The book that started it all. Book #1 of the Nice Girl trilogy, the acclaimed three-book serial that began the New York Times & USA Today bestselling CAN'T RESIST series.
Abby Bartlett is the quintessential nice girl. Between teaching, volunteering, completing her PhD, and helping her best friend raise his daughter, Abby never gets the chance to be anything but nice. That is, until the all-wrong-for-her man she’s only ever known from afar starts daring her to simply take that chance for herself. His sage advice? Try something wild and fast.
An unbridled, hotshot attorney with a not-so-little black book, Connor Sullivan has earned himself quite the bad boy reputation. But in his defense, he’s a very conscientious one. He knows far too well that sometimes in life, love isn’t enough…or worse, not even a factor at all. To avoid that misery—and repel the drama—Connor always makes his one and only rule crystal clear right from the start. Absolutely nothing more than a month.
Turns out, a whole lot can happen in one month.
Note: This is NOT a standalone. This is the first book in a three-book serial.
This three-book serial is part of the CAN'T RESIST series. Books #1-3 (Abby's story) must be read in order. While Books #4-6 are separate standalones, it is recommended that they be read after the trilogy. Books #1-3 are also available as a bundled boxed set.
THE CAN'T RESIST SERIES:
BOOK 1: Resisting the Bad Boy*
BOOK 2: Falling for the Good Guy*
BOOK 3: Choosing the Right Man*
BOOK 4: Finding the Right Girl
BOOK 5: Keeping the Rebound Fling
BOOK 6: Having the Real Thing
*Also available as a three-book bundle in the Nice Girl trilogy boxed set
Resisting the Bad Boy is FREE
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“Doesn’t sound like you have that much time for yourself. What do you do for fun?”
She got up to grab them another two beers from the kitchen. “Honestly, I’m a homebody. Never got into the nightlife scene here. Plus, by the time I was twenty-one, I was basically babysitting Skylar all day every weekend, and nearly all my weeknights. Since that pretty much carried on clear until last year, I guess my idea of fun is hanging out with her. Lame, I know.”
He felt like he was talking to a martian. He hadn’t realized she’d spent even more time babysitting Skylar than he had. And he knew for a fact—from Brian’s complaints about it—that she hadn’t taken a single cent from them for babysitting.
For God’s sakes, she was just so nice.
“So you don’t do anything just for yourself? Just for fun?”
“Well, I have been privately executing my mission to learn how to cook the most beloved dishes from every country in the world,” she returned with a smile. “That’s fun.”
It was possible baby bluebirds helped her get dressed in the morning.
She was just that sweet.
“You’re driving me crazy.” He swept an arm around her waist and lifted her right up onto his lap.
He slid a hand into her hair, rubbed a thumb over her heated cheekbone as he brought his lips to within inches of hers. “I shouldn’t want you this much. You’re everything I’m not, and I’m everything you couldn’t possibly want. I know I should leave you alone, but I just can’t. I can’t stop myself from wanting you.”
Her breathing had grown so erratic, he was actually starting to get concerned. “Say something, sweetheart. I’m baring my soul here.”
“I shouldn’t want you either,” she whispered, “but I do.”
His arms locked around her, instinctively staking a claim on her. Mine.
The two words were his only anchor keeping him in the reality he maintained for himself. He had to be brutally honest with her, with them both. “I meant what I said earlier, Abby. I’m never going to break my one-month rule.” Feeling like the lowest piece of scum, he hammered that last nail in, “Not for anyone. Not even you.”
She was silent for a long while, and Connor started preparing himself for the rejection to come.
“I know our fifteen minutes of friendship are up but can I ask you something as a friend? Will you answer me as one?”
He tensed. “I’ll try.”
She chuckled. “Again with the copout.” Raising her warm doe eyes up to his, she asked quietly, “If you weren’t trying to get in my pants, if you were just my friend and I asked you what one thing I could do to stop being ‘a nice girl’ for just a little while, what advice would you give me?”
That was easy. “I’d tell you to try something new. Something that excites you. Something that’ll take you from zero to sixty just as fast as it could take you back to zero whenever you were ready to return.”
“Something wild and fast...” She loosened her death grip on his shoulders, slid her hands down his back slowly. “That’s good advice.”
He saw her gaze travel down to his lips and it took everything he had not to kiss her right then and there.
“Are you volunteering, Connor? To be that something wild and fast for me to try?”
“No,” he replied raggedly, “I’m insisting. Requiring.” He dropped his forehead against hers. “Asking.”
“Hmm.” She rolled over onto her back and stared up at the ceiling, silently thoughtful, a small smile playing on her lips.
Good god, what was she thinking now? Already, this kinky interview from hell had him ten degrees past aroused. His own fault for coming in here, really. It was way past time for him to leave.
But just as he stood to go grab what was unequivocally going to be a very cold shower, Abby sat back up and called out casually, “Hey, could you toss me my lotion?” She pointed at the dresser behind him. “My legs get so dry here in the summers without it.”
Such an innocent request.
