. Jackson leaned forward, more than a little curious to know what the woman with the world’s most perfect lips had to say about her personal turn-ons. But by the time the blender switched off, the redhead spoke.

“…then again, Aidan is pretty much a case study in originality.”

The name caught his attention and made a few mental wheels turn. Jackson’s friend and former college roommate, federal agent Aidan Maddock had just got engaged to one of the new part owners of Club Paradise.

Could it be the same woman?

While he puzzled that out, the blonde yanked her friend by the arm. “Come on. You’ve got to come see my latest little pleasure palace. You’re going to love it.”

Pleasure palace?

Jackson could have used another drink—or two—as he contemplated what exactly these gorgeous females had in mind. Obviously women were discussing things a hell of a lot more interesting than the status of the NASDAQ and baseball box scores when they hit the bars.

Determined to keep those lips in his sights, he followed the pair as they leaned close to one another, whispering and laughing as they edged through the crowd.

Damn.

Picking up speed, he tracked them out the back doors of the club leading to the exclusive resort connected to the Moulin Rouge Lounge and followed them past the semierotic paintings gracing the spacious corridors.

Careful to stay well behind the women, Jackson watched the blonde flounce down the hallway, a definite swing to her hips.

“It has tons of erotic potential,” the bedroom goddess confided to her friend as she straightened some kind of see-through red shawl flung around her shoulders. “Not that I’ll ever be able to make use of it, but I’m sure other people will benefit from my ingenuity.”

“No whips and chains, I hope?” The tall redhead checked the oversize watch on her wrist while Jackson gulped.

“Now Brianne, you know we only allow velvet shackles. But this is much more refined. Very hot, very red. The room practically oozes sex.

They rounded a corner and Jackson couldn’t possibly turn back. More than ever, he wanted to taste the lips of a woman who saw erotic potential and oozing sex in something so mundane as a room. How much pleasure might a woman like that find in a man?

The prospect effectively drowned out ninety percent of the other concerns that had been dogging his heels for the last month. Tonight he would pursue what he wanted instead of what everyone else expected from him.

While he wasn’t exactly Mr. Uptight, he’d never been a player, either. He’d always dated women from the right social circles with ambitions similar to his own. Ordinarily, he never played games.

And he’d never sought a woman purely for the sake of sex.

But the blonde had him curious. He just needed to find a way to meet her that was…what had she said she wanted?…original. And not too forward.

Hell, his ambitious clan had raised him to be politically correct in every facet of his life, how hard could it be to come up with something that wasn’t too forward?

Ducking behind a vending machine as the women turned down yet another hallway, Jackson peered out just enough to see his prey shove a tall housekeeping supply cart into the doorway of a guest room and then slip inside.

Pretty damned convenient she’d left the door propped open.

Growing more certain that he’d found the right woman, Jackson strategized the best approach.

What would it hurt if—just this once—he applied all that smooth-talking charm that made the Taggarts famous for something besides courtroom closing arguments or speeches in the latest election race?

If he had his way, he’d be sweet-talking the blonde into helping him forget the nonstop disaster his life had become. At least for the next few hours, but even better, the next few days. With any luck, he’d find the wild bedroom goddess of his dreams.

He stepped lightly down the hallway toward the open guest-room door. Peering around the housekeeping cart piled high with guest towels, soaps and tissue boxes to get another glimpse of the unusual beauty, he discovered what she’d meant by a pleasure palace.

Damned if she hadn’t walked into the silky red luxury of a modern-day bordello.

SUMMER FARNSWORTH turned up the lights in the Bad Girl Bordello and looked around at her latest creation.

“Oh my God, Summer, it’s amazing.” Club Paradise’s security expert Brianne Wolcott sank into the room, her feet drawn to the red quilted settee outlined in cherrywood. “A visual feast.”

“It still gives me shivers to walk in here.” Preening openly, Summer soaked up her friend’s praise. As part owner and a self-described ambiance coordinator for the club, she took her job seriously. She’d worked as an activities director for the club during the previous ownership. The gig had been awarded to her by a snake-in-the-grass ex-boyfriend who’d absconded with all the resort’s profits.

Club Paradise had done a booming business as a couples resort for years before the major shareholders had embezzled the company’s money. Since then, the women who’d been left behind by the crooks—an ex-wife, two ex-girlfriends and, in Brianne’s case, a step-daughter—had formed a new holding company. Admittedly cynical about love in the aftermath of the Rat Pack’s defection, the new owners had converted the former couples haven into a hedonistic playground for singles.

Of course, Brianne wasn’t so cynical about love anymore. She and hottie Aidan Maddock had found happiness—and, it seemed, plenty of sexual contentment—over the last two months. Her friend’s fulfillment left Summer feeling all the more restless recently.

