Read Defensive Heart: The Donnolleys, Book 2 Online

Authors: Dorothy F. Shaw

Tags: #single mother;professional;artist;lawyer;attorney;older woman younger man;tattoos;piercings;New York

Defensive Heart: The Donnolleys, Book 2

Uptown girl, tattooed bad boy. Think you know which one is wild? You’d be wrong.

The Donnellys,
Book 2

Greenwich Village is home to successful artist Jimmy Donnelly, and the world is his playground. A broken heart in college left him with zero interest in being tied down. But when he meets a sexy, quick-witted Manhattan attorney, he reconsiders his bad boy ways.

Sonja Martin’s life is filled with work, an ex-husband who refuses to stay gone, and a teenage daughter who won’t follow the rules. Jimmy, with his myriad of tattoos and piercings, looks more like one of her clients than a potential lover. But when every argument between them feels more like foreplay, she can’t seem to stay out of his bed.

The heat burns through whatever defenses Sonja thought she had. And Jimmy finds his every fantasy fulfilled—and exceeded—by a woman whose fire burns as bright as her fiercely guarded vulnerability.

But his case for breaking her out of her self-imposed mold might just be dismissed. And he’ll lose the best thing he’s ever found.

Warning: This book might piss you off. But if I’ve done my job, while you’re busy being pissed off, you’ll also fall in love with the hero and the heroine. May contain: A pompous, misogynistic ex-husband. A rebellious teenager. A ton of sex. Adventurous sex. Make-up sex. Desperate-OMG-GET-YOUR-CLOTHES-OFF sex… Did I mention there’s a lot of sex?

Defensive Heart

Dorothy F. Shaw

Dedication

To my unicorn, you wove your way deep into my heart and mind—my very soul. You changed everything and
I will never be the same
.

Acknowledgements

Shout out to my beta readers: Dawn Vaeoso, Alissa Dawn, Tere Harden, Trenda London and my cousin, Sherri Zak. Thank you so much, as always, your feedback was invaluable. And, Sherri, you are my typo-finding queen! To my friend, Amy Wilson, an incredible nurse…thank you for your help with the medical scenes. To Richie “the kid” Hammer, for your help with the NYPD officer scenes, but also, thank you for remaining a part of my life.

Chapter One

Jimmy Donnelly’s shoulder jerked forward.
What the—

“Pardon me. Crap! Ugh.”

He glanced to see who’d bumped him and his mouth dropped open.
Whoa!
“No problem,” he managed to mumble after he’d gotten his jaw working. The woman was gorgeous—and tall. Holy crap she was tall.

“Thanks.” She looked down. “Oh my God! No!” She swiped her hands down her white suit jacket.

“Shit. Let me get you a towel.” Jimmy signaled the bar-back and then handed her the clean rag. “Was that your drink or his?”


His.
I was just coming to get my own. Ugh! That guy didn’t even apologize.” Her tone was filled with annoyance as she swiped at the front of the jacket, then down one thigh.

Jimmy let his gaze roam down her body. She was tall, but also petite—a complete oxymoron, but the perfect description nonetheless. He took in the white formal pantsuit she wore and continued down to her beige, very expensive-looking—
holy shit—
stiletto pumps. Jimmy whistled low. Classy for sure, but completely out of place in a dance club like Tangled. He rested his elbow on the bar. “Could be worse. Could be red wine.”

She pinned him with a glare cold enough to freeze hell. “Let me know if you have anything useful to say. That’s really not helping.” She went back to swiping at her clothes.

“Uh…” He cleared his throat. “Yeah, sorry.” Talk about feeling like his mother just scolded him. Jimmy smiled, trying to hide the sudden nervous energy filling his belly and rocketing up his throat. It made his tongue feel like someone had spread a layer of rubber cement on it. He turned away and resumed his wait for the bartender.

A few minutes later she slid into the small space between him and another patron. Like a magnet drawn to the pull of another, Jimmy couldn’t help himself and looked over, taking in her profile. Man, she really was beautiful.

She glanced at him, nodded, then turned away. After a few beats, she looked back. “You’re staring.”

Jimmy cringed. “Sorry.” He focused back on the bartender, but after another few moments, curiosity took over and he risked another peek. Her blonde hair was pulled up in a twist on the back of her head, appearing to defy the laws of gravity, and she had the brightest sky-blue eyes he’d ever seen. She wore little makeup and had one of those faces with skin so milky white and perfect it looked like it’d been scooped out of whipped cream.

She hit him with another glare and shifted to face him. “Is there a problem?”

He bristled at her annoyed tone layered with a hint of a New York accent. Yup, he’d been staring, but Jesus, she didn’t need to be so nasty. Jimmy looked her up and down, damn ready to give it right back to her. Being of Irish descent, he normally let things slide but she’d definitely riled his temper. The crowd pressed in closer and someone muscled in behind her, forcing their bodies to almost touch. “You’re a little overdressed for a place like this, don’t you think?”

She raised a single brow. “Aren’t you a master of observation.”

“Usually.” Jimmy smirked. Jesus, she smelled good. “If you don’t mind me saying, you’re…stunning.”

