Can't Buy My Love

By: Shelli Stevens

He thought he bought a date. What he gets is trouble of the sexiest kind.

Think of the children. Think of the children. This is Jessica’s mantra when her grandma talks her into signing up for the “Buy a Dame” fundraiser that supports their small town’s public schools.

After submitting to a total makeover, she has to admit she looks kind of hot. She’s pretty sure she blends in with the younger women—until her turn on the block is met with nothing but crickets. The bid that finally comes from the roughly sexy, tattooed biker leaning lazily against the auditorium’s back wall is totally unexpected. So are the plans he has in store.

Josh Thomas came to Leaf Island after his grandpa died to do some heavy thinking, not to buy a woman for the weekend—then wind up falling hard for her. Though she seems equally drawn to him, there’s a secret he’s hiding. One that could send her running faster than his Harley can go from zero to sixty.

This book has been previously published.

Warning: This book contains all the ingredients for a decidedly non-PG weekend: a bad boy who likes things hot and sweet, and a woman who hasn’t, um, cooked in quite a while.

Can’t Buy My Love

Shelli Stevens

Chapter One

“I had sex again last night. This time with Mr. Walden three rooms down.”

I didn’t want to hear this. God, I didn’t want to hear this. We strolled down the produce aisle at the Grocery Guru and I grabbed a peach, pretending to check its damage.

“I do have to say, he wasn’t nearly as proficient in bed as Mr. Nickels was last month… Jessica Davis, are you even listening to me?”

Okay, obviously feigning indifference wasn’t going to work with her. “Yes, I’m listening, Grams. You had sex with Mr. Walden.”

My grandma gave a quiet harrumph and shot me a skeptical look. “It just doesn’t make sense. Surely if someone my age can have a healthy sex life, then someone as virile as you should be getting some too.”

Getting some? God, when would she quit?

My friends seemed to think it was great that I had a grandma who was still comfortable with her own sexuality and even acted on it. But being on the receiving end of constant sex stories and talks about improving one’s love life just wasn’t that fabulous.

“You know, there’s this young man who works in the Peaceful Woods cafeteria.” She gave me a thoughtful look and I could practically hear the wheels in her head turning. “You should let me introduce you to him. He seems young and healthy. Why, I bet he’d have wonderful stamina.”

Okay, surely she wasn’t talking about the pimply faced kid who’d just turned twenty-one a few months ago. I’d been there when the entire community of senior citizens had thrown him an impromptu party. Brought him balloons shaped like beer bottles, a bag of condoms, and then pinned a button on his shirt that said, “Trust me, I’m legal.”

“Maybe you’ve seen him? His name’s Andy. Red hair, pretty blue eyes…”

Yup. She was definitely talking about the kid. I wasn’t sure why my grandma was so determined to set me up, but for God’s sake, couldn’t she pick someone who wasn’t a decade younger than me?

“Hey, grab me a couple of those avocados, Jessie, and make sure they’re squishy. I don’t like them too hard.” She poked me in the ribs with her cane and guffawed. “Well, my fruit that is.”

I obliged her request and swallowed a groan. Could this have sucked a little more? I mean, I loved my grandma, but, seriously, there was a line and Grams was notorious at crossing it.

“Anyway, I have a favor to ask you.”

“Another one? I’m still trying to recover from the last one.” Chaperoning a dance full of senior citizens. I swear there was something in the water at Peaceful Woods, because the folks there were the horniest batch of AARP members I’d ever seen. “Okay, what’s up, Grams?”

“Do you remember the Buy a Dame auction that happens every summer?”

Yuck. How could I forget?

The auction was a notorious fundraiser that the town put on every August to raise money for the public schools. Women dressed up in revealing clothing and paraded in front of the single male population on Leaf Island. Overall, it was a bit sleazy, with the highest bidder getting to keep the woman for twenty-four hours. The men loved it, and the women who were within the age of participation usually scrambled to get in.

Technically, it was supposed to be rather innocent. Just cooking, cleaning, and a woman to take out on the town—there were no sexual expectations. But I knew for a fact more than one woman had met their husband that way.

Gotta love life in small towns. Thank God I was too old for that kind of pony show though.

“I’m the one hard of hearing, not you. Answer me, girl. You remember that auction?”

I smiled at the produce boy who was arranging the apples, and tried not to get annoyed by her tone. “I remember it. What’s going on?”

“We’re short of girls this year.”

Ah, I’d forgotten Grams was on the committee. Had Leaf Island never had the auction? What would they do if they were short of women? Would they cancel it? Though I hated the auction itself, I knew the money went to a good cause.

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