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Paolo D’Allesandro has been living in his older brother Marco’s shadow. But he’s getting older now and realizing he and Marco don’t want the same things. He’s not sure what his next step is, but knows he needs to quit riding to figure it out.
Savannah Harrington is a grad student working on a thesis about adrenaline junkies, and she’s joined the bull riders’ tour to study the men and their motivation to willingly take part in a dangerous sport. She meets Paolo and both feel an instant connection. She can’t stay away from the sexy Italian and his mind-numbing skills in the bedroom, but knows the relationship can’t last.
Both wish their circumstances were different, but Paolo doesn’t think he has anything to offer Savannah, and Savannah doesn’t want to pressure Paolo into another life decision that will make someone else happy, but not fulfill him. As her time to go back to school draws closer, they need to figure out how to get their highest score yet—in the game of love.
An Excerpt From: VELOCITY
Copyright © CASSANDRA CARR , 2013
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
“Shall we go?”
He stood and helped her out of her chair. “After you.”
They bade their goodbyes and Paolo helped Savannah to the car. “Apparently caffeine makes me sleepy now,” she remarked. “That’s pretty horrible, isn’t it? That I’m not even safe drinking pop?”
“I doubt you’re a horrible anything.”
Savannah threw a glance his way. “A silver-tongued Italian. Why am I not surprised?”
“Silver-tongued? What does that mean?”
“It’s a man who charms with words.”
“Oh,” he said with an embarrassed shrug. “Marco is the one who women usually throw themselves at. Though now that Natalie is around, they don’t dare for the most part.”
“She seemed nice.”
“She is, except when one of the buckle bunnies tries to hit on her man.”
“Yes, the women who hang around the tour stops, hoping to sleep with one of the riders. We call them buckle bunnies.”
“Good to know,” Savannah said with a slow nod.
He started the car and she directed him to her hotel, just a few doors down from his own.
Making a quick decision, he pulled into a parking space and turned off the car. “I’ll see you to your door.”
“Oh, I’m sure I’ll be fine.”
“My madre would kill me if she found out I left a beautiful young woman alone to find her way.”
Savannah rolled her eyes. “Can’t have your mother murdering you. I need my research subjects to stay alive.”
Paolo mock-shuddered. “Thank you for saving my life.” He helped her out of the car and slid his hand around her small waist, finding he liked the way she fit against him. When they arrived at her door, she pulled the small key card out of her purse and turned to him.
“Thanks for seeing me home. Your mother would be proud.”
Maybe not if she saw me do this…
Taking Savannah’s face in his hands, he brushed his lips with hers. He simply couldn’t help himself. He had to taste her.
For a moment she froze and he wondered if she was going to pull away and slap him, but then Savannah melted into him and he guided her back against the door, pushing a thigh between hers to anchor her there. Moving one hand until it slid around the delicate column of her neck, he tilted her head to the side so he could deepen the kiss. Savannah let out a little moan and Paolo pressed in even closer, letting her feel his erection. He hadn’t planned to take it beyond a kiss tonight, but if she wanted him, there was no way he was going to refuse her.
Her tongue slid into his mouth, caressing his with little swipes in and out and he knew he’d better either get her inside or leave her alone before he embarrassed himself.
Pulling away, he asked, “Should we go inside?”
Paolo indicated her key card. “In your room?” Savannah blinked a couple of times and the heat in her eyes banked. The gentlemanly Italian manners his family had taught him kicked in and he forced himself to step away from her, clearing his throat. “Good night.”
“Yeah. Good night. See you at the next event.” She pivoted and swiped her card through the reader before giving him a little wave and disappearing into her room.
Was she angry? Disappointed? Something else? He had no clue. But he did know he was going to be forced to reacquaint himself with his right hand before he’d be able to even consider sleep tonight.
* * * * *
Savannah leaned against the hotel room door after Paolo left. What had she been thinking? She’d wanted to get to know the bull riders so they’d feel comfortable confiding in her, but that didn’t mean she had to sleep with them. Paolo’s smooth Italian accent and playful yet sexy mannerisms drifted back into her brain despite her attempts to put him out of her mind, and her knees went weak. Cursing to herself, Savannah pushed off the door and staggered to the bed, flopping down with a groan.
Why had she let him kiss her? It wasn’t as if it came as a complete surprise. She’d allowed him to walk her to her door, after all. Obviously he’d taken it as a sign she’d wanted to be kissed. Not that she hadn’t. The man was gorgeous, from his rangy build to the dark hair and eyes that set off full, sensual lips that, whoa, knew how to kiss.
Savannah fanned herself, but it didn’t even begin to calm the raging inferno his kiss had ignited. And when he’d thrust that powerful thigh between her legs it had been all she could do not to hump the damn thing. His strong arms had wrapped around her tightly, pulling her flush to his body from chest to groin. She groaned again. Going back over the incredible kiss wasn’t helping and she needed some sleep if she was going to drive alone for hours .