It Takes Two
Counting on Love, Book 2
How do you fall out of love with a man who's all in?
Isabelle Dixon never should have said yes to that first date, but she couldn't resist Shane Kelley's larger-than-life personality. Except now Shane seems determined to make their no-strings fling into something more.
If she thought dating Shane was hard work, breaking up is proving to be much harder. Especially since she's planning on making some major life changes that don't include staying out all night, Jell-O shots, and a sex toy shop punch card. She needs a restful cabin getaway-alone-to gather her thoughts. And the strength to finally end things for good.
Shane has always prided himself on being the good-time guy. Exactly Isabelle's type…or so he thought. Yet ever since he suggested her moving in, she's been pulling back. Thing is, Shane does everything with gusto-including falling in love.
He's not about to let her get away that easily. Even if it means chasing her heart down a crazy road to prove that no matter what life throws at them, they make a damned good team.
Warning: Contains a strange road trip with several weird tourist stops, some hot sex in a car wash, and two people who are just crazy enough to be perfect for one another.
© copyright Erin Nicholas, 2013
"You know…" Her gaze went to his lips and she felt the very familiar hot flush of desire.
The things he could do with those lips should come with a warning label. "I had specifically planned on not kissing you in here tonight."
"Is that right?" His hands curled into her hips and his attention focused on her mouth as well.
"Why is that?"
"Because it never ends with kissing."
Even the kissing was enough to make her willing and able to keep the part of her life away from him that she was afraid would turn him off. And the other stuff that the kissing led to… Well, she had no problem understanding why she'd kept up the act.
And if the sex was enough to inspire her façade, then everything else he was and did was enough to convince her she could keep it up long term.
Until she was away from him again.
He was like a drug. When they were together it all felt good and right and doable. When they were apart, she'd remember that this was never going to work long term.
"Do you want it to?"
Her gaze flickered back to his. What were they talking about? Oh, yeah, the kissing thing.
"We never just kiss," she said. "The first night we went out we had sex."
His voice was a little gruff when he said, "I remember." He pulled her even closer. "I also remember that you initiated the entire thing."
She couldn't deny it. The entire night had felt like foreplay. Which was a little crazy and a lot dangerous. They'd been at Trudy's. Like they had been dozens of times before. They hadn't even been there together. He'd asked her, for the third time, if she'd go out with him. She'd said no. Then he'd gotten up on the karaoke stage with Ryan and Cody and sung "Just a Gigolo" by David Lee Roth. There was something about him-the confidence, the big grin, the way he not only had a great time wherever he was but made sure everyone around him had a great time, something-that drew her in. She'd fought it to that point but after he left the stage, she'd asked him to dance. From there she was a goner.
"I remember too," she admitted.
Shane lifted a hand and traced the neckline of her top, his finger sliding along the top swells of her breasts. "When you pushed me up against the side of my car in the parking lot and laid that first sexy kiss on me I was willing to beg for more on hands and knees. But I wasn't about to suggest sex on the first date with a classy woman like Isabelle Dixon," he said.
Classy. She'd quickly shown him her opposite side to that persona. "You didn't have to suggest it, did you?" she asked, memories shifting through her mind like a kaleidoscope.
He chuckled. "No, I certainly didn't. And trust me, I was very pleasantly surprised by the dirty mind and mouth behind the polished, sophisticated front you put on."
Yep, she'd already shown him a little of her talent for switching personalities. And he'd been pleasantly surprised because it had gotten him laid. Well. Three times that night.
He lifted his hand to cup the back of her head and pulled her closer until their lips were a mere millimeter apart. She was a good six inches shorter than him, but she usually wore heels that put her at exactly the right height for things like dancing and kissing and for him to put her up against the wall, hike up her skirt and drive deep.
She wore skirts and thongs a lot when she was with Shane. For those very reasons.
"You want me to just kiss you, Iz? I can be happy with that."
"You sure?" Her hand slid up the back of his neck and into his hair. He wore it longer than most of the cops, but he didn't get any crap about it. She loved the way she could thread her fingers through it and grip it when he kissed her-wherever he was kissing her.
"Very sure," he said softly. Then his mouth met hers.
They'd kissed in every way there was to kiss. Soft and sweet, hot and heavy, long and delicious, all over each other's body. This was a combination of all of those and then some.
His mouth moved against hers, lip to lip, for a long time. He'd press, then retreat, change angles, open slightly, lick along her bottom lip, then back off and softly kiss the corners of her mouth.
