The Shameless Hour (The Ivy Years, #4)
NA | Contemporary Romance
April 14, 2015
The girl who’s had everyone meets the boy who has no one.
For Bella, the sweet-talking, free-loving, hip-checking student manager of the Harkness men’s hockey team, sex is a second language. She’s used to being fluent where others stutter, and the things people say behind her back don’t (often) bother her. So she can’t understand why her smoking hot downstairs neighbor has so much trouble staying friends after their spontaneous night together. She knows better than to worry about it, but there’s something in those espresso eyes that makes her second guess herself.
Rafe is appalled with himself for losing his virginity in a drunken hookup. His strict Catholic upbringing always emphasized loving thy neighbor—but not with a bottle of wine and a box of condoms. The result is an Ivy League bout of awkwardness. But when Bella is leveled by a little bad luck and a downright sinister fraternity stunt, it’s Rafe who is there to pick up the pieces.
Bella doesn’t want Rafe’s help, and she’s through with men. Too bad the undeniable spark that crackles between the two of them just can’t be extinguished.
I held her a little closer as we danced. The band had no vocalist, but I could hear Louis Armstrong’s voice in my head. Give me… a kiss to build a dream on. “I’ve always loved this song,” I confessed.
“Wait, really?” Bella stood up taller so she could look me in the eye. “Have you listened to the lyrics? The guy gets a single kiss, and he basically says that it’s enough — he’s just going to fantasize about it for the rest of his life. I mean… what a rip.”
I bit back a smile. “It’s romantic.”
“It’s unsatisfying,” she countered. “Here, I’ll show you.” Before I knew what was happening, Bella came closer. Her silky thumb stroked once across my cheekbone. Then she stood up on her toes and kissed me.
The first press of her sweet lips against mine stopped my breathing. Though you couldn’t have paid me to resist her. Sheer instinct made me lean into that kiss with my entire being.
Bella’s mouth melted onto mine, and a needy little sound issued from the back of her throat. Heaven. I deepened the kiss, and our tongues touched once. She tasted of red wine and desire. An electric pulse traveled the length of my body. Unbidden, my hands pulled her closer, my fingers in her hair…
The sound of applause brought me back to earth with a thunk. The song had ended, and the band segued into some kind of swing tune. Bella and I broke apart on a gasp. For a second we just stared at each other. “See?” she said eventually.
But I didn’t have the faintest recollection of the point she’d been trying to make. “What?”
Amusement tickled her features. “Never mind. I hear my wine glass calling me.” She tugged on my hand.