Penny was caught out in the wrong place, at the wrong time. As a recently graduated law student, the brush with the law could put an end to her career before it’s even begun. But thanks to her lawyer daddy’s contacts, she’s been given a second chance. A chance to redeem herself and make her stupid behavior go away.
Which is how she ends up working in a soup kitchen, preparing and serving meals to those who are having a rough time of it. She’s not keen on the idea, and when she meets Maddox, the guy in charge, she’s even less keen. A tall, skinny, mad-haired, tattooed guy, Maddox is the sort of person Penny would normally cross the road to avoid. But once she gets to know him, she starts to see things differently. He’s had a checkered past himself, and has now put it behind him and enjoys a glittering, prosperous career as a top chef.
Maddox may have unconventional looks, but Penny quickly grows to like him, and, much to her surprise, finds herself attracted to him. He’s a lot older than her, and their lives are at completely different stages, but in spite of this, there’s an undeniable connection between them.
When Maddox makes Penny an unconventional offer, will she have the courage to take him up on it? And if she does, where will it lead?
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From the very second I laid eyes on him, it was clear he was unconventional. If I’m being truthful, I thought he looked like a complete nutter—someone I’d probably cross the road to avoid. Even in the daytime. He was tall and skinny, with a shock of black hair—still apparent under his hairnet—and pale skin. Kind of like Edward Scissorhands. Only—mercifully—without the scissors for hands part. A vine-looking tattoo began at his left wrist, worked its way up his arm, then snaked beneath the sleeve of his T-shirt…to who knew where?
Oddly, even though I mentally kicked myself for thinking it, I found myself wanting to find out. Did it stop at his upper arm, his shoulder? Did it continue over his back, his chest, twine its way around a pectoral, sneaking in toward the nipple? Or even farther south, perhaps?
Even if you took Mr. Unusual out of the equation, there was nothing normal about the situation I found myself in. After all, what recent graduate of law school finds themselves volunteering in a soup kitchen? A recent graduate who lost her head—and heart—over a bad boy, that’s who.
Most people seem to think that those who study law are smart. Super smart, actually. There’s a reason for that—folks who study law are smart. If they pass all the exams, that is. And I did—with distinction. Which makes me clever on paper, I suppose, but apparently lacking in common sense, or perhaps I just have severely poor judgment. Or both.
However you want to look at it, I fucked up. Big time. I fell for the wrong guy, trusted him, and ended up caught up in something that got me arrested.
It could have been the end of my law career. Before it had even started, and after all those years of education—not to mention a rather large chunk of my parents’ cash. Fortunately, they’ve got plenty of it, due to my daddy’s successful career. He works in law, too, which, luckily for me, means he’s got friends in high places.
So it was less voluntary work, more community service. Otherwise known as do-this-or-you’ll-get-a-criminal-record-and-kiss-your-career-goodbye.
Fixing my potential glittering career in my mind, I took a deep breath and crossed the industrial-looking kitchen, heading toward him. He looked utterly at home chopping carrots—he was like one of those chefs you see on the telly, his hand and the knife he gripped moving so fast they were almost a blur. I cringed at the thought of trying such a thing. Never mind the end of my career, it’d be the end of my fingers.
Approaching cautiously—I didn’t want to startle him and cause a horrific accident—I waited until he’d finished his carrot before speaking. “Um, hi.”
Turning quickly, still with his knife in his hand, he smiled. “Ah, hello. You must be Penny.”
For a moment, I was so caught up in his eyes that I couldn’t reply. Fortunately, I managed to get a grip before I was the one who was a nutter. “Um, yes, that’s right. I’m here to help out.”
As though suddenly realizing he still held the knife, he glanced at it in his hand, then quickly put it down on the counter. “Sorry. Didn’t mean to greet you with a blade! I’m so used to using the things that it’s like they’re an extension of my arm.”
Hmm, so maybe he’s Edward Knifehands. I suppressed a shudder.
Those stunning eyes—such an unnatural yet beautiful blue—twinkling, he held out his now empty hand. “I’m Maddox Black. Pleased to meet you. And very pleased to have you here.”
We shook. As we did so, the heat that had sparked inside me when we’d made eye contact began to intensify.
Christ, no, Penny. You just ditched one bad boy. The last thing you need to do is swap him for another one.
Lucy Felthouse is the award-winning author of erotic romance novels Stately Pleasures (named in the top 5 of Cliterati.co.uk’s 100 Modern Erotic Classics That You’ve Never Heard Of, and an Amazon bestseller), Eyes Wide Open (winner of the Love Romances Café’s Best Ménage Book 2015 award, and an Amazon bestseller) and The Persecution of the Wolves. Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 150 publications to her name. She owns Erotica For All, and is one eighth of The Brit Babes. Find out more about her writing at http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk, or on Twitter or Facebook. Sign up for automatic updates on Amazon or BookBub. You can also subscribe to her monthly newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/gMQb9