Boom by Sabrina Stark

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One crumbling house. One exploded truck. And two people who think they can't stand each other.

Arden Weathers. She's a girl on a mission, and that mission most certainly doesn't involve Brody Blastoviak, the hometown hottie who made her college prospects go boom, and not in a good way, six years ago.

Brody Blastoviak. He knows better than to stick his you-know-what into Crazy. So why is he losing his cookies over Arden Weathers, the uptight chemistry partner who "accidentally" torched his truck back in high school?

Now, older and wiser, these former classmates are supposedly on the same team – working to restore a crumbling beach house that both of them want to claim as their own. Too bad for Arden, Brody holds not just the deed, but all of the cards and clout, too.

She's a broke college graduate while Brody is not only hotter than ever, but obnoxiously rich and famous, thanks to Blast Tools, a rags-to-riches brotherly venture. It's all so stupidly unfair, especially when Arden makes an appalling discovery. Turns out, she's not nearly as immune to Brody's charms as she thought.

And Brody? Let's just say, this tool-toting billionaire is reluctantly learning that the girl of his nightmares just might be the girl of his dreams.

***This new adult contemporary romance is a full-length standalone novel with a guaranteed happily ever after!***

Sneak Peek

Chapter 1

I was lathered in the shower when I heard it – a loud thud from somewhere outside the bathroom. With a gasp, I whirled toward the sound.

My hair was foaming with shampoo, and the shower was still running. From behind the shower's frosted glass, I stared at the hazy image of the locked bathroom door.

When nothing happened, I tried to laugh. Obviously, I was only hearing things, which made total sense considering that the events of today would've driven anyone insane.

See, I wasn't in any danger. I was merely losing my mind.

It was such a cheery thought – not that I had time to enjoy it. Way too soon, I heard the sound again. A split second later, the bathroom door flew open and banged into the nearby wall, where for some stupid reason it stuck like a magnet to metal.

Well, that was weird.

But that was hardly the worst of it.

In the now-open doorway stood the shadowed silhouette of a man. He was tall with broad shoulders and narrow hips. He wore faded jeans and a plain white T-shirt.

The jeans were tattered, and the shirt was soaking wet – so wet that it clung to him like a second skin, accenting muscles so fine, I might've marveled at their perfection, if only I didn't feel like screaming.

But I didn't scream. And why?

It was because this wasn't my bathroom. Not officially. And there was the tiniest chance that I might be trespassing.

Still, my heart hammered as I crossed my arms over my naked breasts and blurted out, "Who are you?"

Sounding a lot calmer than I might've expected, he replied, "I might ask the same."

And yet, he didn't ask – not directly, anyway. Instead, he strode to the bathroom sink and stopped when he reached it. Turning once again to face me, he leaned his ass against the ancient countertop and crossed his muscular arms, all casual-like, as if he hadn't just busted through the bathroom door.

I should've been terrified. And part of me was. But I'd been on edge for so many hours now that I'd grown nearly numb to its effects. "The house…" I stammered. "I thought it was empty."

In a voice tinged with amusement, he replied, "Obviously."

I stiffened. Well, at least someone was jolly.

I sure as heck wasn't.

And yet, I had one thing to be thankful for. My thin, white towel was draped at hip level over the dented towel bar that spanned the narrow shower door. This meant that my pelvis was hidden from his prying eyes – assuming they were prying.

I couldn't be certain either way. Between the steam and the frosted glass, I was having a hard time making out the guy's face.

Sure, I saw a mess of thick dark hair, a strong jaw, and all the standard features where they belonged. But as far as the specifics, it was impossible to say.

On the upside, this meant that he couldn’t see me clearly either.

Still, he could surely tell that I was naked – not that he needed eyes for that. It was, after all,customary to remove one's clothes before stepping into the shower.

Clothes?

My stomach sank. Oh, no.

My fresh clothes. I'd laid them out near the sink with my undergarments on top – black panties and a lacy black bra. And my other clothes – the ones I'd just taken off – were lying scattered across the faded wooden floor.

I scanned the familiar worn surface, and felt myself frown. Unless I was mistaken, that bit of pink fabric near the guy's left boot was the bra I'd removed just ten minutes ago.

Well, this was just terrific.

If I wasn’t already so traumatized by the rest of it, I might've had the luxury of embarrassment over the fact that my unmentionables were on clear display – and in imminent danger of being stomped.

But now? Well, let's just say, trampled undies were the least of my worries.

The truth was, I had no idea what to do.

It was the middle of the night, and by now, I was pretty sure I didn't belong here. If he belonged here, I might be arrested.

And if he didn't belong here? Well, that was infinitely worse, wasn't it?

