Rory Doyle likes to be in control: in control of his career, in control of his home, and in control of his relationships. The one thing he can’t control is his reaction to feisty ex-pageant queen-turned-real estate agent Ashley Richards.
Ashley Richards is a woman with a plan; always has been, always will be. She’s got her sights set on conquering the Atlanta commercial real estate market, and the last thing she needs is Rory Doyle disrupting her carefully planned life.
After their best friends get their happily ever after, Rory wants to take his relationship with Ashley to the next level, but Ashley has other things to worry about, including planning the perfect wedding for her best friend. Add a bonus complication of the biggest challenge of her professional career and she definitely does not need the distraction of Rory’s sexy Irish brogue and his hot dancer’s body.
Can Rory convince Ashley to listen to her heart or will she decide that he doesn’t fit in with her plans?
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“No, but now that we’ve gotten those two sorted, do you think we can go on a proper date, or do we have to keep skulking around?” Rory asked as he quirked an eyebrow at Ashley.
“I don’t know, Rory; you’re a pretty good skulker.” Ashley ran a finger down a stripe on his shirt.
“Oh, I’m good at lots of things, Ashley, lots of things.”
Oh, yes, you are, Rory Doyle.
Ashley considered his question. “Can we still skulk if we want to?”
“I suppose we could,” Rory said with reluctance, but also a grin. “I really would like to take you out on a proper date, Ashley. I want to date you. I want you to spend the night with me after. I want to go to breakfast with you. Only you.”
Ashley’s face grew blanker and blanker the longer Rory talked. Her heart was pounding in her chest and she fought the urge to run from the pub. She’d thought he was happy with the casual state of their relationship, but obviously he wasn’t, which was kind of funny. Usually it was the woman who pushed for more commitment.
As if reading her mind, Rory quickly added, “I’m not going to ask you for any sort of a commitment, Ashley. I just want to date you on a regular basis, that’s all. I want to date only you. I really like you. You’re not like anyone I’ve ever met, and I want to get to know you better. What do you say?”
Ashley was speechless, so she did what she could to tell him: she kissed him.
Ashley felt Rory’s mouth bend into a smile under her lips, and he pulled her tighter to him. He deepened the kiss, and Ashley let out a little squeak when he grabbed and squeezed her ass.
Ashley forced herself to break the kiss. “Rory, your parents are here,” she whispered, turning a lovely shade of pink. Rory shrugged a shoulder.
“Oi, Rory! Your Mam is sitting right here, boyo. Don’t be stickin’ your tongue down that missy’s throat in front of God and everybody!” Paddy Doyle scowled and shook his finger in his son’s face.
Ashley shot Rory an “I-told-you-so” look but it quickly disappeared when Paddy said, “It’ll give her ideas, and I’ve been driving all day. I’m worn out.” Paddy and Rory laughed.
Sheila put her arms around Ashley’s shoulders. “So, now that we’re going to be moving to Atlanta, I’m going to need to find out where you buy your unmentionables. They’re deadly sexy.” Sheila wiggled her eyebrows at the younger woman.
At Ashley’s look of confusion and embarrassment, Sheila explained with a conspiratorial wink, “We found a bitty pair of knickers stuffed in the couch cushions over at Rory’s place.”
Oh. My. GAWD.