That he didn’t trust for one second.
He was sure this was going to be a look but don’t touch deal with her lathering up those gorgeous legs of hers while he sat there like a schmuck. Staring, no doubt. He narrowed his eyes and began silently listing all the ways he was going to pay her back for this when her two-week stay here was up. Slapping an unaffected look on his face, he passed her the lotion, forcibly blocking all the erotic lotion-inspired images that were attempting to take over his brain. Evil woman. Only a day into their no-sex agreement and already he was closer to begging than he cared to admit.
While avoiding direct eye contact with the skin smoothing extravaganza, his gaze strayed to the partially open plastic bag sitting atop her dresser. It was over at the other end but he recognized the hot purple logo on the bag immediately.
Just like that, every muscle in his body stopped working.
Well, save one, that is.
The bag was from an adult novelty shop his friend Kim owned just a little north of here. He could only make out two of the items in the bag but they were enough to send his blood pressure skyrocketing—the first was what looked to be the tiniest pair of sheer white panties that would effectively cover nothing and, Lord help him, a silver bullet vibrator. He was going to have a stroke.
Stifling a groan over how the word ‘stroke’ instantly made him think about rubbing one off, he gripped the edge of the dresser like a man possessed. The door was just a few feet away. He could make it. But first he needed to get some much needed air into his lungs. Breathe, you moron!
He dragged in a breath. And that’s when he heard it.
The tiniest whisper of a giggle.
“Why you little—”
Connor lunged at Abby as she shrieked out in laughter and tried ducking around him to make for the door. Snatching her around the waist, he hoisted her cackling body up over his shoulder and tossed her back onto the bed. “You set me up.”
Her giggles effervesced, the unliddable glee in her eyes giving zero credence to all her perfectly scandalized denials.
He trapped her under him, burying his grin against the curve of her neck, reveling in the unfamiliar experience of having fun with a woman in bed without sex being a factor. As he skimmed a smile over her collarbone, he felt the gasp she couldn’t contain like a shot of spiked adrenaline racing through his veins.
Heading straight for his heart.
It took more effort than usual to block its path.
He didn’t want Abby to have any illusions about him. “The last woman I dated isn’t taking the end of our one month well. But it is completely over, I assure you. I’m not dating her or anyone else right now, in case you were wondering.”
“I wasn’t. Wondering, that is. I know you wouldn’t be asking me for a month if you were.”
He was utterly curious as to why, how she was so sure of such a thing.
At his questioning look, she shrugged. “You strike me as a monogamish kind of guy. Plus, I don’t believe you’d go through the hassle of enforcing a rule if you weren’t going to be man enough to honor it yourself.”
There was a good chance he was going to start needing this woman as a valium for his soul. She saw a glimmer of good in even his worst qualities, and didn’t hesitate to call him on the rest. But never without recrimination. If it was possible, she seemed to just like him for being him.
“Hey,” she said, concern latent in her voice. “You okay? You looked a little worried there for a second. Is it your case? Did you want to talk about it?”
She had to stop. He couldn’t take much more of her innate niceness; he didn’t deserve it, didn’t have the first clue what to do with it. “Oddly enough, I do want to talk about my case with you. Hell, I want to share my whole day with you. Which is why I need to do this.” So quickly it surprised even him, he swooped onto the couch and lowered his mouth down to hers.
Just one taste.
He just wanted one little taste before his hunger got out of control. Before he started craving things he couldn’t truly have.
Like a nice girl he had no business wanting.
He stopped himself mere seconds before his lips made contact though...shut his eyes and took a steadying breath. Then another. And then finally backed away.
Christ, that was close.
But just when he’d gotten a handle on his roiling emotions, just when he thought he could be the good guy for a change, he felt two gentle hands smooth over the sides of his face.
And he was lost.
Connor caught Abby by the elbow and crowded her against the wall. “You’re hiding something. What is it?”
She shook her head in denial and suddenly, the warm scent of chocolate assailed his senses. His gaze dropped down to her lips. “Hot cocoa,” he murmured. So the empty mug on the kitchen table hadn’t been filled with coffee then.
Her response was barely a whisper. “I was cold.”
His blood fired. Imagining all the ways he could’ve helped warm her up nearly brought him to his knees. Tugging on her elbow once more, he pulled her body flush against his.
Jesus, every inch of her fit him perfectly.
NEW YORK TIMES & USA TODAY bestselling author Violet Duke is a former professor of English Education who is ecstatic to now be on the other side of the page writing wickedly fun contemporary romance novels. Her NYT and USA Today bestselling books have been Top 10 bestsellers on Amazon, iTunes, and Barnes & Noble, and featured on IndieReader and GalleyCat as breakout hits. When she's not writing or feeding her book-a-day reading addiction, Violet enjoys tackling reno projects with her power tools, trying pretty much anything without reading the directions first, and cooking 'special edition' dishes that laugh in the face of recipes. She lives in Hawai'i with her two cute kids (daughter Violet & son Duke) and similarly adorable husband.