Hurricanes and Handcuffs by Jodi Redford
Part of the Red Hot Cajun Nights multi-author collection
Blog Tour Feb. 23rd-27th
Gabrielle Scott is fed up with helping her playboy boss seduce and woo his countless bimbettes courtesy of her culinary masterpieces. Yeah, the pay is good, and you can’t beat the luxurious digs she’s treated to as his resident personal chef. But she can’t afford the frustration of living under the same roof with the one man who drives her crazy in every possible way. The damnable truth? She’s in love with the irredeemable bastard, and the only way she’ll get over him is to get naked under him. The plan? Attend Jax’s annual Mardi Gras ball incognito and entice him into a hot night of sin—right before handing in her resignation.
Jaxon Noble always gets what he wants. Especially when it comes to the opposite sex. So when Gabbi shows up at his party in an eye-popping costume and outrageously flirts with him it’s a foregone conclusion that she’ll finally be his. About damn time the stubborn woman came to her senses. He’s more than happy to go along with her game, and the combustible heat they generate together proves it was well worth the wait to have her. But when morning comes and Gabrielle calmly announces she’s quitting, Jax is faced with the sobering fact that perhaps money can’t buy everything. Or more to the point—the only person who’s ever meant anything to him.
For someone who’s used to winning at all costs, losing Gabbi isn’t an option. And Jax will pull out every sweet and sexy trick to convince her to take a chance on a forever with him. Even if it means handcuffing her to his bed.
Warning: This book contains a sassy chef, one determined bad boy billionaire, Fur-lined handcuffs and inappropriate consumption of beignets, several sinful drizzles of honey, and enough sizzling chemistry to set off the smoke alarms.
Gabbi stepped from the pantry just as Jax strode into the kitchen. They both stared at each other stupidly for a long moment.
Finally Jax broke the awkward silence. “Have you been crying?”
He frowned. “Your eyes are puffy.”
“My allergies are acting up.” She slid her gaze over his shoulder. “Where’s Bulimic Barbie? Unconscious on the bed?”
Amusement tipped the corner of Jax’s mouth. “Her name is Whitney, and she’s hardly my type.” He returned her squint with a chuffing laugh. “What? She’s not. I only invited her over because she’s the baby sister of Olivia’s newest boy toy. I’m doing my familial duty by putting in a good word for my cousin.”
She snorted. “The only part I believe in all of that is her being a baby. Freakin’ jailbait.”
He leaned against the corner of the marble-topped island, a broad grin lighting his sun-kissed features. “Someone sounds a little jealous.”
“Me? Of her? If you believe that, then someone’s been smoking crack.”
Her vehement denial only earned a chuckle from Jax. “I’m really going to miss your sassy mouth next month.”
Safe to say not as much as she was going to miss him. Yes, it was utterly ridiculous. She should look forward to having a week-long vacation and a welcome reprieve from the constant parade of women. Instead she dreaded the thought of being all alone in this big house with no one for company.
“You could always come with me, you know.”
She gaped at him, his unexpected offer filling her with a giddy rush of happiness. “You...want me to come to Paris with you?”
“Why not? Might save me from overdoing it on all of the French pastries. Got to watch my figure.” His gaze sparkling, he patted his washboard belly.
It took a moment to tear her focus from the lazy drift of his hand and her tormenting mental musings of the rock-solid six pack beneath his snowy white button-down shirt. Once his words penetrated her brain she veered her attention back to his grinning mug. “You’re inviting me so I’ll cook for you?”
“Well...” His expression grew wary. “Yeah?”
The spark of joy extinguished in her heart. “I can’t believe you!”
“I thought you’d like the idea. You’ve never been to Paris before, and it’s a great opportunity for you to learn some new techniques. My friend at L'Espérance has an intensive two day course that I think you’d really enjoy.”
Under different circumstances she would. Studying under Michelin star chefs and visiting Parisian farmers markets and cozy sidewalk cafes sounded like every wistful dream she’d longed for. But what Jax was suggesting had nothing to do with romance and everything to do with convenience on his end. He didn’t give a rat’s ass about spending time with her. All he wanted was someone to fix him his damn breakfast every morning. “So in other words, a working vacation for me. Wow, how generous.”
He frowned. “Why are you being so pissy?”
“Oh, I don’t know.” She tossed up her hands. “Maybe because I haven’t had a day off in over a week, and I can’t remember the last time I’ve had an actual vacation.” And you’re breaking my fucking heart. She kept the admission locked inside her even though it was screaming to be released from the prison of her tongue.
“Gabbi, I swear to you that after the party is done with I’ll give you a whole week off.”
