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Mr. Savior: A Roommate Hero Romance (Small Town Protectors)
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She’s beautiful, perfect, and most importantly, she’s mine. She just doesn’t know it yet.
I need to stay away from the town’s hot golden boy.
He’s waaaay out my league.
That doesn’t mean I can’t have my dirty fantasies though, right?
I know I can’t have him.
But we’re forced to work on the town’s charity calendar, and we end up roommates.
Unable to escape each other.
I try to resist him.
To forget the way he makes me feel when I’m pressed against his hard body.
But I’m losing the fight.
And when he kisses me?
I know I’m screwed.
My only solace is that it will only be for a couple of days.
Let’s just say he has other plans for me.
Working with Search & Rescue is everything to me.
My job is all I need.
Or so I thought until my life exploded when I save a sassy bartender.
Nina’s first language is sarcasm.
And her curves…her curves leave me entranced.
She needs me.
To save her, hold her, protect her.
Even if she refuses to admit it.
But in this small town, I always get what I want.
And a calendar for charity gives me the perfect opportunity to win Nina’s heart.
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Some people might think working as a bartender in a small-town bar would give me the inside track on all the gossip that could be found in a town the size of Tulip, Texas.
Those people would be wrong, though. As it turns out, booze does not loosen lips nearly as effectively as a stare-down from a blue-haired old lady. That’s right — all the gossip was carefully released in a steady trickle by a group of three old women ranging in age from seventy-something to the high end of eighty.
At twenty-five, I didn’t qualify for their inner circle, never mind that I was an outsider who’d only been a resident of Tulip for the past seven months. Who knew how long it would take before I became a local, not that I’d planned to stick around that long.
It was late afternoon and the Black Thumb was mostly empty, now that the lunch rush was over. But Janey Matheson, photographer extraordinaire, held court at one of the booths that split the restaurant seating area from the pool tables, dartboards, and foosball tables. And since the daytime waitresses had all left after counting their tips, it was up to me to make sure her crowd received their pitcher of margaritas and round of tequila shots.
“Here we go, ladies,” I announced, unloading my tray onto the table.
“Thanks, Nina.” Janey flashed a bright smile, her perky ponytail bouncing just from the force of her words. “Hey, would you sign up to be part of a bachelor and bachelorette auction? It’s for a good cause.”
I frowned back at her cheerful face. As nice as the people in Tulip were, they were also manipulative as hell. One kind word, and you were signed up to judge a meatloaf cooking contest and a senior beauty pageant.
“Hell, no. Guys can be weird and creepy and totally pervy. Best to put the control and the bidding in the hands of women.”
She beamed another smile my way, dimples winking from both cheeks, giving her a girl-next-door appeal I was sure the men of Tulip appreciated. “You are a genius, Nina. An absolute genius.”
I mean, I thought so but, big surprise, so did Janey. “You said bartender wrong,” I deadpanned, which for some reason made all the women at the table erupt in laughter. “Besides, I’m more of a look-but-don’t-touch kind of girl when it comes to men.”
Janey’s raven brows rose in surprise. “So, you’re… celibate?” She gasped, as though the idea was so far-fetched that she just couldn’t believe it.
“Since I moved here, yeah. And I’m fine with that.”
Honestly, I was. Sure, men had their purpose, but so far I hadn’t found one worth keeping, and until I did, celibacy was fine with me. “Batteries can do wonders for a girl’s disposition.”
She tapped her chin, her gaze thoughtful. “You do make a valid point, but men are just so big and strong and… delicious.” As Janey seemed lost in her own thoughts, I started to wonder if there was anyone in particular who put that wistful look on her face. “Oh. My. God. You really are a genius, Nina!”
I let that compliment sink in, because I didn’t get them all that often from anyone other than myself. “You’re going to sell vibrators, instead of the men of Tulip?”
For the past three months, everyone in town over the age of fifteen had been trying to come up with the perfect fundraiser to repair the town center’s statue-fountain-garden structure, which featured the town founder Tulip Worthington.
“No, we’re going to do a calendar. A big ol’ beefcake calendar, showing off the men of Tulip.”
I shrugged. “I’d buy one.” As the saying went, they grew ’em big down in Texas and the men here seemed to be especially big, even for Texas.
“Oh, this is good. So good,” Janey muttered to herself, whipping out a red, white, and blue notebook with a cover that looked like a pair of distressed jeans. After a minute or two of furious writing, she was on her feet and rushing out the door.
I turned to the rest of the women and grinned. “Let me know if you ladies need anything else.”
“Coming right up.” The thing I loved most about Texas was how friendly and open everyone was. Sure, I was still an outsider, but the people here said ‘please’ and ‘thanks’ automatically, never making me feel like the service worker I was.
The doors flew open and Janey breezed back in, smacking a couple twenty-dollar bills on the bar with a wide smile. “Sorry, and thanks.” Then, she was gone again, leaving the Black Thumb just a little quieter and dimmer than before.
My three occupied tables all had drinks while they waited for their late lunch orders to arrive. I slid behind the bar and busied myself with the boring part of my job – wiping down the counters, restocking empty bottles of booze, and checking the levels on the kegs.