“Just be careful,” Summer warned as Brianne ran her fingers over the fresh varnish. “The finish is still tacky in some places. The fumes aren’t quite as bad since the afternoon, but it helps to leave the door open anyway for some fresh air.”

Glancing toward the propped door, Summer stared into the empty hallway behind her, unable to shake the feeling that someone had been there. Watching.

Normally, she possessed a finely tuned sixth sense. She knew when her parents were in trouble with whatever cult of the month they happened to have joined. She could tell when she was being lied to. And she could usually feel eyes on her from fifty paces, but apparently that particular skill was on the fritz tonight.

Although her skin prickled along the back of her neck and her heart skipped along at a nervous rate, no sexy stranger lurked in the doorway waiting to pounce.

Too bad.

Tearing her eyes from the hallway, she wondered if the last year’s worth of stifled sexual impulses could account for her hallucinating a stranger on her tail. Or maybe she could attribute the fanciful thoughts to being in the Bad Girl Bordello.

“This room is definitely naughty.” Brianne’s voice called her back to the present. She trailed appreciative fingers over the lush shirred velvet lining two of the walls. “Total fantasy.”

The deep burgundy color of the fabric was repeated in the bed and on an old-fashioned settee. Red satin trimmed with black lace skirted the bed and decorated pillows. Beaded antique lampshades rested over delicate brass light fixtures, while small crystal chandeliers twinkled in the soft light overhead.

“Told you it was a pleasure palace.” Summer reached to tweak one of the dangling prisms in the chandelier near the entry.

As in several other rooms throughout the hotel, the bordello featured erotic statues and framed lithographs of a couple in various positions described in the Kama Sutra. Even so, the room had taken on a mood and ambiance uniquely its own.

“Yes, but will you christen this room as thoroughly as Aidan and I christened the harem?” Brianne winked as she started rifling through the bags of thematic costumes Summer had bought as amenities for the luxury suite.

A rogue twinge of envy squeezed Summer as she thought about the kinds of pleasures Brianne and her new fiancé Aidan Maddock had enjoyed at the club. They’d been the first couple to make use of the sensual atmosphere Summer strove to maintain in all the refurbished rooms.

“Actually, I’m hoping to snag this room any time it’s free, but we’ll probably have lots of reservations for it once a few people have stayed here.” Summer had lived at the hotel for the last year, bouncing from room to room according to whatever was available. “I seem to be short a man for any real christening, but I have to say if I had an opportunity, this room would be my first choice.”

Some optimistic part of her had hoped to initiate a real relationship at this stage of her life. At twenty-eight years old, she was the only female she knew in her age bracket who had never formed a remotely long-term liaison.

Of course, that desire for a mild commitment had prevented her from making moves on the guys she’d always been most attracted to—the surfers with the rebel attitudes and the rock ’n’ roll studs who were living on the edge. Somehow she couldn’t work up the same lusty enthusiasm for the more staid investment brokers, entrepreneurs and lawyerly types that invaded South Beach nightlife.

“Want me to start keeping an eye out for you, Summer? I think I know your type. Unconventional, lives-by-his-own rules kind of guy, right?” Brianne pulled a crushed silk corset out of Summer’s costume bag and grazed the fabric against her cheek.

Summer frowned, surprised. “Since when did you become the intuitive one, Ms. High Tech?”

“You’re parading around the club wearing a vintage bustier and pink braids in your hair. Believe me, pure logic brought me to the conclusion you’d like an unconventional guy.”

“A bustier this gorgeous needed to be seen.” Shaking off the crocheted scarf she’d draped over her shoulders, Summer unveiled the silk moiré undergarment she’d snagged for herself during the costume-shopping spree.

She could have sworn she heard a swift intake of breath in the corridor outside the door.

What was it with her and the damn hallway tonight? The sense of someone watching her lingered. But she knew perfectly well Brianne had taken the extra remote security cameras out of the private rooms. No doubt the hot gaze she felt merely resulted from a shivery manifestation of overactive hormones.

Brianne tugged one of Summer’s decorative pink braids. “I think you’ve crossed over into the fantasy world you created. Did you realize your bustier coordinates perfectly with the bordello?”

“You think this is fantasy?” Summer adjusted the satin ribbon tying her outfit together. “This doesn’t come close to the ideas I have in mind if I ever found the right guy to christen the bordello with.”

Brianne pulled the requisite velvet shackles out of Summer’s costume bag and dangled them in front of her nose. “Would you make him your love slave?”

“Hardly.”

“You don’t have kinky toe fetishes or anything, do you?”

