Any Way She Wants It (Naughty After Hours, Book 6)

Cover of Any Way She Wants It by New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Jasmine Haynes

He was engaged. She was his younger sister’s best friend. And his dirty little secret. Twenty years later, it’s all about to explode.

David Farris has been a widower for almost a year. He should be able to handle Tricia Connelly waltzing back into his life. After all, it’s been over twenty years. But now that she’s within kissing distance, she’s the epitome of his greatest desire… and his deepest guilt. To preserve his sanity he has to keep everything between them strictly business. But Tricia is too touchable, too kissable, and keeping his hands off her proves impossible.

Tricia wants nothing more than to drive David crazy with need for her. When she realizes they’ll be working side-by-side, day in and day out, her heart clamors for a second chance. David is the one man she’s always wanted, but he keeps her at arms-length as if their history together never existed. Or maybe because of it.

Can he let go of the past? Or will he allow guilt to destroy their future?

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What Readers Are Saying:

Romance with Substance

Jasmine Haynes has done it again: she has crafted a beautiful novel focused on two mature characters with a history and managed to break and heal her readers’ hearts in turn. With her trademark grace and her smooth prose style, Haynes has given us a story filled with romance, heat, and substance. Haynes always presents… Read more “Romance with Substance”

Amazon Reviewer

Loved it

This is the first book in this series that I’ve had the pleasure to read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I like the second chance troupe, and the characters are realistic and likable. David had me SMH with all his inner turmoil and his conscience over past events with Tricia. Let it go!!! Tricia really… Read more “Loved it”

Amazon Reviewer

HOT..Hot..hot

Last night I was trying to decide if this was an erotic romance or romantic erotica. Today, as I write this, I’ve decided it’s primarily a romance, but the sex is lively and frequent. Tricia, the heroine, is truly the stronger partner in their growing relationship, but David keeps plugging along. And, while this seems… Read more “HOT..Hot..hot”

Amazon Reviewer

The story totally grabbed me.

I previously had read this author’s books and had got away from them when I got too busy to enjoy reading. This is the first book of her’s I’ve read in a long time and I’m so glad I’ve refound this author.I felt this story is somewhat melancholy until the Hawaii trip where Tricia and… Read more “The story totally grabbed me.”

Amazon Reviewer

Feeling Guilty

I loved this book and couldn’t put it down until I finished. Tricia has loved David since she was 16, but he’s always felt guilty for giving her a first kiss, he was too old for her. She’s always compared everyone to him. But now it’s 22 years later, and they work together. As they… Read more “Feeling Guilty”

Amazon Reviewer

A page turning second chance romance

This is book six in the West Coast Novel Series and was a great book. It will grab your attention at the beginning and keep you page turning. Well written with complex, likeable characters and an entertaining story. No shortage of drama, twists or suspense. A second chance romance that will take you on an… Read more “A page turning second chance romance”

Amazon Reviewer

Couldn’t put this fabulous story down save to grab a tissue for my occasional tears!

I won’t go into the storyline which has been well covered by the previous two reviewers. It is an extremely well written novel & I loved the main characters & the challenges they faced in getting to their hea. She drew him out of his angst & guilt, taught him a lot he hadn’t hitherto… Read more “Couldn’t put this fabulous story down save to grab a tissue for my occasional tears!”

Amazon Reviewer

Mature Second Chance Erotic Romance

Such a romantically nostalgic erotic read. Tricia Connelly is 38, divorced and experimenting sexually. She has loved David Farris for over 20 years since his sister set them up and they kissed and… David now has two kids in college and his wife is deceased. Tricia is hired by his company and will work along… Read more “Mature Second Chance Erotic Romance”

Amazon Reviewer

4.5 stars of steamy hotness!

Tricia is 38; David is 48. I do enjoy reading about mature couples. She fell for him when she was 16, and he was her first kiss. Twenty-two years later, they get a second chance at their romance. His wife’s death and that kiss have left him with lots of guilt. Tricia, however, has been… Read more “4.5 stars of steamy hotness!”

Amazon Reviewer

You just have to love Jasmine’s stories.

OMG! You just have to love Jasmine’s stories. This time we visit David and Tricia. You can feel the love she has harbored for him for over 20 years and the path she took to try to follow his advice. David has so much guilt he has carried for 20 years and is just not… Read more “You just have to love Jasmine’s stories.”

Amazon Reviewer

Excerpt

Any Way She Wants It
© 2018 Jasmine Haynes

CHAPTER ONE

She sat three rows in front of him, on the groom’s side of the garden wedding. Her dress was a satiny blue that draped her curves, no ruffles or frills, just spaghetti straps that left her shoulders bared to the late September sun and his gaze. Her short blond hair kissed the nape of her neck, silky and touchable.