She cocked her head to the side with a smirk rivaling his own. “Great, thanks.”

Stunning
with
an attitude. A little like fire and ice. How intriguing. Unable to resist a good game of tit for tat, he leaned toward her. “Nice shoes. You mug someone in a back alley to score them?”

She took a small step back and bumped the guy behind her. “Hardly.”

“I’m striking out here, aren’t I?”

“That’s assuming you ever actually made it up to bat.”

“Ouch.” Jimmy rubbed the center of his chest. “Look, let me start over.” She mumbled something sounding a lot like, “Do I have a choice?” but he ignored it. Jimmy held out his hand. “Hi, I’m James Donnelly. Let me buy you a drink. To—you know—make up for my sarcasm.”

“I think I can manage the purchase of my own drink. Thank you anyway.” She didn’t take his offered hand, just turned back toward the bar.

Jimmy laid his neglected palm on the bar top and leaned close enough to almost touch her ear with his lips. “That was rude.”

She jerked away as if he’d slapped her. “What was rude?”

“I got you a towel so you could wipe up a drink
I
didn’t spill on you. Then I tried to apologize for staring at you, which again, wasn’t trying to be rude…then I tried to start over with you and shake your hand, and you snubbed me.” Screw this lady. He drummed his fingertips on the counter.

“I beg your pardon?” She faced him, one hand on her hip and annoyance clear in her expression. “I thanked you for the towel. Ugh, forget it. Why are you talking to me?”

“Exactly.” He shrugged and turned away. Why waste time and energy on someone with an entire stick up her ass? He wanted to ask her where her broom was but figured she’d turn him into a toad—or worse. He loved a little fire and ice in a woman, but she wasn’t full of fire
or
ice. The woman appeared to be merely a regular bitch.

“Now who’s rude?” She tugged on his arm, and he glanced over his shoulder at her. “Fine. Buy me a drink.” She sighed. “Vodka tonic, with a lime.”

Interesting. Maybe the stick wasn’t imbedded as deep as he thought. He faced her again. With a broad smile, he smoothed his hands down the front of his white button-up shirt. “Tell me your name first.”

Who in the
hell
did this lunatic think he was? Sonja Martin stood, hand planted on one hip, studying the boy standing before her. Yes,
boy
. She took a moment to appraise his features: A head full of dark, almost black, spiky and tangled hair fell over his forehead and covered the tops of his ears, both of which were pierced. Equally dark brows framed a set of pale hazel eyes. His nose, with one nostril pierced, was thin and straight, but curved slightly down at the tip. A thin goatee framed his full mouth and merged into a thin strip down his squared, narrow chin.

Plenty good looking, no denying it, but his features weren’t perfect either. He was younger than her but, then again, who wasn’t in a place like this? Giving in, she held out her hand. “Sonja Martin.”

He wrapped his fingers around her hand in a firm but not excessive grip. “Nice to meet you. Can’t say it’s been a pleasure so far, but maybe there’s hope.” He winked and smiled, revealing a set of straight, white teeth and a pair of dimples some would kill for.

The smile was potent, and her breath caught in her throat. “You really know how to turn on the charm, don’t you?”

“Oh, come on. Lighten up, will ya? We need a shot.”

“I’m not doing a shot with you, Mr. Donnelly.”

“Sure you are. Good memory with the name, by the way.” He rubbed his hands together. “I’m going to order two shots along with your drink, then we’ll drink them. Simple.”

Sonja couldn’t quite believe this guy. He was either already drunk or just plain stupid. Never mind rude, annoying and downright egotistical. She could go on and on, and should’ve already walked away from him. Yet she stood there, like some sort of subservient sheep—
how typical of me
—and let him order them shots and drinks.

Sonja shook her head, clenching her teeth in complete annoyance. Thing was, she wasn’t sure who she was more agitated with, herself or him. Just what she needed, another pompous ass ordering her around.
Spare me. I’m full up.
The bartender returned with her vodka tonic (minus the lime), two shot glasses filled with dark fluid, and a glass of what appeared to be Guinness. When her unwelcome and distracting company slid the shot in front of her, Sonja eyed the nearly black liquid and frowned. “What is it?”

“Jägermeister.” He raised his shot glass. “Come on, lift it. What shall we drink to?”

She waved her hand, signaling the bartender. She needed the lime for her drink. “I’m not drinking that.”

He picked up the other shot and held it in front of her. “Sure you are.”

“Mr. Donnel—”

“James. Take the shot.”

“James. Whatever. You can have both.” The bartender appeared. Finally. “You forgot my lime.”

“It’s been a while, hasn’t it?” James chuckled.

“Excuse me?”

He set the shot intended for her on the bar top. “Safe to assume you’re single. It’s been a while since you’ve gotten laid, huh? Must be it.”

“It has no—” Heat flooded her cheeks and agitation pulsed through her. She was single, but her relationship status or sex life was none of his damn business. And besides, it hadn’t been
that
long. Had it?

Cupping her elbow in his hand, he bent close to her ear. “You are, and it has. Drink the shot, Sonja. Trust me, you need it.” His hot breath feathered over her neck and she shivered.

