Love Bank (Jobs From Hell #1) by Marika Ray
In hindsight, maybe I should have known my biggest nemesis would end up locking up my heart.
Believe it or not, running a fertility clinic in Auburn Hill, located right next to a prison, isn’t the worst thing. Nope, the worst thing is the infuriatingly sexy warden of the new prison – who doesn’t care that his newly-released inmates are stopping by my clinic on their way out of town to make a “deposit” for some quick cash. Sure, it’s his circus, but according to him, those clowns aren’t his responsibility once they walk out the door.
Until one of them pulls a gun on me in a desperate robbery attempt and I realize I have to be a little more…ahem…persuasive with the warden. Stumbling upon him in a compromising position is just the leverage I need, and I’m not above a little blackmail. Turns out, he’s not above pushing me up against the door and kissing the hell out of me either.
Adding in ex-lovers, magical goats, scheming mayors, gossiping mail carriers, a man-hating mother, and nonstop seagull shenanigans makes me realize one thing.
Don’t bank on love developing here in Auburn Hell.
Excerpt Love Bank by Marika Ray
She pulled back abruptly and whisked the stack of paper off my desk. She slapped one of the flyers on my chest and walked back toward the door like that was the end of things.
I was getting real sick and tired of her discombobulating me like that. As a jail guard and now warden, I was used to people listening to me. I should be ending the conversation. Other people should jump to do my bidding. This role reversal was like one of those plastic tags on brand-new clothing that you accidentally leave in the fabric, causing it to scrape against your skin and lead to all kinds of irritation.
I hopped out of my chair and followed her, intent on putting my foot down like a man, while also placating her so she didn’t run to our fellow citizens and complain about me. I was dancing a fine line, but I was willing to two-step if for no other reason than to make sure Lucille didn’t get away with blackmail. Not on my watch.
As I stalked after her, I glanced down at the flyer, doing a double take when I saw the picture right smack dab in the center of the piece of paper.
“Come donate to the Coastal Fertility Bank” in all capital letters, centered over a picture of a specimen cup. But upon closer scrutiny, it wasn’t just any specimen cup. It was my specimen cup. With my goddamn name on it for all the world to see.
My feet halted their movement. Every single cell in my body flared to life with a stress signal. A state of emergency was declared inside my body, flooding my vision with a bright haze of red. My fingers tingled.
I was going to kill her.
The paper started to shake. Right before I crumpled it into my fist and tossed it to the ground. I looked up at her over by the door, seeing an entire ream of papers in her hand, all printed with my specimen cup front and center.
She cocked a hip and even with a level of anger I hadn’t felt in a very long time pulsing through my body, I noticed. I noted every little thing about her from her stiletto heels to the hair on her head that was finally down and so luscious I wanted to grab hold of it and tug.
“Oops. It’s pretty fuzzy. I’m sure people won’t be able to make out your name. Besides, I only put them up on a few poles on Brinestone Way so far.”
She wrinkled her pretty little nose and I took a step toward her. Then another. She’d already put them up?
Her eyes widened a fraction, seeing me advance on her. She waved the flyers around confidently, like she still had the upper hand. And fuck it all to hell, she did.
I didn’t like that. Not one bit.
Another step closer and some of that confidence faded.
“What are you doing?” Her voice hitched in the middle.
Another step and she backed up quickly.
One final step to put me toe to toe with her and she reared her head back, eyes wary, cheeks flushed. Her back pressed against my closed door and she couldn’t run. The devil in me, the one she’d backed into a corner with her blackmailing schemes, stood up and announced himself the winner of this situation. All I had to do was show her I wouldn’t be messed with.
I did what every hot-blooded male does when they’re so mad at a woman they can’t see straight.
I indulged in revenge.
My hand lifted, my fist releasing only long enough to drag my fingers through her hair and clench again, forcing her head to tip back with my forceful tug. My arm slid around her waist and in the back of my mind, I memorized the feel of her body pressed between me and the door. She gasped upon contact and I took full advantage.
My lips crashed down onto hers, their only mission to subdue and humiliate. My tongue swiped a taste of her lips and all hell broke loose. The red alert inside my body changed in an instant. Instead of wanting to eliminate her, I wanted to consume her right then and there so she’d always be a part of me. I wanted to breathe the same air and coexist in the same space as her body, just so I never had to let go of her silky skin. She fit perfectly against me, her curves smashed against my chest, her lips perfectly pliant as I explored.
A groan rent the air and I feared it was mine.