Not that David Farris would ever think of touching Tricia Connelly.

Liar.

He thought about her when his guard was down. Jesus, he dreamed of her when his subconscious mind took over in the middle of the night. Hot, sexy, sweaty dreams he couldn’t quite banish when the alarm blared to wake him.

So it was safer to say that he would never act on any of his thoughts. Tricia Connelly was off limits. For so many reasons, but mostly because of their mutual past that he couldn’t forget and couldn’t forgive himself for. Because of his dead wife, as if her cancer was a manifestation of his guilt as well as his penance for all the wrong things he’d done.

God, yes, there were too many reasons, but the opening bars of the wedding march allowed him to shove them all from his mind. Everything except the sight of her.

Holt Montgomery’s back garden had been transformed into a chapel, with an arbor trimmed in flowers and ivy on a raised dais which would be converted to a dancefloor once the ceremony was over. White folding chairs had been set out for the guests with a center aisle the bride would walk down, all in a very traditional setting. Though Ruby Williams was anything but traditional.

The guest list wasn’t large, considering the fact that Holt was a Silicon Valley CEO with a huge contact base. Mentally cataloguing the seats, there was room for only fifty, and they were occupied mostly by employees from West Coast Manufacturing, including the executive team, a smattering of senior management, and the chairman of the board. Ruby and Holt had probably kept the number to a minimum in order to have the wedding in Holt’s backyard.

He would have expected more show from Ruby, five hundred attendees, a rented hotel ballroom, ice statues, and fountains of bubbling champagne.

But Ruby walked down the aisle with no escort and no entourage, wearing a magnificent cream confection David knew Cassandra Montgomery, Holt’s daughter, had designed. The halter-style dress tied at Ruby’s nape and dipped deep into her cleavage. The beaded bodice trimmed in lace ended in an arrow over her stomach, while the satin hugged her hips, finally flaring halfway down her thighs. Her dark hair pulled up in an elegant knot, she’d allowed a smattering of curls to artfully fall free.

No matter what David thought of her personally, he had to admit Ruby was stunning. Her face was radiant with a smile that could only be called happiness, though that had never been a word he’d used to describe Ruby. Yet as she walked down the aisle alone, as if she were the one giving herself away, she had eyes only for her soon-to-be husband. And her gaze was literally alight. Holt was a fine figure, CEO all the way, as commanding up on the dais in his formal tuxedo as he was in the boardroom. Ruby Williams had never been a woman that inspired the word love—she was too aggressive, too calculating, too predatory—yet love radiated from the look Holt graced her with. Somehow they’d found a way, the most unlikely couple.

Just as Ruby was without a maid of honor, Holt had no best man. David could only presume it was because the logical choice, Clay Blackwell, had lived with Ruby before taking up with Holt. Talk about complications. West Coast Manufacturing had turned out to a hotbed of sexcapades. Ruby and Clay, then Clay and Jessica Murphy, who’d become Jessica Blackwell only last month, then Holt and Ruby.

Yes, the Blackwells had been invited to the wedding. Though they were seated in the second row, Ruby glided past them without a glance, as if she didn’t care, as if marrying Holt made up for all that had gone before. When Ruby was a step ahead, Clay raised Jessica’s hand, bending slightly to kiss her knuckles. It could have been reassurance, yet the way Jessica smiled in return, her face and her blond hair as bright as a beam of sunlight, she had all the assurance she could ever desire.

The music hushed as Holt took Ruby’s hand, and he helped her onto the dais amid afternoon birdsong. For endless seconds, he looked down into her face, his gaze speaking to her. The moment was almost too intimate to watch. It kindled vestiges of David’s own wedding day, his fears, his duty, the love he’d told himself he felt for his bride, the other feelings he’d denied. He’d been denying them ever since.

His eyes fell on Tricia. Always back to Tricia. She was his past, she was his guilt. He’d never thought to have her in his present, and he could imagine no future that included her.

Except in his dreams.

A minister in traditional robes began the vows—David had no idea where Ruby had found him since he didn’t believe she’d ever stepped inside a church.

There were no embellishments, no personally written vows that seemed to be the rage these days. Yet somehow, with her hands clasped in Holt’s, Ruby’s declaration, murmured in her husky, sexy tone, was touching. “I take you as my wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day on, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, cherish, and obey, till death do us part.”

David had expected her to remove the word obey, yet Ruby said the word with more force than all the others, giving it weight and meaning.