“Eeeww.” Summer whipped Brianne’s shoulder with one end of her satin bustier tie. “I’m thinking more along the lines of being totally overwhelmed.” She gestured vaguely around the room. “That’s sort of the whole bordello theme in a nutshell, isn’t it—being at a man’s whim? I mean don’t get me wrong, obviously we’re all grateful the women’s movement has given us so much power over our lives, but sometimes I feel ready to shake off the überwoman syndrome and just be…”

“Overpowered?” Brianne fanned herself. “Honey, that’s a smoking fantasy. Where do I sign up for that?”

“It’s definitely not on Club Paradise’s activity list. If it was, I’d be the first to sign on.” She could certainly use the stress-relieving benefits of sex. She’d been giving one hundred and ten percent to the hotel in an effort to prepare the rooms for a possible print pictorial in Wanderlust magazine this fall. The spread would be a professional coup, but it would mean publicly staking her success—and the resort’s—on her design talent.

Summer peered toward the door again, her skin tingling along with that overactive sixth sense.

Or maybe her skin simply tingled from thinking about her favorite seduction scenario.

“I’m right there with you.” Brianne stood, her eyes now glued on the miniature surveillance monitor she’d installed in a sort of wristwatch contraption. “But for now I’d better go check the security and make sure things are running smoothly around the club tonight.”

With a few more exclamations over the bordello, Brianne was out the door, leaving Summer by herself to unload the exotic lingerie costumes into a decorative armoire.

She turned back to the task, hanging corsets and merry widows from quilted pink hangers in the cherry cabinet.

Yet the maddening sensation of being watched returned. Spinning around, she followed her instincts this time, unconcerned if she was being paranoid. She skirted the settee and hustled to the open door. Leaning over the housekeeping supply cart, she poked her head out into the corridor and saw nothing. No one.

Brianne had disappeared in the hallway and no one else lurked there.

Okay, so she was definitely paranoid. Easing back into the bordello, Summer edged around the housekeeping cart. The satin ties on her bustier trailed over a stack of fresh towels and a shiny silver box.

No. A cell phone.

She reached for the item. As her fingers grazed the cool metal it started to vibrate.

A shivery sensation skated through her for a split second, confirming that she’d denied her sexual impulses for too long.

Jiggling the stack of cotton towels beneath it, the phone hummed and then emitted a shrill ring. Never a woman to mind her own business, Summer unfolded the sleek case and willed away the stray tingles humming through her.

“Hello?” She tucked back into the bordello, hugging the phone to her ear with one shoulder.

“Thanks for picking up.” A smooth and sexy masculine voice rolled through the airwaves. “I’m trying to track down my cell phone so I thought I’d ring the number and see what happened.”

He’d ignited a lonely woman’s libido with a vibrating phone. How perfectly clever.

“You seem to have misplaced it on a housekeeping cart.” She glanced back at the maid’s apparatus and wondered what the man on the other end of this amazing voice might look like. “Right between the triple-milled French soaps and the lavender hand lotions.”

“Of all the places to land in an exotic hotel, I get stuck in the rolling soap-supply station.”

“Actually, the soap station was teetering on the threshold of the Bad Girl Bordello. I call that kind of exotic.” A smile warmed her insides. When was the last time she’d flirted with a man?

“Now that sounds more like it. I don’t know how my phone ended up there, but I did wander through the resort earlier tonight before I went into the bar. I’m Jackson, by the way. Would you mind if I came by to pick up the phone?”

Mentally she reviewed why that wouldn’t be a good idea. She should meet him in a public place like the lounge just in case he was a serial killer. Then again, she could always just ask Brianne to check on her in a little while.

“Sure. I’m Summer Farnsworth and the phone will be with me in the bordello.” Could she help it if her inner bad girl still made occasional appearances? “It’s on the ocean side of the main floor.”

“I’m on my way.” The line disconnected as she folded up the phone.

Hesitating a moment, she opened it again and placed a quick call to Brianne to make sure her friend would keep an eye out for her tonight. Brianne’s experience with a creepy stalker had made everyone at Club Paradise a little more cautious.

That done, Summer was feeling less paranoid by the moment. In fact, she felt downright eager. She suspected she was about to meet the man behind the eyes she’d sensed on her this evening. Her every intuitive Aquarian impulse told her so. Instead of frightening her, however, the thought only heightened her anticipation.

This guy—Jackson—had gone out of his way to hunt her down and meet her. He’d used a very non-traditional means that could turn a girl’s head. Maybe he was the kind of sexy rebel that had always attracted her. And while she had tried to outgrow the flings of her youth, she couldn’t deny a hot, quickie interlude with a mysterious stranger might be just the cure for her recent restlessness.

As she dug in her vintage beaded handbag for a tube of lipstick, Summer made up her mind to jump her visitor if he had a tattoo. She’d jump him twice if he had a tattoo and an earring.

Which left her with only one thing to ponder.

Would tonight’s Mistress of the Bordello leave her bustier ties opened or closed?

.

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