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The rumble of his voice, even amid the din of chatter around them, echoed through her.

She moved closer, and his eyebrows shot up. Oh, she’d crossed the line now. Bursting uninvited into a room filled with the wealthy and titled was one thing. Ignoring a viscount’s question could be forgiven. Pressing one’s bosom into a strange man’s chest was something else entirely.

A surge of surprise and gratitude gripped her when he didn’t move away.

Assessing his height, Jess realized she’d have to lift onto her toes if the kiss was to be accomplished. She took a step toward him, stretched up tall, and swayed unsteadily. He reached an arm out, and she feared he’d push her away. Instead he gripped her arm just above her elbow and held her steady.

A woman said his name, a tone of chastisement lacing the word. “Lucius.”

Then she did it. Placing one hand on his hard chest to balance herself, Jess eased up on the tips of her boots and touched her lips to his.

An Excerpt from


A Mechanics of Love Novel

by Megan Erickson

Brent Payton has a reputation for wanting to have fun, all the time. It’s well-earned after years of ribbing his brothers and flirting with every girl he meets, but he’s more than just a good time, even though nobody takes the time to see it. When a new girl walks into his family’s garage with big thoughtful eyes and legs for days, this mechanic wants something serious for the first time.

Ivy Dawn is done with men, all of them. She and her sister uprooted their lives for them too many times and she’s not willing to do it again. Avoiding the opposite sex at all costs seems easy enough, until the sexy mechanic with the dirty mouth bursts into her life.

Brent was the middle brother, the joker, the comic relief. The irresponsible one.

Never mind that he’d been working at this shop since he was sixteen. Never mind that he could do every job, inside and out, and fast as fuck.

Never mind that he could be counted on, even though no one treated him like that.

A pain registered in his wrist and he glanced down at the veins and tendons straining against the skin in his arm where he had a death grip on a wrench.

He loosened his fist and dropped the tool on the bench.

This wallowing shit had to stop.

This was his life. He was happy (mostly) and free (no ball and chain, no way) and so what if everyone thought he was a joke? He was good at that role, so the type-casting fit.

“Why so glum, sugar plum?” Alex said from beside him as she peered up into his face.

He twisted his lips into a smirk and propped a hip on the counter, crossing his arms over his chest. “I knew you had a crush on me, sweet cheeks.”

She narrowed her eyes, lips pursed to hide a smile. “Not even in your dreams.”

He sighed dramatically. “You’re just like all the ladies. Wanna piece of Brent. There’s enough to go around, Alex, no need to butter me up with sweet nicknames—”

A throat cleared. And Brent looked over to see a woman standing beside them, one hand on her hip, the other dangling at her side holding a paper bag. Her dark eyebrows were raised, full red lips pursed.

And Brent blinked, hoping this wasn’t a mirage.

Tory, Maryland, wasn’t big, and he’d made it his mission to know every available female in the town limits, and about a ten mile radius outside of that.

This woman? He’d never seen her. He’d surely remembered if he had.

Gorgeous. Long hair so dark brown, it was almost black. Perfect face. It was September, and still warm, so she wore a tight striped sundress that ended mid-thigh. She was tiny, probably over a foot smaller than him. Fuck, the things that little body made him dream about. He wondered if she did yoga. Tiny and limber was his kryptonite.

Narrow waist, round hips, big tits.

No ring.

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