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Available in electronic formats and print from all major retailers

No Matter What (reissue) Nov. 4, 2014. Yes, this is a RE-release, celebrating the 5 year anniversary of No Matter What's publication. There are some content additions, but overall the story is the same! :)

epic award finalist

No Matter What

The best doesn't come cheap...and this time it could cost him his heart.

Handsome billionaire Adam Steele is good. Good at getting his way. If nothing else, money always works—until he realizes he can't buy his daughter's way out of her new wheelchair. Three private physical therapists later, he's almost given up on Emily walking again. Then he meets Dr. Jaden Monroe. And his match.

Feisty physical therapist Jaden Monroe has never met a man quite like Adam. She's not sure if it's his I'm–in–charge attitude or the heat in his eyes when he looks at her, but she finds herself wanting to say yes to anything he asks. Like when he asks her to help his daughter walk again. Of course, the million dollars he offers—just enough to finish the pediatric rehab wing Jaden has been working for and dreaming of—is hard to say no to as well.

But Jaden didn't anticipate a teen whose injuries are more than physical. Or a man so passionate and devoted—and as tenacious as she is. As she and Adam fight their attraction, the only thing harder than keeping her promise will be keeping a hold on her heart.

This book has been previously published and has been expanded from its original release.

Warning: Contains heated arguments that erupt only slightly more often than hot kissing, a new perspective on kitchen appliances, and sizzling sex occurring everywhere BUT the bedroom (though they eventually make it there).

 

Samhain Publishing
November 2009
© copyright Erin Nicholas, 2009

 

"Does that mean we're friends now?" He barely resisted touching her cheek.

She raised an eyebrow. "You're assuming a lot from one peanut butter sandwich, aren't you?"

He noticed the slight tug at the corner of her mouth. "Yes. For instance..." He leaned in until he could smell her shampoo, and under that, the scent of her skin. "I assume that you want to know more about me, and that you think I've done a good job with Emily." His eyes traced her face from her forehead to her chin. She was breathing a little faster and her cheeks were pink. "Even more, I assume that you are very attracted to me, that you think about me during the day at the strangest times, and that you think about me at night-which isn't strange at all."

Part of her wanted to pull back and deny the truth, he could see it in her eyes. But part of her, a bigger part, a stronger part, wanted to press closer and finally discover all of the things they'd both been imagining.

She finally spoke. "You should really be more careful with your assumptions."

"I probably should. For instance, I shouldn't assume that you like me just because you want to make love to me, right?"

Something flickered in her eyes. Maybe it was just surprise that he'd said out loud what they both knew was true. But he thought it was something more.

"And I probably shouldn't assume that you enjoyed the kissing the other night as much as I did."

She stared at him for several heartbeats. "I...well, it's not...I..." She stopped and sighed, turning her eyes to the ceiling. "Actually, I do like you, Adam. You're very frustrating, but I can't help but like a father who cares so much about his daughter." She failed to comment on the kissing.

Liking him because of his daughter wasn't completely satisfying but it was a start. He reached up and cupped the back of her neck with one hand, gently tugging her closer. Her eyes widened, but she stepped toward him. A very good sign. That he fully intended to take advantage of.

"So, you like me," he said, stroking his thumb along the side of her neck. He was gratified to see her shiver under his touch. "And you like my peanut butter and honey sandwiches."

Her lips parted and her breathing sped up as she looked up at him, unblinking.

"I'm very interested in what else you like." He lowered his head and brushed his lips over the spot on her neck where his thumb had been resting. "For instance, do you like this?" he said near her ear.

She didn't reply, but her eyes closed and she tipped her head to give him better access. He smiled. He put his other hand on her hip and pulled her close, until they were belly to belly. She certainly didn't protest.

"Do you like soft kisses?" He pressed his lips to hers gently.

Her hands went to his shoulders and she kissed him back, making his heart thump in his chest.

He lifted his head, breathing hard already. "Or do you like hot, wet kisses?" He tilted her head and demonstrated that as well, stroking his tongue over her bottom lip and then taking advantage of the sigh that parted her lips and granted him access to the sweet, hot mouth he'd been dreaming about.

She tangled her fingers in his hair and rose on tiptoe, striving to be closer. A deep half sigh, half groan purred from the back of her throat. Her tongue met his with abandon and Adam felt the heat stroking his entire body.

He pulled back several delicious moments later, not even close to being done with her.

"And do you like this?" He cupped her butt in his

hands and pulled her up firmly against his erection. He rubbed his hard length against her.

Her moan and her eyes sliding closed gave him some indication of her answer. But he wanted to hear her beg him to please, please keep doing it. Or to do more. In specific detail.