Shane lifted his hands to her cheeks, cupping her face, holding her still. Then he kissed her forehead, her nose, her chin, the side of her neck, then returned to her lips.
Isabelle sighed against his mouth.
"I could do this all night," he muttered against her lips. "So many places to put my mouth."
"Thought we were kissing only," she managed breathlessly.
"Well, French kissing is kissing. And trust me, honey, I can French kiss you in lots and lots of places."
She started to respond, but then he turned up the heat. He moved one hand to the back of her head, the other to her thigh, lifting it, pulling her close and holding her there, then he opened his mouth on hers, stroking his tongue in possessively.
This time she moaned.
The deep, hot kiss went on and on. Isabelle felt her whole body respond. Wet and hot and tingly. All over. Her scalp prickled, her nipples tightened, her stomach felt warm and everything below that was…all of the above.
She gripped the front of his shirt and arched harder against him, wishing they were naked, wishing she had worn her four-inch heels instead of the two-inch tonight.
God, she needed him.
She slipped a hand between them, running her hand over the hard bulge behind his zipper.
He released her so suddenly she stepped back.
"Whoa girl. I'm tryin' to be good here. Show you I can do some vanilla kissing."
That was vanilla kissing? Yeah, right. "I changed my mind," she said, reaching for him.
He held his hands up and shook his head. "No way, babe. You wanted just kissing. I'm just kissing."
"I want more than just kissing. Come on, Shane." She stepped close and grabbed him by the shirt again. "You never say no to me."
"Until now." He gripped her wrist gently, but she knew she wouldn't get her hand free until he let her go. "I'm gonna pass this test, Iz. I'm gonna pass all your tests." He leaned closer until they were nose to nose. "I want you to move in with me. I want to be with you. I'll have vanilla sex and play checkers. I'll keep my hands completely to myself and make dinner for you every night. Or-" he leaned in close again, "-I'll rock your frickin' world as often, as hard and as loudly as you'll let me." He settled back on his heels. "It's up to you."
Isabelle stared at him, her heart pounding, heat swirling through her body. "Yes," she finally said. "Yes. That last one. Right now."
He touched his finger to her nose. "I'm gonna do this, Iz. Pretty soon you'll be moving your panties into the top drawer of my dresser and wondering why you ever even thought to resist."
IT TAKES TWO, COUNTING ON LOVE SERIES, BOOK 2, blew me away. it's by far my favorite of this series as well as the BRADFORD SERIES which are connected stories and that's saying a lot. Isabelle and Shane have powerful chemistry and it burns up the sheets in this book. Their antics are laughable and over the top but also heartwarming and reeled me in wanting more. ~
5 Ribbons! Jo, Romance Junkies Reviews
The realism of the characters is incredible, they feel so genuine that you cannot help wanting to share a drink with them at the local tavern. The bantering between the sisters is comical and honest. If you are looking for a sexy romance with a true to life storyline, look no further than It Takes Two ~
LOVE LOVE LOVE this book!!! It is definitely my favorite of the series so far. Shane and Iz were so much fun to read and although it had such a great ending, I did shed more than a few tears through out the book at their struggle to that HEA. I am such a HUGE fan of Erin Nicholas and I am so enjoying this series. I CANNOT WAIT for Emma and Nate!!!! 5 out of 5 rating!! :) ~ Marianne at Belle’s Book Bag
My name is Crystal and I'm addicted to anything Erin Nicholas writes. There. I said it. Now you all know I'm hopelessly at Erin's mercy.
[This book]…has you reading as fast as you can to see which way the story goes. I know I was rooting for Isabelle and Shane together. They just fit perfectly!
And talking about fitting perfectly...their chemistry is off the wall.
Spicy scenes add even more to this already fantastic story! I can't get enough! :) ~ Crystal at Redheads Review It Better
It's very well done, knowledgeable, and endearing story that pulls at your heartstrings and it's well worth a read. ~
The Nauti Vixen at The Naughty Vixen
This is a great addition to the Counting on Love Series that you won't want to miss! ~
Kitty Kelly at the Smutty Kitty Book Reviews
4.5 stars from Romantic Times Book Reviews
This delightful contemporary romance has surprising depth. Nicholas tackles an interesting set up, in that the hero and heroine are already together, and trying to work through real, significant issues (with a side of hot sex). You'll really feel for them as they both yearn to make it work, but realize that their relationship just might not make it. There are fun antics, yes, but also heartfelt conversations. The characters are realistic, and you'll cheer them on until the very last page. ~ RT Book Reviews