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Too Bad So Sad (Simple Man #5)
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Tyler Cree has never been good at the whole look and don’t touch thing.
From the moment he was old enough to walk on his own two feet, he’s been looking for trouble.
Trouble comes in many forms…quite a few of those forms being the female persuasion.
Tyler knows what girls want—a bad boy. And he has the bad boy image down pat.
Hot cop—double check.
A bike between his legs and a devil may care attitude—oh, yeah.
All the girls want him, yet none of them will have him—at least not all of him, anyway. A certain appendage they can have all they want. His heart, however, is not up for grabs. The useless organ inside his chest was broken and battered, mutilated by the one woman he thought would keep it safe.
Spoiler alert: she ripped it to shreds and set fire to the pieces.
To protect himself, Tyler keeps everyone at arm’s length, and never lets anyone get too close.
Then Reagan Rose Alvarez barrels into his life, and trespasses on not only his property, but straight into his abused heart. One glance is all it takes, and he’s suddenly thinking about things he hasn’t thought for quite some time—thoughts that a man like him should never have about a woman like her.
One moment of weakness is all it takes, and suddenly he has no other choice but to go on the offensive.
Keeping her is the only other option now.
Turns out, his heart isn’t as broken as he thought it was.
The only problem is, now the little she-devil holds it in the palm of her hands, and she has no clue just how much power she holds.
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Never run with a set of bagpipes. You could fall and poke your eye out, or even worse, get kilt.
-Text from Reagan to her dad
I looked over at my friend.
“You want me to what?” I asked in surprise.
“Go on a blind date,” she said. “I want to set you up with someone I know you’ll adore.”
I highly doubted I’d adore anyone.
I never did.
I was, by definition, a very shy person.
Until someone pissed me off, then not so much.
But I didn’t think that a blind date would accomplish getting me pissed off—it took a lot for that to happen.
I snorted and turned to face Janie fully. “I don’t have time to go on a blind date with anyone. Besides, what if he’s a serial killer?”
Janie gave me a droll look. “He’s not a serial killer. In fact, he’s a cop.”
Like that was any better?
I winced. “I’m not dating a cop.”
That was a big fat no. I would not, under any circumstance, date a cop.
It’s not that I had anything against them. My dad was a cop, after all. However, cops had certain personalities that tended to clash with my wild and free soul.
I was a quiet person. I was a scholar. I was a pain in the ass and on occasion, I did some not so legal things that might get a cop in trouble if they knew about it and didn’t arrest me.
No, I didn’t do drugs. And no, those things weren’t all that bad.
It’s just that sometimes I got myself in hot water while quenching my thirst for knowledge.
You see, I’m a botanist.
My current job is working for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department investigating the nuisance aquatic plant, hydrilla verticillata. The hydrilla was starting to take over Texas lakes and was proving to be very harmful to the habitat.
I didn’t necessarily perform anything illegal for the state, but I did sometimes get caught up in my own investigations and trespass. I get caught up in my brain and forget to pay attention. OK, I did that often. But it was on my own time when I was researching my own things—such as a type of moss that grew on the trees near the lake that belonged to the state.
Not intentionally, though.
“Are you even listening to me?” Janie asked, sounding exasperated.
I looked at my friend and sighed. She knew precisely when I was listening—and when I wasn’t.
She’d been my friend since I was a young girl. I couldn’t recall a time when she wasn’t around—well, until lately, that is, since she moved to this town and promptly started luring the rest of the kids that’d grown up with us this way.
“No.” I didn’t even bother trying to lie. “I don’t want to go out on a date. I want to go watch some Sam and Dean on Netflix. If I go out on a date, that’s possibly three episodes that I wouldn’t get to watch.”
“Okay,” she said. “Say it with me now. Sam and Dean from Supernatural are not real.”
I flipped her off. “I know it’s not real, Janie. I just like to watch them and there’s nothing wrong with that.”
She narrowed her eyes. “If you don’t come, I’ll make you regret it.”
I sighed again.
“Fine.” I crossed my arms. “When?”
She smiled brightly. “Six. At the Taco Shop. We’re bringing Cora, June, Johnny and a couple other people…maybe our husbands if we can get them to say yes.”
I looked over at Kayla, Janie’s best friend for forever and snorted.
Kayla was asleep on the couch, her mouth hanging half open as drool started to leak out of it.
“You should probably capture this moment,” I said. “That’d make a good profile picture.”
Janie reached for her phone and snapped a few, then looked at me expectantly.
I waved at her. “Fine.”
That’d give me six hours to get some work done. My upcoming master’s thesis would be perfect…I just needed a little more information.
I was ankle deep in mud—on someone’s property, perilously close to that someone’s home—and I was on my haunches looking at the moss that was growing on the trunk of a tree.
I’d just scraped off a sample of it into a petri dish and taped it up when I heard a male clearing his throat behind me.
I looked over my shoulder to see a very sexy man, his arms crossed, standing at the foot of his dock.
And when I say sexy, I meant the kind of sexy that gave a girl a full body quiver causing her to forget to breathe for a second. Yeah, that kind of sexy.
He was tall, built, and tattooed.
He had longer brown/black hair and a trimmed beard covering the lower half of his face, but I could definitely see that he had an angular jaw and beautiful lips.
His legs were braced apart, encased in a pair of tight blue jeans that left very little to the imagination—such as he let his junk lean to the left and his thighs were muscular.