With his vows, Holt added his own stress on “Till death do us part,” as if it were a message that this marriage would be different. Especially since his ex-wife and her husband sat next to Holt’s daughter in the front row. Cassandra turned slightly, whispering into Ward Restin’s ear, then leaning her head on his shoulder. Ward was the company’s VP of Research, and Cassandra had been living with him almost since she’d moved up from L.A. five months ago to open her own fashion boutique. She was to have a spread in the Sunday social section of the newspaper, featuring Ruby in her magnificent dress. There might be only fifty guests today, but Ruby would have her limelight tomorrow, and so would Cassandra.

Short and sweet, the minister closed in on the end. “I pronounce you husband and wife.” He beamed widely, his smile another wrinkle in an already wizened face. “You may now kiss the bride.”

Ruby wore no veil, and Holt placed her hands on his chest then cupped her face with such tenderness it opened a wound in David’s chest, though God only knew why. Ruby blossomed for her new husband like a night-blooming flower, and that first kiss was both gentle and carnal, tender yet deep, as much an exchange of vows as their words had been.

God help him, his gaze came to rest on Tricia once more, his heart tearing right down the center.

That first kiss. She’d been so young. He remembered her tears, remembered how they’d slain him.

Why doesn’t anyone want to kiss me? What’s wrong with me, David?

She’d been sweet sixteen, and the boys she knew were too young to see the beauty she would become. But he was a man, ten years older, and she was his little sister’s best friend. He’d understood what the boys his sister knew never could, that Tricia was on the cusp of blooming into something extraordinary. He’d wanted only to prove to her that she was gorgeous no matter what the boys said. He’d wanted only to dry her tears and reassure her. Words could never have done it, only actions. So he’d kissed her.

And changed both their lives.

The depth of desire he’d felt floored him. That night destroyed him. It haunted his marriage. It consumed all his feelings for his wife. It burned him up with unquenchable guilt and irresistible desire. He hated himself for taking advantage of Tricia, hurting her, and yet it had been his pivotal moment, affecting everything that came after, even his dreams.

Because Tricia had lived in his nocturnal fancies, where she’d grown into the beautiful, stunning woman he’d known she would eventually become.

Until a few months ago, when she’d walked out of his dreams and back into his life, fulfilling his prophecies for her.

He shuddered, a slight movement of his shoulders as if he could shake off all the memories.

His fantasies had to end now, especially with Tricia so close and the endless hours of budgeting that loomed ahead. In the past, he’d spent the equivalent of days with Greg Stevens working on yearly forecasting. Tricia had taken over Greg’s position as Finance Manager when Greg was promoted to Controller.

David would never survive the year-end budget process unless he got himself under control.

He came out of his fog to find Holt and Ruby had descended from their dais. Instead of a procession back down the aisle and a receiving line, they greeted all their guests in a slow walk, stopping at each row.

Cassandra hugged her father, holding on tight for one long moment. They’d never been demonstrative, and in fact she called him Holt rather than Dad, yet there was a special bond in that hug. She’d gotten her red hair from her mother and her gorgeous features from her father, as well as his commanding aura. Ward had his work cut out with Cassandra if he wanted to wear the pants.

Then Holt shook Ward’s hand and bussed his ex-wife’s cheek while Cassandra gave Ruby a restrained hug. She might have designed the wedding dress but the two women weren’t suddenly BFFs. Unconventional, Cassandra wore a flame-red dress that absorbed the color of her hair rather than clashed with it. In any other circumstances, these two women would be rivals. Maybe they would be tomorrow.

When they turned to the other side of the aisle, David became aware of the silence as every breath was suddenly held.

“Cat fight,” Spence Benedict muttered in his ear.

David hadn’t been aware of Spence’s arrival, let alone that Spence sat right behind him. A guilty flush spread up David’s neck. He’d been watching Tricia too intently, and he wondered how much Spence had picked up on.

Instead of acknowledging that, he gave his own low murmur back. “They’ll be on their best behavior.”

That’s exactly what Ruby and Jessica did, smiling politely at each other, Jessica saying something, probably congratulations, Ruby thanking her, while the male parties exchanged handshakes and backslaps.

“Jesus, I think he’s going to hug her.” Spence’s laughter was cut off at a snort when Zoe elbowed him.

“Shh,” she hushed him, though he’d spoken softly enough that no one but she and David had heard.

The hug didn’t happen. Instead Clay kissed Ruby’s cheek, as chaste as a father or a brother.

With the moment over, the chatter started again as Holt and Ruby moved on down the aisle, receiving handshakes, hugs, and congratulations.

“You look marvelous,” David told Zoe.

“Thank you.” She was a pretty woman with long dark hair, and she’d made Spence happy.