"And this?" His hand cupped her breast, his thumb rubbing over her nipple, firm even through the thickness of the sweatshirt she wore.

Jaden arched into to his touch, her hands running down his back to his waist, where she hooked her thumbs through the belt loops on his pants and pulled him closer yet.

"Do you like satin or cotton sheets?" He lifted her hair and put his lips to the soft skin behind her ear, flicking his tongue over the spot.

"Yes," she whispered.

He smiled against her skin and rubbed his stubbled jaw along her collar bone, pulling the scent of her deeply into his lungs.

"And do you like the lights on, so I can see every inch of your gorgeous body, or lights off so that we have to go strictly by touch?"

"Uh, huh," she breathed, tipped her head back as his lips found the pulse point at the base of her throat.

"Do you like king-sized beds with plenty of room for trying different positions, or do you like unconventional places like the bathtub, or the floor, or..." He kissed her again, slow and deep, then lifted his head "...kitchen counter tops?"

"Anything," she said huskily, her hands now on his butt, urging him closer.

Adam couldn't remember ever being as hard as he was at that moment. Or having as much fun with a seduction. Usually it was more about the end result, the culmination. But with Jaden, he found himself wanting to draw it out, and out.

"And would you like to undress yourself while I watch or would you like me to undress you?" he asked.

Her eyes opened and she swallowed hard as she met his gaze. But then, wordlessly, she pulled back just enough to bring her fingers to the zipper on the front of her sweatshirt. Adam knew exactly what she was doing without a word from her, and heaven knew he had better ideas for her mouth than talking, but he couldn't help but chuckle at the irony.

"What?" she asked, pausing with the zipper between her breasts.

"I was just thinking that I've wished so many times over the past few weeks that you had less to say and now, when I want you talking, you're completely speechless."

She looked intrigued. "You want me talking?"

He smiled. "Yes. Though the topic I'm interested in is fairly specific."

She let one corner of her mouth curl up in what he found to be a very provocative expression. "What topic would that be?"

"What you like," he said huskily.

She paused, then smiled. "Root beer."

He blinked at her. "Excuse me?"

"I like root beer."

The mischievous smile she gave him made his eyes narrow playfully. "Tell me you want it poured all over your naked body and we'll be in business."

She laughed. "You just asked what I like."

He leaned in and kissed her deeply. When he lifted his head he said, "Sexually, Jaden. I want to hear about everything you like sexually."

Her big green eyes blinked up at him. She seemed a little dazed. "I um..." She stopped and licked her lips. "I don't know."

He smiled gently and stroked a finger along her jaw. "It's okay. You can tell me. I promise that I'm going to like anything you like."

She shook her head slightly. "No. I mean, I've never..."

A thought occurred to him and his spine went rigid, his hands and hips completely still. He stared at her. "Are you a virgin, Jaden?"

Was it possible for a virgin to put off this much heat, for her body language and expressions and tone of voice to seduce him as effectively as Jaden's had?

She smiled. "No. But it's been a long time and..."

Oh, this he had to hear. "And what?"

"I've never really thought about, or been asked about, what I like. I guess we just did it pretty...traditionally."

So, the truth of the situation was that he was going to be the first to discover what would make Jaden Monroe beg. He could definitely be okay with that. He bent to kiss her. "I promise you we're going to figure out all kinds of non-rootbeer things that you like." Another kiss quickly heated things back to the point of boiling.

Jaden pulled back. "Maybe you could, I don't know, give me some ideas about things I might like. And then I can tell you what I think."

He gripped her butt in his hands and grinned. "That is an excellent idea."

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Behind the Scenes

No Matter What

This book is extra special. Not only is the first published solo project for me, but it's about a physical therapist. I have been a physical therapist for more than twelve years. Physical therapy is more than a job, it's a part of who I am. Every day I get to help people do things that they've had to give up or avoid because of pain or weakness, because of injury or illness. Every day I get to witness the incredible ability of the body to heal and compensate as well as the ability of the human spirit to overcome. It's truly a blessing. Writing a book about a passionate, intelligent, confident physical therapist who comes into a family's life and shows them that they can be and do more than they ever imagined, was so fun and was a kind-of tribute to the profession I love and the people I share it with.

Some things you might not know about physical therapists:

  • Physical therapists attend 6-8 years of education after high school.
  • Pediatric physical therapy is one of eight recognized specialties in the profession.
  • Most physical therapists now graduate with a DPT or Doctor of Physical Therapy degree.
  • There are 196 Physical Therapy programs in the U.S.
  • Jobs in the field of physical therapy is expected to continue to expand for the next several years!
  • You can find out more about physical therapists or find one near you at www.apta.org OR www.moveforwardpt.com

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