He pushed away from the counter and tipped a knuckle underneath her chin, forcing her to meet his eyes. The hypnotic quality of those midnight blue irises reeling her in, she stared hopelessly at him. With his free hand, he tucked a lock of hair behind her ear and brushed her cheek. He smiled. “You have flour all over you.”
“Hazard of the job.” Just one of many. The most dangerous being her standing too close for comfort with the man who made her crave sinful, impossible things like being tied up to that huge king-sized bed upstairs.
Now that she was alone with Jax the air seemed super charged with an overwhelming awareness that zinged between them. Unable to resist, she peered up at him and caught him staring at her mouth. Her lips automatically tingled at the phantom memory of their kiss. Her pulse revving, she smoothed a hand over her tummy to steady her nerves. His pupils nearly overtaking his irises, Jax tracked the motion of her fingers. Certain she was about to jump out of her skin, she cleared her throat. “What do you think of my costume?”
“You have every man in this room dying to take it off you.”
His response was so unexpected it took her a moment to find her tongue. Here he’d provided the perfect opening to her seduction and she’d almost let it slip between her fingers. Channeling her nonexistent inner vixen, she batted her eyelashes. “Including you?” It didn’t come out as sexy as she’d hoped, and she winced.
His mouth quirked at one corner. “No, I’m completely immune to your charms.”
He was joking, right? Fairly positive that he was, she tried for a bolder approach and tiptoed her fingers up along the buttons of his starched shirt. “How about now?”
A chuckle rumbled from him. “Gabbi, what are you doing?”
Good question. God, did she really suck at flirting? Granted, her skills were pathetically rusty. Assuming they existed in the first place. Frustration welling inside her, she settled her palm against his chest. That’s when she felt the rapid pace of his heartbeat. She lifted her gaze to his, and sucked in a breath at the smoldering heat in his eyes. Coyness abandoning her, she blurted the primary thought tumbling around in her brain. “I want you to kiss me again. Desperately.”
His gaze darkened. Sliding his hand to her elbow, he steered her toward the hallway. Her body buzzing with heady anticipation, she barely registered the crush of people he led her through as they made their way to the kitchen. Although the room was empty he didn’t stop until they reached the back stairway. He pressed her up against the door, slamming it shut with her weight. The next instant his mouth devoured hers in a kiss that left her head spinning. Gasping, she tunneled her fingers through his silky hair, holding on for dear life.
She wouldn’t have thought it possible, but the kiss was a thousand degrees hotter than the one last night. Apparently sobriety made all the difference. Which was rather ironic, considering how the drugging intoxication of Jax’s kisses was far more potent than any alcohol in existence. He slicked his tongue over hers, coaxing a whimper from her. Splaying his palms on her ass, he squeezed each cheek and hiked her tighter to him. She went willingly, desperate mewls pouring from her as she sucked on his tongue.
He tore his mouth from hers, his breaths ragged. “I’m crushing your feathers.”
It took her a second to realize that wasn’t some kinky dirty talk she wasn’t hip to. She glanced down at the scooped neckline of her costume and noticed a couple of feathers with the tips broken off. Wise decision not to go with the rental option.
Jax shoved her mask up and stroked her cheek. “Where is this headed, Gabbi?”
She knew he was asking in the most basic of terms. This wasn’t an inquiry beyond the next twenty-four hours. Her heart squeezed at that sad fact, but now that she’d set the wheels in motion there was no way she’d step on the brake.
“Hopefully your bed. Or mine.” She backed up her bold statement by sliding her hand to his fly. The impressive bulge she discovered tenting his tuxedo pants prompted a greedy ache deep in her core. She fondled him shamelessly, her pussy clenching as he surged and thickened in her grasp.
He groaned and shackled her wrist between his fingers, reluctantly easing her off him. “I’ll never get through the rest of the party if you keep doing that.”
“We could have a quickie.”
“Not a fucking chance. I want you naked, those gorgeous tits quivering and your nipples available for my feasting when I ease inside you the first time.”
Well how could she argue with that? She licked her lips. “Then I can have you after the party?”
A slow smile tipped his mouth. “Oh, you’ll get all of me. Maybe more than you can handle.”
At the ripe age of seven, Jodi Redford penned her first epic, complete with stick figure illustrations. Sadly, her drawing skills haven't improved much, but her love of fantasy worlds never went away. These days she writes about fairies, ghosts, and other supernatural creatures, only with considerably more heat.
She has won numerous contests, including The Golden Pen and Launching a Star.
When not writing or working the day job, she enjoys gardening and way too many reality television shows.