“We need to talk.”
She opened her mouth. Closed it immediately. Surely, she wasn’t going to protest a civil
conversation about their situation? The situation.
“I Googled it.” She moved behind her desk, sat in one of those fancy ergonomic chairs and
flipped open her laptop. It had a pink cover that matched her sweats and the post-it note on his door this
morning, the one that had told him to move his damn bike out of her damn space before she took a damn
baseball bat to it. Except it wasn’t that nice.
“We can get an annulment. Just fill out a form and it can be done and dusted in about three
weeks.” She sounded pleased with herself, downright smug in fact. That frosted him a bit.
He stood and moved to her side of the desk, leaning against the edge. “So not a divorce, then?”
“We can get an annulment because we didn’t…well, it wouldn’t have mattered if we did.” She
hesitated, and he could see the gears going round as she rethought her position.
“What if we did?” he asked, tamping down on the glee in his voice.
“What if we did what?”
“What if we did sleep together? What if we had sex?”
The way he said it could be construed as past sex or the promise of it. The promise of can’t-walk-
for-a-week good times between a man and a woman. “That wouldn’t make a difference?”
“But we didn’t.” Her brow creased in puzzlement and horror descended to her mouth. “But we
didn’t,” she repeated, less sure now.
He couldn’t keep it up but every inch of him—every hardening inch—wished it was true. “Nah,
“Shane!” She socked him in the side, and broke into that laugh that he’d fallen in love with the
minute she’d graced him with it in the third bar of the crawl. It had taken him that long to get it but it had
been worth every bad joke, every cheesy pun, every flash of the dimple Aunt Jo said would be a woman’s
downfall. The old girl had neglected to mention it would be his downfall as well.
The laughter faded, and she turned serious again. “It wouldn’t matter if we had… well, you know.
People make these mistakes all the time, so they have procedures in place.”
“Procedures to clean up idiotic mistakes?”
There was that crease between her brows again. She didn’t like that she’d made a mistake and lost
control of a situation. That was so not Cara.
“Right.” But her expression didn’t match the word’s surety. “I’ll take care of the papers, then?”
she prompted with a couple of quick nods. The swallow in her throat was so pronounced it made the
slender column of her neck expand. It made him feel like prodding her some more. See how far he could
“What if I don’t sign?”
She shot up out of her seat, her lemon fall of hair swishing vehemently behind her head. He got a
whiff of herbal shampoo and sunshine. “Why would you do that?”
“Just tell me what would happen, LT.”
The nickname slipped from his lips without thinking as if his brain had been waiting for her to get
into a sexy hissy fit. That night he had abbreviated Lemon Tart for expediency’s sake and found that it
suited her bossy, military-style hauteur. Lemon Tart, the Lieutenant, LT.
She wasn’t so haughty or self-possessed now. Her hands flailed, at complete odds with cool Cara.
The more riled she got, the more his attraction to her burned.
“Well, if one party doesn’t sign, it’ll still happen. It just takes longer. Six to eight weeks.”
If one party doesn’t sign. So cold. So clinical. He nodded, thinking about how he wanted to
phrase the next sentence. The silence drew heavily between them and he worked it for a few seconds
because shit, he was starting to enjoy himself now.
“Paddy, you’re not seriously thinking of not signing those papers. I mean, what would be gained
“A marriage, Cara. The marriage you wanted.” He hauled a deep breath because he had a feeling
he was going to need it. “After all, this was your brilliant idea.”
About Kate Meader:
Kate Meader writes contemporary romance that serves up delicious food, sexy heroes, and heroines with a dash of sass. Originally from Ireland, she now makes her home in Chicago, a city made for food, romance, and laughter - and where she met her own sexy hero. When not writing about men who cook and the women who drool over them, she works in an academic library. Visit her website at http://katemeader.com and follow her on Twitter @kittymeader
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FEEL THE HEAT by Kate Meader (Forever Mass Market; 9781455599592; ) **Also available in e-book
When famous British chef Jack Kilroy unexpectedly challengers her father to a cook-off in her family’s Italian restaurant, Lili Deluca decides to seduce the tempting Brit. But after a video of them kissing goes viral, Lili fears she’s cooked up a recipe for disaster. Jack knows they could be amazing together, but can he convince Lili to realize her own ambitions—and turn up the heat in his kitchen?
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