The Moment They Can't Forget - Preview



Zoe Duke woke like she always did—alert. Her eyes opened, and instantly she knew where she was and who the warm, hard chest beneath her cheek belonged to.


She stared at the dark nipple a few inches below her and wondered if she could faint for the first time in her life. She could even swoon, like they used to in the old days. Just close her eyes and lie here acting like she was unconscious. But that wasn’t her. Zoe faced things head-on, which was the reason she was back in her hometown, living with her mom and brothers, and not in Chicago, working the dream job she’d studied hard to get.

Staring at that nipple as her mind worked out at least five different ways to get out of this situation, Zoe had to admit that the body below it was a work of art.

Tall, big, and muscled, she couldn’t deny JD Hopper was hot. The black ink that snaked down his arms and chest only added to that. Last night, he’d made her body react in ways no man had before.

Closing her eyes briefly, she refocused. She couldn’t think about him… them or what they’d done now. She had to get out of there and home. Get to her room so she could shut the door and never open it again.

The steady breathing beneath her chin told Zoe he still slept. Good. That was good. Maybe she could get out of this without speaking to him. The large hand on her butt felt warm and possessive, which, of course, it wasn’t. He was asleep, and his hand had just ended up there. Fingers splayed across one cheek. He had no claims to her, nor did he want any.

Move, Zoe.

Raising the hand she had on his warm chest, she then lifted her head and looked at the man she disliked intensely and had from the first moment she’d seen him. Last night had been about mutual lust and nothing more. They would now hate each other again. Okay, perhaps there would be a little something more between them, but they could ignore it. Especially if she found a job and left soon.

JD Hopper. Best friend of her eldest brother, Sawyer. Arrogant, rich, and way too smooth. He was everything she hated in a man. Maybe not everything—parts of him she’d liked very much a few hours ago.

He was fashion model handsome. Dark brows, eyes black as midnight, and a mouth that was rarely smiling. He had cheekbones you could cut a steak on, and he always smelled good. A fact that usually annoyed her because when he was close, she wanted to sniff him. Then there were his clothes. He spent more money on shoes than the average person did on their clothing budget for a year.

She eased his hand off her butt and then slowly inched away from him and toward the edge of the bed in a series of odd movements. Her eyes landed on the damp patch by his nipple.

She’d thought this moment couldn’t get worse, but then she’d drooled on him.

Zoe was never drinking again! This was the kind of bad thing that happened to people like her who let themselves go to their brother’s engagement party and drink too much.

She felt the edge of the bed too late and didn’t have time to put out a foot before she was falling. She hit the floor with a thud.


Looking up, she saw JD staring down at her. Hair tousled, eyes heavy lidded, he even looked sexy first thing in the morning. How was that fair when it took Zoe at least thirty minutes to get herself together?

If he was her man, she’d get up off this floor and climb right back on top of all that warm skin over hard muscle and kiss him awake. But he wasn’t, and now she had to get out of this with her dignity.

Zoe had never, not once in her life, had to do the walk of shame out of a man’s bedroom or house. That was about to change.

She leaped to her feet.

“We never speak of this! Never, do you hear me!”

“You’re shrieking. I’m sure even the insects can hear you,” he drawled, still lying there watching her. Those sleepy eyes did a slow survey of her naked body.

“Stop that,” she hissed.

“What?” He raised a dark brow, but those eyes continued their journey.

How was he so calm when her heart was racing and she felt like she wanted to be sick?

“Checking me out.”

The sheet only covered the lower half of his body, he looked like a sated Roman god lying there.

“You didn’t seem to mind me checking you out last night. In fact, if memory serves, you jumped me.”

“I’d had too much to drink. It will never happen again.”

Dragging her eyes from him, she moved around the room, searching for her clothes.

“Look up.”


“Look up,” he said in a deep, gravelly voice.

She did and saw her bra hanging over the edge of his large bookshelf. There was no way she could reach that, and she wasn’t about to humiliate herself by trying. But her panties she could reach, because they were hanging off the open door. Pulling them on, she found her dress under his jeans. Covered now, she felt better. Less exposed.

“Want coffee?”

“What?” She spun to glare at him.

“Coffee.” He yawned. “Do you want some?”

“No, I don’t want coffee!” The words came out with a shriek. “I want to get out of here before anyone realizes I’m not at home in my bed.”

“You’re an adult. Surely you don’t have to check in still?”

He was lying on one tattooed arm now, watching her. Unlike Zoe, JD was relaxed and in control. The only word for what she was feeling was panic.

“Yes, I’m an adult. But I don’t want anyone to know what we did last night. You’re my oldest brother’s best friend. We shouldn’t have done that, and nothing can come of it. We don’t even like each other. That was a moment of madness—”

“More than one moment,” he added.

Color rushed into her cheeks at his words. “My point is, it shouldn’t have happened—”

“I know. But it did.”

“Stop interrupting me!” Zoe snapped.

He just looked at her calmly.

“So now we forget it and never mention it again. Goodbye.” Zoe left the room without looking at him again and ran down the hall and into the huge living area. Tall windows showed her it was still early, and the sun was only just rising.

She had once known this house well. Mr. and Mrs. Carter had run horses on the land, and all the local kids had come here to learn to ride. Zoe had spent a lot of time in this rambling old farmhouse or outside, riding over every inch of the land.

When she realized that JD had bought it, she’d thought he’d turn it into a show home, but he hadn’t. The interior had changed. He’d modernized some of it, but most was still in keeping with the age of the farmhouse. He’d just made it better.

Zoe located her shoes where she’d dropped them in her haste to jump JD Hopper.

The one time you lose control, and it has to be with him.

She found her bag, which had been the reason she’d walked back inside here last night, and ran to the door. She passed two large scruffy dogs sleeping in their beds with a duck between them. Zoe blinked.

“I’m seeing things,” she whispered, hurrying to the door. “Goodbye,” Zoe muttered to the animals as she pulled it open. She stepped outside, down the steps, and into the cool morning air. Only then did she take a deep, steadying breath.

What the hell have you done?

It’s okay. No big deal. People did this kind of thing all the time. But not with her brother’s best friend. A man she disliked.

Zoe saw the lake she’d paddled across in her youth. Needing air last night because her head had been fuzzy from three glasses of champagne when she never drank more than one, Zoe had stepped outside briefly, leaving the guests to celebrate her brother Sawyer’s engagement to Birdie.

She’d then wandered down to the water. The large hammock had lured her. Zoe had lain in it, looking up at the stars. She’d then woken up cold two hours later and gone back into the now empty house to retrieve her bag and work out how she was going to get home. Things had derailed from that moment.

She could still see JD as she had when she’d walked back into his house last night. He’d been naked except for a pair of black boxer briefs. They’d stared at each other, and Zoe wasn’t sure who’d been the first to move, but they had.

He’d picked her up, and her legs and arms had wrapped around him. And the rest was history. A pretty awesome history if her memory was correct, but it would never be repeated.

Zoe’s life was already a mess and directionless, which she hated, and now she’d messed it up even more by sleeping with JD Hopper. 

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