Nate Evans is a friendly neighbor, but he’s not a good guy.
Lemon Bosworth is the bastard daughter of a mafia boss, and Nate’s job is to keep her safe. Her father’s enemies are closing in, and it’s up to him to protect her.
Lemon hates her father. She knows what he is, what he’s capable of, but she wants to live her life free from all the drama.
When her neighbor ruins her first and only date, she doesn’t expect him to stake his claim. Nate is a sexy man and she’s attracted to him. Why would an older man like him want her?
He was supposed to keep his hands off the boss’s daughter, but Lemon calls to him. Not only does he want to protect her, but he also wants to keep her all to himself. Her innocence belongs to him and him alone.
Nate worries if the truth of his identity will finally come out. If it does, he’ll simply make sure she never knows the truth.
Have the cursed houses struck again?
“Your first date?”
She stopped and growled. “Don’t interrupt me.”
“You’re telling me this was your first date?”
“Yes, and I told you to stop interrupting me.”
Lemon gritted her teeth. “What?”
“How is that your first date?”
“I have no idea what you mean.”
“How is he your first date? What the fuck happened to all of the other dates in between?” Nate asked.
His arms were folded across his chest, and she hated how muscular he looked. The scent of red wine was too much. Surely, she couldn’t get drunk from it soaking her skin.
She slapped her hands together. “It’s pretty simple. I haven’t been asked on a date, nor have I gone on one. There have been no men. No boys. John was the first guy to ever ask me out.”
“But what about you?”
“Why haven’t you asked anyone out?”
“We’re getting off topic with this. Why did you ruin my date, Nate?”
“Does this have something to do with your dad?”
She tensed up. “What do you know about my dad?” She never talked about him, not to anyone.
“It’s pretty fucking clear to me you’ve got daddy issues.”
She shook her head. “You’re talking bullshit.” She turned on her heel, but she didn’t get to go anywhere as Nate held her arm, stopping her from leaving.
“I don’t think so. You want to know how I know about your dad? Your place. The pictures. You have so many of them with your mom, but none with your dad. Not a single one, and believe me, I’ve studied them.”
She tried to pull her arm away from him, but he wouldn’t let her go. “Leave me alone.”
“No. You followed me in here and now you don’t like it because I’m the one watching your back?”
“I don’t need anyone to watch my back. I don’t need a daddy figure.”
“No. You need someone to put you over their knee and spank your fucking ass. John isn’t a good guy.”
“No, what I need is a guy who is willing to look at me for me, but you know what, there’s no one around like that. Guys are just after what they can get and screw the women they hurt in the process.” She thought about her mother, and her own pain at what her father did.
“What you need, Lemon Bosworth, is a good, hard fuck!”
Nate pulled away and she gasped.
Neither of them spoke. Their raised voices went inherently silent as they stared at one another.
“I think I should go.” Staring at him after what he said, she couldn’t think straight. Not now.
“Wait,” Nate said. He didn’t touch her as she glanced back at him.
“What you said was cruel, Nate Evans.” She shrugged. “Do you think I enjoy being alone? You think going on that date tonight was easy for me?” She shook her head. “It was hard. I’m not … I don’t know how to be with men. I’m a twenty-year-old virgin, living alone.” She lifted a part of her stained dress. “Making clothes for fun. Tonight, I just wanted to forget who I was for a little while.”
“Damn it, Lemon, stop it.”
“I don’t look like the kind of women men want,” she said. “You think I don’t know that? Mousy hair. Curves, or as some people would put it, fat.”
“Don’t.” He took a step toward her, but she squared her shoulders, refusing to back down. “I thought … I thought you were a good guy.”
She moved toward the door, gripping the handle.
“I came to break up your date because I couldn’t stand the thought of another man touching what belonged to me.”