Just then, shampoo slid into my eyes, making them sting like a mother-you-know-what. With a stifled curse, I plunged my head back under the steaming water and tried to rinse the suds first from my face and then from my long, dark hair – all without using my hands, because the way I saw it, keeping my goodies covered was infinitely more important.

Stinging or not, I kept my eyes partially open, keeping a watch on my new bathroom buddy.

He wasn't leaving.

But he wasn't moving toward me either. That was good, right?

Still, as I squinted at his silhouette, I couldn’t help but wonder just how much trouble I was in.

A lot?

Probably.

The whole thing was beyond maddening, and not only because I was naked with a stranger. Once upon a time, this property – bathroom included – had belonged to my family – and to me too, in a roundabout way.

Not anymore.

Or at least, not according to the "sold" sign I'd spotted earlier in the front yard.

If that sign meant what I thought it meant, I was definitely trespassing. But in my own defense, that hadn't been part of the plan.

I wasn't the trespassing type. When it came to laws and what-not, I was a real stickler. Cripes, I didn't even jaywalk or drive above the speed limit.

And why? It was because every time I did, it came back to bite me on the butt. Like when, you ask? Well, like now, actually.

As far as the house itself, it was old, massive, and depressingly vacant – a Victorian beauty that had seen better days.

Early this morning, I'd arrived as planned, only to find the house mostly empty, much like my bank account, thanks to Jason, my no-good, deadbeat cousin.

But forget Jason.

In the bathroom, the stranger still hadn't budged.

By now, I was officially clean and rinsed. And yet, for some inexplicable reason, I dreaded the thought of turning off the water, just like I dreaded the thought of facing him, whoever he was.

His voice, cool and conversational, carried over the sounds of the running water. "So, do you come here often?"

It was either a joke or the lamest pickup line ever. Either way, I wasn't in the mood. "I don't know," I muttered. "Do you?"

"I will now," he said.

I gave a soggy blink. "What?"

"I didn't realize it would be so interesting."

Interesting? Well, that was one way to put it.

When I made no reply, the guy spoke again. "Three minutes."

"What?"

"It's a thirty-gallon tank. And old as dirt."

Obviously, he meant the hot water tank. But he was wrong on both counts. The tank was fifty gallons, not thirty. And it was nearly brand new, installed just last month according to my cousin.

I frowned. Yes. That cousin.

The deadbeat who'd stood me up.

My frown deepened. Cripes, maybe he'd been lying about the hot water tank, too.

The stranger continued, "So do the math."

I didn't get it. "What math?"

"I'm just saying, you've got three minutes, maybe less, 'til the water runs cold."

I liked math, with one exception – story problems. I hated them. I always had. Or maybe I just hated the stranger, whether he deserved it or not.

Not only had he scared the crap out of me, he sounded way too cocky in his calculations, which was especially annoying considering that he didn't look like any math wizard I'd ever seen. Math and muscles – they weren't known for going hand-in-hand.

I repeated, "So?"

"So, you can stall if you want," he said. "But if you stall too long, you're gonna freeze your ass off."

As if he cared. Stubbornly, I said it again. "So?"

"So you want a cold shower?"

"No. Do you?" As soon as the words left my lips, I wanted to take them back.

I was naked.

He wasn't.

And I'd be smart to keep him that way. Quickly, I added, "And just so you know, that wasn't an invitation."

He gave something like a laugh. "Good thing."

I shook my head. "What?"

"That shower – it's narrow as hell."

He didn't need to tell me. I was the one inside it, after all. "So?" I said for the umpteenth time.

"So I'd need a crowbar to squeeze myself in."

I gave his imposing silhouette a good, long look. He was right. He would need a crowbar – unless his stupidly hot body was slippery with soap, in which case…. Oh, for God's sake. What on Earth was wrong with me, anyway?

And now the idiot was laughing – not loud, but loud enough for me to hear it, even over the sounds of the running water. His laughter was warm and almost contagious, which made everything ten times worse, because the sound of it was lulling me into a false sense of security.

I wasn't secure.

Far from it.

And the fact that I'd almost let down my guard showed a shocking lack of common sense. Seriously Arden, get a grip, will ya?

I told him, "And stop laughing. This isn't funny."

Sounding more amused than ever, he said, "Two minutes."

My teeth were grinding now. "Will you please stop that?"

He practically snorted. "Why?"

"Because it's making me nervous." At this, I almost winced. What asinine thing to say. My nerves should've shattered the moment he'd busted through the door. And maybe they would've, if only I hadn't become numb to nasty surprises.

Today had been way too full of them.

"Good," the guy said.

So he was happy that I was nervous? What kind of sicko was he, anyway? With a sound of annoyance, I said, "And why is that good?"

"Because," he said, "you're in my house. And you're gonna tell me why."

(End of Sneak Peek)

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