Spencer Benedict had always been good for a laugh, always found the joke in everything, and yet he’d never seemed quite as…what was the word? Complete? Yes, that was it. Zoe completed Spence. If David didn’t miss the mark, he’d say Zoe would soon be making them a complete family, too. There was the slightest bump beneath the summer dress she wore. The problem, David knew, was that Zoe’s divorce wasn’t yet final.

“Okay, come on.” Spence took Zoe’s hand in his. “I gotta give Ward some crap and see when he’s going to follow in Holt’s footsteps and marry that girl.” He pulled her to the far end of the aisle, obviously skipping the congratulations for now.

“Don’t hold your breath,” David muttered, though they were now out of earshot. He didn’t believe Cassandra Montgomery was the marrying kind. Then again, he had to admit she seemed to adore Ward.

Everyone else was merging toward the center aisle to await Holt and Ruby’s greeting, while the staff began at the sides, moving chairs and bringing out the cocktail tables for mingling, beginning the garden’s transformation from chapel to reception. They set aside the trellis and unlocked hinges on the dais that allowed them to extend it to make a larger dancefloor.

David shifted back to the front, judging the newly married couple’s progress down the aisle, gauging how long before he could make his escape.

And turned right into Tricia’s sky-blue gaze. Her eyes were focused, as if she’d seen every thought he’d had about her, every wet dream painted on his face like prison stripes.

The guests, the minister, the bride and groom, they all seemed to fade. Except her. His breath constricted in his chest, his heart lodged somewhere in his throat, and his stomach plummeted to the ground he stood on, shaking it beneath his feet.

Over the last few months, since she’d started working at West Coast, Tricia had tried to talk to him. Christ, she’d actually cornered him a couple of times. How he’d shut her down, he couldn’t even recall. He’d probably run like a coward or a fool.

Her gaze was so direct, so straight, lancing him.

Yes, he was a coward. Eventually, they would need to have the confrontation. But not today.

Holt saved him, reaching Tricia’s row. She shook hands, no hugs, no pecks on the cheek.

To the left of David’s row, the wait staff carefully placed the wedding cake on a side table. A three-tiered confection, it was topped with a Day of the Dead bride and groom. Despite the emotions roiling inside him, he chuckled. It was so un-Ruby. But then he had to wonder about all the things he didn’t know about her. Didn’t know about Holt. Or about their relationship.

Every relationship wore a different face behind closed doors. Every relationship had a surface hiding its depths. There was what you wanted people to see versus the actual truth.

It was his turn now and Holt grabbed his hand in a hardy shake.

“Congratulations,” David said. His smile felt forced. It had been a mistake coming. The wedding was a reminder of his dead wife, his dead marriage, and Tricia was the embodiment of his guilt, of all his mistakes, of the harm he’d caused. And a token of the things he desired but could never have.

He shook off all the memories. He was here. He had to act. He took Ruby’s hand in both of his. “You make a stunning picture, Ruby. I wish you all the best.”

She smiled without artifice, even though Ruby always had artifice. “Thank you, David.” She poked him in the chest. “Now, I want you to get out there and dance once the music starts. Be the life of our party.” She elbowed Holt fondly. “He says he’ll only do the first dance so I’m going to need lots of partners.”

Ruby had definitely had her share of partners.

“She’s teasing, David.” Holt wrapped a proprietary arm around her, pulling her close and tight, staking his claim. “But we want you to enjoy yourself.”

He saw the words between their lines. He saw the last ten months since his wife’s death where he seemed to be living in a world of grief. And there were the endless months before that, the diagnosis, the treatment, then when the doctors finally destroyed all their hope. He’d been aware of the thoughtful gazes at work, the worry, the desire to help, the inability to do so. Now they all wanted him to move on, to get better, to be the man he’d been before the cancer.

His son and daughter wanted it, too. They missed their mom, but they were both in college now and starting their own lives, creating new priorities.

What none of them knew was that the genesis of his guilt came long before the cancer, before his kids were born, before he’d married Marie.

It began that night with Tricia.

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Don’t miss all the books in the series:

  • Revenge (Naughty After Hours, Book 1)
  • Submitting to the Boss (Naughty After Hours, Book 2)
  • The Boss’s Daughter (Naughty After Hours, Book 3)
  • The Only One for Her (Naughty After Hours, Book 4)
  • Pleasing Mr. Sutton (Naughty After Hours, Book 5)
  • Any Way She Wants It (Naughty After Hours, Book 6)
  • More Than a Night (Naughty After Hours, Book 7)
  • A Very Naughty Christmas (Naughty After Hours, Book 8)
  • Show Me How to Leave You (Naughty After Hours, Book 9)
  • Show Me How to Love You (Naughty After Hours, Book 10)
  • Show Me How to Tempt You (Naughty After Hours, Book 11)