Violence, intrigue, and passion are brewing in the craft beer world. When bitter rivals Jennifer Baxter and Sean Garrison meet, the notorious and handsome owner of Garrison Brothers Brewing stays true to form, seducing his rival at a national brewer’s convention.
Sean arrived at the convention expecting to get down to business, including his stated goal of hiring Jen away from Brick Street Brewery. But the beautiful fellow craft beer expert provides more of a distraction than he expected.
When sabotage strikes their fellow breweries, they unite to solve the mysteries. But fate and rumors brew more than beer as love, lust, jealousy, and misunderstanding collide in a way neither could have expected or anticipated.
Can they overcome the malicious chatter long enough to explore the emotion bubbling beneath the surface? Or will lust fall flat and leave them nothing but memories of the moment that slipped away?
Jen spun around. Sean Garrison sat perched on a table, elbows on denim-clad knees. He leveled a stare at her. Air from the downstairs cold storage streamed across the floor between them, chilling her from the ankles up.
She stumbled back, sending a stack of empty stainless steel beer kegs clanging to the floor. Mortified, she jumped from the mess then shuddered when she sensed him close enough to touch her. Shoulders squared, she faced him and choked back the urge to reach out to the man standing within kissing distance, if only to run a fingertip along his just-rolled-out-of-bed stubbled jaw.
“Well, as I live and breathe, Sean Garrison knows who I am, and if I’m not mistaken, has stalked me down to the ladies’ room.” She pulled her hair out of its band and let it flow around her shoulders. “Should I sound an alarm?”
He chuckled, bringing chills to her entire body. She crossed her arms, trying not to clutch at her elbows and give away her anxiety. In one step, he was close enough to put his empty, still-cool glass against the skin of her arm. She flushed, irritated at her reaction to him. She was conscious of his body’s heat, the subtle hint of his cologne tinged with the familiar odors of beer. When she leaned back to look into his eyes, their bright blue depths startled her.
“Oh, um, well, I mean, thanks—you know for the earlier compliment.” She cursed herself.
His other hand traced a line down her arm. She gritted her teeth against the urge to sigh with satisfaction. Someone stomped on the floor above her head and laughter roared through the whole place, a not-so-subtle reminder that a party was going on upstairs. But at this moment, the universe had shrunk to the two of them.
“Sure,” he said, his lips once again too close for comfort. His fingers grazed her skin again, the touch zinging straight to her panties. She’d not had such a reaction to a man in years. She fought the urge to shove him away and run up the steps. Mainly because what she really wanted was for him to keep doing what he was doing.
“No need to be alarmed,” he said, suddenly backing away. “Wanted to make sure I paid my respects to the new queen of beer marketing before you left.”
“I suppose this is where I’m supposed to say something that sucks up to the emperor?”
It took her a minute to realize he was touching her. Again.