Sonja cursed her body for responding in any way, shape or form to him. She should slap him, not get aroused by him. Breathing deep, Sonja sought for some measure of calm and came up short when his masculine scent flowed through her senses like a cool stream, making her shiver again.
Crap.
Always such a sucker for the aroma of clean soap and cologne. The bartender placed a lime on the edge of her drink and she shifted, pulling away from James. “Thanks.”

James held her shot glass up in front of her again. “Drink up.”

“You don’t give up, do you?”

“Once I sink my teeth in, I don’t let go.”

Knowing it was a bad idea, Sonja took the glass from him. “Is that it? You think you’ve sunk your teeth in?”

“The bite is so much more pleasurable if you relax and go with it.” He smiled and raised his shot. “To being stunning, Ms. Martin.” He tapped her glass with the edge of his.

She paused and took in his dimples, the curve of his lips. He was too sexy. A prize, chock full of wickedness she wasn’t quite sure she wanted to collect on. “Are you trying to seduce me, James?”

“Do you want to be seduced?”

“Not particularly.” With a laugh, Sonja tilted the shot to her lips. She closed her eyes and swallowed the dark liquid; the sweet licorice flavor spread over her tongue and burned on its way down her throat. When she opened her eyes, he was watching her, his gaze fixated on her lips. She licked them…slowly.
Two can play at this game.

James’s eyes flared before narrowing. He tapped the bottom of the shot glass on the bar top and drank it down.

Was that some sort of shot ritual she wasn’t aware of? Hmm. “How old are you?”

He hissed through his teeth and set his glass down. “Old enough to know, and still young enough to do something about it.”

“How very cliché.”

“And how old are you?” A smooth grin tipped the corners of his lips.

“How very impolite.” She raised a brow and squeezed the lime into her vodka tonic. “Too old for you. What are you, twenty-five? Twenty-six?” She licked the remnants of lime juice from her fingertips.

“Are you trying to seduce me, Sonja?”

“Only in your wet dreams.”

He leaned close again, placed his hand on her lower back and pulled her against him. “Keep licking your lips and fingers like that, honey, and you’ll be the star in my wet dream tonight.”

Sonja tensed, trying and failing to ignore his words and warm breath on her ear. The heat of his hand burned through her clothes and she trembled against his hard chest. James dragged his hand from her lower back to her waist, framed it for a moment between his thumb and fingers, squeezed, then let go of her. A beat of arousal pumped through her and settled between her thighs. Sonja swallowed past the lump in her throat. Why was she letting him get to her this much?

He waved for the bartender. “I think we need another shot.”

“No. No, we don’t.”

He smiled and winked at her. “Shh. I got this.”

“I bet that smile gets you into a lot of beds, doesn’t it?” She sipped her drink.

“Will it get me into yours?”

A laugh she couldn’t suppress bubbled up, and she sucked the liquid down the wrong pipe. Talk about a cold splash of water. Her libido went silent as she attempted to breathe.

“Shit. Sorry.” James grabbed a napkin and handed it to her and then rubbed her back while she tried like hell to appear dignified while coughing up a lung.

Sonja wiped her mouth with the napkin. “No. Not likely.” She coughed again and cleared her throat. “Don’t you have a girlfriend around here somewhere you should be annoying?”

He grabbed the freshly delivered shots. “Nope. I’m all yours. Here.”

“Oh God. Are you trying to get me drunk?”

“Will it get me into your bed?”

“Not a chance.” She smirked, but took the shot and tossed it back, this time with no hesitation.

He shook his head. “You didn’t wait for the toast. Bad form, Sonja. Bad form.”

“Aw. You’ll get over it.” She patted his shoulder.

“Nope. You’ve wounded my heart. How much of a beating do you think a guy can take?” He placed his hand over his chest. As he did, the sleeve of his shirt rose, revealing tattoo work on his wrist.

“Oh my, this wounded puppy thing is pretty pathetic. Go ahead, make a toast. I’ll sip my drink while you toss back the second shot you insisted on having.”

“Wounded puppy?
You are
relentless.” He grinned. “I think you should make the toast this time.”

Thanks to the alcohol kicking in, Sonja’s tongue was getting looser and looser. Where were her friends, anyway? Weren’t they supposed to be there to save her from situations like this? However, Sonja’s libido didn’t want her to be saved at this point.

The guy looked more like the clients she represented back home in Manhattan than any type of man she’d ever consider going to bed with. There was something about him though. It made her go weak in the knees, which was more troubling than anything else. “Okay, fine.” She raised her drink. “To your bedroom eyes, dimples and wicked smile, created to drop panties…though surely not mine.” She nodded, feeling quite pleased with herself.

He dipped his chin and raised one brow. “Clever. Very clever.”

“Thanks. Glad you liked it.”

He repeated the actions from before: tapped the bottom of his glass on the bar, raised it to his lips and swallowed the alcohol. When he did, she caught a glimpse of a tattoo snaking up his neck, visible just above the collar of his shirt. She intended to ask about the little ritual with the shot but was so distracted by the tantalizing peek of his ink, all rational thought left her mind.

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