Lexi Kimball has the unenviable position of Safety Supervisor on a construction crew. The one person everyone loves to hate, she’s caught between bringing a job in on time and getting it done without any accidents. Not an easy task in the best of circumstances, but throw in a sexy foreman with an adventurous streak and a construction site plagued with problems and you’ve got a recipe for trouble.
Melanie Daniels comes from a long line of mechanics and has no illusions about working in a man’s world. To the men who work under her at Chick’s Garage, an auto shop that caters exclusively to women, she’s Mel. On the weekends she’s Lanie, a bisexual completely comfortable in her own skin…until she finds herself challenged by her brother’s best friend.
Carlotta Quintanilla isn’t your average blonde. The sexy Nicaraguan can wire anything, anytime, anywhere better than any man, and she looks hot in a tool belt. When it comes to men, not only does she know how to play the game, she wrote the rules. She meets her match in a quiet computer geek who has a thing or two to teach her about control.
“Sexy, scrumptious, finger-lickin’ good! ” – Monica Jackson
“From sweet to spanky, Stuart’s gritty heroines sizzle across the page.” – Lucinda Betts
Hot bath; cold beer. Hot bath; cold beer.
This mantra sustained me on the long drive home, on the long walk up my driveway, and even as I’d shoved the key in the back door and unlocked it.
I was so tired that I almost regretted the fact it was Friday night. Friday was Girl’s Night. And there was no getting out of it.
Weekends were this blue collar girl’s guilty pleasure. Weekends were spent on the white collar side of town, in white collar bars, dancing and teasing and flirting with men who didn’t think burping should be an Olympic sport. No blue collars allowed. Not after Melanie, Carlotta and I spent our week dealing with them daily.
<em>Dealing </em>being the operative word.
I dropped my hardhat on the washer and struggled out of my filthy work boots. They were covered in mud, as was I, from the knees down. Thanks to the heavy spring rains that had saturated the site and put us behind schedule. And a rogue forklift that had gone crashing through a wall with a load of bricks. Luckily no one had been hurt, but this afternoon’s descent into hell had killed any excitement or anticipation I had about going out tonight.
<em>And you wanted to go into construction why, Lexi Kimball?</em>
Stripping out of my jeans and work shirt, I padded into the kitchen and retrieved an icy cold beer from the ‘fridge. That first long drink hit my empty stomach at lightening speed and didn’t stop until it reached my feet. After being trapped in steel toed boots all day they practically steamed on the tile floor. With a sigh, I rubbed the chilly bottle against my hot neck.
Momentarily satisfied, I headed for the bathroom and a nice long soak. One of the first things I’d done after I’ bought the house two years ago was gut the extra closet in the master bedroom and put in a Jacuzzi tub for days just like today.
While the tub filled I stripped off my tanktop and tossed it into the hamper. The rest of my clothes quickly followed. I ran a hand across the flat plane of my stomach and smiled. Tanned and fairly firm–I certainly didn’t get many complaints. My breasts were average, but still perky. Working construction had always kept the arms and legs in shape. Yoga took care of the rest.
Hmm, not bad for 34.
Despite the fact that I’m a natural redhead, I’m lucky enough to be of the variety that tans easily. Rare, but not unheard of. I leaned in closer to the vanity mirror and ran a hand through my short shaggy hair. Soon I’d have to do something about those silver threads starting to peek through.
The tub was almost full and I added a generous amount of jasmine bath foam, inhaling the relaxing fragrance. Relieved to see the end of another awful day, I sipped at my beer and set the bottle on the edge of the tub, then slid in with a deep sigh.
I liked the satisfaction of seeing something I’d helped build as a finished product, and the money was really good. But construction workers are a breed unto themselves. Being a female Job Supervisor on an all-male crew had been stressful enough. Adding Safety Supervisor to my title had made things ten times worse, and I didn’t believe for a minute that the rest of the job would be any less difficult than the last 88 had been. Nothing like overseeing a group of men who resented the hell out of you to take the wind out of your sails. I’d worked tough gigs before but none this bad.
My sex meant everything to them; my femininity meant nothing.
Shaking off my reverie, I took another long pull off my beer. The combination of warm water and Miller Lite were definitely doing the trick; unworking knots of stress and loosening tense muscles. With another sigh, I closed my eyes and relaxed, my mind drifting to Wade Wilkins, as it had far too often lately.
He didn’t strike me as the typical construction crew guy–married, settled, kids, running to fat around his middle and bitter at the chances he’d pissed away or let pass him by. Wade seemed like the type who enjoyed gambling, and he was the only man on the crew who didn’t seem fazed by my sex or my charms (or lack thereof, depending on who you ask). Too bad his part of the job would be done soon.
Compact, tanned, and muscular, Wade topped my own 5’6 inches by only a few more, but the man knew how to fill out a pair of Levis, and he had these thick, tanned forearms that rippled and flexed from all the manual exertion. You could tell he spent a lot of time outdoors–no Farmers Tan for him. I heard he played sand volleyball on the weekends. With his easy-going personality and bright green eyes, he had charmer written all over him. I’d miss watching him work once his drywall crew finished up, but then again, he was a distraction I couldn’t afford.