Naked

Violet Walker has been hiding. Withdrawn after a terrible car accident, she is worried about going back to her high-pressure job, where she’s expected to project confidence and sleek refinement. Allowing herself a distraction, she’s been watching her sexy neighbor work on his house. But when the shirtless, grinning hunk catches her in the act, Violet is struck by the unmistakable jolt of physical chemistry, a sensation that’s both thrilling and terrifying.

Noah Young is used to moving from one construction job to another, never laying a firm foundation. The same goes for the women in his life—until Violet changes all that. His beautiful voyeur embraces his rough edges and shows him a hint of real love. But even Noah can tell that she’s holding back, hiding her body and her heart from what they both truly want. If only he could get a little help convincing Violet to see herself as he sees her: perfect in every way.

 

 

 

 

Chapter 1

Just a little to the . . . BINGO!

Violet Walker sipped on her morning coffee and enjoyed her favorite moment of the day: the moment her hot neighbor climbed up on his roof. Who knew fixing shingles could be so mesmerizing?

He’d finally made his way to the left side of the house, which meant his tight, perfect ass was always on display. Although his tight, rippled abs in a well-fitted T-shirt weren’t hard on the eyes either.

She sank down in her chair when he made a sudden shift. In the three months since he’d shown up, they had never conversed. There had been some close calls since she’d started ogling him from her window. Once she’d had to duck and hide on all fours because he’d turned, and she could have sworn they’d made eye contact.

“Violet! Are you listening to me?” Roxaline King, her best friend, screamed into the phone.

“Yes, yes.” She put down her mug on the outdated dining room table; just one of the items that had come with the purchase of the house. “Get off my ass. Date. Have fun.” Violet swiveled in her chair, taking her eyes off the dreamboat for a moment.

Roxy’d been squawking the same thing for the past five months. Since the day Violet had set foot in this small town and hidden from . . . everyone and everything she’d ever known. Her perfect life was no longer perfect, and she just didn’t know how to exist in that world.

“And what’s our mantra?” Roxy asked.

Violet groaned. “It’s your mantra. Not mine.” She and Roxy had very different sex lives. Something that Violet had always been envious of. She’d tried to rectify it once, and it only served to tear her life apart.

“Well . . . ?” She imagined Roxy standing there, tapping her foot on the ground waiting for her compliance.

With a heavy sigh, Violet repeated the three words Roxy had lived by since they were in high school. Fuck. Rinse. Repeat.

Roxy squealed in excitement. “Not necessarily in that order or with the same guy.”

Violet laughed, loud enough that she glanced over to the open window to make sure hottie hadn’t heard. “You’re going to get yourself into so much trouble one day.”

“And I can’t wait for that day.” Silence fell between them, which meant Roxy had something on her mind. “I’m worried about you.”

It might annoy the shit out of her, but Violet appreciated that someone still called to check up on her. Her mother was preoccupied, trying her best to keep their family whole, and her father . . .

Since he’d been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s, there were times when he didn’t even remember her name.

“You’re in a depressing funk. It’s that damn town. You spend any more time there and you’ll be a townie. I know you visit the local grocery store and know everyone’s name. I know you do.”

She laughed, imagining Roxy pointing at her as if they were in the same room. Even though it had been two weeks since her best friend had visited.

“It’s sort of like living in Stars Hollow.” The addition of all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls to Netflix might have been the best thing to happen to her since she’d moved here.

But Roxy was right. She was a long way from the private schools, social dinners, and charity galas they’d grown up with. The town of Stillbride wasn’t conducive to mani-pedis and colorists.

“I’m glad you’re coming home tomorrow.” Her best friend’s voice grew solemn. “Even if you’re not seeing me, just knowing you’re back makes a difference.”

Soon enough, she’d be home permanently. Her father had agreed to her six-month isolation on the condition she’d make the time useful and scope out some new land for her dream project. Which was why she’d purchased this house and intended to purchase every other house within a mile radius to build Walker Industries’ first residential subdivision. Her father had groomed her since birth to take over the family commercial construction business, and she loved every moment of her job—despite the terror that gripped her at the thought of the impending handing over of the reins.

A sharp hammering caught her attention and she stood, making her way to the window. She hugged the edge, letting only her face peek through the curtain while she raised on her toes, welcoming the bite of pain—an old habit from years of taking ballet as a child. Dreamboat was hunched over; his white tank hugged his perfect torso and showed off the full sleeve of tattoos on his left arm. Her mouth watered. God, she was pathetic. It had been much too long since she’d gotten some, and she didn’t see that streak ending anytime soon. She was a grieving fiancée, for goodness’ sake.

She sipped on the bitter brew that she’d sweetened with vanilla-flavored cream, holding it in front of her face while tapping her finger on the rim. She was using his mug. Steven’s. Even after five months of careless use, the cup was perfectly intact. Unlike him. Unlike her life.

A loud bang caught her attention and she whipped her gaze to the window only to witness her neighbor tumble, head over feet, off the roof.

Her heart stopped.

“Oh, shit!” She whipped her hand up to cover her mouth. “He just fell off the damn roof.”

Random House Publishing: Loveswept Imprint
January 2016
ISBN: 9781101965238