Her Aussie Holiday (Patterson’s Bluff Book 2) by Stefanie London
Cora Cabot’s life is falling apart. So when her Australian friend announces she’s secured an internship in the States, Cora has a brilliant idea: house swap! Small-town Australia sounds like the perfect getaway. Only, when she gets there, the house isn’t empty. Turns out her friend’s hot Australian brother is staying there, too—and he doesn’t look happy to see her.
The last thing Trent Walters needs is a roommate for the summer. Especially an American who immediately floods the house and single-handedly destroys the family project his sister created for their parents’ anniversary. Now, not only does Cora insist on helping fix the house, he needs her help re-creating the family scrapbook. And glitter is not his forte.
But between late nights cooking, pints at the local pub, and competitive matches of cricket on the beach, Cora starts to break through Trent’s defenses. Too bad Cora made a promise to return to working with her father at the end of the summer—a promise she can’t break—because this holiday is starting to feel like one she never wants to end.
Excerpt Her Aussie Holiday by Stefanie London
They approached the beach’s outdoor showers, which were designed for people to quickly wash the sand and sea-water from their bodies before heading to their cars. A teenage boy with a boogie board stood under one shower and a mother occupied the one closest to the carpark, wrangling two chubby-limbed youngsters so deftly Trent wondered if she had extra arms.
“After you,” he said, motioning for Cora to take the last unoccupied shower.
“I had been waiting all day for this.” Cora set her bag and sandals down next to Trent, and then stripped her dress over her head.
Underneath she wore a white bikini with little gold beads dangling from the ties at her shoulders and hips. Trent almost tripped over his own feet at the sight of it. Cora might not have ever played sports but whatever physical activity she was doing, was definitely working for her. Her body was lean and strong, with legs that seemed to go on forever. And an ass that filled out her bikini bottoms to perfection.
Clearing his throat, he pretended to look at his phone as she strode toward the last shower. The teenage boy next to her did a double-take so comical, it looked almost as if it could have been staged. Cora was oblivious, driven by the desire she’d been hanging onto all day to wash the long flight from her skin. The water streamed over her, soaking her hair and gliding over her body. Making her glisten. Water ran in rivulets along her back, over the curve of her butt and down the backs of her thighs.
Trent’s mouth was suddenly drier than the sandy ground beneath his feet. Lust gripped him at the base of his spine, an instant need pulsing in time with his accelerated heartbeat. He dragged his eyes away—not quick enough. He’d need to be careful of that.
“I never knew a shower could make me feel that good,” Cora said with a blissful sigh.
Trent nodded, keeping his eyes on the crashing waves. Maybe if he counted them as they rolled in, his body would calm down enough that he could look Cora in the eye without thinking anything inappropriate.
“I feel like a brand-new human being,” she added.
Trent glanced back in her direction and she’d turned around. Now the flat plane of her stomach exposed, and the sight of her perky breasts barely kept in place by the skimpy white triangles was enough to melt him like an ice cream on a summer’s day. He caught sight of a small tattoo on her upper thigh, something black and white that was small and a little difficult to make out. He would never have pegged her to be the kind of girl hiding some ink under her skirt.
The teenage boy was scurrying in the direction of the carpark now, averting his eyes from Cora’s body and strategically holding his boogie board in front of him.
I feel your pain, buddy.
“Nice tatt,” Trent said, determined to keep his mind on a subject that felt safe, rather than letting his mind wander to how easily he could snap those bikini strings with his teeth.
She’s your sister’s friend, Dude. Not cool.
“Oh thanks.” Cora turned the taps off and squeezed the water out of her long hair. “It’s in the perfect hide-from-your-parents place.”
“They’re not a fan of sports or ink.”
“Just two items in a long list of many things I was never supposed to indulge in,” she said drily. When she came closer, he could see it was a small creature. A caterpillar. It was inked only in fine black lines, almost minimalist in design. It seemed an unusual choice.
“I’ve seen a lot of butterfly tattoos in my day, but not many caterpillars.”
“I have a theory on that,” she said, pulling her dress over her head. Since her body was damp, it stuck to her in places but the fabric was thin and the balmy breeze would have her dry in no time at all. “Lots of people choose the butterfly as the representation for metamorphosis, because it’s the end state. The goal. And so many people want to be the butterfly now. They want the beauty, and the admiration, without putting in the work required of the caterpillar. Yet without the caterpillar, there is no butterfly.”
“That’s very profound.”
“I guess I’d rather be a point where there’s still hope and good things in front of me, than just wishing to rush to the end.” Cora’s cheeks flushed as though she was embarrassed for sharing too much. “But that was probably way more information that you wanted.”
She gave him a gentle shove toward the showers, her pale-blue gaze not quite meeting his. Trent wasn’t sure he’d ever met someone where his initial impression had been so swiftly turned on his heel.
And, against his better judgement, Cora Cabot had him officially intrigued.